Photo by Garidy Sanders on Unsplash

What lessons have I learnt by partaking in this ONL191 course?

I have learnt a number of very pertinent lessons during this course, some of which I sort of expected and others were totally new experiences. To start with, one of the major lessons I have learnt is exactly what a community of inquiry is and how powerful and beneficial group work is. Even though I have regularly used group work with my students, my participation has revived my experiences and made me very aware that, to maximise the learning experience, participants have to be one hundred percent committed and passionate about their contributions in all group activities. Even though participants may withdraw for whatever reason, the group as whole continues with the strong participants carrying the momentum forward. Also, participants have to be punctual for collaborative/synchronous meetings and stick to submission dates with their contributions. Another important lesson I have learnt is the absolute necessity of writing reflections on work done. This process really made me think about what I had learnt in each topic we covered. During this wonderful journey I’ve learned how to create a blog after initially spending quite a few hours trying to get to grips with WordPress. I’ve also learnt how important a blog is as a lecturer/blogger and how to update and post/publish reflections on my blog.
I have learned many new, important to understand, terms, acronyms and abbreviations such as: openness; layers of openness; MOOCs; OERs; OEPs; CC licenses; Zoom; Prezi; Padlet; PLNs; CoI; CL and scaffolding framework for collaborative learning. Lessons are that as the use of the internet for collaborative online learning is developed, there will always be new acronyms and terms to get to know and which is part of this new digital world we encounter every day.
Finally, I have learned that in a moment my digital literacy can change from being a resident/native to a complete visitor/immigrant, and everything in between!

Photo by Garidy Sanders on Unsplash

Future Practice
I have been using electronic circuit simulation software in my course offerings since 2000. However, I will definitely integrate and make use of much more online collaborative work in my courses. I will definitely be using Zoom in place of Skype for synchronous meetings and encourage my students to embrace the undeniable advantages and the opportunities for an enhanced learning offered by group work.
I have to retire, in June next year, from my present position as a faculty member of the department of electrical engineering at the university where I have been lecturing for the past 32 years. Thereafter, I will endeavour to enter the world of open online education by offering my 46 years of experience and expertise in the field of electrical/electronic engineering to interested organisations worldwide so that I can continue to make a contribution in an area which I love, that is in open online education.


  1. NMC Horizon Report 2019 https://library.educause.edu/resources/2019/4/2019-horizon-report
  2. Hrastinski S. (2009). A theory of online learning as online participation. Computers & Education, 52(1), 78-82. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2008.06.009)
  3. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/digitalliteracy/home
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_literacy
  5. Jenkins, Henry (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (PDF). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.