This course was not at all what I expected, or maybe I didn’t know what to expect. I signed up for the course because it was about online learning, which I knew very little about, and because it promised interaction with other teachers from other subject areas and even countries. And I did get to learn about online courses and interact with several other teachers from completely different backgrounds.
But that’s far from everything I will take with me from this course. Since I didn’t know much about online learning before I took the course, the most important thing I learned was how big and diverse the online learning world is. Since my course is not suitable to move online, I will not be making any large changes in the layout of the course, but I got many good new ideas about ways to improve the learning environment for my students. For example, how useful a good facilitator can be. In my teaching, I could use olders students as facilitators and to motivate the students to appreciate the material and understand its importance in future studies and their career. Another example is the use of open access videos to start the students to think about a topic and get interested in it. To me, learning is about reading a book or article, but I realize that students today get information from many other resources. As educators, we can pretend that students do not change and thereby placing ourselves in another world than that of the students. Or we can adapt to the changes and help the students to become digitally literate, and to use the web in a manner that we find acceptable and that will foster deep and meaningful learning. I didn’t expect to learn about open resources during this course, but that was very helpful to me. I had no idea about the rules and regulations regarding this. Now I feel much more confident with what I can and cannot use, and I realize that sharing my own material isn’t as bad as I thought previously.
As I have read in many other blogs from other students taking this course, the major limit to using what we learned in the course is time. It takes time to search through open access material to see what I can use for my course; it takes time to implement changes in courses; it takes time to share material in open access. However, I think that it will be worth it. Reading other blogs and interacting with the other students of ONL162, especially those in my PBL group, has made me think about several ways that I can improve my course with the use of online tools.