So many times we enrol in online courses full of hope and anticipation, ready to participate fully and learn so much! And then, due to a wide range of reasons, our participation falters, and our busy lives take over like an ocean, until the sand on which we had scraped out our intentions is once again smooth. It is commonly quoted that the completion rate for Moocs is very low. However I am proud to be one of those who have gotten to the finish line – and this, my reflection post on my participation in ONL161, is evidence of my completion!
I already had a fairly well developed understanding of many of the topics addressed in this course, but was keen to become involved so that I could confirm my thinking and take time to develop my understandings with others who were interested in the same areas. As much of my thinking had been drawn from personal reading, I was very eager to participate in a social learning situation where I could discuss and co-create new knowledge, and apply it in a variety of different and practical ways.
As a result of participation in this course and with working in the wonderful PBL Group 6, I have been able to see many theoretical concepts come alive in context, and the value of relationships and social learning has become vividly apparent. Participating in a course such as this, which draws participants not only from all over the world, but also from all different careers and educational backgrounds enables us to see how ideas are interpreted uniquely, and broadens our perspectives on concepts as we see them being applied in different contexts.
One of the major things that I have learnt during this course is the huge value of pedagogy, and the importance of having a deep understanding of the ways in which technology changes how we teach and learn. We can have great pedagogy in a small classroom, using no technology, which benefits those lucky enough to be physically present. Or we can connect widely using technology, but have no pedagogical plan and create a massive content dump. It is only when the pedagogy and technology are creatively, carefully and thoughtfully brought together that many of us can learn altogether. This course has been a fantastic example of this, providing a huge number of opportunities to connect individually and in groups, to access content in a wide variety of media, to create and contribute new content, to remix previous materials, to work synchronously and asynchronously and to support each other in the process.
To those who have travelled with me, thank you! I hope that we can continue to keep in touch and learn with each other as time goes on. A tweet here, a blog post there….
To those who have not completed a course such as this, but are interested in online learning, open learning, network learning, social software etc…go for it! An extremely well organised course awaits you, with lots to learn and many very experienced and clever people to guide you. It does require commitment – but nothing worth doing comes easily, and at the end, you will be amazed at how your digital literacy levels have skyrocketed, your confidence in online publishing has soared and your creativity has amazed you.
flickr photo shared by wandersoares under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license