Being born in the 80´s has given me the opportunity grow up during the time when digitization entered our every day life. I usually find myself somewhere in between of wanting to hold on to the much simpler and slower times where your questions would be answered by looking it up in a book or asking your parents and the telephone-line was busy every time you used the internet. Yet in the same time, I simply love to be able to just open an app or website and immediately being served with all details possibly on a specific topic. Otherwise, I have never been a huge fan of the digitalization, in all its forms. I usually find it to be more time-consuming and challenging, than doing it in the “real world”. However, from time to time you find yourself in strange situations and you just have to re-evaluate your opinion. Almost two years ago, I started as a teacher in Arcada. I chose not to move to Helsinki, which give me a one-hour train journey each way, and makes my workdays last up to10-12hours. Not being able to work during the train ride or working from home a few days a week, this arrangement would never be an option. Why is this possible then? Yapp, thanks to digitalization and online platforms.

Realizing the digital area has many
opportunities in education, providing more people the chance to participate in
classes made me want to learn more about online learning. Starting up an online
course will require for you to learn to use online tools and platforms as well
as finding your role as a online teacher, yes it is a bit scary. Lutz and Hoffmann
(2016) discuss different aspects of users online participation, in this case I
looked more in to the definition of active and passive participation. Being
behind a screen makes it possible for you to choose how and when you interact
with others, if you choose to interact at all. Passive participation could therefore
be not actively engaging in learning activities online, for example just
reading posts but not commenting, and requires a minimum effort from the
student. The reason for passive participation could be lack of motivation and
insecurities, both about using online platforms/techniques or fear of giving
out personal information. Active participation is accruing when the student is
participating by commenting discussion forms, giving inputs in-group activity,
writing blogs etc. One of the down side of active participation is the risk of
getting to provocative in discussions or being engaged in illegal activities
happening online. (Lutz&Hoffman 2016). Having read the summery of Luzt and
Hoffmanns (2016) research opened for me a new way of looking at the student
activities in online courses. Already when setting up the aim of the course you
should consider what kind of interaction you wish for the students and also
being able to give them the support that they need in order to participate. And
of course, being realistic about my own skills and timetable as a teacher –
what can I facilitate during this course?

Wondering about my own level of interaction
and participation in online courses, I think that it is safe to say I am a part
of the passive participation group. Perhaps this online network-learning course
can help take on the role of active participant, as a student but also as a
teacher in my own future online courses.

Thanks for checking in, I´ll be back


Lutz, Christoph. Hoffman, Christian Peter.
2016. The dark side of online participation: exploring non- and negative
participation. Selected Papers of AoIR 2016: 
The 17th Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers
Berlin, Germany / 5-8 October 2016

Active or passive participation