… the end of journey… or just the first step

This was the last week of the ONL221 course. This week we reflected about what this course was about, what we learn, the experiences that we shared and the tools that we will bring to our future practice.

Personally, I believe that this course was different that any other online teaching that I have ever attend. First of all, it was evident that ONL221 was a course designed for online teaching, and not just a translation or transfer of a face-to-face course to an online environment (as many of our current online courses are). By mixing live seminars, pre-recorded videos and discussion sessions, we have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge in a flexible way (that fit our different schedules) but also to create a sense of community and real interaction with the rest of our colleagues.

Moreover, the ONL221 course provide me with the skills needed to apply, or even transfer this new knowledge to my colleagues and students, as in this course we not only talk and discuss about online and blended learning, but also we use and experiment with online learning, hence covering all the aspects of the Learning Pyramid (https://www.educationcorner.com/the-learning-pyramid.html).

The question now is: how do I actually apply this tools to my current and future practice? As humans and particularly as teachers in front of a class, our worst nightmare (or my worst nightmare) is to fail in from of the students. How many times have I panicked because the slides are not working or the video that I prepared is not running? Now imagine to extrapolate the feeling to a whole online course where we are trying new approaches?

As I am writing this, it seems that the answer is to apply one change or one tool at the time, but which tool to choose? What if the first tool doesn’t work? How would that affect my future attempts? And the students, do they deserve to act as guinea-pigs for trying new tools and approaches?

In these cases, an online network or community would help. Maybe someone else was already brave enough to try a new approach and could give us their insights. Maybe we could even ask about new ways of teaching or using the tools that we haven’t considered. In the ONL221 course, we created this network with our group and I was able to ask questions and get help, but now the course is over and my network disappeared. Do I need to create a new network from scratch? The idea sounds dauting… but it is necessary if I want to actually apply the tools/skills that I learned in the last few months. So, wish me luck!!

Topic 5: Lessons learnt – future practice