Topic 5. Lessons learnt – future practice

 

The most important things I have learnt through my engagement in the ONL course:

It has been a wonderful journey with ONL 162 online course and I have learnt a lot through my engagement in this course. I learned how to work in group in an online course and I test how it feels to be new to digital learning or online course. I also learned about the pros and cons of online course and what are the possible challenges that students and teachers can have. That is dues to the challenges I face myself when I get engaged in the ONL 162 course. That could also be due to my experience in working in groups in this course and how to deal with other members and the way we have to communicate and make decisions in order to write our assignments and deliver the needed in the course.

Additionally, I learned about the difference between people who were born before or after the digital technology according to (Prensky, 2001). Digital immigrants are those people who were born before the digital technology: but have used it later in their lives and try to adapt to the new technology but they are not native speakers where they speak the digital language of internet, computer and video games (Prensky, 2001). While digital native are the young generation of students who are like the native speakers where they speak the digital language of internet, computer and video games. They are also described as the net or digital generation (Prensky, 2001). I think it is important to know about this so I understand myself when I face difficulties to cope with all new tools in online course. It also helps me to understand my students who are most probably digital natives and easier for them to get used to the new tools used in the online courses and thy think it is more fun.

One of the most important things I have learnt in this course is the definition of the open online course or MOOC and why they are important nowadays. Open online courses are open and available to all people through internet connection and it is supported by mediated interactions in different format such as text, video, multimedia and audio (Weller & Anderson, 2013). MOOCs are very important due to many reasons such as the increasing size of the classrooms as that help the teachers to effectively teach and support the increasingly diverse student population (Bates, 2015). Additionally, a new approach is required in teaching in higher education nowadays due to the changes in the economy and changes in technology, for example, teachers can use multi-media and other resources to build high quality online courses (Bates, 2015).

Learning influence practice:

My learning will influence my practice, as I will teach my students according to my experience as a students and my learning style. I have learned a lot of tools in ONL 162 course that I can use in my teaching. I have learned the most important concepts that I will need to establish an online course that prepare me for the future task of teaching my students.

Using technology to enhance learning and teaching:

I think using technology in teaching and learning is very important as it is very helpful and efficient. Especially that nowadays, students described as  a net or digital generation as they are born in the new technology era where they are used to the digital technology and start using in early stage of their life (Prensky, 2001).  The difference between the old and new generation of students is that the new generation spend less than 5000 hours of their lives reading as they spend more time (10,000 hours) in playing video games, TV, computer games, e-mails, internet, cell phones or using other types of technology (Prensky, 2001). While people who were not born in the digital time but have used it late in their lives and try to adapt to the new technology but not good at it are called ‘’Digital immigrant’’ (Prensky, 2001). Digital immigrants have less appreciation for the new skills that digital natives gained through practice and interaction with the new technology (Prensky, 2001).

It is important to know about that as I will adapt my teaching method according to my students’ capabilities and knowledge. If they are young generation that used to technology, then I will feel free to use new tools and online course. On the other hands, I will be careful to use new tools and technology with the older generation and explain it for them if I use it.

Future plans:

I am going to plan for my new online course that I would like to offer for my students in future, I will try to apply all the tools I learned in ONL 162 as I think it is very useful. I think do so will be fun and helpful for both my students and me. It is also important to cope with new technology and what fit the new generation of our students. The can add to our teaching and learning experience.

Suggestions for development of eLearning:

My suggestions for development of the eLearning come from my own experience as a student in MOOC such as the ONL 162 online course. As one o the challenges I face in the beginning of the course is collaboration and communication online with my group. I call it the group dynamic behaviour that is very different in the online courses compared to the classic classrooms. I felt something is missing and it was hard for me to communicate and reach others. There were no ice-breaking activities to help us understand each other and learn about each other’s character and learning style, which usually we have in the classic classrooms. I think it is important to think about and design the online ice-breaking activities that could help the team members to know more about each other and remove the barriers of how to start and communicate with each other. I think this step will affect the whole process of collaboration and active learning or engagement, which means the interaction between student and faculty and peer-to-peer active learning and collaboration (Chen, Gonyea, & Kuh, 2008; Brindley, Blaschke, & Walti, 2009). That also affects the quality of the learning experience as the as social or group learning helo students to develop skills in critical thinking and gain experience from collaboration with others (Brindley, Blaschke, & Walti, 2009). It also helps students to gain skills in co-construction of knowledge and self-reflection. I think that is important because students share their experience, knowledge and resources with others, which enrich the learning experience of everyone in the online course.

At the end, I would like to thank the organizers of the ONL 162 course and all participants. A special thanks to my group (11) and the leader/ facilitator of my group. It was amazing experience and very rich course. I definitely recommend this course to others.

References:

Bates, T. (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning

Brindley, J., Blaschke, L. M. & Walti, C. (2009). Creating effective collaborative learning groups in an online environment. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3).

Chen, P., Gonyea, R., & Kuh, G. (2008). Learning at a distance: Engaged or not? Innovate, 4(3). Retrieved February 26, 2008, from http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=438&action=article

Prensky. M (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. MCB University Press. Vol 9, Iss 5, P 1-6.

Weller, M., & Anderson, T. (2013). Digital resilience in higher education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 16(1), 53.

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Topic 4. Design for online and blended learning

 

I find topic 4 about ‘’Design for online and blended learning’’ very interesting and a good way to wrap up before the end of this course. I have studied about blended learning before and I find it interesting to apply it in the online course.

The scenario in this topic included designing an online course for students who are in the transition from high school to university level about what university study means and how it is different from high school. My group and I decided to use the whiteboard tool first, but it was hard for us and we face different problems in using such tool. Then we decided to do a normal slides presentation as we have limited time for this topic. I learned a lot from my group and I find it very interesting to work in team for the online course. It is very different from traditional classroom and face-to-face teamwork. I enjoy it and learn more everyday how to work in team online. We exchanged many ideas and tried different tools together. Through this course (ONL 162), I learned a lot about how to design an online course considering constructive alignment.  The reading materials and videos in this topic and the previous topics are very useful and helped me a lot to understand and go through the process of online course. Now we should add the last touch through applying the constructive alignment framework where we align the learning outcomes with the activities and assessment(s).

In addition, I find ADDIE model instructional strategies a very useful model that included all the stages we need in developing an online blended learning course such as analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation (jclarkgardner, 2011). Analysis stage includes instructional goals, instructional analysis, learner analysis and learning objectives (jclarkgardner, 2011). While design stage includes design assessment, choose a course format, and create an instructional strategy.

Regarding the scenario for topic 4 we applied the ADDIE model and here are examples of each stages. First, in the analysis part, we analyse the students and course context such as what type of students we have and issues related to the course such as time-span. Second, we identify the Learning objectives for the course such as what it is to study at University and how it is different from studying at secondary school.  Third, identify the intended learning outcomes, such as ‘’by the end of this course, students will be able to take responsibility of their own learning and plan their time’’. Forth, design learning activities such as arranging an introductory Webinar to introduce the course and divided into groups to work. Fifth, design assessment where students present their work and get feedback from peers and the teacher. Finally, evaluate the pros and cons of the course design.

The video made by Alfred Birkegaard (2014), about collaboration in learning shows how important it is to collaborate and adapt to the change in education and learning system. It also hint that the system we use in schools to teach our students have been used for the last 200 years and it does not work well at the moment with fast technological changes that change everything in our life including education system. Therefore, we have to adapt with the changes and find better ways to teach our students. For example, in the topic 4 scenario in NOL 162 course, the current generation of high school graduates, that are native digital learners, should use the new educational technology such as online learning and MOOC. I believe that will help them to learn and collaborate as it fit this generation who is born and good at using technology.

References:

Alfred Birkegaard (2014), Beautiful documentary about collaboration and learning. https://vimeo.com/119101747

Bates, T (2016). The 10 Fundamentals of Teaching Online for Faculty and Instructors. PDF available here.

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness (2013, August 29). Constructive Alignment [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQHZyT-OYq8

jclarkgardner (2011, June 11) ADDIE Model Instructional Strategies [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL20E84CD77B301A20

The Guardian,The transition from school to university. Retrieved 11/26/2016 from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2008/sep/09/students.highereducation

 

 

Topic 3: Collaborative online work

20161108_113927I remember that my first reaction when I start this online course (my first official MOOC), I point out at the challenges I found in collaborative online learning or work. I call it the group dynamic behavior that is very different in the online courses compared to the classic classrooms. I felt something is missing and it was hard for me to communicate and reach others (that are new for me and never met before). There was no ice-breaking activities to help us understand each other and learn about each other’s character and learning style, which usually we have in the classic classrooms. I think it is important to think about and design the online ice-breaking activities that could help the team members to know more about each other and remove the barriers of how to start and communicate with each other. I think this step will affect the whole process of collaboration and active learning or engagement, which means the interaction between student and faculty and peer-to-peer active learning and collaboration (Chen, Gonyea, & Kuh, 2008; Brindley, Blaschke, & Walti, 2009). That also affects the quality of the learning experience as the as social or group learning help students to develop skills in critical thinking and gain experience from collaboration with others (Brindley, Blaschke, & Walti, 2009). It also help students to gain skills in co-construction of knowledge and self-reflection. I think that is important because students share their experience, knowledge and resources with others, which enrich the learning experience of everyone in the online course. In my opinion that is also a challenge as students get confused with the massive amount of data and resources. So one should think, what is more important, where to start and what they really need to learn. That leads us to another important point, which is finding a mentor or a guide for each student. That is hard especially that online courses or MOOCs usually includes massive amount of students or learners. I thinking we are missing that part in the online courses. As everything else that has pros and cons, the online courses pushing toward independent leering where students feels that they do not need so much guidance or teachers help as they can learn by themselves from the massive amount of data and resources provided. Unfortunately, it reduces the personal communication between people in the same way that cell phones and other digital media do. In that sense, we are losing something, so we have to find a replacement or solution for this problem. At the same time, online courses introduce you to massive amount of people where you can share your opinion or data and get resources. However, the quality learning environments is not the same where we have direct contact with others and easy to ask questions (during or after the lecture) in classic classrooms. Previous research show that learning environments help to gain better learning outcomes such as development of higher order thinking skills (Brindley, Blaschke, & Walti, 2009). Quality learning environments here refers to the opportunities that students have to be able to engage in collaborative and interactive activities with their peers (Brindley, Blaschke, & Walti, 2009).

References:

Brindley, J., Blaschke, L. M. & Walti, C. (2009). Creating effective collaborative learning groups in an online environment. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3).

Chen, P., Gonyea, R., & Kuh, G. (2008). Learning at a distance: Engaged or not? Innovate, 4(3). Retrieved February 26, 2008, from http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=438&action=article

Topic 2: Open Learning – MOOC

I think this is a very important topic and it is a good time to discuss it. It common in the first stage of the process of learning how to use MOOCs that people are confused and want to know how and where to start. I am personally interested in using MOOCs and I have the same question. Therefore, it is really a good chance to take this course (ONL 162) and learn about that. I have taken online course before but only as a student not as a teacher, so it is different now when I am the teacher and I would like to create my own course.

I think it is important to get the sources where you can start to create your own online course and get help from an experience person on how to apply it (such as the teachers and group leaders in ONL 162 course). When we create our MOOCs is it important to give attention to the content of the course and the target audience. However, before we start creating MOOCs we should have a good understanding of the concept MOOCs.

A Massive Open Online Course refers to ‘’an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web’’ (Andreas & Michael, 2016). In MOOCs usually teachers use instructive technology to deliver the course content or communicate with students instead of using the traditional course materials like readings, problem sets and filmed lectures. MOOCs is used in distance education that become popular nowadays. MOOCs usually use open licensing of content to reach large number of people. There are some MOOCs that have closed licenses for their course materials, however, they have free access for students to join the course.

Dave Cormier created the term MOOC after his analysis of the first MOOCs, called the Connectivism and Connected Knowledge course that run by George Siemens and Stephen Downes (Weller & Anderson, 2013). That experiment led to many other adoptions of MOOCs, for example two professors from Stanford University offered an open course, in Artificial Intelligence, in 2011 that attracted 100, 000 students (Weller & Anderson, 2013). That was followed by the course, called EdX, offered by Harvard and ITM universities. After that, Stanford founded Udacity, a commercial enterprise, to collaborate with a private sector partner called Coursera and many universities from all over the world to offer open online courses (Weller & Anderson, 2013).

Open online courses are open and available to all people through internet connection. It is supported by mediated interactions in different format such as text, video, multimedia and audio. It is a product of digital revolution (Weller & Anderson, 2013).

MOOCs are very important due to many reasons. One reason is the increasing size of the classrooms. That help the teachers to effectively teach and support the increasingly diverse student population. Additionally, a new approach is required in teaching in higher education nowadays due to the changes in the economy and changes in technology (Bates, 2015). For example, teachers can use multi-media and other resources to build high quality online courses (Bates, 2015).

In summary,  I have learned a lot about MOOCs and how to start my own course online in this course (ONL 162),

References:

Bates, T. (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning

Jordan, K. (2014). MOOC completion rates: the data. Katy Jordan, researching education and technology, Online at http://www.katyjordan.com/MOOCproject.html.

Kaplan Andreas M., Haenlein Michael (2016) Higher education and the digital revolution: About MOOCs, SPOCs, social media, and the Cookie Monster, Business Horizons, Volume 59.

Weller, M., & Anderson, T. (2013). Digital resilience in higher education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 16(1), 53.

 

Topic 1, ONL 162 course

This is my first experience with writing a blog as well as taking an online course. I think I am connected somehow to the digital age as I used social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. At the same time, I feel that the direct communication (traditional way such as classrooms) fits my personality better. I am more a visual person. I like to talk, listen, discuss and ask question during the classes. I am more social and outgoing person. Therefore, I find it very hard so far to communicate with others through online courses. I think the digital communication channels can never replace the direct (face-to-face) communication. I think the traditional classroom is the best way to learn, however, digital communication or classrooms could be a solution for those who cannot come to the classroom and more practical. I can say that it is more efficient but not very effective as the traditional classes. At the same time, the deep and long relations between the participants are hard to establish through digital communication or classrooms.

I think digital literacy is important to catch up with the changes in the modern education and not to be left behind. I consider myself somewhere between literate and illiterate digitally as I know about it but I am limited. I am learning more day after day and I wish this course (ONL 162) would help me to do so. I think it will help me in my future career when I teach. I am using some online course such as Coursera.org to educated myself and get knowledge in my area of interest such as learning the procedures of conducting a scientific research. 

Regarding ONL 162 course, It was a lot of confusions in the first week. It took some time to get used to the different communication channels in the course and to get to communicate with other participants. I am trying to adapt to the digital way of learning. For me it is similar to traveling to other countries and trying to adapt to the new culture there. As we experience resistance to the digital way of learning in the beginning, and want to go to our comfort zone which is the traditional way of learning and classroom. Then after we break the codes, know how it works, and see the positive part of it, we like it and we want to stuck to it. I am waiting to reach that point where I feel comfortable to use it and know more about it. I am sure I will be there at the end.