Going back to my reflection during the connection week “Where am I going?”, I thought it could be interesting to figure out if I actually found the way I ought to go?

My most definite answer to the question above is “it depends”. Our students get very frustrated when our reply to their question(s) most often is this: well, it depends on what your starting point is? it depends on which context you are in? it depends on who you are talking to? Just like the Cheshire Cat replied to Alice: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Most things in education DO depend on… context, culture, subject, cohort

Some of my main learning from the different ONL-topics are:

  • Just because it’s clear to me (us as educators) doesn’t mean it’s clear for the learners. Focus more on “what’s the point” and “what’s in it for me?” in instructions to learners.
  • Collaboration is difficult! Collaboration is fun! Don’t expect that everyone gets it!
  • Where, how and when do students learn: in a space or in a place?
  • Focus on writing – not blogging. As soon as you feel the inspiration, write it down. Grab them when they appear!
  • Apply a growth mindset.

In the final topic of ONL, Topic 5: LESSONS LEARNT – FUTURE PRACTICE, we focused our discussions on the Elmore’s four learning modes and we had some different views on where we would place the ONL course setting. My immediate response was in the distribute collective quadrant:

“In this quadrant, learning relies on self-organized networks of individuals who share common interests. It underlies the idea that everyone is capable of learning outside of hierarchical frameworks. Alternatively, members of these networks acquire and transmit information according to their respective levels of knowledge and expertise. Common priorities, respect and cooperation among members of the community are key to the success of this mode of learning.”

The reason for this is that we, during this course, according to me have been self-organized (in a network of individuals), where respect and cooperation has been taken place. Most activities without the influence of an educator. Interestingly enough, another colleague in our PBL group (PBL11 – SPLACE) wanted to place us in the hierarchical collective quadrant, since he thought that we were not so self-organized and instead led by moderators or facilitators setting the course and path for assignments. Once more an evidence that “it depends” on your starting point, culture, discipline and past experiences. Taking this one step further it is interesting to look at The Lewis Model – Dimensions of Behavior and analyze the origin of the learners in the classroom. Of course, stereotyping cultural behavior is always dangerous, but to be able to establish some kind of context, it is important to know the origin – apply some ethnocentrism.

Concerning topic 4: Design for online and blended learning, I would like to share the model which I often use when designing courses and thinking of the preferred ways of learning the students might have. Looking at Kolb’s Experiental learning cycle one can divide the cohort of students into feelers, doers, watchers and thinkers and try to incorporate learning activities of different kinds in one course – to enable all sorts of students to learn in their best and preferred way. Because face it, as many learners as you have in front of you, as many preferred ways of learning there are. However, as a course designer one should also consider that it is usually the preferred way students THINK they learn best. Because also that, DEPENDS on the subject, group dynamics, past experience and what to learn.

Kolb’s model of experiental learning, together with the ICEBERG principles are two structures, which are highly relevant when considering the design of future online, hybrid, blended or emergency remote courses. With these “principles” I will be able to consider the space and place of learning, collaboration activities, how to be more clear in written instructions, focusing on what’s the point and helping students applying a growth mindset when it comes to their own learning.

Learning is a life long process and one thing I have definitely learned from my dear colleague Bozena, who in the first topic said: focus on WRITING not blogging. Because if you are constrained by wanting to sound and look smart – nothing will be put down on paper.


Kolb, A., & Kolb, D. (2005). Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy of management learning & education, 4(2), 193-212.

Meilleur, C. (2020). Elmore’s 4 learning modes. Knowledge One.

Open University Learning Design team – Implementing the ICEBERG principles:

Oxford Bibliographies on Ethnocentrism:

Simply Psychology:

SPLACE: TOPIC 1: Online Participation & Digital Literacies:

The Lewis Model – Dimensions of Behavior:

Did I find the way I ought to go…?