So I have arrived at the final blog for the ONL191 course. I would not have been blogging if it had not been for this course. Blogging has helped me to reflect on my learning and it has been enriching to read the blogs of others. The comments from other participants on my blog posts have also stimulated my learning. Maybe I will introduce my students to the world of blogging – or some other way to reflect and share reflections on learning. In the course we have covered four topics: Online participation & digital literacies, Open learning – sharing and openness, Learning in communities – networked collaborative learning, and Design for online and blended learning. This fifth topic concerns reflections on what we have learned and how it will affect our practice in the future.

Being digitally
literate is an ongoing process and it is hard to keep digitally updated in all
areas. I am happy that I got insight into several digital tools in this course,
but I will probably not alter my online courses that much. The important thing
is that students feel that they can master our course platform, Canvas, and the
many things you can do on this platform – and the same thing goes for me as a
teacher. In blended courses I may introduce a few new digital tools to support
collaborative learning. I am a bit cautious however and usually try out only
one new thing each time the course is running. These incremental changes in
courses have always been my way of improving courses, digitally or otherwise.

The topic on openness was an eye opener and made me think about many aspects on openess, as a researcher and as a teacher. One was the use of open textbooks. A whole new world opened up for me! We are starting our new international Master programme in the autumn and I am currently searching for open textbooks for several courses in the programme. The economic burden of buying expensive text books is substantial for students and may act as a barrier for learning. I have found some sites for open text books like Ubiquity Press, Open textbook library, Openstax, AU Press and Open Textbooks, but I guess there are more possibilities out there (any tips are welcome). I have even been thinking on how to transform our much elaborated course materials into open text books. A bit more thinking is needed there, I think.

All through the course the PBL group 6 has been
the centre for my learning. Although not all eight participants could
participate in all webinar meetings (due to time constraints and technical
problems) we our collaborative learning really developed over time. We also had
an excellent facilitator in Kiruthika Ragupathi. Thanks to this our group went
forward in grasping the PBL concept, keeping in contact, finding the direction
and trying out new presentation tools. Even though we did not explore so many
digital presentation tools we sometimes felt that the focus was maybe too much
on the outcome and not on the collaborative learning. So this was one of the
things we learned, that learning often happens on the road to the end product.
We also gradually felt more at ease with one another which made us work better
together. We regretted that we did not use the first part of the course as
intended, i.e. to get to know each other. But maybe it is when people are actually
working together that they get more interested in getting to know the people they
work with, so maybe there is no way around this. I will however in the future
support my students in setting a good working climate and possibilities for them
to get to know each other as early as possible. In conclusion, I think the
ONL191 demonstrated the social, teacher and cognitive presence of importance
for collaborative learning, as mapped out in the Community of Inquiry
Conceptual Framework (Vaughan et al., 2013). In the PBL-group 6 we took to
heart also the emotional presence needed for good collaborative work. This was
the topic we focussed on in our presentation for topic 4.

In topic 4, Design
for online and blended learning, I stumbled on the concept “scaffolding” of
courses. In my blog post I put this a bit haphazardly as equivalent to the
design of courses. There is more to scaffolding than just the design and it is according
to Belland (2017) the supporting activities that goes on when students are
carrying out a task or solving a problem. So it is not e.g. instructions given
before the task. As I am very interested in how to design courses to promote
in-depth learning I think scaffolding is something I need to study further.

All in all there
are many things I take with me from this course and which will influence how I
carry out online and blended courses in the future. Maybe the most important
thing is however the continuing meetings in the PBL-group, as we have decided
to keep on meeting once a month. I look forward to these meetings!


Belland, Brian, R (2017) Instructional Scaffolding in STEM Education. Strategies and Efficacy Evidence. Springer

Vaughan, N.D. Cleveland-Innes, M., Garrison, D.R. (2013) Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press.

The end is near……