pile of covered books
pile of covered books
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What are the most important things that I have learnt through my engagement in the ONL course? Why? The most important thing I have learned in this course is the use of internet technologies to communicate and collaborate in an educational context. Why? Technology has made teaching/learning much easier compared to traditional class rooms or face to face methods. As ONL learner I became more aware in the use of Web-based pedagogical tools to facilitate learning in an online environment.

How will my learning influence my practice? ONL will influence my practice in terms of overcoming barriers to blended learning by applying these skills I have had to teach students how to learn and collaborate in an online environment. Following this, I am planning to integrate some ONL skills into our MUHAS curriculum for Communication Skills (CS) course which is currently undergoing review. Through integration of the online learning skills into the CS course curriculum students may become more aware of online learning environment, skills and useful tools for collaborative learning. This will make learning more interactive and fun, and will motivate students to learn by themselves and increase their cognitive and critical thinking skills. In addition, as a teacher and trainer, I will design a short course curriculum for a contextualized online network learning for my institution for training other faculty members on ONL skills.

What are my thoughts about using technology to enhance learning/teaching in your own context? In my context, the use of technology has revolutionized the entire learning and teaching processes. The application of technological tools has enabled me to build, distribute and compile information quickly and easily. Learners have immediate access to educational materials at any time and location without wasting time to go to physical locations, such as libraries, to find learning materials. Technology has also empowered Instructors/teachers to assess large groups of learners in shortest time possible through technological assessment tools. In my context where teacher-student ratio is very high, technology has the potential to motivate learners and teachers to actively participate in learning-teaching process beyond physical location and classroom schedules and regardless of big student number.

What are am I going to do as a result of my involvement in ONL? Why? I will try first to do a pilot study using small group of my students and try to expose them to various learning technological tools which I have learned in ONL course. My experience with ONL has helped me become aware of some very useful tools that I may try in my teaching context, including but not limited to Google docs, Padlet, zoom, sway, WordPress. Why? I will use this experience to enrich my classes, make student interested and participate fully in their lessons. The idea is to maximize student engagement into (online) learning activities through asynchronous discussions without bothering about physical attendance for group activities. Another thing is in regards to encouraging equal and democratic participation among my students and give them opportunity to give their views through posting online their ideas or viewpoints. For students who are shy may also get the opportunity to contribute than they could in a physical classroom.

What suggestions do I have (activities and/or in general) for development of eLearning in my own teaching or context? My suggestions are for higher learning institutions in developing nations like Tanzania to take advantage of online education and develop excellent e-learning environment for their learning institutions. The first thing is to develop a strong ICT infrastructure to enable conducting of e-learning possible, to have quality instructional designers for developing quality educational materials – audio, audiovisual and multimedia materials and build capable multimedia studios for just that purpose. Application of technological tools depend very much on a sound ICT infrastructure, which is lacking in many of our Tanzanian Universities.

Topic 5: My Reflections on how ONL will influence my practice