Author: Vesna Bulatović (page 1 of 1)

Topic 5 Final Reflection


Looking back on the past three months, I realize this course wasn’t just about learning new things; it was a journey that encouraged my love for learning and working with others. One of the biggest things I’ll take away from this course is the power of teamwork. Sharing ideas with the members of my PBL group, figuring out tough concepts together, and seeing different perspectives come together – these experiences were truly valuable. The online community wasn’t just about learning either. We cheered each other on when things got confusing, celebrated successes big and small, and built a connection that went beyond the screen. I’ll definitely miss the support and positive energy this community provided. Another valuable aspect of this course was the opportunity to experience learning from a student’s perspective once more. It turned out to be a fantastic learning experience. I got to see online learning from the other side, including challenges like understanding instructions and staying motivated. This new perspective will definitely influence how I teach in the future.

The lessons from ONL241 will definitely change my teaching style. As I look at my courses starting in October, I’m actively searching for ways to integrate problem based learning activities that will enhance student engagement and make learning more interesting and fun. The collaborative nature of ONL241 was an eye-opener. Working together in unfamiliar online tools and through innovative methods has given me a fresh perspective on course design. I now have a wider range of approaches to incorporate into my classes next semester. I’m excited to explore how I can integrate online activities into my traditionally classroom-based courses. I’m also eager to experiment with entirely new teaching methods that empower students and value their work in unique ways. Furthermore, technology is an ever-present force in education, and I’ve always strived to leverage its potential to enhance learning. Furthermore, I’m embracing a more student-centered approach to technology. Instead of dictating which tools they use, I plan to introduce them to a variety of options and allow them to choose the ones that best suit their learning styles and project needs.This course has further solidified my belief in this approach.

My experience also showed me how important it is to get my engineering students ready for the collaborative nature of the professional world. Tests have their place, but creating a learning environment that encourages critical thinking, working together to solve problems, and using the power of teamwork will be a key focus in my classroom. Being inspired by Wenger’s concept of “communities of practice” (Wenger, 2010) I want to create environments where students can learn from and collaborate with each other.

This journey wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible team behind ONL241, especially the amazing members of PBL2. Thank you for making this such a rewarding and memorable experience!


Wenger, E. (2010). Communities of practice and social learning systems: the career of a concept. In Social learning systems and communities of practice. 179-198. Springer London.

*Photo by Vesna Bulatovic

Topic 4 GenAI in Education: Friend or Foe? Balancing Benefits and Risks

Image created by Gencraft AI, prompt by Vesna Bulatovic

Generative AI is revolutionizing the field of education. Its potential to change the way students learn, teachers teach, and educational content is created is truly remarkable. Studies have shown that generative AI can effectively adapt to each student’s individual strengths, weaknesses, and learning pace, leading to personalized learning experiences. This individualized approach helps to increase learner engagement, knowledge retention, and overall academic performance. Generative AI also has the ability to create dynamic and interactive content that engages students, making learning more engaging and effective. Additionally, generative AI can assist in conducting assessments of complex cognitive performances. By leveraging the analytical capabilities of generative AI, educators can gain valuable insights into students’ progress and tailor their teaching strategies accordingly.

However, incorporating generative AI in education also presents several challenges. Firstly,the rapid development of AI tools in education creates a challenge in choosing the right ones, as the sheer volume and variety of options can make it difficult to identify tools that effectively address specific learning objectives and student needs. To assist educators in understanding and implementing generative AI tools in their classrooms Laurence Holt and Jacob Klein compiled a comprehensive  map of generative AI in education. Secondly, AI tutors learn from data, but that data can be biased, so we need to be careful to avoid unfairness in AI-made learning materials. Thirdly, over-dependence on AI could lead to a decline in critical thinking skills and creativity in students. It’s important to find a balance, using AI as a tool to enhance learning, not replace the human element of education. Finally, integrating AI into classrooms necessitates proper training and support for educators. Teachers need to understand how to leverage AI tools effectively and assess student work generated with AI,  identifying where it may have been used and ensuring students develop critical thinking and independent learning skills.

In conclusion, generative AI holds immense potential to personalize learning experiences, create engaging content, and empower educators with valuable insights. However, addressing issues of bias, maintaining a focus on critical thinking skills, and providing adequate teacher support are crucial for successful implementation. As we navigate these challenges, generative AI has the potential to transform education into a more effective, engaging, and equitable experience for all learners.

To illustrate student perspectives on this topic I’ve included three responses from a survey of first-year university students in Novi Sad regarding their experiences with Generative AI in education. Interestingly, these responses reveal that students share similar concerns with their teachers regarding the implementation of GenAi in education.


  1. AI in Tertiary Education: A Summary of the Current State of Play (2023, September 21). AI in Tertiary Education: A Summary of the Current State of Play – Third Edition, 1-40.
  2. Holt, L. (2024, March 7). A Map of Generative AI for Education: An Update to Our Map of the Current State-of-the-Art.
  3. Are your students ready for AI? (n.d.). Harvard Business Publishing Education.
  4. Ouyang, F & Jiao, P. (2021). Artificial intelligence in education: The three paradigms Computers and Education: Artificial Intelligence, 2, 1-6.
  • Image generated by Vesna Bulatovic through AI generation using Gencraft AI


Topic 3 The Power (and Challenges) of Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is seen as a valuable approach that promotes critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the development of 21st-century skills such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability. As a university teacher for more than twenty years, I’ve seen firsthand the incredible benefits of collaborative learning. It’s not always easy to implement, but when done right, it can transform the way students learn and retain information.

Since I teach English for specific purposes in large classes (100 – 150 students) I often use group work in my teaching. Students work in small groups on their research projects, digital storytelling, and presentations where they have to search for the literature, analyse, discuss, and finally propose potential solutions for their task. Student group work can also involve various activities that include exchanging ideas and materials, choosing tasks and strategies, peer review, collaborative writing, and working on joint projects. One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered is ensuring equal participation within groups. Students can sometimes become too focused on the final goal, forgetting the importance of the process itself. This can lead to missed opportunities for critical thinking and shared learning. To address this, it is important to provide clear guidelines on roles and responsibilities within each team, and use peer assessment tools to encourage students to hold each other accountable for their contributions. Another challenge is the issue of free riders – students who don’t participate actively in group discussions or contribute their fair share of the workload. To address this issue, I use a variety of group activities and assignments that require individual accountability within the collaborative setting. This helps ensure that everyone is engaged and learning.

Furthermore, collaborative knowledge construction can happen not only while solving problems but also in open discussions on asynchronous discussion forums. The application of asynchronous communication in teaching academic writing allows students to carefully read the posts of other students, critically reflect on their statements, and then formulate and articulate their own ideas before writing them on the forum. Participation in discussion forums also gives students the opportunity to focus on the linguistic features and structure of discourse, unlike traditional classroom discussions where there is often not enough time for further reflection. In addition, interactive environments and collaborative learning contribute to better achievements and deeper knowledge retention. Virtual collaboration allows students to utilize their knowledge of argumentation, information selection, synthesis, and analysis, which results in the development of higher-order skills. These skills are best developed through interaction and reflection among students, thus shifting the responsibility for learning from the teacher to the students themselves. Finally, students who struggle with public speaking often feel more comfortable during computer-mediated communication compared to classroom discussions. This sense of anonymity encourages them to ask questions and participate in the discussion without feeling hesitant.

However, it’s important to emphasise that while asynchronous discussion forums encourage critical thinking, simply using these forums won’t guarantee students will think critically. The teacher plays a key role in recognising the potential of this medium and in prompting students towards critical thinking and collaborative learning. Furthermore, the structure and organization of asynchronous discussion forums are crucial in realizing this potential. Verenikina et al. (2017) identify four key elements for successful communication in asynchronous discussion forums: engaging topics, clear communication guidance, active instructor participation, and well-defined student expectations. In addition, it’s necessary to carefully organise discussions on asynchronous forums and to familiarise students with the rules of computer-mediated communication, as well as the criteria for evaluating their participation.

Following up on the pros and cons we discussed previously, I asked my students to share the benefits and challenges of online discussions. Here are some of their insights on this learning approach (Table 1).

Table 1. Student feedback on the benefits and challenges of asynchronous discussion forums

Benefits Challenges
It’s possible to work for as long as you need since there’s no time limit and no pressure Lack of need for face-to-face interaction
Encourages creativity because you can choose the topic Lack of socialisation (7 students identified this issue)
Collaboration, good communication, fun, doesn’t create pressure, and you get a lot done in the meantime Some people procrastinate and end up swamped with work at the last minute
Easier communication between teachers and students The platform is not user-friendly
Pressure-free work, possibility to organise my time, team work The possibility of someone else accessing your account and completing your assignments (5 students identified this issue)
Encourages cooperation and socialising, encourages learning in a fun way I find it challenging to comment on other student posts
It’s not boring, interaction with other students through forums makes learning better and more fun I’d prefer to focus more on formulating my own ideas in discussions
For me personally, this is something new, so it was interesting to participate and follow this type of discussion I sometimes struggle with coming up with ideas to write about
Creative and interesting, good interaction with other students, team work I prefer expressing myself through spoken word rather than writing
Learning without stress, doesn’t require all-day studying, work from home  
Frees students from fear and anxiety when they have to present their opinions to a larger audience  
Overcoming the fear of public speaking and presenting in front of classmates  
Improving my writing skills


ÁrnasonH., Creelman, A., EklundC., GrubbeJ., KekkonenT., Knudsen, A., RugeB., & SlåttoT. (2017). Silent learners – a guide.

Johnson, G. M. (2006). Synchronous and asynchronous text-based CMC in educational contexts: a review of recent research. Tech Trends, 50 (4), 46-53.

Lee-Baldwin, J. (2005). Asynchronous discussion forums: A closer look at the structure, focus and group dynamics that facilitate reflective thinking. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education. (online serial), 5 (1), 93-115.

Verenikina, I., Jones, P.T. & Delahunty, J. (2017). The Guide to Fostering Asynchronous Online Discussion in Higher Education.

*Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash


Topic 2 #ONL241 Beyond the Walls: Exploring the Landscape of Open Science and Education

Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

The topic of openness in science and education is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s society. While the benefits are clear, I also have my doubts and dilemmas about how to explore this new landscape. It’s not just about increased access to information and accelerated scientific progress, but also about the potential challenges and ethical considerations that come with it. Openness in science and education has the potential to be both beneficial and challenging. On one hand, it can facilitate innovation, support lifelong learning, and break down barriers. Increasing access to scientific data and information can have a significant impact on the pace of scientific progress and discovery. Openness can also facilitate greater access to education, encouraging learning and the sharing of knowledge. Additionally, it can promote transparency and accountability within the scientific community, leading to greater trust and credibility. However, it is important to consider the potential risks of openness, as they cannot be ignored. There are ethical considerations such as issues of privacy and confidentiality, as well as the potential for exploitation and misuse of scientific knowledge. How do we ensure that openness remains a force for good, rather than a source of confusion and misinformation? Is it possible to create a society that promotes a culture of responsibility and accountability, grounded in principles of transparency and ethical conduct?
The concept of openness reminds me of a vast library system, with each book representing a piece of knowledge waiting to be discovered. Some libraries are private, accessible only to a selected few, while others are public, open to everyone who wants to explore their shelves. I remember spending hours lost in my local library as a child. Browsing the sea of books was exciting, yet a touch intimidating. This experience perfectly describes how I view openness in science and education – a vast and astonishing library teeming with knowledge.
In the past, scientific knowledge was often guarded within the walls of private libraries, accessible only to the privileged few who held the keys. Exclusive spaces for knowledge-sharing can create a sense of elitism and celebrate inequalities, restricting the free flow of ideas. Open science challenges this by removing barriers and inviting everyone to take part in the pursuit of knowledge. The goal is to create an environment that welcomes the exchange of ideas and promotes the advancement of knowledge.
I believe researchers and educators must curate and evaluate the information in the domain of open science, just as librarians do with the collections in libraries. Developing critical thinking, information literacy, and ethical understanding are essential for gaining knowledge and understanding. As educators, we have a significant responsibility to share information freely and openly. We must also ensure that the content we share is accurate, complete, and up-to-date and that readers can evaluate the information and use it responsibly. In addition, we should be aware of the risks associated with the use of information, such as plagiarism, mishandling of data, and the spread of misinformation. To ensure science and education are accessible, we must prioritize truth, fairness, and inclusivity. To foster openness in science and education, it is important to provide students with the necessary skills to explore the vast information landscape. This includes developing their critical thinking abilities, teaching them how to assess sources, differentiate between fact and opinion, and promoting responsible participation in scientific research. In this way, we can promote collaboration, innovation, and progress by fostering a culture of openness.
In conclusion, although promoting openness in science and education poses some challenges, the benefits are clearly visible. It speeds up progress, creates a shared space for learning and growth, and encourages collaboration among researchers and scientists. By embracing openness and working together to follow the rules, we can maximize the full potential of science and education, creating a more informed and curious society, and building a better future for all.


Cronin, C. (2017). Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(5), 15–34.

Hafiz Muhammad, Adil., Anjum, Shahbaz., Sultan, Mussarat., Ashiq, Murtaza & Rafiq, Muhammad, (2022). Open education resources’ benefits and challenges in the academic world: a systematic review. Global Knowledge Memory and Communication 73(1)

Topic 1#ONL241 Finding My Place in the Digital Ocean

Fotor AI, prompt by Vesna Bulatovic

Last week’s webinar inspired me to question myself, am I a digital Resident or a Visitor? White and Le Cornu’s framework suggests that Visitors view the web as a toolset, while Residents see it as a community – a place to connect and share with others (White & Le Cornu, 2011). I use various platforms and tools in my private mode, but I rarely dive deeper, hesitant to leave a lasting “footprint”. This got me thinking – how does my private digital identity compare to my role as a university teacher, where I actively use technology to connect and collaborate with my students and colleagues?

As a university teacher, I navigate various platforms with ease, using educational technology like Microsoft Teams and Moodle to connect with students and share resources with colleagues on platforms like ResearchGate and LinkedIn. I feel quite comfortable, almost at home in professional waters, sharing knowledge and resources. However, on social media, especially in comment sections, I worry about misinterpretation or being perceived as someone with less knowledge or outdated. I admit I’m comfortable posting on Instagram, as my profile is private and accessible only to my family and friends. This might seem contradictory to my openness in professional environments, and I am aware that I haven’t yet fully explored the interactive potential of social media. At present, I can say that I’m a capable swimmer, but I also recognize the fact that I need to push my boundaries and step outside my comfort zone to become more proficient. Perhaps engaging in meaningful online dialogues, even with the risk of judgment, could be a valuable step forward.

So, am I a seasoned diver or merely a snorkeler in the digital age? Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in between. White and Le Cornu (2011) also suggest that someone might be a Resident in their personal life but a Visitor professionally or vice versa, switching between Resident and Visitor approaches online depending on the context. By acknowledging my current limitations and trying to push my boundaries, I hope to evolve into a more confident and impactful digital citizen, both personally and professionally. As Beetham and Sharpe (2010) say, digital literacy is a journey that starts with basic abilities evolves into advanced skills, and even shapes our identity. After all, even experienced divers started somewhere, and the best way to learn to swim is to take the plunge.



  1. White, D. S., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and Residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16 (9).
  2. Beetham, H., & Sharpe, R. (2010). Rethinking Learning for a Digital Age. Routledge.

Connecting week

Hello everybody! My name is Vesna, and I am an English teacher at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia. I have a great love for nature, and I enjoy spending time outdoors. Although I’m not much of a morning person, I always start my day with a cup of espresso and soak up the morning sun.  I am excited about meeting the other participants of the ONL course. #ONL241

Hello world!

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!

Through this blog, I will share insights, experiences, and practical tips gained from my journey through the ONL241 course#ONL241. I invite you all to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions in the comments below each post. Let’s make this digital space a place where we can all learn and grow together.