We have now worked our way through the first topic in the Open Networked Learning course. And I am happy to be able to say “we”, as I am not alone in this online learning thing. We are a PBL group, collaborating and meeting online and supported by both a facilitator and a co-facilitator.

Already I must say, that no matter how excited and enthusiastic I was when signing up for this course, I must admit that attending an online course while also doing my job, is not an easy thing. Well, nobody said that learning was supposed to be easy – then it probably wasn’t learning – but I do find it hard to put as much effort into this course as I would have hoped to. Both in terms of becoming familiar with the different learning platforms and in terms of studying, preparing, reflecting and actively contributing to the group work.

However I am still going strong in the course, and my reflections on these preliminary weeks circulate around this matter – what actually makes me stay in the course? I have no doubts about this! As first mentioned, it is not about “me” but rather “we”. I am part of a group consisting on people, who rely on me, who are just as confused as me and who are just plain nice to meet with and to discuss with. Even though I might not get optimal learning out of this course, I still get some learning, and I appreciate the discussions with the group a lot.

Getting to know others, socializing and being part of a group is essential to people and to their learning possibilities – not only in online learning but also for our students at campus. I think it is important that we remember this when teaching and especially when teaching in a digital environment. In my work, I am trying to improve the digital supported learning at the university, and the essence of my learning during these first weeks of the Open Networked Learning course is, that it is crucial to remember the relational activities when designing digital supported learning.

So, the online learning has begun