Sunday, November 2, 2014

POTCert Week 9: Our Students Online

This week I went through all four assigned readings and I found the ideas, results and recommendations interesting and thought provoking but I disagreed with several points not only because of my own experience as a citizen of the web and an online learner but also because of what I've heard from learners and teachers from countries in the Middle East, China, Japan and Korea.

The research and thought behind it is a good start but far from enough to inform the design and delivery of effective online and blended courses. To me they've raised more questions than provided answers as they focused on behaviors and tendencies without looking into the reasons behind them.

Reflecting on the readings, the main thoughts that stay with me are:
  • I must not assume anything when it comes to how different learners may react to, prefer or need in an online course, and definitely not in regards to the reasons behind different levels of performance.
  • As always the best way is to communicate and get to know students and their needs and continuously seek feedback from them on what they find helpful or challenging and why.
  • I must endeavor to provide learners with choices and find ways to provide scaffolding informed by observation, performance reviews and feedback.
  • I am interested in educating learners on how the use of technology may be affecting their learning abilities and habits and I would like to include some tools and activities to teach them skills such as mindfulness, that can counteract the negative effects of distracting technology. 
My wish list 
  • Educational and research institutes conduct more extensive and in depth studies not only of what happens and what are the tendencies and preferences but most importantly of why?
  • Researchers in the educational field should benefit from the latest neuroscience discoveries and perhaps initiate some collaboration to better understand the effects of the patterns of using the technology and how to create learning environments that are brain friendly.

FQA and Online Learning Readiness Survey
Thanks to all my co-learners who posted their FQA and Surveys I realized how different the focus of those two tools can be from course to another.

Looking at the online learning readiness as a learner and also as a trainer inspired me to explore other examples from different educational institutions.

Here's an Online Readiness survey that I started on Google Forms. The questions and type of answers are just examples that I used to try out the different options but also different ideas of core or generic questions that can apply to any type of online course.

This is the start of a FAQ for a blended Train the Trainer course

Edited 3rd Nov 2014 after reading Brian's post I was inspired to try embedding the survey here. It worked but doesn't look right as I had created it as a stand alone. To embed it I will have to make it a simple form without any theme. I am glad I learned this here thanks to Brian Whitbread and other co-learners who tried things I learned from.

Yay found a way using html to make it look better.

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