So we’ve come to the final week of ONL and it’s time to reflect on the journey.
Exactly what I’m going to take out of this from a professional perspective and how I’ m going to apply what I’ve learned to my job, I have yet to contemplate and determine. I’ve definitely learnt, that’s for sure, and it’s been stimulating and eye-opening. But I need some time to reflect and assimilate everything and see where it’ll take me.
For me, much of the learning has been about gentle, subtle changes in the way I look at things, or adding a different perspective to things I kind of knew about already, or deepening my knowledge on a particular aspect.
So if I look back on the weeks and topics, here are a few key points and learnings:
Weeks 1 and 2 were all about meeting our PBL team, meeting the course coordinators, setting up our blogs etc. It was exciting to learn that we are a geographically diverse PBL group.
I’d never heard of Trading Cards before and that was a great tool to use for our first assignment in which we had to introduce ourselves.
Another thing I learnt in that first week or two was more about Zoom. Although I had used it extensively for one-on-one meetings in my previous job, I didn’t know about the breakaway room functionality – that’s pretty cool for a discussion/webinar setting.
In week 3 we started with the more “serious” work and topic 1 was all about online participation and digital literacy. The concept of visitors versus residents was new to me and I enjoyed reflecting on my own personal digital literacy journey as I hadn’t really consciously tracked it before.
Topic 2 focussed on open learning – sharing and openness. MOOC is a term that gets bandied about quite a lot in the digital education field, so it was great to learn a bit more about the world of MOOCs and critically evaluate their place in education. I found it valuable to learn about Creative Commons as using images and material found on the web is something I’ve struggled with in the past, so it’s great to know that there is a “safe” way of reusing material.
Topic 3 was all about networked collaborative learning. Here I came across quite a number of new buzzwords and terms, such as personal learning network (PLN), social loafing, community of inquiry (COI), etc. These are things I’ve experienced or come across informally before but didn’t necessarily know they were formal concepts and it’s useful to now have definitions and names for them!
Topic 4 was probably the topic most closely related to my current role as an instructional designer – design for online and blended learning. It was valuable to look at the design principles in terms of my current environment and reflect on which we do well, which ones we can do better, and which ones we don’t do at all.
Through all the topics, it’s been refreshing to use new online tools (Coggle and Prezi) and I would love to explore them more – I feel we’re only just touched the tip of the iceberg.
My group members really contributed to my enjoyment of ONL. Each person brought their own flavour to the team. Initially we struggled a little with getting everyone onboard and finding suitable meeting times. Communication was a little fragmented between email, the ONL website and Whatsapp. But we quickly settled in, agreeing on meeting times that suited everyone and Whatsapp seemed to become our preferred, convenient method of communicating with each other. I did not experience social loafing in our group. If members couldn’t attend meetings or meet a deadline, they communicated this and made a plan to catch up.
We have decided to keep our Whatsapp group going after the course has ended, and will share learning ideas and experiences in future. I really hope to meet my team members in person one day 🙂