Topic 5: Personal Reflection – The Road Less Travelled*

With relief and with regret for me, ONL222 came to an end with the final webinar on the 9th of December 2022. Relief because I had been stretched with balancing ONL with my work which was especially demanding towards the end of the semester (with grading final papers, meetings and administrative tasks). Regret because I knew I was going to miss the wonderful regular learning and sharing with colleagues from all over the world. We have been invited to reflect on our ONL journey and what better way than to use the questions suggested?

  • What are the most important things you have learned through your engagement in the ONL course? Why?

Of course, I learnt about new digital tools and platforms from the webinars and PBL discussions. But the most important takeaways for me are perspective, attitude and identity. Prior to Topic 1, I had always thought of myself as a “digital alien”. But after that, I adjusted my lens to view myself as “resident” or “visitor” of the different technologies. From my PBL groupmates and (co-)facilitators, I learnt their positive attitudes towards technology and saw their skills in handling the various tools and media. I became a learner again, about PBL, open learning, PLNs, collaboration, community of inquiry, blended learning, course design, etc.

  • How will your learning influence your practice?

My learning should and will influence my practice. Already, I am thinking of how I can be more open and generous in sharing my research and teaching. For my book published in 2019, should I take up the publisher’s suggestion to make it an open access resource? That will be costly but it should be worthwhile. How can I go on learning and exchanging knowledge in pedagogy and technology? How will I build my PLNs and learning communities? Can I incorporate PBL and COI in my course design and facilitation? How can I encourage authentic collaboration, active learning and deep engagement among my students? How about the Seven Principles of Blended and Online Learning? I don’t have all the answers to these self-directed questions yet, but I hope to go on seeking.

  • What are your thoughts about using technology to enhance learning/teaching in your own context?

I should not lose the positive attitude of exploring new technology nor the courage of learning to use new tools and platforms. Even as I transition from full-time service to adjunct teaching in my university next year, I hope to leverage more technology to better design and facilitate my modules. Although it is the road “less travelled” for me so far, I should not leave it for “another day”* for that can make “all the difference”*. I will have to explore ways and means, and even leverage support to continue down this road.

  • What are you going to do as a result of your involvement in ONL? Why?

I am not entirely sure yet but will keep the principles in mind when I design and teach/facilitate my modules. Hopefully, this will lead to, among other things, pedagogically sound course design and facilitation (teaching presence), active learning and deeper engagement (cognitive presence), and meaningful interaction and authentic collaboration (social presence). The principles of PBL should feature too: learning should be contextual, constructive, collaborative and self-directed.

  • What suggestions do you have (activities and/or in general) for the development of eLearning in your own teaching or context?

Again, I will need more time for reflection on this but, for a start, greater encouragement and promotion of the principles of elearning or blending learning among staff and students would be a good thing. Perhaps the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning (CDTL) in NUS can lead the way to create greater awareness in our university.

I am very glad that I signed up for ONL222 (after having heard about it about a year before). My hesitation had to do with my time and work commitments as well as my unfamiliarity with digital technology. But I am grateful for the warm welcome into the ONL community. Alan and other colleagues in NUS, my facilitators and co-facilitators, and my groupmates in PBL5 and PBL3 have been very supportive and encouraging. I find myself enjoying and looking forward to the meetings and webinars. I do hope to continue networking and to stay connected. When I move into adjunct teaching next January, my new email address is I look forward to continued interaction with you all.

* Quoted from the poem, The Road Not Taken, by ROBERT FROST


Frost, R. (1915, Aug). “A Group of Poems“, The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved 2022, Dec 29 from

Kay, R. (2022, Nov 22). Thriving Online in Higher Education.

Uhlin, L. (2022, Nov 29). Problem-based learning-back to the basics!! [PowerPoint slides]

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Conceptual framework. In Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry (p. 17). Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University Press.


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