tweet inspired from the final “official” ONL222 webinar #ONL4ever

[Reflections of Topic 5: “Future Practice”]

ONL222 has created many opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing. It also reduced boundaries to learning and collaboration. Over the last 8 weeks, I was privileged to have a front row seat as well as to participate in the process of working together with fellow educators to co-learn and co-create. Self-directed Learning (SDL) was on full display and it was beautiful. This “final” blog post will be bittersweet as I summarise my experience and reflections.

tweet inspired from the final “official” ONL222 webinar #ONL4ever

What I liked (really) about the course

Through the mini-PBL teams, I made new friends who share a similar interest in redefining what engaging learning and teaching should look like. By rotating roles, we all learnt how to facilitate virtual meetings and in the process learned a little bit about each other’s unique cultures.

Through the PBL assignments, we were exposed to a huge variety of tools and creative techniques to present the different groups’ findings. Mind you, these meetings and assignments were all done with participants’ own free time. We also learnt to be resourceful, using mostly freeware and our creativity while working within a deadline.

What better way than to experience it for ourselves if we are to design a better learning experience for our students to collaborate and solve problems in the real world facing resource and time constraints?

Key Insights

Over the course of 8 weeks, I have been exposed to several new insights. Here are my favourite new insights. They are not prioritised because I like them all equally.

  1. The, Community of Inquiry (COI) framework is best suited for Blended Learning.
  2. COVID accelerated online learning but also gave birth to “Emergency remote teaching (ERT)”
  3. Using ,VR mapping instead of the “Digital Native / Immigrant” narrative.
  4. “All young learners nifty with IT gadgets are naturally going to be good at using technology for learning”. Hogwash!
  5. Reusability paradox. Basically, ,the better your Learning Object, the harder it will be to be reused.
  6. Open sharing is good, but a little bit of control is even better. e.g. ONL’s deliberate design in not releasing all content at once allows other learners to catch up.
  7. We can be ,working together, but not really collaborating. Guilty aren’t we all?
  8. Giver’s Gain is real. The more you share, the more you shall receive.
  9. Being ,part of the same cohort does not equate to being part of a community.
  10. Memes are fun and have instructional value. Do it!

A note on Twitter

I joined twitter 12 years ago (OMG its been that long?!) but only this year I really got back into it. While it was recommended by ONL course coordinators, I was surprised not that many are really using Twitter. I made this observation way before the controversial ,Elon Musk Twitter takeover. Nonetheless, I found a few interesting twitter voices during ONL222 and followed them. Check out the latest ONL hashtags if you want to join in the conversation.

If Jacqueline @JHTHoppenreijs is an “old” 8.5 years, then that makes me a Twitter fossil?

No man (educator) is an island

Love this activity of connecting all the different teams back to the hinterland.

Our last group activity was akin to a “Avengers Assemble!” congregation. All PBL groups were gathered in a Miro board for a final battle against the forces of “ERT”, “Zoom fatigue”, “Death by PowerPoint” and “Closed Network”. Sorry, but the superhero fanboy in me just had to squeeze this metaphor in 🙂

This was yet another gem of a large group virtual facilitation done right. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. All participants logged in between 5-10 mins early. Giving opportunity for chit-chat and showing off their ugly Christmas sweaters. Once the crowd was warmed up, our facilitator (Filip) used a simple word cloud, to capture how ONLers felt about ONL222. What I liked was that when the cloud settled, “Fun” was right smack in the middle in a giant font.
  2. Next we were brought on an inter-island tour (*disguised version of a Gallery Walk) to explore interesting things about each island inhabited by strange ONLers. For example we had a team of pirates who abandoned their potatoes and seafaring adventures to become graduates in higher ed. Strange? Maybe. But who am I to judge?
  3. “Strike Scream Run – Bull Eye room” was then introduced. It’s basically a zoom breakout room but with an accompanying miro board to allow us to add stickers at different positions within a Bull Eye (*disguised version of a Four Corners). The stickies placed in the middle are those of highest priority while the stickies placed further away represent less importance. Simple tweak using concentric circles to give a clear visual of how the group prioritises different things in each category / room.
  4. For continuity, Jörg (@joergelp) shared an idea of using hashtags instead of an IT Platform for the ONL alumni to stay connected. Several great hashtags flooded into the chat but my favourite is the one pitched by Miriam (@netzlernen)… #ONL4ever
  5. Lotta (@LottaAbjorn) closed the session reminding participants to persevere with the reflection posts so that everyone meets the requirements and gets a certificate. From which, participants will receive an invite to a Facebook page for ONL Alumni.
Gizeh explaining how each Bull Eye is paired with a breakout room.

With that, ONL222 officially comes to an end. Along the way, my reflections have taken the form of 12 blog posts. Of which my favourites were the topical posts on ,Digital Literacies, ,Open Learning, ,Collaborative Learning and ,Designing for Blended Learning. Heck, at the midpoint (reflection week), I even reflected on “,what it means to do reflection“! How far I have come from having ,initial anxiety with restarting blogging

What’s next?

Obviously, ONL is constantly evolving. The course coordinators will continually tweak to make each iteration better and maintain relevance in rapid changing times. In the post course survey, I added “micro credentialing / badging” and “feedback literacy” into the wish list of new topics. I am also inspired by my PBL group facilitators Mirko & Sinead to rejoin a future ONL run but as a facilitator. They seemed like they enjoyed coming back.

In the meanwhile, I will try out this new knowledge for the next year and gain some additional XP before returning. To ensure that I level up somewhat, here are 5 things I am committing to in the coming months:

  1. Relook at how my blended learning courses were previously designed & tweak them to better support active learning.
  2. Maintain a PLN started from ONL222 and explore collaborative opportunities.
  3. Not to drop out of twitter (again).
  4. Blog on a consistent basis – even after ONL222. Start with Bi-weekly.
  5. Sign up for a new Course / MOOC once a month. Continuous professional development via SDL.

Not sure when our paths will cross again. But if the “,Filip Foundation” (@theinsinuator) sponsorship ever goes through, I hope to see many of you in Singapore for an in-person ONL alumni gathering. Thanks, Filip!

 ONLers... Ass*****!


Benedict Chia

10 Dec 2022

ONL222 Lessons Learnt