This was not my first visit into the world of online learning. However, it is one of the few courses that I’ve actually completed. I’m very good at being enthusiastic at the start and then drifting off when something else comes up. I need a big scary deadline to keep me motivated and with independent learning you don’t get that.
The course I chose for SWITCH learners to take part in was called Learning and Collaborating. It is specifically designed for college learners so I thought it would be both interesting and informative for those learners that spend a lot of time online but maybe don’t really think about what they’re doing.
I enjoyed doing the course, especially seeing comments from some of the learners in the discussion forums. I felt very proud of how well they were conducting themselves online with such a large cohort of people from all over the world. They clearly have a good grasp of ‘netiquette’.
I was already familiar with a lot of the information in the course but I felt it was presented well and it reinforced a lot of my knowledge. The course taught the subject better than I could have in a classroom, especially with the aid of videos which young learners tend to enjoy and take a lot from. My favourite part was the collaborative activity using an online pin-board, it was interesting to see the artists that people chose to display and reading about the ones I didn’t recognise. I hope the other participants liked reading my entry.
The only thing I really disliked about the course was the collaborative Google docs. I feel I am quite a ‘tech savvy’ person and although I understood the concept of using ‘docs’ I could not figure out how they wanted the task to be done and it didn’t seem to display properly on an iPad. It felt frustrating to leave that task without contributing. I was frustrated that some of the activities opened in the same page instead of a new tab so when you wanted to go back to Futurelearn you had click the back button on your browser or type in the web address again. This isn’t user friendly for those new to online learning.
One thing I learnt from the course was that you can engage with an online conversation just by reading other people’s comments and reflecting on them. This is something I fear I am guilty of; I enjoy reading articles, blogs and other people’s comments but I hardly ever comment myself. It’s nice to know that even by reflecting I am engaging in a small way but I do need to get better at joining in with the conversation.
I would definitely take part in an online course again, it wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last!