#fdol131 mid-point or unit 4 thoughts @openfdol

20080807tom0006

Helping others grow. What works?

This was our second PBL-based unit. I can see that the groups are coming closer together now, at least the participants who have been actively engaged in the previous unit. Others have ‘disappeared’ completely. I am wondering if we could find out the reasons for this and when we complete FDOL131, I think we will probably send a short questionnaire to all who registered regarding this. There is now stability in my groups and I think the other 2 PBL facilitators would agree with this also. Commitment has increased, working practices based on COOL FISh seem to work and are agreed and intended learning outcomes set by the groups are achieved. The level of engagement and collaboration is in many cases impressive but also the level of autonomy within my groups. I have stepped back without disappearing completely but I hope that my groups know that I am here if/when they need me.

General observations about unit 4

  • We merged two more groups and now have 4 groups in total.
  • There was a delay in completing unit 3 task and post to the FDOL community space by some groups.
  • Providing feedback on groups work could have been managed better? Perhaps we need more specific guidelines. What is missing are assessment criteria. Groups set their own intend learning outcomes but when asking for feedback, I think we could ask the groups itself to request feedback on specific aspects of their work using David Boud’s feedback classification and specifically mark 2. I think this would resolve the issue of non-existing assessment criteria in this open course.
  • I have noticed that some members of my groups have created portfolios to capture some of their reflections and learning in this course. This was something we discussed during the planning stage as to how much we could expect from participants and we added it as an option to create a portfolio. I think next time, we will make this a recommendation for open learners. While the creation of a portfolio might have added to the complexity from a technological perspective, there is value in creating and using one to collect our thoughts, reflections and learning in our personal space. I would also be interested to hear what our participants would say about this.
  • There is no or limited movement in the general discussion in the FDOL131 community space.

Invitation to reflect
As we completed our second PBL unit, it might be useful to briefly reflect on your experience working together during unit 3 and I am including here 3 questions to help you with this.

1. What did you enjoy most during unit 4?

2. What are the main difficulties you experienced during unit 3 and how did you overcome these?

3. How could your facilitator and group members help you enhance your experience during FDOL?