Learning Reflection #1

I’m pleased that I waited to the end of week 3 to write this, as the last week has provided some clarity for me. Or perhaps I should say the last 2 days, as this has been the only time available to put significant time and effort into reading, reflecting and making important connections between my topic, theories on change and the review essay. I guess I’m now starting to see the ‘big picture’ that I was lamenting as missing last week. Writing a bunch of annotated bibliographies this weekend has helped develop my understanding, as well as helping me realise the valuable contribution to completing the essay itself. While I was initially frustrated with the workload, I know that it will mean less time required at the other end.
I admit to being quite frustrated in the first two weeks, as I struggled with setting up the blog and navigating the online course with an unfamiliar structure. However, repetition bred familiarity and I now have a reasonably clear sense of how to navigate to the information and links I need. With another change in the form of the Scenario Planning for Educators (SP4Ed) micro Open Online Course (mOOC) staring me in the face next week, I feel better prepared to deal with any frustrations, confident that understanding will come over time if not immediately. I’m enjoying writing my blog posts now and getting feedback. I like how all my important ideas and reflections are aggregated as, in other online courses I’ve done, important contributions were often spread through a number of discussion forums. The downside seems to be progressively less discussion in the Moodle forums, of which I’m guilty myself. I’d be interested to know if other participants agree and if they feel it is an issue?
A nagging frustration that I still do have is around my choice of topic, which is the impact on learners and academic advisors of introducing online teaching, specifically synchronous teaching of academic tutorials and workshops. I’m happy that what I’ve chosen is relevant and, with feedback from others, become progressively focused and specific. However, in the last week CPIT has launched its Technology Enhanced Learning Strategy, along with a raft of technology initiatives including lecture capture, Moodle-based ILPS and the purchase of a significant number of Microsoft tablets for teaching and learning. I know I could probably change my topic, but don’t want that distraction. I guess I’m still bemoaning the need to choose a topic in the first week.
My reading around change theories has been edifying. Understanding Niki Davis’s Arena of Change helped me understand the impact of the online learning environment for us teachers at the ‘coalface’, as well as the increasing influence of ‘people in the stands’ such as other tertiary collaborations. Both the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) and the Learning Adoption Trajectory Model (LAT) are useful models for addressing concerns at different stages of adopting online teaching technologies. This formal approach to identifying and addressing the concerns of individuals as they face change with technological innovations will benefit me not just for this course but in my work role on the Learning Technologies Steering Group, as we discuss introducing new technologies.
So, I look ahead to new changes in week 4 still with some trepidation, but also with the confidence of knowing I’ve addressed (most) concerns and developed strategies to successfully get through the first three intense weeks.

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2 thoughts on “Learning Reflection #1

  1. Kia ora Kevin,

    A valuable reflection and agree that waiting till today to post was a good call. For the record – -if you do want to change your topic to align this more with the recent policy announcements at your institution. That’s fine with us. The high level learning on focusing your topic etc is transferable. Your call.

    As with all things, blogging has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages is that you get to keep all the stuff you produce in one place (even after the course.) As you point out, the downside is that discussions are distributed across multiple blogs rather than the forums and is harder to have a threaded discussion. We have attempted to compensate for this by including one or two themed discussion threads each week in Moodle. We’ll tweak this as we move forward to strike the right balance. I see that the UCan Moodle has been down most of yesterday evening and today. Thankfully our learning environments are distributed so we’re not affected too much by the technical outage. I’m sure the UCan tech team are working hard to rectify access to Moodle.

    There has been some method in our madness regarding how we’ve structured the course with the complicated navigation etc. In part this was in preparation for the SP4Ed mOOC which uses a distributed Personal Learning Environment (PLE). EDEM630 students will already have their course blogs set up, be familiar with tagging etc. So the only “new” technology will be using microblogs — for those who don’t have a twitter account.

    Have a great week!

  2. Hi Kevin,
    I love the picture. Very calming.
    I too have found that I have had less input in the discussion forums on Moodle this paper. In the past I have been checking on there more often and making sure I am part of the conversations. I do like Waynes comment about keeping all our stuff in one place on our blog, I agree that this is an easier way to do it. I think that making our thoughts and work easier to access without having to trawl through the forums is awesome, especially the way the paper is set out.
    in regards to your topic. I feel as though there are so many things I would like to research and like you I have felt as though I would like to change and tweak it a few times. I am just looking at it from the point of view that we are lucky to have choice to set our own research, rather than being told what we have to do.
    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
    Thanks,
    Arnika

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