My experience with the ONL course start as I was informed on Friday 22nd September afternoon that I shall start the ONL course on the Monday 25th September . Not really knowing what I am getting into or what to expect. I strongly believe in the follwoing:
With this in mind, I started ONL and was in for a surprise. I was slightly frustrated as I was not sure what I was getting into, I also could not really find study materials or real content to look at, I was under pressure as I was busy with new material development for 2018 and also marking final assessments.
The following weeks, working through four topics was eye opening and a real learning experience. Through the weeks I read a lot of blogs and the following blogs really spoke to me as the analogies they used really spoke to me. After reading Fran Márque’s blog on Collaborative blogging I looked back the past to weeks in a certain way with making reference to others blogs.
Sally Wiggins’s last blog reflecting back on her experience View from the top makes reference to a mountain being climbed and the realization that the journey did not come to a end. We have not reached the top of the mountain yet and will continue our journey on our own or even with others in our learning network.
I also think that some climbers on this journey will be diverted into a different direction climbing this mountain at a different pace from a different side. Thinking about this analogy I also think that we went through areas where it was easy to master the work and not so stressful and other stages in this journey that was steep and high and we really had to put effort in to reach the end of that stage. At the end we reached our goal where we can plant a flag to say we have been here but we are moving on to the next goal.
In one of Sally Wiggins’s earlier blogs Collaborative learning she also used an analogy that spoke to me. She made reference to collaborative work as a patchwork art. Looking back this is so true, as each of the different PBL groups presented a blanket (presentation) each presentation was different, different tool, different representation of the theory and different interpretation but at the end each presentation was a learning representation with different members contributing to a design. This also speaks to the fact that as a group we had to decide on a design of our blankets before we even started with the blankets and some members might have been more skilled at the patch work than others, some members contributed more than others to some of the patchwork art pieces, but at the end we all delivered art works.
The next blog that spoke to me was Hilde Stevens’s blog Let’s try it again.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain. This gives me the courage to jump and start splashing around…Finding is reserved for those that search.”
Her analogy comparing this journey of ONL to a rain storm and the realization that dancing in the rain is a lot better than hating it. For me this has a lot of meaning in life also, taking that bad and turning it into the something positive.
I am sure this is the longest blog I’ve writtine and I am only half way now.
Aliona Yarova’s Learning Potluck blog really spoke to me, one of the groups also used this analogy to represent Collaborative learning. I think this spoke to me as my back ground is food, so I really associate with this analogy and see the value in cooking a meal together. If I look back on this ONL journey each topic was a course of the potluck dinner, with each PBL group contributing a dish to this meal. Each groups dish contributed to the final learning experience.
Sandra Muschiol’s Train analogy in her blog Bon Voyage also was a great analogy. This journey that we took with passengers on the journey just to get to the other side, and others to enjoy the scenery on the way. Some passenger engaging with other passengers on the journey and others keeping to themselves lurking in the back ground. Some waking up at the end and now rushing to make friends and take photos aI s we reach the end of the journey. This train journey might also be for some just a part of the journey and others this will be the end of this specific journey.
So what have I really learned on this path of discovery?
- I have seen how we each interpret the the material different, in our groups but also different groups.
- I have once again realized how creative people can be, and I really question my own creativity.
- It opened my eyes to different tools and the online learning environment.
- It prepared me in a way for the start of my masters studies next year, getting me back onto the academic frame of mind, research, reading lots of research and discussing with other students.
- Started to use Twitter for the first time
- Used padlet, Google Classroom, Voice Threat, Zoom and Adobe Connect.
- I have realized that alot of platforms use your gmail address as a login.
What do I think I could have improved on in this course?
- I think I could have learned more, with more research if time allowed it.
- My blogs as it was the first time that I blogged was not really academical, but more reflective on myself.
So what does this mean for my future practice.
- I would like to incorporate a few more tools in my classroom, creating more of a blended environment.
- Currently my student journal for their Work Integrated Learning, in an attempt to motivate students to start working on their final report, but also to enable me as lecturer to ask question forcing the students to reflect on their learning or prompting them to learn. This coming year I would like students to create a e-portfolio, and as part of this they will load their report on the e-portfolio.
- I also started to look into a e-portfolio for myself as a teaching portfolio.
I would like to THANK everyone involved in this journey of ONL, my boss for forcing me to start the journey. Sonja Sharp our IIE institutional facilitator for the initial motivation and avatar creation – there my learning journey started. The program leaders, our facilitators and co-facilitators and also our different group members. Finally all the other PBL groups, through each groups presentation we learned.
I hope to continue this journey, so the analogy I would like to make is that of a rainbow. I always think of new beginnings when i see rainbows. Rainbows it also lets me think that we will never reach the end of that rainbow, the learning will always continue, the color of a rainbow represents the different colorful ways of applying what we have learned, with different tools, different applications and viewpoints.
I would like to continue the path of discovery in all aspects of my life.