The ONL course has been like a breath of fresh air. Back in November 2018 when Lotta Fröjdfeldt from MDH emailed about the possibility of joining this course, I knew that something is interesting about this course and I offered to participate in the course without waiting. I remember Lotta was cautious in the beginning about enrolling the prospective participants because she made it clear that this course will take lots of time and commitment to complete. So she obviously did not want “social lofers” in the course ? (yes, this is one of the reflections in the course: learning new interesting terms). She was so motivated to enrol only “serious” students that she actually ringed me and asked me about my motivations. It was only when I convinced her that I actually want to learn something from this course that I got to get enrolled in this course. So from the very beginning, this course had a serious mission which I really liked.

The start of the course was great! Although the setup seemed little complex from the beginning (blogs, Zoom meetings, reflections on blogs, FISh model, tweet chats etc.) but three things helped me start without any problems: 1. A very good website (https://www.opennetworkedlearning.se/). 2. Lotta’s introductory lecture at MDH covering the expectations and course procedures. 3. The first course week dedicated to connecting. So I was up and running quite quickly in the course.

I also need to hugely thank our group’s facilitator and co-facilitator, Malin Ekstrand and Diane Pilkinton Pihko, who guided us throughout in a professional manner and steered the zoom discussions when we seemed to have strayed from the focus.

Talking of focus, I think the FISh model (https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-FISh-model-Nerantzi-Uhlin-2012_fig1_266389008) is an interesting model that we kept our group discussions focussed and then at the end steered us to select some tool to disseminate our results. All the course material for all the topics was interesting, especially that the videos were from diverse people around the world and who are experts in their fields. The recommended readings were good but obviously limited as all of these topics are very heavy on related work.

I think my biggest takeaways from attending this course are: getting to know new terms, new tools, new insights into issues regarding openness and digital literacy, getting to know more about Creative Commons licensing categories (although Lotta covers this in her another MDH course on Digital Competence) and how emotional presence affects teaching and learning. It was also obviously enjoyable to be part of an interesting group of people who did not hesitate to share their experiences. I also felt that all the topics were really interesting and at the end, I did not get the feeling that these are separate topics, rather all of the topics are inter-twined, for example digital literacy is important to succeed in an open learning environment where group dynamics play an important role. 

All in all, an interesting course that is distinct from traditional lecture-based pedagogical courses offered at MDH. I can happily refer this course to others!

My Reflections on ONL