Transformation via Online Learning

Using the Information Society’s Most Powerful Tool to Better Ourselves

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Behind But Focused On The Finish Line …

I realize that I should have heeded the information I was compiling for my lesson on time management. This course was even more demanding than I originally anticipated and I was also distracted by personal matters. Time slipped away and I mistakenly thought we had until August 15 to complete our courses, when in actuality it is August 5. Yikes! Oh well, I suppose that if I had populated my Outlook calendar with course due dates, I would have avoided this mistake. In any event, the Course Checklist was a godsend. It is helping me focus on what really needs to get done. I need to steer my energies towards finalizing the content and activities. I have spent far too much time searching for optimal resources. Because I am not using a text book, the burden of curating the instructional content fell on me. In addition, I have never taught this course and I am designing the modules from the ground up.

However, the templates and exemplary courses provided have provided a wealth of information for me draw upon. In addition, it has been very interesting to process my own metamorphosis as an online student/ instructor while building an online course. I have really come to understand the importance of social and teaching presences in the online classroom. My prior focus was on cognitive presence. Yet, the courses from which I gleaned the most were those with strong teaching and social presences. Therefore, I needed to adjust my course design to reflect their importance.

I still have a lot of work to do and may have to adjust some aspects of the course but I am committed to giving it my best shot. Here’s to making it happen by next Tuesday, August 5!

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Learning To Be An Online Community Builder

This week I have had to come to terms with the conflation of my roles as student and instructor. I believe that my experience as a student greatly informs my instructional design but also limits it. I need to see beyond the online classrooms I have attended. My instructional materials have to continuously include tools and techniques with which I am unfamiliar. This is the only way to strive for best practices. Read More

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Creative Expressions of Online Learning and Importance of Feedback

As I developed the learning activities for my course, I was focused on content and performance. After reviewing the feedback for myself and peers, I realized that I was not optimizing the delivery of content and process, more specifically those aspects related to teaching presence. Some of the items that were suggested to augment teaching presence such as timelines and articulation of questions were already planned as part of the course’s next iteration. However, I had not been focusing on the need for choices for students to demonstrate their learning in more creative fashions. I have been thinking about Professor Pickett’s podcast comments regarding providing opportunities for the creation of a video or collage. I love this idea and want to incorporate this into the final project. Perhaps instead of asking for blog enhancement, I will allow students to choose from several digital objects to create their knowledge artifact. However, I am concerned that this may overwhelm the novice online learners and will have to be careful how I do this. Read More

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Informal and Formal Learning Merge in cloud-based Personal Learning Environments

This week I had quite a revelation. I found that studies show that social networking sites can serve to bolster both formal and informal learning (Dabbagh & Kitsanta, 2012). I encountered the concepts of Personal Learning Environments (PLE) and Personal Knowledge Management (PKM). Dabbagh and Kitsanta (2012) describe cloud-based PLE’s where learners collect and share resources while individually and collectively constructing knowledge. They also found that PLE’s encourage self-regulated learning by enabling students to select the tools and resources used to handle their learning content. These Web 2.0 tools facilitate a student-centered pedagogical approach where learners can individualize their PLE. Read More

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Fear of mingling public social networking sites with structured asynchronous learning networks

OK, I admit that I am not a fan of much of the content posted on ubiquitous social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These sites invite spontaneity and anonymity, which unfortunately often lead to comments and images that may have been better left private. This is true of all sites that permit comments and file sharing, but the aforementioned social networking sites make blunders and gaffes visible to followers instantly. Read More

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