The most important lessons I gathered from the course were having the chance to learn and use WordPress and to see how one might implement it in an on-line course. I also liked the readings provided and the opportunity to see how a course like this was actually structured. It was logical and flowed in a thoughtful progression.
My thinking has both changed and stayed the same in some instances. I’ve always believed in the importance of social connection in learning, this course certainly buttressed that belief.
WordPress provided the opportunity to include media and to comment on other people’s posts. I liked that the possibility was there however I received no comments so that highlighted a problem with how that works in actuality at times. I did however see a few posts from previous registrants which were helpful.
Reading the chapter material and then being asked to reflect and answer questions was useful for me. Having a structure and seeing where I was in the course was also very helpful.
As for ideas to use in my own practice, I will use a picture and quick bio of myself and have students do the same, I like the idea of voicethread so people can hear their colleagues’ ideas (and their voices) and I like the notion of pairing people up to work and be accountable to one another if they wish. Peer reviewing is also something I could use. Additionally, as Vaughan et al. suggest, video introductions to the course environment and short tutorials on difficult course concepts or problems really help students. Finally talking about one’s experience with the course material as an instructor and encouraging students to do so also makes a demonstrable difference in student engagement. I plan to be a facilitator and not take over discussions. I like the idea of other learners taking charge of that over time.