I have already implemented the tools and conceptual models I have learned in ONL191 quite extensively in my work. Looking back on the four topics, from the vantage point of this one (the lessons learned), I am quite surprised at just how much water has passed under the bridge since our first meeting.

In Topic One, my blog posts were mostly reacting to the ways in which the digital world seems to create a lot of “hot takes” that have a very limited shelf life. More measured and careful analysis of the online world (White, 2014a, 2014b) reveals that the gaps between the online and the offline world on not that huge after all, and that there are ways in which we can all work on developing our digital literacies in order to participate that are not threatening, or conceptually defined as being essentially out of reach based on our age or some other aspect of social location.

In Topic Two, the important thing for me was to think through the ways in which content is owned, and the extent to which I (1) respect other people’s ownership by giving them appropriate credit (such as under Creative Commons licensing, see Watch Now UK, 2012) and (2) want my own content to be reproduced and shared online, out of my control. Thinking through these issues made me significantly more comfortable with sharing and openness than I previously was.

In Topic Three, I worked through a lot of negative emotions regarding collaborating with other people. Group work has never been a particularly comfortable space for me to operate in, and is certainly associated with “negative emotions” (Brindley, Walti, & Blaschke, 2009). And yet talking through these issues with Group 8 colleagues revealed that we all shared these kinds of concerns, and that in fact reacting a bit negatively to collaboration was in fact a kind of bonding experience!

In Topic Four, we addressed a number of issues relevant to designing online networked learning courses. The concept of a community of inquiry (Vaughan, Cleveland-Innes, & Garrison, 2013) which relies on intended tactics by the facilitator/teacher to create, will be a useful one for me to think through in my future course design work. Because we spent a lot of time in group exercises trying out new tools, I am now confident to go out and find even more. I will continue to experiment with platforms that can create that kind of community – imbued with the different kinds of presences – that can make being part of the classes I teach and learn in truly worthwhile.

Works referenced

Brindley, J. E., Walti, C., & Blaschke, L. M. (2009). Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, en-US. Retrieved April 4, 2019, from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/675/1271

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Chapter 1: Conceptual Framework. Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry(pp. 7–18). Edmonton, AB: AU Press. Retrieved April 18, 2019, from http://www.aupress.ca/books/120229/ebook/01_Vaughan_et_al_2013-Teaching_in_Blended_Learning_Environments.pdf

Watch Now UK. (2012). Creative Commons & Copyright Info. Watch Now UK. Retrieved April 30, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YkbeycRa2A

White, D. S. (2014a). Part 1: Visitors and Residents. jiscnetskills. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPOG3iThmRI&feature=youtu.be

White, D. S. (2014b). Part 2: Credibility. jiscnetskills. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO569eknM6U

Final reflections on ONL191: Lessons learned and the way forward