otl301 Post 6 A summary

Best pic of meThe 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.

otl301 post 5 Reflection

  • Did you engage in each of the phases of the critical inquiry process?

Yes, oddly enough (I feel suprised in retrospect although I don’t know why:) I did pass through each of the phases of the critical inquiry process.

  • Were you able to resolve any problems or dilemmas?

Because I haven’t taught fully on-line before and hadn’t used wordpress, I learned some of the wordpress basics which was useful. Also reading the course material really helped clarify the issues and how they could be resolved. I also found other useful links.

  • What might you do differently in a future course?

I will make sure to get students as socially engaged as possible by being human myself, using bios, working in pairs, and using the suggested facilitation skills.

  • How might you engage with your students to ensure that they are working through the entire inquiry process?

Checking in with them to see how it’s going, making sure they post to discussions, monitoring what they’re discussing to see if they’re on track or floundering, noting common misconceptions on assignments or reading material, having a balance of facilitating, direct instruction and letting people engage with the material even though they might be initially confused.

  • Do you think that working through this course in an open platform like WordPress helps to encourage reflective learning?

I’m not sure if the platform encourages it as much as the structured activities do. Knowing that others can read one’s posts is useful to keep you accountable and also to see what it’s like for learners in on-line courses.