Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

This journey started during September 2020 and two months later, it has ended. Nevertheless, it is not really the end, for me is the beginning of a new way of thinking, working, teaching and learning. The course, the PBLs and my ONL group influenced me a lot.

I knew nothing about most pedagogic approaches we have discussed in the course and certainly, they are far from my field of knowledge, which is Chemistry. Stepping out my comfort zone was hard at the beginning but now I gained confidence. I experienced how it is possible to learn something completely new using Problem Based Learning approaches. Both the subject and the approach are beyond my comfort zone, I must admit!

On one side, the course was incredible demanding (note for the organizers, 80 hours is not exactly what it actually takes…). On a personal note, starting a new job in a new University and City, in the middle of the pandemic is not easy. The new job included creating all the material for a course (Organic Chemistry), recording videos, editing videos, uploading lectures, having seminars and live lectures over Zoom, actively answering questions from students, going to the laboratory using a face shield and…on top of this, a pedagogic course! But not only a pedagogic course, ONL202 course, which included weekly sessions, creating content, discussing, learning and even blogging! I definitely learnt how to manage my time! In addition, I learnt how to work on a very different setting.

The digital tools learnt during the course helped me a lot in creating the content for my Organic Chemistry course. I got incredibly familiar with Zoom, recordings, sharing, interacting online. This was new for me. My course is not an Online Course, it is more an Emergency Remote Teaching approach. However, it has the potential to evolve in at least a blended course. Somehow, now I am aware of many tools, approaches, options and methodologies. Moreover, I am eager to apply them in my own teaching.

It was an amazing experience to be in the shoes of a student, overwhelmed by the topics, deadlines, assignments and meetings. In addition, it was completely new for me. When I enrolled in the course, I thought, “I will sit in the back and listen, read later on the recommended readings and upload whatever assignment they ask”. I was so naïve!

Facilitators were sitting in the back; listening and we were working, interacting, developing and creating knowledge in a community. We socially interacted, had fun, work as hard as ever, developed social skills (I am referring to myself!), and learnt a lot! Thanks to my PBL team Erica, Kathrin, Kristina, Maria, Mats, Ting, and the facilitators Anna and Gregor (you are part of the team too!). You made this a beautiful journey!

Personally, the learning associated with being a member of a community, the ONL202 community, was revealing and rewarding. I would like to end the posts related to the course with the following quote:

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”

Hellen Keller

Topic 5: Lessons learnt – future practice