Topic 5: Over and out

So final week in the ONL-course! We have been asked to reflect on a few questions in our blogs. So this is what I will do in this blog post. Enjoy!

  • What are the most important things that you have learnt through your engagement in the ONL course? Why?

My spontaneous respons is that I hate PBL. I’m sorry, but I do. I’ve never taken a PBL course before and I’ve never teached within a PBL setting either. Maybe I hate group work more than PBL, but it’s hard to say. I think it has been really hard to understand – or rather to reach a consensus within the group – what the group should do (i.e. what the task is) and the form for how to accomplish this task. There is very little room in my work calendar or in my “spare time” to add things when deadlines are not kept for example. Trying to find empty slots in eight different calendars on a short notice for online meetings has been a struggle during the whole course. And when people miss out from meetings, you lose the “flow” in the group work.

Besides my dissatisfaction with PBL, there are of course a lot of content in the ONL course that I find really interesting and useful. In my last blog post I wrote about Bates (2016) and his very useful recommendations for online and blended teaching. I have also been inspired by both the ADDIE-model and Salmon’s five stages model. The need for teacher presence, communication, access to and functional technical tools and scaffolding are aspects I will take with me from the ONL course.

  • How will your learning influence your practice?

It already has! During my course in social law this semester, I used Padlet to let students post questions about the course at two occasions. This was a direct result of what I learned in the ONL course. The importance of scaffolding, communication and useful digital tools available free online. I tried to encourage my students to choose digital tools and be creative instead of just writing reflection reports to me. For next time, I will use more time to encourage them and suggest different tools. Now I only had three groups that used something else than the normal 1-2 pages written group reflections. One group made a presentation in Power Point. One group recorded a discussion and presented it as a pod and a third group recorded a made up argument. These were all excellent examples of how students can work different and make something more creative. I also decided not to force them to do group meetings in the old fashioned way, i.e. meeting up at a specific time. I told them that they were free to decide on their own and for example work completely online. I think most choose to use a blended form. They sent e-mails, wrote in common Google+ documents, and met up in real life and discussed the different topics they worked with. Since some of them live quite far from campus, I think this was useful.

  • What are your thoughts about using technology to enhance learning/teaching in your own context?

I think it’s interesting, but also challenging. For example, we don’t have Adobe Connect at my campus and where I normally do lectures or seminars, I don’t have a working internet connection. This is really frustrating. I also think it is important to use technology when it is suitable, and not just because it is fun for you as a teacher to show that you’ve found something “new” (and most of the time it’s not very new for a lot of your students. The twitter seminars in the ONL-course were a good example of this, I think).

So, that’s it folks. No more ONL course, but there will definitely be more online and open aspects in my own work and my own teaching.


2 thoughts on “Topic 5: Over and out

  1. Hi, very refreshing that you are so clear about your dislike of a PBL structure! We in fact have read a lot about frustrations, but very few have expressed their own! I still think PBL could be something you would more appreciate if you are within a group that has common interest. Lets say in ‘real life’ where you have a common project that you are all equally interested in? Having said that, it still doesnt prevent some of the problems you may have encountered this time. But I would certainly encourage you to not entirely give up on ‘group work’ as a whole. I think groups need critical thinkers and participants that are aware of the problems that may come up in group work. You would thus be a perfect candidate next time, to give the group a head start on developing a structure and outline, guidelines and rules etc to ensure your group avoids some of the problems?


  2. Haha! Thanks for your honesty Veronika! I really agree on the things you mentioned and this PBL-experience definitely gave me lots to think about when it comes to improving group work conditions for students. There are som many details and “what if” and “buts” that could change both the outcome and experience for the participants – but I am not sure that I am able to design that kind of ideal setting. At least not yet. Some more thinking and trying left to do 🙂 Great having you in my group anyway!


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