A few weeks ago, the online PBL trial I organised finished. This was an experiment to explore if online PBL would/could work and how with PgCert in Academic Practice/Teaching and Learning in Higher Education participants from different institutions. The findings are very interesting and I am currently in the process of writing them up and present them during the next PBL Conference at uclan in spring this year. My intention was to create an open online experiment, nothing massive but the intention was to have it open. Well, in the end this didn’t happen. And this brings me to LAK11 (Learning and Knowledge Analytics 11 starting on the 10 of January – still some days left if you would like to join!!! – I was actually looking to ‘recruit’ some of people I know and am now thinking why this seems to be important for me. Maybe it is because it will be ‘easier’ to connect with people I already know, maybe it is to feel part of a small community from the beginning to be together with others on this journey).
Some initial thoughts: Yes, I decided to participate despite the fact that I will be busy and I already sound like the participants of my little trial but this is a reality. Time! However, I strongly feel that we can make time for things that matter. We don’t always take the right decisions but we learn through our experiences or should… I have started skimming the documention of this MOOC and it sounds challenging. I am going to give it a go and hope to connect with peers who feel passionate about learning and engage in conversations with them in the different platforms. Speaking of platforms, I noticed that a number of them are used. And I guess we need to get used to multitask- and multplatform work and learning to get the maximum out of it. But some don’t see it this way. Technologies can be overwhelming and we tend to ‘stay’ with the ones we are familiar with. Refusing almost to try a new one. This however, is not an unusual human behaviour and if we see it as such we might be able to understand it better. In my little online PBL trial, 2 tools were used and findings suggest that this was really confusing for many of the participants and the facilitators. I am therefore wondering, are we ready for that type of working and learning? How can we prepare ourselves better? Are some more ready to give it a go than others? How can we develop less resistance to use new technologies and the phobia we might have? Does using them more, give us the confidence we need to be more adventurous with them?
Another interesting aspect of the LAK11 and the MOOCs in general is the open and public aspect of learning. This is something that I think makes learning more transparent, does give as a sense of responsibility and ownership too. In theory, what about practice? I guess, I will find out and it will be interesting to find out what everybody else is thinking too.
What I like so far? The daily digest! It is always good to be reminded what is happening and how I can engage. Creating a sense that I am not forgotten and making it somehow personal despite the fact that the same message goes out to all participants.