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I want to include the group I journeyed with in this final summary because participation in the course has been made special and unique because of the ways we analyzed the case studies, chose areas of foci, and developed our ideas. It has been an experiential journey through the various stages of group formation an experiential reaction of going through the different stages of group formation (Tuckman, 1965): forming, norming, storming, and yes, performing! I had produced two job aids on supporting group work in blended learning contexts (see job aid 1, job aid 2). The process helped me appreciate the distributed role of the leader and note-taker over the weeks, the utility of group reflection and feedback (something we needed especially at the end of Week 1). What binds us together regardless of our different personalities is the purpose of completing each week’s assignment. I am grateful for the smooth meetings and the ability to complete the assignments in a timely fashion. Thank you, Tina, Raheel, Masood, Pierre, Subra, Silvia, and Tove! Stay in touch!

The following are three highlights of my learning in ONL_212

  1. I have lost interest in MOOCs for quite a number of years as I look at the dismal completion statistics for the various open courses. I examine platforms like EdX where there is collaboration beween educational institutions across the globe, where institutions provide resources to provide faculty with support in developing MOOCs, and where microcredentials are used to motivate learning. I am very about the way MOOCs are developing. Currently I am involved in the design of a self-paced blended course which may slowly transition into a MOOC. This is exciting! Beyond the technical aspects I would like to read more about techniques to design content that helps individuals develop self-regulation and motivation. I find open sharing and the agency to remix greatly inspiring. Right now I am putting it into practice with my colleagues as we make usse of CC BY 4.0 videos from FutureLearn in our self-paced blended course. This has allowed us to rapidly prototype and cut down production times so we can focus on the quality of the course.
  2. I see that beyond digital fluency and open networked learning, the central characteristics we would posess that helps us to optimize the learmig would be to: develop an open and curious attitude to learning and practice self-regulation in the way we spend their time and deal with the distractions in the digitall world. I feel it takes the utmost disciipline and creative to learn in open platforms and through personalized learning networks. Undergirding all this is the establishing of an identity as a learner, as a professional, or as a hobbyist and so on. I would like to grow my personal learning network and pay more attention to latest trends in the field.
  3. Operationalizing communities of inquiry – how this can be scaffolded through social ice breakers, metacognitive activities, and content-based activities (Columbia Centre for Teaching and Learning, n.d.). I always found difficulty in discussing this rich concept with faculty as an academic developer. The seven guiding principles may be too overwhelming for them at first. The practical applications in this resource gives me a language to communicate and converse with faculty in their design of blended learning.

One key insight I gained through interaction with group members is how the mental models or schema about online learning differ. This is further complicated by the pandemic that would require different models to meet the needs of the situation. The following is a representation of my mental model.

My mental model of online learning

This realization is important because my experience in the e-learning industry predisposes me to have assumptions of what is e-learning. I have to be mindful when interacting with faculty so I do not impose my assumptions. It takes skill to maintain openness, work effectively according to faculty goals, and seed new ideas where appropriate. Diversity of opinions is a norm in academic settings and mutual respect between faculty and academic developers is so important. Beyond all the technical skills this is what I would like to grow in.

The end of this course marks another beginning. I look forward to contributing back to the ONL community. Sincere thanks to Alastair, Jörg, Lars, Lotta, and Filip for organizing the course and watching over its implementation! It’s a wrap!

Musings at the end of ONL with PBL08