Wow! Has it really been twelve weeks already? I have learned a lot during this course and I think that in our twelve weeks together, I have met each of the learning goals for this class. Although I still have A LOT to learn, I think this class did an outstanding job providing me with the framework for future knowledge in online education.
I believe I experienced the most change in goal #2: Reflect on both historical and conceptual foundations of eLearning as well as current research and standards for online/blended course design/facilitation and articulate a personal philosophy of practice in these areas. Prior to this class, I had no idea how much research was out there on eLearning. It was interesting to read about the progressions in eLearning over the years and I learned a lot about alllll the work that must go into creating a positive environment for students and teachers in an online course. Right from the beginning when we read about Moore’s Transactional Distance Theory (week 2!) I began to realize how much I DIDN’t know about online learning. Each week we were learning about how to best implement this type research into our modules. I think I came into this course with the least amount of knowledge in this area, and the readings and blog posts enabled me to see a lot of growth throughout the course.
Prior to the course, I was already using Schoology pretty thoroughly, so I do not think that my growth in that particular learning environment was as strong. However, I do think my overall ability to use MEANINGFUL activities and resources improved greatly. I was able to use the knowledge I gained from the readings to choose better activities for my module. Actually having to create the module helped me see the changes that I needed to make. I am definitely more conscious when creating activities on Schoology now. Everything from the layout, to the wording, and my feedback style has been improved due to this course.
I think the two areas where I still have the most room for improvement are in the communication methods and the emerging technologies. I do feel like I achieved the goal of demonstrating effective communication methods and describing the impact of emerging technologies but there are sooooo much other stuff out there to explore in these areas. I still have a lot to learn. I was not a big fan of feedly. I’m not sure that I ever used it the most effective way. In addition, I probably could have done better at Twitter. The one time I did have an “urgent” question (I only had a short bit of kid-free time left haha) Monty answered my Twitter question immediately. I still want to experiment with using Twitter in my classes but I just haven’t had the time to give it a go yet. I feel a little bit the same in regards to the new technologies; there is just sooooo much information out there, I need some time to try some things!
In terms of the course itself, I would say that I had a very positive experience. I enjoyed working with colleagues. I wonder if I would have felt different if I didn’t know any other people in the course? I appreciated the due dates of assignments being at the end of the week, and also the outline that were provided so we knew exactly what was required each week. As far as improvements, I got a little discouraged with the read-blog-respond-read-blog-respond-read-blog-respond format from week to week. I do think the readings and blogs were effective for sure so I don’t know how to add variety in there but that’s just how I felt some weeks. All in all, I enjoyed the content, it was fun working with Monty and my colleagues, and I learned a lot…I would consider that a huge success!