Reflection: evaluation of content

How does the content of my flexible learning experience contribute to meeting my identified needs?

Let’s recap what my needs were (in bold) and my evaluation below:

My purpose

🙂 to experience a course that was specifically created to be taught online by a team of experts on a conceptual topic

Yes, this was achieved by choosing the Think101: The science of everyday thinking course. The course was professionally delivered with 22 experts as well as the 2 course instructors. The online teaching method used learning principles that can easily be applied to a less flexible face-to-face course. Indeed the course provided a sample of how the course was delivered in a face-to-face environment:

🙂 to enable evaluation of the course for the Assignment 2 in the Designing for Flexible Learning course

Yes, not only was I able to evaluate the course on it’s content but also it’s design. Both the content and design will enable me to better design courses in the future.

🙂 My skills & knowledge

  • review and (re)design higher education courses
  • good technical skills
  • ability to learn independently (self-directed)

Yes, I was able to use my existing skills and knowledge and apply this to the course. Not only that, my skills and knowledge were tested during the course and I had to adjust my thinking.

🙂 My expectations

🙂 to see if environments can be designed where people learn how to think and learn

Yes, with the caveat that you still need to be self-directed, motivated and willing to put in effort to succeed.

🙂 to experience an online learning environment created by a team of experts

Yes, I was introduced to the EdX learning environment and I have an understanding that the course was created as a very collaborative effort – expert interviews, high-quality video, online activities, navigation, video captions and scripts

🙂 fully online course that is self-paced

Yes, although it would have been useful if the external links were changed in colour once visited, as I navigated back and forth through episodes and would forget which links I had already been to

🙂 ability to re-use design ideas and concepts

Yes, biggest gain here was the ability to not just use the design ideas but also the concepts of how people think

🙂 no credentials required

Yes

🙂 access course through internet on laptop and mobile devices

Yes, I only accessed the course using my laptop. Three links to external content did not work any longer.

😐 variety of mediums and teaching approaches

Not really, main teaching methodology was video interviews. Quizzes and discussion boards as summative and formative assessment. Limited variety in teaching approaches. Ironically this was something that was brought up by a video interview with Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out↑. Richard Feynman pointed out that he tried many different teaching methods over the years as he found that no one approach would suit everyone. So it is best to have many different approaches. This relates strongly to using Universal Design for Learning principles in course design.

🙂 highly rated course by other students

Yes, this was evident in the initial search and selection of the course but also by scanning the comments on the weekly discussion boards.

🙂 not a ‘how-to’ course

Well, some skills are provided in the course that can be applied – such as desirable difficulties and the 6 lead questions that help you to change your and other people’s minds. The main thread of the course is how to apply scientific processes to everyday thinking.

🙂 free

Yes

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