Some 12 weeks ago the ONL course started, and the first topic was about digital literacies. I reflected on that by putting together a graph over my own digital literacies – strengths and short-comings. Now it is time to revisit that graph and see what has happened during these weeks.
I thought by doing this I would have seen a marvelous development and increased skills, but it turns out it is quite the same or less than before. Why? Have I failed? Of course one have to consider that this is a subjective self-evaluation, still, why do I think that I know less, and have fewer skills now than before?
The draw-backs are seen in communication and collaboration (i.e. participating in digital networks for learning and research), career and identity management(promoting myself in digital media) and ICT literacy (i.e.to adopt, adapt and use digital tools and applications). Well, I think it is the classic case of ‘the more you learn the less you know’. You come to realize that what you know is just a fraction of all there is to know, so I have become more humble in these aspects.
However, my skills did improved in other literacies (according to myself). I have improved on media literacy, especially aspects such as to creatively produce academic communication in various media. I also have improved my learning skills, how to benefit from information accessed through digital media.
Accomplished skills (selection of the most desirable): Avatar-provider for my colleagues, tilting textboxes in Prezi, how to create gifs, increased awareness of digital tools to use (I know loads of them), kick-ass meme-maker.
This course has had a positive impact on my creativity, it has awoken my curiosity and increased my interest of finding ways to benefit from digital learning environments. The group work has been rewarding in several ways; we have learned from each other, explored together and most importantly created a non-prestigious, laid-back, warm climate within the group. Even if we have been deadline surfers, exposed clear difficulties on focusing and make timely decisions we have had a great time. The key factor to this is that it has always been about learning, not about grades.
Several studies have found that students often base their self-worth on academic competence as measured by external sources such as grades. This has been found to correlate with more stress, anger, academic problems, and relationship conflicts. From my own teaching experience I have found that poor performing students are left out in group works, since other students do not want their grades decreased or be negatively affected. Therefore is not collaborative tasks always seen as something positive or enjoyable by the students. Moreover, some students link grades to intelligence, where a student that does not put a lot of effort in an assignment and still get a high grade is seen as intelligent. The conclusion is that smart people maximize their grades while minimizing their effort. From an educational perspective the goal would rather be to maximize learning and optimizing the effort it takes.
Thank you for these 12 weeks. It has been joyful, interesting and totally without pressure on performance. I wish this could be translated into the learning environments of the university. Even though grades are an inevitable part of the educational system, I hope we can spark little interest and award in the learning in itself.
JISC. (2014) Developing digital literacies. Webpage: http://web.archive.org/web/20141011143516/http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/digital-literacies/
The Graide Network. Webpage: https://www.thegraidenetwork.com/blog-all/2018/8/1/retiring-the-red-pen-shifting-attention-from-grades-to-learning
Summing up and moving on