I liken my journey in ONL to be like an aircraft flight.
During take-off, the learning curve was steep and there was slight uncertainty and anxiety, but it eventually cruises during the flight — we became comfortable with each other’s virtual presence, had fun talking and sharing ideas, completing the assignments without much friction (“turbulences”) — and then at the end of the flight, it was a quick landing.
I’d be honest that those 3 months were quite intense (amidst all our other busy work) and it is not for the faint-hearted. But it was worthwhile! We pulled through together because of our group mates’ mutual support and the sense of comradeship. Other than intrinsic motivation to always complete what I had started, extrinsic motivation from the group members kept me going — they had positive attitude to learn, were open to share and actively doing their part in contributing to the group work. I learnt how to communicate and work with group members from different cultures and backgrounds — this experience is helpful in improving how you facilitate group projects for your own students.
Going through this course concretised the learning theories that I had known. My biggest take-away is how the FISh (Focus, Investigate, Share) approach of problem-based learning can be effective and engaging in collaborative work. As much as I had contributed by introducing new tools to my group, I also learned and seen how other groups used innovative new tools.
I’m grateful for all the organisers, facilitators and guest speakers for volunteering to be part of this open initiative. If you are a potential learner reading this and still considering to enrol in future ONLs, go for it! I believe you will be gain much and be thankful for the learning experience.
This is not the end of the many possible new “flights” or learning journeys I may embark on. But for now, I am taking a break and focussing on enhancing my creative skills in content development for blended learning projects.
Tack och adjö (Thank you and goodbye in Swedish)!