Robin Mason RIP
(I hope Robin's family and friends don't mind me posting this).
I was deeply saddened to hear that my colleague, Robin Mason, passed away today. It was Robin who brought me to the Institute of Educational Technology (from the Technology Faculty). Robin was a pioneer in e-learning, and fabulously well connected in the educational world – everyone knew, and liked, Robin. Like John Naughton, Robin was one of the big influences in my early academic career at the OU – I learnt from her how to tread the right balance between scholarly activity and practical application, and just plain have fun with new ideas.
Interestingly I was warned against working with Robin (and with John for that matter) because she was 'maverick' (yes, that was the term used). This seems to me now the highest accolade I could ever hope to achieve.
Really sad news. Robin influenced me hugely – not just through her writing / courses but because she gave me the feedback on my H807 ECA which helped give me the confidence I needed to change my career. I found her so approachable and I really valued the small amount of contact I had with her.
Robin is a great loss to the e-learning community and to many of us as individuals. In particular I am very grateful to her for her patience when we collaborated on the JANUS project at the OU in the 1990s: she succeeded in getting at least the basics of evaluation into my techno-managerial head – I trust that some has lasted to this day. I also celebrate the way she kindly but relentlessly propelled me towards research outputs not just EU deliverables.
Very sad to hear of this – Robin was hugely important in reminding the online learning world that learning requires conversation, not just information passing. She influenced many people that followed her, and was always very kind in supporting others’ efforts.
Yes, I miss her! She was my PhD co-supervisor-at-a-distance, together with Nick Heap, and I remember how much I depended on monthly phone meetings from them, in what was otherwise a rather lonely three years. She taught me a lot, including how to write, and what to leave out, but perhaps most importantly the value of synchronous contact – and a bit of humanity – for sustaining distance students..