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“COVID-19 pandemic came unexpectedly and this course was still completely unaffected by the virus. In fact, the course became a necessity and enabled both educators and learners to explore new tools and put theoretical knowledge into practice. It was also a key part of our social life!”

– Summary of the course by PBL group 7

Today I still remember very clearly the moment when I registered the course and my doubts and hesitation after my first online participation. The course then developed in a very overwhelming way together with the outbreak of the pandemic and all the irregular life and social practices. I guess for many learners, there was a period when we were really struggling to continue with this course. I was one of them! But I’m glad that I went through it and gradually discovered the importance and beauty of it. As we summarized together as a group, the course and more importantly the group is becoming part of our routines and becoming necessary for our professional and social life.

The beauty of the course is actually in its design and activities. Now reflecting all the topics and the activities we have been asked for during the course it actually turned out this course itself is the best demonstration of so many concepts that we have been discussing during the course, online participation, openness of online learning, collaborative learning vs. cooperation, socializing during online and blended learning, etc. You only feel the magic when as part of it.

The far-reaching webinars with about 100 participants give you the typical “visitor” feeling, which exactly reminded me how the students would feel like when they are sitting in such kind of online course. The feeling is much more vivid when I’m leaner than the educator. Then it is followed by the very intensive group work, where you are really the “residents”. I somehow even doubt that the organizers created these large-group courses only to make the contrast for us, participants to feel the differences. : ) I must admit, before the course, I’m not in favor of the collaborative learning spirit, as it takes much time. But with the evolution of the course, the collaborative learning actually made the most impression on me. It can be so efficient and creative. It really triggers a different part of the brain and gives inspiration to individuals.

All the important building blocks to trigger collaborative learning have been covered in the course, such as the openness to embrace the digital world, the socializing during an online learning group, etc. All these strategies and statics will be beneficial for us to implement in our teaching life.

The course has ended, but our group still unanimously decided to continue the online collaborative learning together.

5. The course has ended, but collaborative learning continues