For the summarizing reflection I have made some shorter reflections. Before embarking on them, my main reflection has been that this course has given me the opportunity to find a space where I actually can reflect and work together with others on topics I never have time to work on otherwise. My teaching, especially online, is crammed into research, writing, reading, other lectures, and so on. In the past years I have noticed that the hurdle to make changes is increasingly higher each year – I ave wanted to change a case in a course for two years and still have not gotten around to do so. Now, I have some ideas on how to not just switch one case for another, but ideas for how to make the students interact more with the material (cf. Hodges et al, 2020; Kay & Hunter, 2022), how to think about where and when to introduce the peculiarities of canvas, and how I could incorporate more tools that can make the students work better together.
However, on to the reflection topics. I have answered the questions in order:
I’ve experienced being a student again
The most important thing I have learned is my experience throughout these 12 weeks. I am still fairly junior as faculty but it is over a decade since I last was a “proper” student. Taking courses as professional development is not necessarily the same, in ONL I have been able to work as my students would if they were taking the course. That has been very valuable to me, as a learning experience and as a starting point for reflections.
I have found interesting tools and thoughts to incorporate into my teaching next semester
By working together in tools and through methods that were mostly new to me I have a new palette to use when I prepare the coursework for next semester. I feel more confident in incorporating hybrid elements in classroom based courses, but also willing to try new methods to teach and value my students work.
Using technology is to unprecise to be able to say something, technology is an inevitable part of asynchronous online teaching.
I think it is difficult to have thoughts about this in the end. Technology is part of teaching in my own context, in so many different ways and I try to always use it to enhance teaching. What I do think I can reflect on is the idea of online collaboration as a sociomaterial assemblage (cf. Orlikowski, 2007), where the technology involved is also acting and therefore can act to help. My thoughts are that I want to work to create more communities of practice (Wenger, 2010) when my students work together, and that I my assignment is to choose technologies and then allow the students to use these to help them with their work.
I am going to do some changes in my existing courses with regards to how I meet my students and how I engage them
I am going to make some changes already in the courses beginning in january 2023. For example I want to incorporate different aspects of the LMS (Canvas) into different assignments, so that using the LMS will be part of the skills the students take with them – this comes from not assuming that my students know how to use the LMS before beginning. I also want to incorporate more interaction, especially with the content, and allow my students to use a greater variety of online tools.
More knowledge and different norms surrounding eLearning would be a general improvement
As I have brought up in previous posts, most of my students work while taking a course as professional or personal development, and they often expect the coursework to be solitary and that they can pace it (or choose not to pace it) themselves. Including extensive group work has been a challenge at times, and I think this is partly the reason. One of my hopes is that as eLearning becomes more mainstream even in my university, it will be less assumed that just because a course is given online it will be solitary work. This is however a change in norms and expectations that will take time to develop.
Hodges, C. et.al (2020). The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning. EDUCAUSE review.
Kay, R., H. & Hunter, W. J. (Eds.). (2022). Thriving online: A guide for busy educators. Ontario TechUniversity
Orlikowski, W. J. (2007). Sociomaterial Practices: Exploring Technology at Work. Organization Studies, 28(9), 1435–1448.
Wenger, E. (2010). Communities of practice and social learning systems: the career of a concept. In Social learning systems and communities of practice (pp. 179-198). Springer London.