ONL191 is an Online Networked Learning that was developed as a response to a growing need for courses dealing with the use of digital tools for teaching and learning. The course design is based on open, collaborative and networked learning practices and participants explore how a problem-based learning format can be utilised for CPD in an online learning environment.

The structure of the course unfolds over 12 weeks: an introduction week; a second week for members of problem based learning (PBL) groups to get acquainted with one another; and then five two-week periods with each focused on a different topic (Online Participation and Digital Literacies; Open learning – Sharing and Openness; Learning in Communities – Networked Collaborative Learning; Design for Online and Blended Learning; Lessons Learning – Future Practice). Within each two-week topic there is a relatively small amount of content to go through compared to other free online courses/MOOCs in this area (academic readings, videos, other open online resources) an overall webinar on the topic, a tweetchat, and within each PBL group there are a number of online meetings as the group discusses the topic, examines a related scenario, and use the FISh method to analyse and come up with a way of answering some or all of the issues raised in the scenario.

The bunch-o-humans PBL approach in this course was interesting, productive and set it apart from similar courses that I have taken, which usually tend to use the model of providing much more content with a supporting facility for comments providing the point of human contact. I think it scared some participants off early in the course but it made me fully commit to this course, attend regularly, and do the related work as I felt a commitment to the group I was in. I found there was good utility in the PBL model as a basis for CPD activity, and I will consider using it in CPD activities I design for colleagues. The FISh model is also an interesting tool that I have added to my toolkit. The course has also pushed me to start blogging on my professional practice, which is a good or bad thing depending on your point of you. I am not sure the world needed another EduBlog. Finally, interacting with my PBL group has highlighted to me that I know more than I realise about some topics, and that my obsessive hoarding of references, resources, models etc. can reap benefits when I share them in such a community.

I enjoyed this course and recommend it to others ?

Reflecting on an Online Networked Learning course (ONL191)