(This post is a part of completing the Open Networked Online (ONL) course (topic 5))
I have participated the Open Networked Learning course (ONL 201). Now it’s time to reflect on what it has been and what I have learned.
When I first started to write this post, I started with: “This course has taken some work and time, but the feeling is a bit sad now when it ends.” However, there’s a mistake in that sentence.
The mistake is not about being a bit sad. I definitely am – it was 12 weeks with interesting topics and very nice people. I’ve studied some social ethics and social psychology before, so networkedness of the course was interesting in itself, and the topics of the course were maybe even more relevant to me than I expected. My group (PBL Group 6) worked great and in webinars I connected with people from other groups.
The sentence’s mistake is neither about the time and work. There was a new topic every two weeks and I tried (not always so successfully) to familiarize myself with the recommended material already before the topic started, and some optional readings during it. We had Zoom meetings with our group twice a week and otherwise we worked with a scenario (problem based learning, PBL). Then there has been a blog post after each topic and commenting others’ blogs. I’ve been working with online courses and blended learning before, which probably flattened the learning curve for me in the beginning – I imagine it could’ve been more demanding if all the digital tools were new.
The course has required some effort, but it hasn’t been a problem. It would’ve been easier for me to know all the dates more in advance before the course, but the course’s logic felt clear and it was easy to work with my group (our facilitator Alastair also very much deserves credit here). The content was very good and I liked the fact that the PBL cases were vague enough to permit different approaches in solving them. Writing a blog has also been surprisingly fun – although I’ve interpreted the “suggested themes” quite broadly.
I guess one of the most important things was the course itself as one example about how to arrange all that online. There was a surprising number of different things (content, activities, deadlines…) and as a teacher I know there has been a lot of work behind the scenes. As a student, I greatly appreciate the result.
So the mistake with the sentence? It’s the word “but”. I believe I feel sadness because I’ve participated and I’ve been involved in this course – supported by the atmosphere of the well organized course, with my group and the facilitator. Katrina Meyer (2014, 70) has summed up that “participation matters, involvement matters, and participation and involvement affect engagement, which in turn affects student learning.” I’ve learned, because I’ve been participated, involved and engaged, which has required some work and time.
So if corrected, the sentence would be: “This course has taken some work and time, and that’s why the feeling is a bit sad now when it ends.”
Thank you for the organizers!
Photo by Fallon Michael
Meyer, K.A. (2014), Student Engagement in Online Learning: What Works and Why. ASHE High. Edu. Rept., 40: 1-114. doi:10.1002/aehe.20018
Open Networked Learning web-page