Topic 5: Reflections

THE OPPORTUNITY

I was invited to join the ONL162 online networked course as a student, this was a privilege and a journey of discovery into what it really means to be a student in an online space. There are many research papers that look at the perspective of a student but few that were a student in the space that was being researched.

What is Blended Learning?

To really understand where to start, I would suggest that there needs to be a definition of the term blended learning, here are two contributions to a definition:

  1. The Christensen Institute (2015) adds that the student ‘also learns at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience’.
  2. Bates (2015, p. 309) notes that blended learning embraces a wide variety of designs, among which he distinguishes:
    1. technology used as classroom aids (e.g. PowerPoint slides, clickers);
    2. using a learning management system to support classroom teaching (e.g. for storing learning materials or for online discussions);
    3. using lecture capture for flipped classrooms;
    4. sequencing semesters of residential study with semesters studying online;
    5. short periods on campus for hands-on experience or training followed by concentrated time studying online;
    6. hybrid or flexible learning requiring the redesign of teaching to enable students to do the majority of their learning online, coming to campus only for specific in-person sessions (e.g. laboratories) that cannot readily be done online.

Bates (2015, p. 311) posits a continuum of learning situations ranging from face-to-face instruction with no technology to fully online distance teaching. He applies the term blended learning to all combinations of technology with presence in a classroom between these extremes.

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atomickathy,2016

With the idea clearly mapped out the journey began. Reflecting on the skills developed over the course I would highlight that being in the position of a student for the first 3 topics, thereafter experiencing the process of an online course design was valuable. Personally, I have gained value insight and discovery of online learning to improve my engagement and to include the recent information found in completing my thesis.

Topic 1 was discovering and setting up all the technology platforms, defining collaboration processes and to identify where were as a PBL group were headed the design of a map with all the tools was a good strategy to start.

Topic 2 I’ve learned that a good way of presenting collective information in a space by using “Padlet”

Topic 3 was a venture into the challenges and developing solutions to online collaboration. Designing and working collaboratively with Prezi was a nice experience.

Topic 4 experiences were the most valuable and insightful, learning to design a course facing challenges and overcoming them towards achieving a tangible benefit of the topic.

In conclusion, through this journey I have had challenges and setbacks but nothing worth it is ever easy. Oxford professor, Geoffrey Chaucer’s could not have said it better in the 14th century: ‘and gladly would he learn and gladly teach’. I have learnt through shifts of perspectives a student, then to teacher and have gained invaluable knowledge and experience.

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TOPIC 4 : REFLECTIONS

This topic was an interesting and challenging flip, we were tasked to design for online and blended learning. The processes involved in designing an online learning classroom was interesting in my personal development. There were much research involved in defining outcomes and determining what type of online learning that would fit and achieve the outcomes effective. A challenge that would need to be overcome early in the development process would be getting the technology aspect right. There exist many different learning management systems and “spaces” in the education technology. The blend between technology and pedagogy is critical to achieving the desired outcomes.

Firstly, outcomes would need to be clearly and simply defined, setting timely goals. To achieve this a good methodology is constructive alignment.

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JAMES MORGAN | Published: OCTOBER 9, 2013

Secondly, Discovering the ADDIE-model (ADDIE Model Instructional Strategies, 2011) and The Five Stage Model (Salmon, 2013) were a good experience. The ADDIE-model demonstrate a standard components of a learning design process comprising of analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation.

Towards developing the specific focus on integrating collaboration technology I have found a good approach.

Five-Step Strategy for Tech Integration

  1. Consider: Will this application/tool enhance, improve instruction or motivate learners? What similar applications/tools are there to consider? (Morrison.D, 2016)
  2. Review the learning objectives for the course or lesson to determine what activity (with support of the tool) will support learning. Which tool might best support meeting objective? (Morrison.D, 2016)
  3. Identify the content/concepts students need to learn – review, augment and/or update content that students may need to access during activity (Morrison.D, 2016)
  4. Assess the ed-tech application/tools – will it encourage students to apply the content and learn the material, construct knowledge and promote critical thinking? (Morrison.D, 2016)
  5. Select and implement the best application. Create concise instructions of how-to use tool. Allow time for learning of tool and learning of course content

An important and often overlooked activity of including course concise instructions for the activity and the use of the tool.

Students need to know why they are doing a collaborative activity, then how they are going to go about it, what tool they will use so that they can get down to business of learning. Otherwise their time is spent on figuring out what they are doing and why they are doing it could result in wasted time, inactivity leading to disinterest (Morrison.D, 2016).

Upon researching various technology platforms to use I’ve found some and here are a list of some them:

  1. Edmodo – https://www.edmodo.com/home
  2. Blendspace – https://www.tes.com/lessons
  3. Socorative – http://www.socrative.com/
  4. Ted-ed – https://ed.ted.com/
  5. Plicker – https://www.plickers.com/

In conclusion, I’ve gained valuable insight in the design process and development of an online classroom. This will give me great insights into the online space from both perspectives’ teacher and learner.

Topic 3 : Collaborative work

My reflections on topic 3 collaborative work, in essence working together in an online space towards a group achieved goal. i Focused on the question of value, as i saw if the output is valuable i would think that the correlation would be motivation as a fact achieved. i came to this realization from my own experience and those of my students. Many students as the question “what is benefit of me studying this subject?”, generally few students do well if they believe that the subject there are learning doesn’t add value and to this there are ultimately motivated to learn.

Value of collaboration – what are those?

The old age adage saying goes that “two heads are better than one”. Historically, Good collaborations produce great innovations for example Watson and Crick or Page and Brin, Founders of Google and a collaborative Computer Club about basic programming at a middle school brought together two minds that change the future of computing Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the founders of Microsoft. Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher level thinking and preserve information for longer times than students working individually. This can be demonstrated in that students sharing their knowledge and learning new knowledge from each other enables sharing process that creates inspiration, motivation and success in achieve outcomes. Groups tend to learn through “discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of other’s ideas.” Perhaps information that is discussed is retained in long term memory.  Research by Webb suggests that students who worked collaboratively on math computational problems earned significantly higher scores than those who worked alone.  Plus, students who demonstrated lower levels of achievement improved when working in diverse groups.

Students decide to participate in an on-line course for a specific reason, to gain experience in the environment, progress in a degree, new knowledge etc.

A Decisive and important factor in an online course is course design, the quantity, quality and type of interactions, whether it is interaction with the course content, instructors, or fellow students. Swan (2001)

Engagement, defined as “student-faculty interaction, peer-to-peer collaboration and active learning…” (Chen, Gonyea, & Kuh, 2008, para. 2), has been positively related to the quality of the learning experience. Social learning or learning as part of a group is an important way to help students gain experience in collaboration and develop important skills in critical thinking, self-reflection, and co-construction of knowledge. Online learners should not be impoverished in terms of social learning because they cannot or choose not to come to a campus.

If am online student is frustrated with the course design there lose interest and negative view on collaboration. Furthermore, if a student doesn’t see the value in the collaboration their engagement is lessen

Access to education should not mean merely access to content (which is readily available without formal enrollment with an educational provider); rather, it should mean access to a rich learning environment that provides opportunity for interaction and connected-ness. Quality learning environments include opportunities for students to engage in interactive and collaborative activities with their peers; such environments have been shown to contribute to better learning outcomes, including development of higher order thinking skills.

Topic 2: Reflections

Coping with copying….

The shift of traditional culture into the digital cultural space has led to digital copying and I don’t just mean re-tweeting. Copying is like someone re-tweeting what you say but not attributing the original tweet to the author. Another analogy is that copying is like taking a beautiful scenic picture probably taken on someones travels to an exotic country that has been Instagrammed and re-instagramming with your own tagline “my travels”, receiving many likes and popularity along with it. The continued use creates an impression that you are a well-traveled person. The copier has subsequently taken a part of your life. I often ask the question how you personally would feel if you were that person on both perspectives. No-one would like their personality copied ? Many don’t even know that there are copying and not attributing images correctly. 

Against this backdrop there are few open educational resources that are available and I would like to share what I have learnt on the topic “how to find and use openly licensed images”. I would like to share a contribution on how to find and resource pictures using creative commons. “Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world.”

Firstly, I log-on to creative commons website : https://creativecommons.org/ .

Secondly, click on to “Search creative commons” – top right  

Thirdly, type in the name of the picture you are wanting to use e.g : “system” and click on the tabs flickr, google images, pixabay….

Lastly, download save and use.  

In conclusion, the use of free or referenced pictures in practice as an academic role creating power-point slides and lesson plans, is vitally important to creating a culture model to students to emulate on their own academic journeys.

References:

https://creativecommons.org/about/

TOPIC 1: Reflections

Its been a slow start for on this journey, I found topic 1 a good experience for myself to learn from my group members abroad and their ideology.The map we created really helped me understand that I am involved in a massive space with different dynamics and the direction it provides is really important to the journey of discovery.As the journey progresses I am excited to more involved in contributing to this.