A great experience

Picture: Itz Inferno from Unsplash.

Signing up for the ONL191 course was a step into the unknown. To me the whole business of online in education – and in private – had grown into a kind of Pandora´s box: a storage of valuables that in reality turn out to be a curse. At first, it seems to be the solution to problems in education regarding distance, numbers of students, accessibility etc. but then it becomes clear that it does contain its share of issues. 
It can be frustrating using all these different platforms, especially if they don’t work properly due to bugs or lacking in design and utilization, and having to juggle between them all can sometimes be stressful, even overwhelming. There is just too much out there…

Nonetheless, taking the course has been a very eye-opening and rewarding adventure. The most important lesson I´ve learnt is that it is impossible to understand it all: be kind to yourself, and accept that trying your best is enough. As this was my first online course ever, it took a while to get hold of all the bits and pieces, but in retrospect they all make some kind of sense in connection to CoIand the Five stage model.

During the course, I became increasingly aware of how much responsibility I had for my own learning, and this is something I will bring back to my practice. When designing a course, I must create clear and functional tools for the students to be in control of their own educational experience.

Some of my courses are suitable for a blended learning set-up. I will try to turn these courses into more technology-friendly modules, without falling into the trap of just enhancing my usual practices without improving student engagement. One crucial factor is the technical quality of the communication tools. If webinars and other forms of online meetings are used, the utility, visibility and audibility must be of high standard, otherwise it becomes unbearable.

The ONL191 course has made me curious of what is going to happen next in the field of online education. Thus, I´ll try to keep in touch with the community and stay updated. Probably I will also get back to the articles and videos presented in the course. There is still a lot to learn and recapture; especially the rules for sharing resources and ethical principles of openness ought to be checked. Indeed, in order to understand the communication systems of my students, I find it necessary to be a resident on the web.

Regarding the application and implementation of my new online insights, there are a lot of challenges. First: pick a course that could benefit from going online, at least partly. Then: how do I find the right proportions between the different parts – on/off, synchronized/not time specific, group/individual, serious discussions/small talk…? Trial and error, of course. It would be nice to try a course in a “lab” situation.

At times I felt stressed, now and then I got lost on the web, often I thought that everyone else was much smarter than I – and very often I thought “this is great”! The latter is what will stay with me.

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