#ONL201- Topic 4

During COVID-19 outbreak  many of us turned to ‘emergency remote teaching and learning’. What would happen when we go back to campus in the next semester?  Going by the current situation, very likely, we will be converting our modules to  online or blended learning. The topic on Online and Blended Learning in ONL course was timely. It got me thinking how would I design a successful online course for the next semester. Would a reflection of my experience of past semester useful i.e. a reflection of just concluded online course offering in response to a crisis? What researched resources are available to get guidance on taking full advantage of the affordances and possibilities of the online format? 
Various terms are defined for remote learning : distance learning, online learning, e-learning, blended learning, mobile learning, and others.  It is important to be familiar with the vocabulary and to align course with one or more of these terms. It is well established by numerous research that effective online learning results from careful instructional design and planning, using a systematic model for design and development. These articles [1,2] gave me an easy start to various methods and models of blended learning, including the flipped classroom, rotation models, flex, project-based, and how each can be used in a course to benefit both teachers and students. 5-stage model[2] provides participant perspective as well.  
For more researched resources I turned to resources listed in the ONL course. Community of Inquiry framework [3]  and the  elements, it identifies, which are fundamental to a successful online learning experience, namely, teaching presence, cognitive presence, and social presence was an eye opener for me.  
                  Diagram Reference: : Critical_Inquiry_Model
The interactive website rich in resources and researched work. The videos and webinar added another dimension, emotional presence. It further hinted to how teaching presence may foster emotional presence in learners,  and how emotional presence may foster social presence and cognitive presence in learners. The introductory video by Marti-Cleveland-Innes and my initial interaction with COI website [3]   has inspired me to read more and refer to some of this work when planning my courses for the next semester.  In particular, I have added a few books and articles [4-7] to my reading list for the summer. 
In addition to focusing on using technology for teaching and assessment,  I do see tremendous value in establishing partnership with my students  in teaching and learning. I would not want my students to be passive learners. In remote learning, how do I get their participation in the teaching and learning process ?  What are the challenges (e.g. self-regulation challenges or challenges in using technologies for their learning) students face which could be of direct impact on teaching and learning ? In just concluded semester , online discussions , group assignments , take-home assignments provided students flexibility and support. More needs to be done though to understand student voice, and designing course elements  that allow students to reflect and synthesize knowledge in a more autonomous way than before. 
[4] Nilson, L. B. (2016). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors. John Wiley & Sons.
[5] Howells, K. (2014). An exploration of the role of gratitude in enhancing teacher–student relationships. Teaching and Teacher Education, 42, 58-67. 
[6] Rowe, A. D., Fitness, J., & Wood, L. N. (2015). University student and lecturer perceptions of positive emotions in learning. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 28(1), 1-20.
[7] Creating a Sense of Presence in Online Teaching: How to “Be There” for Distance Learners ,  by Rosemary M. Lehman  (Author), Simone C. O. Conceição 

Design for online and blended learning