Different aspects of openess

It has been hard for me to fully embrace the openess-gospel that is preached within the ONL-course. After a morning Adobe-session with my PBL-Group this morning, I tink some important pieces of the puzzle to why came to place.

If I deconstruct the Openess into the following parts it makes better sence:

  1. Open in terms of me as a teacher using OER (Open Educational Resources), Pictures (CC-licences e.g.) and other stuff to improve my teaching and create more time to interact with my students, instead of one-way communication in form of lectures for 140 students in a room where only one person (me) can speak because of the need of a microphone.
  2. Open in terms of me as a teacher sharing my work with others. I think I’m quite good at this as a researcher (using open access publishing, posting pre-accepted versions of my work on different sites, etc), but I don’t do anything at all when it comes to the teaching aspects of my work. Here I have to transform the literature and “gospel-preaching” in the ONL-course (with e.g. MOOCs and t MIT as examples of how to do it) to my much smaller Swedish context (teaching mainly social law for future social workers) and the sad context of working at a University College with very restricted financial resources. And also, I have to add, students who are very reluctant to even read books or articles in English.
  3. PBL – new perspectives on and in teaching. The third aspect is really not about digital Tools or Openess at all, but about how I can incorporate at least some of the perspectives from PBL in my own teaching – without actually transforming my whole department in to PBL? There is to me an openess aspect here to. Both in terms of being open to do something new or different, and being open in terms of open to change content and form according to my students desires and needs.




Short reflections

Now we’ve moved on to topic 2 in the ONL-course. I think my group produced a nice presentation, but I’m still not sure about what we’re acutally doing and if we’re experiencing some sort of collective learning here. Maybe we’re not even supposed to…but I think that should be one important aspect of PBL, no?

My main concern is that I don’t think we’re working with the scenarios enough. First I have to say that I think the scenarios are not very interesting. I find it difficult to explain exactly why…maybe it’s because they are a bit predictable. For me, they don’t stimulate any brainstorm or discussion. We can of course produce some sort of presentation accordning to the FISh-model, but….well I don’t know…I thought we would work more collaborative in the acutal learning, not only in producing a presentation. For me, there is an important difference. Maybe it’s the digital filter that prevents us from having real discussions. Adobe connect doesn’s work that well. Poor internet-connection, bad sound and your own voice echoing in your headphones…it makes it difficult.

But, if I would try to be a bit more constructive and leave the PBL-aspects aside, this short summary of “pros and cons” on LVS/VLE versus open social media was really useful I think.

Drowning among all fish

The main reason I started this blog was because of the requirements in an on-line course about open network learning that I am attending. The course is divided in several “topics”. Each topic has a specific time. This week is for example the end of topic 1 and topic 2 starts next week.

Each participant is placed in something called a PBL-group. My PBL group has eight members and two facilitators. So far we have had two on-line meetings (in adobe connect). The third meeting is tomorrow and there will probably be a last meeting on topic 1 on Friday.

I don’t feel completely comfortable in the PBL-pedagogy yet. I find it quite difficult to understand what we are supposed to accomplish or do. We have been asked to contribute to common guidelines and other documents in Google docs. I like collaborating on text in Google docs. It feels really efficient, but in this PBL-work we probably need some sort of method to decide what to keep in a document and when it is finished.

We are working in something called the FISh-model. This is something I don’t know if I fully understand yet or maybe it doesn’t work for me. First we should “focus” on a presented scenario. This “focusing” should be documented and so far a couple of members in the PBL-groups have done this. Not me, because I find it….well, I think my brain stops working because I don’t understand the task and I get performance anxiety (prestationsångest in Swedish, don’t know if it’s called that in English). I’ve watched the webinar and read all the texts we are supposed to read…but I still don’t get it. And when two or three persons have written in the document,  it doesn’t feel necessary to suggest more “focus”-stuff. Or maybe….I don’t know.Tomorrow we will have another Adobe Connect-meeting and continue to work with the “investigation” and “solution”-phases of the FISh-model. Maybe some things will be clearer after that.