22 September – 6 October

During these first two important weeks the focus is to familiarize oneself with the online learning spaces and to connect with peers and facilitators. You will be encouraged to share expectations, background knowledge, experiences and practices and begin to build relationships and form groups. Also, you will have the opportunity to learn more about and discuss the meaning of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Open Networked Learning (ONL). You will be encouraged to start creating your own online learning space start and reflecting on your learning.

Activities for all learners

The ONL learning environment

Explore the course site and the forums in Google+, save and organize your links in order to personalize your learning environment! Check out the suggested resources presented below.

Course site: Familiarize yourself with the learning environment used here in ONL. Subscribe to updates on the start page in order to be alerted when new course information is available. On the course site you will find the “Overview” where links for each new topic will be published. Under the “About”-tab you find background information. “Tools” is an important page to explore since you can find tutorials and inspiration for collaborative work.

Course forums: Our forums for communication will be on Google+. Join the ONL152 community and connect with other participants. Introduce yourself and learn how Google+ works: how to comment, like, how to add images and links, how to add persons to circles and check out your settings – do you have the – for you – correct settings for example the notifications? Check out the Tools page for tutorials!

Learning (b)log:  If you are aiming for a certificate you need to write reflective posts within a blog (see how to participate). Write your first introductory blog post for this course (title could be something like “Entering the ONL course”) about your expectations, …. etc. There is an ONL learning bloglist, please add yours if you would like to! Feel free to also publish your first post on the ONL 152 Community and comment on others’!

Twitter (optional);  we would like to encourage you to use twitter for the ONL course, however it is not required.
If you are interested please create a Twitter account if you don´t have one, and you might want to follow @OpenNetLearn and the other learners (facilitators and participants).  Remember to use the hashtag #ONL152 if tweeting and if you would like to please post a tweet about this course to say hello there!

PBL- work

As this first topic lasts for two weeks, the PBL group tasks are listed stepwise;

First week (22 – 29 Sept)

1. Formation of PBL groups:
During the first week PBL groups will be formed. Please join the PBL group you have been assigned as soon as possible and present yourself and start connecting. For guidance on PBL group work including the FISh design please see Learning activities. Not part of a group and want to be? Look here!

2. Connect with the other group members and start forming as a group:
You will be forming your PBL group; getting to know each other and discuss and agree how you are going to work together (“setting ground rules”).
The group should meet in the first Google Hangout (time to be decided within each group).

3. Introduction to Online and Problem-Based Learning:
Familiarize yourself with PBL and the FISh design in the context of ONL. Please start to have a look at the resources below (readings will continue in the second week).

4. Get together to create a presentation of your group to the wider ONL community
Create a presentation (any format/tool the group prefers) and post in the ONL152 community category “topic 1”.

Second week (30 Sept – 6 Okt)

5. Working with the scenario:
After you have agreed on working practices in the group, try working on the scenario according to the FISh-model (information also provided within your group).

6. Share your findings
t the end of this topic share your main findings in a creative way in the ONL152 community category “Topic 1”.



“I have just signed up to do an online course and have no idea where to start? I am excited to be on the course but have no experience of online courses and do not know who else will be there? I had an email from the course organizers that was very reassuring, so at least I know two people. Should I introduce myself? How should I do this? I read that videos would be good but this scares me… Where should I introduce myself? There are various spaces online… When should I do this? Before the start, at the start?… I guess that other participants will be more experienced than me, and probably know each other.”

Suggested readings

Coomey, M., & Stephenson, J. (2001). Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control – according to the research. Teaching and learning online: Pedagogies for new technologies, 37-52. Available here.

Chernobilsky, E., Nagarajan, A., & Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2005). Problem-based learning online: multiple perspectives on collaborative knowledge construction. In Proceedings of the 2005 conference on Computer support for collaborative learning: learning 2005: the next 10 years! (pp. 53-62). International Society of the Learning Sciences. Available here.

The above suggested readings for this topic are tagged with “ONL152 topic 1 Connecting and networking – suggested resource” in the ONL Diigo group.

Additional resources

ONL diigo group at https://groups.diigo.com/group/open_networked_learning

Please check this learners’ generated collection and add further resources you find useful and link well with this unit. Remember to use tags and comment on resources shared by others. The suggested tag for resources especially connected to this topic is “ONL152 topic 1 Connecting and networking – additional resource“.


By the end of this topic, you will have had the opportunity to

1. familiarize yourself with the online learning spaces, features and tools

2. make first contacts with other participants and facilitators in ONL

3. discuss problem-based, open and collaborative learning in the context of ONL


Informal orientation webinar

On Tuesday September 22nd we will have an introductory webinar. Time for the webinar is CET 13:00 – 14:00.

A webinar is a seminar on the web, please find more information in the Event for the introductory webinar in the G+ ONL 152 Community.

webinarTuesday 22 Sept, 1 – 2 pm (CEST)

Links to recording and presentation are found at Course overview