It is hard to believe our 10 week ONL journey is drawing to a close, feels like our group has accomplished loads in that short time. Through networking and collaborative learning, my colleagues in our PBL 5 group have contributed to the development of my teaching. My knowledge of online resources has been enhanced as I have gained increased confidence in my digital literacy skills. I hope to embrace more of a blended learning approach when teaching my law students going forward. I need to reflect on how best to achieve this. The timing of this course has been opportune for me with the imminent need to design several modules on a new qualification we have been working on at our institute. Being a student on this course has given me a refreshing lense to see what it is like to be a learner once again. I have truly realised the value of sharing responsibly and openness in learning, right from the initial guidance provided by our patient facilitator, to this week when we have reflected on the lessons learnt from this course. I also believe my creativity and explorative approach to trying new ways to connecting with my students has been piqued, and this excites me for the future.
I learnt that at the start of running an online course, the importance of establishing an effective communication plan with the group members is critical. Clear and instructions that are easily understandable to students starting a new course is also key to allowing them to feel confident in taking the first step in their learning journey.
I realise that just as I was a student on this ONL course, there is considerable value for students to become more active learners and thereby enhancing their lifelong learning skills, which they can take with them into the practice of law. After all, lawyers never stop learning and researching throughout their careers.
The more digitally experienced members of my group were fantastic in providing guidance initially, and sharing their skills. I have gained the opportunity to use a host of new digital tools including Flickr, Weebly, Kahoot, Padlet, Sway, Canva, Creative Commons, MOOC’s to name a few and realise the value of sharing the benefits of these tools with my fellow law teachers, and of course my students. This of course will be an interesting challenge for me in 2017 as the discipline of Law sometimes trails other fields in embracing change.
I also realise that learning in an online space still requires a recognition of the value of human emotion and feeling connected, as this inspires students to be more collaborative in their learning approach. Our group had experience on this when we came up with a script for a play for Topic 3, and had a lot of fun doing this.
I have learnt the importance of incorporating a blended learning approach to my future teaching as this is certainly the space into which the world is moving. Choosing the correct blend of learning activities is also key to the success of any course. Analysing your student group and their needs is vital before the designing of any course even occurs. The benefit of ADDIE and Professor Salmon’s 5 step models are takeaways from this course I would like to explore further at a more leisurely pace.
I will look back on my ONL162 journey with the fondest of memories and know that a path of deeper discovery of digital literacies still awaits me. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity of networked learning and to my fellow ONL162er’s for taking this journey with me.