#ocTEL Week 2


This week’s aims

  • Reflect on the nature of learning and fundamental differences in how learners undertake learning (see ‘If you only do one thing…’ below)
  • Distinguish between the different expectations and needs that individual learners can bring to learning and learning online, and explore the general implications for supporting effective online learning (Webinar, Activity 2.1, Activity 2.2, Activity 2.3)
  • Apply what we’ve explored in the above areas in the design of ‘authentic’ online learning activities that can engage learners in a ‘authentic’ learning experience (Be a TEL Explorer activities)

If you only do one thing…

Approaches to learning

Are you leaning towards one approach in particular on ocTEL, and if so why might that be? Perhaps you are employing strategies from more than one approach?

My natural approach to any learning which I decide to engage with is to take a ‘deep approach’ – anything else would be pointless.  However, that would always be in line with a ‘strategic approach’ – that’s only sensible!  But, in the case of #octel, there is a huge danger that I will veer mostly towards a ‘surface approach’ because of the limitations of time and circumstance in relation to my job role.  Also, I find the amount of time I spend trying to navigate the course also makes a huge dent in the time which is then left for actually acting on the course.  I do wonder if this is a particular danger of a MOOC …

Are learners who tend to take a ‘surface’ approach likely to learn more or less effectively online versus face-to-face?

Well … based on my own hectic schedule, it is much easier to take a surface approach to learning in an online environment where the immediacy and importance of the learning is far too easily pushed back behind other seemingly more imperative deadlines.  And this leads to a hasty scanning of material and pithy responses – such as this one!  I can much more easily be ‘invisible’ in this environment whereas in a face to face situation fear of public embarrassment would drive greater involvement.  And, ultimately, that will certainly result in less successful learning.

How might we encourage ‘deep learning’ in online contexts?

This paper (http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/e-jist/docs/vol8_no1/fullpapers/balancing_economies.htm) provides a really interesting discussion of these issues.  It suggests, for example, mandatory participation in interactive/contributory activities but I am achieving that, whilst still only really applying surface learning to what I am doing.  At this point in my life, I would not register for any formal accreditation because I recognise it is not the right time for me to be undertaking such work; however, for some reason I’ve yet to fathom, it seems that I do not count online learning obligations in the same way, and I am sure I am not alone in this!





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