Some weeks ago, I started Online Networked Learning (ONL), a university course about online education. This blog post is part of the assignments for that course.
The whole setup of ONL works well with Google Drive, Zoom, web page and so on. A solid team with what seems like good resources and competence around. Also, interesting to meet researchers and university teachers from many other countries.
Confusion and frustration are however also important feelings so far. It's not a full time course, so slow is necessary and good. The course is designed for students to ease into the platforms and resources used. The idea behind that is good, but for me it gets too fuzzy and too slow.
I consider myself a confident resident of the Internet (although my teenagers sometimes point me to areas where I'm at a loss). Apparently, this confidence make me not finding it worthwile to take time familiarizing myself with the tools for the sake of feeling confident of how they work. I have used them all before and believe I know how they work. So, the first couple of weeks, with no concrete study assignment felt like they didn't contribute to my knowledge.
The technical setup is new for the ONL team as well, which has led to some understandable glitches. This has led to comments and apologies from the teachers and facilitators. I have noticed that these comments (understandable as they are) triples or quadruples the time that the technical issue took from the webinar or group meeting. I also think that for a student who don't feel comfortable using the technical platforms, these comments may strengthen the lack of confidence. So, one lesson for me is to make sure that when I do live events online, I will have an assistant responsible for fixing technical issues, and I will work hard to minimize my comments about the technology.
The teaching method is Problem Based Learning, something I have been interested in before but never tried. It has been amusing to see how hard my group, including me, has had (still has?) to get what e are actually supposed to do. I look forward to getting clearer on how this method works and how it empowers students.