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.
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.
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.