OLTD 501: Introduction to Online Learning
Evidence: Online Learning Design Model
OLTD Outcome Addressed: Integrate current cognitive learning and brain-based learning theory
The piece of evidence chosen is my Online Learning Design Model. This learning activity involved formulating your personal online learning philosophy and displaying it within a graphic organizer or model. Attention was given to learning theories and theorists that most align with my own perceptions for an effective online learning model.
Creating this learning model was a challenging task because it involved reflecting on what was most important to me as an educator and grounding those beliefs within established learning theories. Understanding how learning occurs and the processes involved has helped me establish how I want my online learning environment to thrive. I was certain relationships would take center stage because we learn better together. Both Social Constructvism and Connectivism theories emphasize the importance of social interaction to facilitate meaningful learning. Our personal connections strengthen our purpose for learning and keep us engaged. Formulating the rest of my online learning model challenged me to look at my values towards assessment, engagement, interaction, content and learning styles.
Investigating Massive Open Online Courses and how they might impact the future of online learning fascinates me. Delving into the Connectivist theories fuels my interest in the future of online learning. Understanding that a huge shift is about to take place where content may no longer be controlled and emphasis will be on learning through social interaction made me aware of the importance of collaborative activities and opportunities for networking within my course studies and outside my learning community.
My strong convictions about taking ownership of learning are reinforced with my focus on inquiry-based learning. Creating a powerful and personal question that guides the learning increases student engagement. Using inquiry-based learning in an online or blended learning environment would empower students to take control of where their learning will take them.
Choosing to learn right beside my students and relinquish my role as “the all-knowing teacher” and replace it with a role of facilitator has been the greatest shift in my teaching philosophy to date. Embedding that we are all learners in my online learning theory strengthens my commitment to practise it in my every day teaching experiences. We are in a fast changing digital age where content and information are abundant and fluctuating. Educators at every level must appreciate that creating a vibrant environment of communication, interaction, collaboration and reflective practises will produce critical thinkers that will be equipped to handle real life and all the uncertainties that may be in our future.
Evidence: The Flip: End of a Love Affair
OLTD Learning Outcome Addressed: Develop and design intentional learning activities suitable for the appropriate environment and the learner
Wright, S (2008, October 8) The flip: End of a Love Affair
Retrieved from http://plpnetwork.com/2012/10/08/flip-love-affair/
Posted by Shelley Wright on Oct 8, 2012 in Less Teacher, More Student, Making The Shift, The How of 21st Century Teaching, Voices
This learning evidence is an entry by Shelley Wright from the Powerful Learning Practise Blog on her experience with developing a “flipped classroom”. A flipped classroom allows students to access content online before attending class. Videos, podcast lectures, articles or Power Points are viewed on the students’ own time leaving hands-on activities and group projects for face-to-face class time. Shelley outlines her experiences with creating a flipped classroom, when a shift began to occur and what her classroom became instead. “When I first encountered the flip, it seemed like a viable way to help deal with the large and sometimes burdensome amount of content included in my senior Biology and Chemistry curricula. So many times in the past I had though what many science teachers must think, “I’d love to do more hands–on activities, but we have to get through the content first.”- Shelley Wright
This blog entry by Shelley Wright was chosen as evidence of my learning because it has reversed my thinking surrounding the use of a “flipped classroom” as to what I initially believed to be the answer to the challenges occurring in my Photography 10-12 Courses. The photography course also has a huge amount of frontloading of information that needs to be learned before the hands-on activities can take place. The issues of student engagement and the delivery of content to the students present the greatest challenges.
Shelley’s classroom never became a fully “flipped classroom”. While some students saw value in watching and re-watching videos, content provided by the teacher was used less and less and more time was spent on students beginning projects where they acquired their own information. The class became student-centered as opposed to teacher-centered. The teacher role was one of facilitator that taught the students how to learn. Skills such as using research tools, finding and evaluating resources, collaborating with peers and reflecting on their thinking were provided. Students no longer relied on the teacher to provide the learning resources; they were able to find and critically evaluate their own resources. This style of student-centered learning fits within my Inquiry Classroom in Photography. The class questions every student would answer would be: What are you going to learn? How are you going to learn it? How are you going to demonstrate your learning? What will be your next step? This is what taking ownership of learning looks like.
Why not have the learning outcomes and objectives of the course outlined the first week? Why not have my students learn the skills on how to learn? Why not have students create a class wiki for photography resources instead of a teacher-provided one? I now envision students working with me to achieve the learning outcomes of the course. They can have a choice over what order they choose to learn the outcomes, how they are going to achieve their learning and how they are going to show me what they have learned. Like Shelley, I see the importance of students learning how to research resources and evaluate their usefulness. If this process is totally provided by the teacher and the students are only ask to absorb the content, they have had the thinking and analysing done for them. Students learn by actively constructing their knowledge. My goal to create an online photography course to be used in a high school setting using a version of a hybrid model will be achieved with the input of my students. Students will take ownership of their learning but with a guide to offer feedback, review concepts and help articulate their thinking. I am empowered to continue with my Inquiry–based learning and take it to the next level with the students joining me on our learning journey together.
Designing intentional learning activities that will suit the learner and the learning environment is a key component for student engagement and success. Creating an online course that only provides content for a student to absorb and later be tested on is not a meaningful way to construct knowledge. Learning should involve activities that are skill based and provide feedback and collaboration. Offering students a choice on how they learn and giving them the tools and opportunities to construct their own knowledge will be the ingredients that create transformations within a learning community.