Good evening, fellow ONL-ers!

Since I finished my workshop early this afternoon, it’s looking like a double-post day! Since there’s not really reading material for this last unit of the course, I think that I’ll just go through and answer some of the suggested questions for Topic 5. Let me know how your answers match up! Did we take similar lessons away from the course, or did you learn something completely different?

What are the most important things you have learned through your engagement in the ONL course?

The most important lessons came from sharing teaching experiences with my PBL groupmates, many of whom had far more teaching experience than I do. Although it’s mostly a lot of little, hard-to-connect things we discussed (e.g., how to use AI in teaching, how to best assign students to groups, how to get students interacting with field experts), I think it all encouraged me to be more deliberate in my day-to-day choices when teaching, so that I act in a way that best promotes openness and equality.

How will your learning influence your practice?

Right now, I’m feeling that I’m more comfortable opening up to students when I’m not sure about or disagree with something in the course material. I’m finding that, when I present myself as someone who is fallible (and is in desperate need of more coffee), students are speaking up more about what they like and don’t like about how the class is progressing.

Were I to teach online again, I also have a whole new toolbox of software I’d like to use to make my lessons more interactive – which leads me to the next question…

What are your thoughts about using technology to enhance learning/teaching in your own context?

I think that using lesson-enhancing technology (Mentimeter polls, Miro boards, etc.) is great, provided it’s used in the appropriate contexts and doesn’t just give students more busy work to do. Anything that allows for students to be a bit creative, like asking them to make infographics or mock Insta posts on Canva, is a big win in my book, since bioinformatics can be rather dry at times.

Because my students are learning how to code and constantly at their computers, I often feel like I need activities that get them up and moving, not more digital tools. So if any of you have any fun suggestions on that front, please comment!

What suggestions do you have (activities and/or in general) for the development of eLearning in your own teaching or context?

The big one is to make sure that students can meet and form bonds with their peers – even if it’s through scheduled zoom calls with small subsections of the course attendees. I also encourage the creation of informal group chats when appropriate – even though ONL is done, the WhatsApp chat for PBL06 is still hoppin’ and will be my go-to place to ask for teaching suggestions or to share “Which Moomin are you?” quizzes in the future.

(I’m Mårran/The Groke, if you’re interested).

Anything else?

I want to thank the organizers of ONL for a lovely time together. Also, I’d like to give a special thanks to both my institutional group and PBL06 (#HeroSquad) for all the Zoom conversations you’ve participated in with me. It’s been great hearing about all of your experiences – good, bad, and ugly!


One final reflection