Monday, November 30, 2009

The Google Wave Algorithm

Google Wave Most days, I sit here worrying my pretty little head with the question What is Google Wave good for? (to the tune of Edwin Starr's earworm Wave, huh, yeah / What is it good for / Absolutely nothing / Say it again). But slowly, the light is beginning to dawn.

Wave is not for:
  • Large groups of people (such as conference audiences) - too noisy and cumbersome.
  • Individuals - the communication element is strong, so unless you have a split personality, you're better off organizing your thoughts in a document rather than a wave.
  • Small groups working on single documents such as a manuscript or planning document. Google Docs or Etherpad works perfectly well with this without the complications of Wave.
So, in the words of the song, what is it good for? No, not that. Unless you're going to use the attributes of Wave, which means robots, gadgets and all the other stuff which is going to appear over the next couple of years, you're better off using something else. It's possible that at some stage Wave may become such a prevalent medium that it becomes the default for words (and multimedia) on screen, but we're a long way away from that at present. The precise timing of events will depend on the community that you are working with, in exactly the same way that Twitter was adopted in successive, err, waves. And if you're not working in a community, you don't need Wave.

And one more thing. Even if Wave is what email would look like if it were invented today (it isn't, this is just a one liner the developers were forced to come up with at short notice for PR purposes - the Google PR department must be one of the scariest places in history), disruptive technologies augment rather than replace preceding ones. (Television did not replace radio, radio did not replace books, etc.) So while we wait to find out what Wave is good for, lets bear that in mind. Paul Buchheit suggests the future of Wave is to be integrated into the other Google offerings, producing a realtime environment for GMail and Google Documents. And he's been right before.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Socially unacceptable

ESTICT At the ESTICT event yesterday, Steve Draper threw out some challenging comments, as expected. For me, the most interesting was not about electronic voting systems (EVS), but about PowerPoint. Steve made the point that primary and secondary education have not sold their souls to PowerPoint as HE has done. One of the main reasons I'm not terribly interested in EVS is because most of the systems I have used are so tightly integrated with PowerPoint that inevitably they fall down because of the limitations of PowerPoint.

After I'd given up on the angry fruit salad car-crash demonstration of WordWall*, this set me thinking about not using PowerPoint any more. My classroom sessions are no longer lectures, more discussion based, and for that reason PowerPoint sucks even more than it does in a didactic lecture setting. Steve's passing remark inspired me to think about putting up a wordcloud and talking around the concepts instead. Sadly, I don't feel currently that I can take the risk of binning PowerPoint. Part of the reason for this is because it assumes that students would prepare in advance for each session, rather than just turning up and passively consuming a set PowerPoint slides. This isn't going to happen because these students have not been trained to do this. I wonder which university will be the first to ban PowerPoint? Perhaps neither likely nor desirable (what would be the second thing they'd ban?). All we can hope then is that PowerPoint in higher education becomes as socially unacceptable as smoking (I quite like the idea of small knots staff standing outside in the rain sucking down bullet points), eating in laboratories, or f*cking having intimate carnal knowledge of the freshers.

*WordWall looks like an interesting product, but the demonstration yesterday was poor, and there are huge accessibility problems I couldn't see any way to solve, so for that reason, I would never consider using it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Helping out #estict


Today I'll be helping out at the ESTICT (Engaging Students Through In-Class Technology) event here in Leicester. Mostly I'll be doing this by staying out of the way, keeping my opinions to myself and doing exactly what I'm told. Well, I might venture the odd tweet using hashtag #estict

09.30 – 10.00 Registration and coffee

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome and introduction

10.15 – 10.30 Networking event

10.30 – 11.15 Keynote : Dr. Steve Draper, Senior University Teacher, Dept of Psychology, University of Glasgow. Steve is an acknowledged expert in the field of EVS and has published widely on its use in Higher Education. Title: Ways to improve learning with EVS: some deep procedures for teachers, and what software features matter for these.

11.15 – 11.30 Coffee

11.30 – 12.00 Mark Goodwin, Teaching Fellow, GENIE CETL. Teaching bioethics using electronic voting technologies.

12.00 – 12.30 Mark Russell, National Teaching Fellow and Principal Lecturer, School of Aerospace, Automotive and Design Engineering, University of Hertfordshire. Tracking student progress with EVS.

12.30 – 13.30 Carvery lunch

13.30 – 14.30 Workshop: exploration of the pedagogical models which can be used EVS

14.30 – 15.00 Coffee

15.00 – 15.30 Reports from workshop groups

15.30 – 16.00 The future and aims of the ESTICT community

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It was only a dream

JISC You know how how it is. You wake up suddenly in a cold sweat having had a horrible dream. Slowly your pulse rate starts to return to normal. Then it occurs to you. Did I really just tell Malcolm Read publicly that JISC's approach to funding OERs is based on voodoo sharecropper economics because its top-down approach fails to benefit the academics who produce OER's, but are being hit with the REF performance management stick (where OERs don't count)?

Nah, must have been a dream.

The History Problem

History On two occasions last week I came up against The History Problem:

When do you teach the history of a subject?

If you leave the history until later in a course, students have no context on which to hang the facts: Why are you telling us all this stuff?

If you discuss the history early on, students have no context in which to place it: Why are you telling us all this stuff?

Over the years, I've tried it both ways, and been dissatisfied with both. I don't know the answer to this one. Do you?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where's the social?

delicious Our first year students are doing some excellent work on delicious, creating module resources:
Although some are a little confused about tagging, generally the standard is excellent and the module resources they are producing are superb. In addition to the potential value to students, the sites they bookmark and the commentary gives us some excellent feedback on our teaching. I suspect these pooled module resources are underused, but they are there for the brighter students who figure out the value of socially-generated knowledge.

What is not clear if they are using this material socially. There is no conversation on delicious and so feedback is hard to come by. Unless we use alternative channels (which confused students and takes much time), we are merely spectators in the creation of these resources and cannot get involved in guiding them. That, and the disastrous move to the Yahoo registration system, is the reason why things will be better next year when we move over from delicious/Google Reader to FriendFeed, where we can participate in direct conversations with students as they are working.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Twitter I'm just sayin, is all. Doesn't include DMs, or all my other Twitter identities, so it's probably closer to 20k really.


At the CFB Reps meeting in September I was harassed by a teenager "suggesting" that tickets for Arctic Monkeys at the NIA would be a suitable birthday treat. Between sessions, with a few thrusts of the parental credit card, the deed was done. Which meant that in Friday night I had the opportunity of observe the yoof in their natural habitat for several hours. Inevitably at my age, attending any gig provokes anxiety, but I needn't have worried about this one since the age range was wide and I was far from the oldest there - probably about 10% geriatrics (not all mums or dads), 20% Gen Y and 70% Gen Meh. I couldn't actually see Gordon, so I assume he was moshing.

While the support band were inevitable, at least they gave us the opportunity to finally decide on a name for our family Spinal Tap tribute band, "The Pointless Umlauts". The rest of the gig were reet bangin (sprechen Monkeys?) and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't good enough to make it into my top 10 gigs of all time, which after interrogation (leaving out classical to make things simpler) turn out to be:

10. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Griffith Park Los Angeles, 1985. Two tribes, Thatcher and Reagan.
9. Argent, Plymouth Guildhall, 1974. Makes the list largely because it's the first gig I ever went to.
8. Eurythmics, Griffith Park Los Angeles, 1985. Sweet dreams.
7. Ian Dury and the Blockheads, City Hall Sheffield, 1979. Hit me.
6. Sensational Alex Harvey Band, club, name long forgotten, Mayflower Street Plymouth, 1975. Faithhealer.
5. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, De Montfort Hall Leicester, 1983. Shipbuilding phase.
4. Graham Parker and the Rumour, Sheffield Students Union, 1978. Heat treatment.
3. The Stranglers, dodgiest venue I've ever been to, near Moss Side Manchester, 1977. Still wiping the spit off.
2. Echo and the Bunnymen, Queens Hall Leicester, 1981. McCulloch in full Zimbo voice.
1. Focus, Plymouth Guildhall, 1974. Much yodeling.
(if you didn't make it into my top 10, don't feel bad, nether did Dylan, Paul Simon or lots of others)

And the answer to the perennial question of What do you do during the duff tracks off Humbug you knew they were going to play turns out to be:
  • Gen Meh: SMS.
  • Gen Y: Facebook on the Blackberry.
  • Geriatrics: Fieldwork.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Does the UKCAT predict Year 1 performance in medical school?

Context: The need to identify the best applicants for medicine and to ensure that selection is fair and ethical has led to the development of alternative, or additional, selection tools. One such tool is the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test, or UKCAT. To date there have been no studies of the predictive validity of the UKCAT.

Objectives: This study set out to identify whether UKCAT total score and subtest scores predict Year 1 outcomes in medical school.

Methods: Year 1 students starting in 2007 at the University of Aberdeen or University of Dundee medical schools were included. Data collected were: UKCAT scores; Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) form scores; admission interview scores; final Year 1 degree examination scores, and records of re-sitting examinations and of withdrawing from a course. Correlations were used to select variables for multiple regression analysis to predict examination scores.

Results: Data were available for 341 students. Examination scores did not correlate with UKCAT total or subtest scores. Neither UCAS form score nor admission interview score predicted outcomes. None of the UKCAT scores were reliably associated with withdrawals (P-values for all comparisons > 0.05). Only the decision analysis subtest was associated with re-sits of examinations, but the difference in means was contrary to the direction anticipated (P = 0.025, 95% confidence interval = 6.1–89.7).

Discussion: UKCAT scores did not predict Year 1 performance at the two medical schools. Although early prediction is arguably not the primary aim of the UKCAT, there is some cause for concern that the test failed to show even the small-to-moderate predictive power demonstrated by similar admissions tools.

Does the UKCAT predict Year 1 performance in medical school? 2009 Medical Education 43 1203-1209

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Retweet fever. Or not. Whatever.


Yawn. All the Twitter clients I use have had retweet built in forever. Sorry about failure to be excited by this, but still nice to see user-generated functionality being added to Twitter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Use, Reuse and Abuse

Posterous There was a little flurry of excitement over the weekend when someone took exception to another blogger reposting an article from their site. I'm deliberately leaving out the names and the details of this incident, but if the people involved wish to identify themselves, please do.

Personally, I'm much less bothered about others reusing my material than I used to be, although I do fret slightly (not much) about attempts to make money on the back of it. These days, if I don't want stuff reused, I don't put it online, otherwise it's fair game. My blogs get reposted by numerous scrapers trying to make money from Adsense, but that doesn't bother me any more, a) because I know it's impossible to stop, b) because with the collapse of Adsense revenues, it's just another distribution channel for my output, which I welcome.

The issue at the weekend was the use of Posterous and what counts as sufficient attribution for reuse of content. As you may know, I got fed up with the sharing features of Google Reader some time ago and started to use Posterous as a clipblog to republish interesting items from RSS feeds I subscribe to. At Son of SoTI, I repost education and technology-related items, usually with a very short commentary expressing my opinion. In contrast to Google Reader shared items, I know that hundreds of people read this site and I get a reasonable level of interaction with them via comments. I also post microbiology-related news stories on my MicrobiologyBytes Posterous clipblog, but usually without commentary. (Hmm, maybe I should start.)

The sources of nearly all the items I post are RSS feeds I subscribe to, and I rarely if ever visit the sites they originate from. Consequently, I tend not to post partial RSS feeds, but I occasionally post on Son of SoTI using the Posterous bookmarklet or Kwout. What this means is that unless copyright information is contained within the RSS feed, I probably won't see it - I don't go looking on the site of origin. Not legally defensible, but I'm always happy to remove items if anyone objects. I can't defend this approach to content reuse in legal terms, but in terms of moral rights, I feel justified in what I do in terms of providing a service to others by republishing.

Obviously, attribution is the key to all this, and accidental or deliberate plagiarism is a no-no. In the incident at the weekend, most of the offence seemed to have been caused by the placement of the attribution on the reposted article. (Full RSS stories to Posterous via email places the attribution at the top of the reposted materials, the Posterous bookmarklet places the attribution at the bottom). Each individual needs to derive their own position of reuse of their material, but if it bothers you, I would suggest:
  1. Make sure terms of use/reuse are posted clearly on your site, but more importantly, within your RSS footer.
  2. If that's not restrictive enough for you, consider publishing partial rather than full RS feeds (although I won't be subscribing to you and so probably won't see what your publish if you do this).
  3. And if that's still not enough, consider not publishing online. Who loses, and who gains?

Monday, November 16, 2009


Upcoming conferences, taken from the ALT Digest, a fortnightly publication from the Association for Learning Technology (ALT):

5th Plymouth e-Learning Conference
8-9 April 2010, University of Plymouth
Submission deadline: 15 January 2010

IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning 2010
19-21 March 2010, Porto, Portugal,
Submission deadline: 4 December 2009

5th Annual Learning Futures Festival Online 2010
7-14 January 2010

8th Annual eLearning Conference University of Ulster
TEL it as IT is: Technology Enhanced Learning
21 January 2010, Belfast Campus of the University of Ulster

Seventh International Conference on Networked Learning
3-4 May 2010, Aalborg, Denmark

The Fifth International Blended Learning Conference:
Developing Blended Learning Communities
16-17 June 2010, The Fielder Centre, University of Hertfordshire
On-line registration will commence January 2010

Handheld Learning 2010
10 October 2010
(Handheld Learning 2009-Complete set of free to access, digital proceedings including videos, podcasts and interactive discussions are now online)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Debate on proposals for science funding - join in

A photographic tour of the University of Leicester

A while ago I asked people to help me crowdsource a new camera. The response wasn't quite as big as I'd hoped for (but useful nevertheless). After much pondering, I made my choice, a Panasonic Lumix FS15. The size is ideal from the point of view of slipping it in a shirt pocket, the user interface is good and I wouldn't want to go any smaller than this as I already find it quite difficult to hold. As for the performance, I'm happy, I think it's creditable for the price. Put this slideshow (taken in rather poor light early in the morning) on full screen and I think you'll agree:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Phones for Africa

Phones for Africa

Why online security isn't

Razorwire For various reasons, over the last few weeks I've had to observe quite a lot of young people (ages 16-21) setting up online accounts for various services from banking to social networks. And in nearly every case, the user experience was crap and worked strongly against online security.

The minimum level of online security is, quite reasonably, create a username and password (of questionable strength) and confirm details via an email link. But in so many cases, it's so much worse than that. With great regret, we're dumping the fabulous delicious as a component of our first year PLE module next year because now that registration for delicious has switched to Yahoo, the system is so f*cked up and unfriendly that's it's untenable to continue with this useful service.

I watched a young person struggle with the O2 website, being asked screen after screen of "security" questions, multiple PIN numbers and passwords, and responding by generating throwaway details they had no intention of remembering just to navigate the maze required to get to their objective. And I just set up a new online bank account which required me to:
  • Fill in an online application form with my details.
  • Wait 7-10 days for a confirmation letter which asked me to send off a number of identification documents (originals, not copies).
  • Wait 10-14 days for online account details which I failed to enter into a website so badly designed that I couldn't find the right section because it kept redirecting me to the credit card section, necessitating two calls to the helpline, in order to:
  • Order a card reader necessary to withdraw or transfer money and
  • Wait up to 15 days for card reader to arrive.
And if one link in the chain breaks, one digit is typed wrongly or one letter goes astray, all bets are off. This isn't security. This is the opposite of security, encouraging people to cut corners, take risks and lie.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Google Wave I've figured out the only way I'll ever get my head around Wave is to keep plugging away at it until I find out what works and what doesn't. Unfortunately, opportunities to play with Wave have been very limited recently, so I was determined to use it during our PedR meeting yesterday, which I did.

I was hoping to make it a collaborative experience, but no-one else turned up with a laptop, and the iPod Touches much in evidence can't access Wave (easily). So while the chatter continued on Twitter, I squatted in splendid isolation in Wave.

One of the questions I was hoping to tackle was what is the optimum unit size in Wave for different functions, e.g. status update, liveblog, meeting record, wholedamnconference. To be honest, I didn't make too much progress, but I think I did decide that one blip per topic with multiple edits seemed to work better than a stream of blips each time I felt I wanted to record something, i.e. to create a document of record for a meeting, the unit size is moderately large.

Other than that, the only thing I was able to confirm (again) is that Wave feels much better when it's a collaborative experience - typing in isolation feels very sterile. So we have to wait for a much bigger user base. All in all, meh.

Update: Some useful thoughts here (also a rather good Wave blog).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finding the missing joy

For various reasons, I've been a bit depressed over the last couple of weeks. One of the reasons, (but by no means the main one), is the continued decline of Rocketboom, which has long been one of my main beacons in terms of originality of online content development. For that reason, I've been skipping a lot of episodes, in particular the excessive focus in internet memes. I was going to skip the latest episode, but for some reason I watched it. And I'm glad I did. I'm not a huge fan of Sesame Street, but there's no question that it has been consistently innovative. More than that, it has the sheer brio that so much online content is missing. Next time you're creating online teaching materials, take a lesson from the Cookie Monster:

It's not as simple as it looks. Brilliantly edited, but most of all, the sheer balls to just go for it.

Monday, November 09, 2009

No Natives Here

This study explores Web 2.0 technologies in an academic library through focus groups with undergraduates at Kent State University. Results reveal that students, despite being heavy users, are less sophisticated and expressive in their use of Web 2.0 than presumed. Students set clear boundaries between educational and social spaces on the Web, and the library may be best served by building Web 2.0 into its site and extending its services into course management systems.

No Natives Here: A Focus Group Study of Student Perceptions of Web 2.0 and the Academic Library'. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 35(6):523-532.

Comment: In my experience, this observation was true 2-3 years ago, but at the University of Leicester at least, is no longer true and the barriers between educational and social spaces online are breaking down rapidly.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Monty Hall Problem

To a mathematician, it's obvious. To everyone else, it's just plain wrong. Imagine that you face three doors, behind one of which is a prize. You choose one but do not open it. The host - Monty Hall - opens a different door, always choosing one he knows to be empty. Left with two doors, will you do better by sticking with your first choice, or by switching to the other remaining door?

Jason Rosenhouse explores the history of this fascinating puzzle. Using a minimum of mathematics (and none at all for much of the book), he shows how the problem has fascinated philosophers, psychologists, and many others, and examines the many variations that have appeared over the years. As Rosenhouse demonstrates, the Monty Hall Problem illuminates fundamental mathematical issues and has abiding philosophical implications. Perhaps most importantly, the problem opens a window on our cognitive difficulties in reasoning about uncertainty.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Has Blackboard outlived its shelf-life?

Realtime Yesterday we cobbled together carefully crafted an abstract for the 10th Durham Blackboard Users' Conference based on our experience that the impact the realtime web and the proliferation of communication channels is having on VLEs. In short, they have killed the VLE as a communication channel, and conversation (as opposed to nagging students by email) has moved elsewhere.

In that light, it was interesting to read a post by David Crotty (describing thoughts from Mark Cuban) which argues that participation in and the shelf-life of online discussions are inversely related. Our observations, ranging from The Apprentice to ALT-C, certainly seem to support the hypothesis. The VLE is no longer a contact sport. Rather, it has become the box through which a multiplex of channels make it onto the screens of the punters (or don't, as the case may be).

It's now perfectly possible for me to embed a Wave in Blackboard, although in reality, I'd be far more likely to embed some of the functionality of Blackboard (maybe the Gradebook) in a Wave. The conversations around learning are becoming ever more fragmented, and as they do so, participation becomes ever harder to measure.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Reflective FriendFolios

Friendfolio I'm developing the concept of FriendFolios for use as lightweight reflective e-portfolios for our first year students next term. The next stage is to develop the assessment criteria we will use. I don't intend to go into the long discussions we held here in the past about the wisdom / desirability / necessity of assessing reflection, if you want to, you can read them yourself.

There are two factors I want to consider in developing these assessment criteria:
  • Encouragement for students to engage in reflective practice.
  • Feasibility of providing feedback - staff workload.
The previous assessment criteria we used for wiki-based e-portfolios were:

Functionality & Appearance: 30%
  • Appearance and navigation is clear and consistent
  • All links work
  • Multimedia elements display correctly
  • Text is clear and readable, spelling and grammar are correct
  • Previously published materials respect copyright laws
Evidence: 30%
  • Organization connects all evidence into an integrated whole
  • Features or showcases evidence
  • Shows depth of knowledge and experience
  • Shows breadth of knowledge and experience
  • Includes a current curriculum vitae
Reflection: 40%
  • Addresses both career and personal development
  • Includes reflective comments about evidence as well as reflective comments about what this evidence says about you
  • Includes short-term goals (skills to add/improve)
  • Includes long-term goals (professional and/or personal aims)
  • Interpretation of your achievements is expressed
These worked reasonably well and weren't too difficult to use, although they were necessarily somewhat subjective, but I don't think they transfer well to the FriendFolio concept. I feel we need something more lightweight which measures engagement. How do we measure engagement on FriendFeed? Comments and Likes, but I also need a practical framework to assess the content of status updates. Functionality and Appearance goes by the wayside because FriendFeed takes care of that, and we're not really into collecting Evidence any more since this isn't going to be a document of record. Thinking ahead to next year when we plan to replace Google Reader and delicious with FriendFeed, I'm inclined to use the type of assessment criteria we use for sharing on BS1010, i.e. n items shared per week with suitable reflective commentary = n marks. (We will give the students examples of what we consider "good" reflective updates via our FriendFeed teaching accounts):

Over the course of the whole term:
  • An average of three or more updates each week with suitable reflective comments: 100%
  • An average of two updates each week with suitable reflective comments: 50%
  • An average of one update each week with suitable reflective comments: 20%
  • An average of less than one update each week and/or no suitable reflective comments: 0%
Is this enough? Is more guidance (beyond what will emerge from feedback) necessary?

The next issue is, how do I introduce this to students, bearing in mind the problem of skimming?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Yin vs Yang

Yin Yang S. Lin & R.C. Overbaugh (2009) Computer-mediated discussion, self-efficacy and gender. British Journal of Educational Technology 40(6): 999-1013

In the context of hybrid instruction, this study was designed to explore whether gender has an influence on learners’ preferences for synchronous or asynchronous modes of computer-mediated communication, and whether this decision impacts learners’ self-efficacy (SE) towards knowledge acquisition. The participants were 180 teacher-education students (151 females and 29 males) enrolled in a hybrid (blend of traditional classroom instruction and online learning activities) foundations course at a United States research university with a proportionally high percentage of full-time commuters and/or distance enrolees. The findings showed that, regardless of gender, two-thirds of the participants preferred asynchronous modes over synchronous ones. In addition, gender was weakly related to the participants’ SE in both modes. Linear regression indicated that SE, in turn, was weakly related to academic performance. The implications of these findings for instructional practice are discussed.

Gender is not a significant factor, but 2/3 of the study group preferred asynchronous over synchronous communication tools.
Do I believe it? To what extent are teacher-education students representative of the students I teach? Am I happy about a gender study involving 151 females and 29 males? Surely the power of this study is limited.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Blobfish If, as a commenter in the Guardian maintains, Gordon Brown has the political instincts of socially challenged blob fish, I think I've just had a glimpse of Gordon's future:

And with that hashtag, Gordon's future becomes clear...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Failure is an option

Skimmer In May 2008 I wrote about skimming, and fact that:
  • When reading online, users spend more time on pages with more words, but only spend 4.4 seconds more for each additional 100 words. When you add more than 100 words to a page, users will only read 18% of the words on the page.
  • On an average visit, users read half the information only on pages with 111 words or less.
In the large first year course I am currently teaching, it has become painfully clear that many (most?) students are now failing to read instructions posted online, and that this trend has accelerated markedly from last year. Most of the questions we are being asked in face to face help sessions concern quite simple information contained in the online notes, and most of the students attending the help sessions are there because they have tried but failed to complete an assigned task.

Clearly, I need to put less information online for these students. At which point, they will complain, of course, and quite possibly fail to complete an assessed task first time round. At which point we will show them how to do it, or in, I suspect, the majority of cases, they will figure it out.

So maybe failure is an option. Maybe, for authentic and sustained learning practices, failure is the preferred option - preferred over the spoonfed student who always gets it right first time round?