26 September – 16 October

Introduction to topic 1

During these three important weeks the focus is to get familiar with and learn about the online learning spaces and the pedagogical design of ONL162. An essential part is to connect with peers and facilitators, begin to build relationships and to form groups. Together we will explore important literacies to survive and thrive in the digital age, as well as your experiences of digital consumption, communication, collaboration and creation, as learners and educators. Accessing, filtering, critically evaluating information in vast networks, repositories and digital libraries as well as connecting with individuals and groups via social networks and adapting it for learning and teaching is a complex process. It requires specific skills, attitudes and behaviors which become increasingly more important for individuals and society. You will be encouraged to start creating your own online learning space for sharing of reflections on your learning. As a starting point you will reflect on and discuss your own digital presence and identity and your experiences, concerns and challenges.

Readings and resources



Further optional resources


First week activities (26 September – 2 October)

During the first week it is very important that you allocate time to get to know the learning environment and tools and that you join ONL communities and connect with your peers. Investing time in this helps you get over some of the thresholds for participation in ONL.

Start-up activities for all learners

ONL162 course community
The ONL162 community in Google+ is where you can connect with all ONL162 participants and facilitators. This is where much of the course communication, discussion, sharing and networking will take place.

  • If you have not yet joined the community; go to ONL162 community and “ask to join” and we’ll let you in as soon as possible.
  • Present yourself in the ONL162 community (make a post in the category “Introductions”)
  • Take part of the presentations by the other learners and comment if you would like to.

ONL course site
The ONL site is where you will find information and guidance for participation in the ONL162 course. The site also serves as a blog where the course team regularly post information about the course

  • Look at the ONL introductory film guiding you through the different sites and tools that you will use.
  • Read through information on the ONL162 course site, most information that you need should be there! If you don´t find it, please ask facilitators or fellow participants.
    – Overview and schedule ONL162
    – How to participate and course requirements
    – Tools
    – and of course this topic page where you can see what to do
  • Subscribe to updates in order to be alerted when there is a new post from the course team; at the start page add your e-mail in the box to the right and click “follow”.

Activity Tracker
The Activity tracker will help you to keep track of your activities during the course as well be used for certification at the end of the course.

  • Go to the Activity Tracker form and read through the introduction. Bookmark this so you can easily find it!
  • Fill in your basic information including the link to your blog page.
  • You can also check that you have done what you are expected to do during topic 1.
  • You can return to your Activity tracker when you want using the same Google account.

Learning blog – reflections
The course reflections are an important part of your learning process, please read more about ONL learning blogs here. Keeping a learning blog is one of the requirements to get a course certificate.

  • Set up your own blog to be used for your reflections during the course.
  • Add your blog address to the Activity tracker.
  • You are encouraged to make a first blog post about your expectations, hopes, fears, etc. and initial experiences of joining ONL162.

Readings and resources
For each topic there will be a list of resources presented. Please check out the readings for topic 1.

Start-up activities in PBL groups

  • During the first week of the course PBL groups will begin to form and plan for the collaborative work. It is essential that you are present and active in this important first phase of forming and starting up your group work.
  • On Monday 26th September you will be invited to join a PBL group in Google+.
  • Please join the PBL group you have been assigned to as soon as possible.  Present yourself to start connecting!
  • As a starter for introduction and discussion in the PBL group you may briefly address things like:
    – who you are as an individual in the digital age and your journey so far.
    your expectations, hopes, fears
    – what ONL might mean for your development.
    Comment on the posts of your peers
  • A facilitator and a co-facilitator in each group will guide and support you and take the lead for the start-up e.g. invite to a first online synchronous meeting. The first meeting is about getting to know each other and to discuss how you are going to work together (“setting ground rules”).
  • Each group will also have access to a Google drive folder for collaborative work where you will find some guides and templates to start up your work. Please fill in your contact details in the spreadsheet provided there.


Second and third week activities (3-16 October)

Activities for all learners

ONL 162 course community

  • Share and discuss experiences and reflections on topic 1.
  • By the end of the topic, take part of what each PBL group shares from their work and comment!

Activity Tracker

  • Add your details and blog address (if you have not already done this)
  • By the end of the topic, complete the section for topic 1 with brief descriptions of your activity.

Learning blog – reflection

  • Write a reflective blog post!
  • Suggested themes for reflection on topic 1 in your learning blog:
    – who you are as an individual in the digital age and what characterizes your journey so far.
    – you may think about your own digital literacy and identity in your personal and professional life, how they are linked
    – what ONL might mean for your development
    – your experiences from ONL so far
    – other reflections on topic 1 readings and discussions.
  • Relate your reflections to literature/resources, using proper referencing.
  • Remember, if you are using photos that are not your own, to use the correct attribution (see creative commons)
  • By the end of the topic, finalize and share your reflections in your blog.
  • Have a look around how others have captured their stories and thoughts and comment in their blogs.
  • Towards the end of the topic there will also be an option for you to add your learning blog to a collection ONL162 blogs.
  • Please notice that writing of reflective blog posts and commenting on blog posts by your peers, are parts of the course requirements to gain a course certificate.

Readings and resources

  • Continue reading the suggested resources for topic 1 and share reflections in the ONL162 community.
  • Have a look at the added readings about Problem-based learning.
  • If you have time do your own search for resources and share what you find might be interested to others in the ONL162 community (post in the category Topic 1)

Twitter (optional)
We would like to encourage you to use Twitter for the ONL course though it is not required. 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 #ONL161 when tweeting!


Activities in PBL groups

During these two weeks the PBL group will try out the FISh model for collaborative inquiry into a scenario.

  • Discuss and familiarize yourself with PBL and the FISh design in the context of ONL. View the added readings about PBL.
  • After you have agreed on working practices in the group, start working on the scenario according to the FISh-model. For information and guidance about working with FISh see Learning activities and the guide and templates in your PBL group Google folder.
  • At the end of the topic share your main findings from your inquiry in a creative way in the ONL162 community category “Topic 1”.

Below you have a scenario for your inquiry into Topic 1.


 “I have just signed up to do an online course and I am excited to be there. But I have little experience of online courses and it feels really challenging to get started to connect and find my way with all these new sites and tools. I guess that other participants will be more experienced than me and I feel stupid asking about things. We are asked to create a Learning blog on the web; it feels a bit scary to do this. I do share things on Facebook with friends, but here in the open? I want to keep my private life separate from my professional life. But on the other hand, my students seem to share and discuss in social media and use all kinds of tools and resources. I think I need some guidance in how to become more digitally literate and what competencies I need to develop to keep up with what is expected of me”.


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

– familiarize yourself with the learning spaces and tools for the ONL course

– connect with other participants and your facilitators

– learn about and discuss problem-based, open and collaborative learning in the context of ONL

– explore important literacies to survive and thrive in the digital age as learners and educators

– reflect on and discuss your own digital presence and identity as well as your experiences, concerns and challenges


webinarIntroduction webinar – see event

webinarWebinar: Digital literacies with Sara Mörtsell – 
see event

See other events at the  Course overview