During the ONL222 course, I have come to understand that open networked learning and the increasing plethora of useful digital resources can offer great possibilities for instructors and learners alike. This course was inspiring due to the many good theories, ideas and practices shared within an interdisciplinary forum. Admittedly, at first, I expected this course to be unquestionably in favor of openness in the context of massive open online courses. Nevertheless, while the context of MOOCs offers room for controversial debate, I have learned that many of the good practices and resources shared in this course will be very useful for all modes of teaching. My expectations were likely also fueled by pre-pandemic trends which seemed to favour online mode as a more modern and preferred option compared to learning in physical / blended spaces. During the pandemic, many teachers and students have come to understand that fully online mode might lack important social components, causing a sensation of infowhelm and frustration among learners and instructors alike. Now, in post-pandemic times, I believe that all modes of teaching serve a good purpose, depending on the target group, contents, goals and learning outcomes.
As for our ONL222 course, the logical order of the main topics positively added relevant content, which helped me to gain a very good understanding of open networked learning in an international context. Many good pedagogical theories, tips and practices were shared in our PBL meetings and in the webinars, of which I found the Topic 4 webinar with Prof. Robin Kay particularly useful to further improve my pedagogical skills in online and blended mode.
In my opinion, the Community of Inquiry Model and the highlighted relevance of presence in terms of social, cognitive, and teaching presence rightfully emphasizes the importance of building connections with and among learners. In addition, Prof. Kay shared relevant hands-on advice regarding the preparation and organization of online courses, the setting of E-Culture, video creation, and assessment.
For example, I found the advice on avoiding perfection very relevant in our perfectionist times. As for the creation of videos, Prof. Kay suggested that teachers should pretend to have a conversation with one student. The materials should include meaningful titles, visuals rather than plenty of text, and a clear layout. Of course, this is only one example of the many good practices shared throughout this course, which I will consider in my future teaching.
Overall, since we have discussed and shared uncountable examples of useful pedagogical theories and practices, I am left with the incomplete feeling of possibly having paid fragmented attention to many valuable ideas and resources. Nevertheless, I find comfort in the very fact that this is an open educational forum, to which I will happily return time and again, to fill possible gaps and to find answers to other questions.
Finally, I want to thank my team members and facilitators in the Edunauts team, and everyone who made this course a very valuable and worthwhile experience!
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