As a student

  • Describe your prior experiences as a learner in this program. What did you like? What didn’t work? What haven’t you seen that you would like?
  • What is NGL? What do you currently know about it?
  • What have you previously learned that is related to NGL?
  • How have you previously performed your student role? What practices and tools do you use? How do these fit with the idea of NGL and what you know so far of this course?
  • What do you want out of this course? What aren’t you seeing from the course that you’d like to see? (from Networked and Global Learning Blog Week 1)

What I liked were the virtual classroom sessions as it allowed people to engage with each other in a more natural way, using body language, tone, gestures etc. This is far more appealing to me that reading a plethora of discussion board posts.

What didn’t work for me were the discussion boards, there were too many of them and they were too cumbersome to navigate. Only a few people would engage with them and unless they were required for assessment, most people did not engage with them. They also did not allow any development of identity which the virtual classroom did allow.

A note on my thoughts on identity from the reading:

In the reading by Jawitz (2009) about identity creation via participation and agency in the workplace communities I can see how these kind of communities will build a person’s identity and continue to reshape it. How can this be replicated in an online course where a community only exists because a group of students is doing a course together? As soon as the course finishes the relationship ends.

Thus far I have been unable to sustain relationships with people via the online courses. This does not mean I have not learnt but I don’t think my identity has drastically changed. Mainly I find online courses lonely, unconnected experiences where the learning occurs in private. The social engagement is completely lacking, there is nothing to bind the students together but the course.

What I would like to see in an online course is for a way for students to connect. For example, we could all attend an intensive on campus, much like a conference. I understand that this would be a huge commitment as people are so distributed. I just don’t believe real connections can be forged without meeting people.

Networked and Global Learning is something I know very little about. Although I think that we all learn via networks/communities that we have/create via our work, personal and social lives. Learning also requires time for reflection and solitude. What I have learnt previously in my social, work and personal life has been reflected in the courses that I have partaken in. I have used my face-to-face interactions with my work colleagues, family and friends as the missing link in my online learning experience. As there are no face-to-face interactions or real relationship building in online courses, I have drawn heavily on my colleagues, friends and family to supply me with the learning needs that I require.

What I would like out of this course is to be proven wrong about learning online and that real lasting connections/communities can be build between people. I have not seen this so far.

Jawitz, J. (2009). Academic identities and communities of practice in a professional discipline. Teaching in Higher Education, 14(3), 241–251. http://doi.org/10.1080/13562510902898817

3 thoughts on “As a student

  1. The problem you mention “As soon as the course finishes the relationship ends.” is one that I’ve explored a bit in my teaching with the use of blogs that you’re currently experiencing. At least in this practice the technology allows what has happened in the course to live beyond the course. You can see this in the link rolls from past offerings for NGL, and also if you do a search for EDC3100 blog for another course.

    In that larger course, current students are starting to connect to previous students. But my assumptions represented in the software doesn’t yet recognise that. A problem I need to fix.

    But the broader “problem” is that I don’t think many of the new connections formed in these courses continue past the end of semester. In your own words, the tools and the purposes they are used within the course, don’t seem to be sufficient to make it into the students’ PKM house.

    Like

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