Jo's reflections

Engaging Minds, Embracing Change: Jo's Reflections on Online Open Education

Reflections on Collaborative Learning about Collaborative Learning


Collaborative learning has always been a topic of interest to me, despite having yet to learn much about it. It had more to do with what I was trying to achieve regarding students learning about research and acquiring the skills that proved too challenging to grasp.

Having gone through an education system mainly based on lectures and theoretical content, I have always felt I needed more experience and tools acquired through practice.

Therefore, the scenario presented to us was thought-provoking, as it challenged the traditional notion of collaboration as merely a means of distributing workload.

Personal Experiences

In my experience as a teacher, I have always strived to foster collaboration among students. I recall guiding students through various phases of research projects designed to encourage collaborative learning as they learned or perfected multiple skills. The journey was filled with both successes and challenges. Successes were evident when students engaged in meaningful discussions, shared ideas, learned from each other, and produced reports and poster presentations at the end of the course. However, the challenges were equally prominent. One of the significant difficulties I faced was encouraging students to interact more and discuss instead of just dividing the sections among themselves. Some students preferred working individually, while others needed help contributing effectively to the group work.

Group Discussion

Our group had a rich discussion about our experiences, or lack thereof, in implementing collaborative learning. It was interesting to note the similarities and differences in our experiences. Some of us had similar challenges, while others brought unique perspectives that broadened my understanding of collaborative learning. These two weeks were a living experience of collaborative learning, with lots of digging, questions, and many more perspectives that sometimes confused us.

Learning from the Scenario and Research

Reflecting on the scenario in light of these discussions, my personal experiences, and recent research findings, I have gained a deeper understanding of collaborative learning and its complexity. It is not just about dividing tasks compiled in some product but about building a learning community where everyone contributes to and learns from the process. It’s about influencing students’ capacity for collaboration beyond the course. Recent studies have shown that collaborative learning and the need for cognition significantly predict learning satisfaction (Cheng et al., 2021). Students with an ‘understanding’ orientation tend to engage more often in face-to-face and online modes. These findings resonate with my experiences and provide a research-backed perspective on collaborative learning.

Future Implications

This reflection has reinforced my belief in the importance of collaborative learning and has given me insights into implementing it in my future teaching practices. I am now more committed to creating learning opportunities that encourage students to work together and help them recognize the value of becoming part of a learning community. The topic, sources provided, sessions, and discussions opened many more perspectives and possible strategies and solutions for my future teaching.


In conclusion, this reflective exercise has been valuable in my professional development. It has deepened my understanding of collaborative learning and highlighted the importance of reflection in enhancing teaching practices.

Embracing the Digital Shift: Navigating the Complexities of Online Teaching and Learning

Embarking on our journey with ONL24 has proven to be an enlightening experience, particularly as we delve into the complexities of online participation and digital literacies. The discussions within our group have been rich with diverse perspectives, reflecting the varied experiences and challenges faced by educators worldwide.

The pandemic period forced a rapid transition to online learning for educators at all levels, prompting many to confront their fears and limitations regarding technology. While this shift was undoubtedly challenging, it also served as a catalyst for growth and adaptation. For those like myself, who have always embraced technology in my personal and professional life, the transition also brought along some difficulties and anxieties but, undoubtedly, offered an opportunity to explore new pedagogical approaches and digital tools.

Yet, as we navigate the complexities of online teaching, we encounter many challenges beyond mere technological proficiency. The dynamics of student engagement, the efficacy of online assessments, and integrating digital resources into curriculum design are just a few examples of the multifaceted issues that educators must grapple with.

Moreover, the rapid pace of technological advancement requires that our understanding of digital pedagogy is continually evolving. What worked yesterday may be ineffective today and obsolete tomorrow, requiring a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development. However, this dynamism makes online education exciting, as it presents endless opportunities for innovation and experimentation.

As educators, we must stay alert to keep up with the emerging trends and best practices in online learning. This requires a willingness to embrace change and a spirit of collaboration and sharing within our professional communities. By fostering open communication and actively sharing our collective expertise and experiences, we can navigate the complexities of online teaching more effectively, thus creating an environment where our students are fully engaged and empowered to learn.

In conclusion, while the challenges of online education are indeed formidable, they are far outweighed by the potential for growth and transformation. As we continue our journey with ONL24 and beyond, I am excited about the emerging topics and discussions. They will undoubtedly create many opportunities to share, embrace new ideas and ways technology provides, and strive to create engaging, inclusive, and effective learning experiences for all.

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