In preparation for my summary of learning for EC&I 834, I reflect on the past semester and the knowledge that I have gained about online and blended learning. Below is a brief summary of the key course takeaways that I have gained in just a few short months.
Chapter 9: Modes of Delivery by Tony Bates was a great way to kickstart my learning in EC&I 834 as it highlighted the importance of considering student needs when delivering course content. As a learning resource teacher, my roles have consistently focused on how to best support students in all classrooms. These include fully online, blended and/or face-to-face settings. As I highlighted in a previous blog, it must be the goal of educators to select the most effective mode of course delivery for the various learning needs/styles in classrooms. Bates encourages teachers to ask themselves the following questions:
- Who are – or could be – my students?
- What is my preferred teaching approach?
- What are the content and skills that I need to teach?
- What resources will I have to support my decision?
These questions directed my online course development and will continue to help guide my teaching practices, whether I work to facilitate online, blended or face-to-face learning.
- Designing an Online Course
The design of my own online course has been a major learning experience for me. From the initial design of my course profile to the final completion of my second module, my Online Counselling for Adolescent Parents course provided me with a great deal of insight into the process of designing and facilitating an online and/or blended course. Specifically, the exploration of Google Classroom as the learning management system as well as the student/student-instructor interactions of my online course. These interactions include the chosen LMS, Powtoon videos, Flipgrid & Zoom.
These tech tools are all topics that I plan to expand on in my summary of learning.
Chapter 4: Methods of teaching with an online focus by Tony Bates was an instrumental article when reflecting on my online course throughout the semester. In conjunction with my peers’ feedback, Bates’s literature encouraged me to acknowledge areas in my online course that could undergo changes and improvements to make instruction better. Based on my classmates’ feedback and Chapter 4 by Bates, the following points are ones that I plan to highlight in my summary of learning as important aspects of online and blended courses.
– appropriate technology
– clear guidelines on student online behaviour
– student orientation and preparation
– clear goals
– choice of appropriate topics
– setting an appropriate ‘tone’ or requirements for discussion
– defining clearly learner roles and expectations
– monitoring the participation of individual learners, and responding accordingly
– regular, ongoing instructor ‘presence’
– ensuring strong articulation between discussion topics and assessment.
- Twitter Takeaways
In my summary of learning, I also plan to highlight two topics that created a lot of conversation through our class hashtag on Twitter this semester and encouraged a lot of self-reflection of my own teaching theories and beliefs. These topics are:
– Mandatory e-learning credits in Ontario
– The banning of cell phones in Ontario schools
Looking forward to producing my final summary of learning for EC&I 834 in the coming week!