EDUC 4150

Principles & Processes in eLearning

Section 1 – Online vs f2f

Reflections of an Online Learner

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

1) Reflect on your own experiences both as a learner and, if you have already taught online, as an instructor.

I have had two major experiences as an online learner; successfully completing the Bachelor of Social Work degree through the University of Victoria (2005-2007) and the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP) through the Vancouver Community College (2015-2016). Both experiences at the time of taking them were the perfect experience.

I loved having the opportunity to gain a degree in my housecoat! As an adult learner it was nice to be incognito as far as not being asked time and again if I was the instructor for the class. Have I experience ageism in f2f situations? Yes I have. The online experience gives me the anonymity that I desire. In retrospect and experience, the experience with University of Victoria was not as creative, inspiring or useful in the way the experience was at Vancouver Community College. As far as grading is concerned I love the rubric; it is a fair tool and allows me the opportunity to achieve the level I expect from myself – instead of guessing what the instructor wants you to say in the more traditional setting. The PIDP course gave me more confidence in the world of technology, and in this world I was able to blend my knowledge with creative technology to convey my message. Now I don’t think it is fair to discount my experience at the University of Victoria – for at the time (2005-2007) I felt that that experience was the way of the future…I felt that I was entering the land of Star Trek. 


2) What does teaching online look like for you?

My interest is seniors and issues pertaining to growing older. In my world of social work, advocacy and stage of career I am ready to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. I am ready to share all I know on the topic of dementia. Alzheimer Canada reports that “564,000 Canadians are currently living with dementia” (http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/About-dementia/What-is-dementia/Dementia-numbers). I feel it is imperative that I take my knowledge and share with others who have the desire to learn more on dementia. I have developed a f2f one day workshop for people in the early stage of a dementia, their friends and family, and frontline staff in the PIDP course. Now I want to take it further by developing this workshop as an online course! Teaching for me looks exciting and inspiring! 

3) How do you think that using web based resources will help your particular students learn?

Web based resources help me now! There is so much to know and even the things you think that you might know are fluid; policies and processes can change overnight. Web based resources are vital in my area of work and will also be highly important to learners that will be interested in my online course.


Section 2 – Different Generations of eLearners

Journal Entry #1

Week 2

Different Generations of eLearners:

What do you know about these generations that will be important to consider in designing your course?

OBJECTIVE: What have you learned about working with different generations of learners in an online forum?

The article by Marc Prensky (2001), Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants provides the perfect example of ‘us versus them’, the ‘haves and the have nots’, by using contemporary terms; “…digital natives and digital immigrants” (p.1). Prensky quotes Dr. Bruce Perry by articulating that “… [D]different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures” (Marc Prensky, (2001), p.1). This statement provides some evidence that not only do we have to consider the generations learning preference, there also needs to be an awareness that the curriculum needs to reflect these differences.

Marc Prensky (2001) shares an antidote for the digital immigrant to alleviate statements like “[E]every time I go to school I have to power down…” by suggesting that digital immigrants ought to “…take advantage of their kids to help them learn and integrate” in this new world (p.3). He also reminds the reader that there is a process: “…methodology and content…” has to contain both “…legacy and future content…” which in turn will provide a way of “…learning new ways to do old stuff” (Prensky, (2001), p.4).

Specifically, what I have learned to date is that we all have contributions to any particular topic. In my world I (Boomer) can contribute real life experiences on the topic of dementia; the generations X and Y may have the ability to formulate my experiences in to a base or foundation of work from which they can use to accumulate their own experiences in the dementia world.

REFLECTIVE: How does this fit with your experience? What has your own learning been like related to interacting and learning with different generations?

Personally, I have had mostly positive experiences BUT I did have a challenging experience with an online learner. He was a strong advocate for group work; I on the other hand have had very little positive experiences in group work. We butted heads online. I much prefer collaboration. What is the difference for me? In group work often each member is assigned a “job” and then “we” come together and put the pieces of work together to make a “whole”. What happens when people have not done their “job”? The scenario is quite common and there is usually one person in the group that takes on the “whole” and the group gets the mark, the grade, the reward. In collaboration, my experience has been that there is a give and take throughout the entire process and in all aspects of the project and in the end the project is completed by all group members. The argument might be; why can’t there be collaboration in group work? To date I have not had the experience.

INTERPRETIVE: What does this new learning mean to you? What new insights do you now have? How has your thinking changed because of this learning?

I enjoy Marc Prensky’s (2001) analogy of the immigrant and how the awkwardness of being in a new situation can be overcome IF the immigrant considers the possibility of a “…mind-shift…” (p.5). It will require that the immigrant changes or is open to change in “…methodology and content…” of their topic of expertise (Prensky, (2001), p.3). In fact, Prensky’s article reminds me of Stephen D. Brookfield’s ideology of “muddling; what I learned from Brookfield is that it is okay to muddle, to muddle is to find a way, to find a way is to design a plan and then to execute the plan (p.1). I thought then and I try to remind myself now that it is okay to be in a “…gloriously messy pursuit in which shock, contradiction and risk are endemic…” while attempting to teach other; the Boomer, and Generation X, and Generation Y (Stephen D. Brookfield, (2015), p. 5). The angst about muddling is that you might think you are holding up others, or that you are being judged, or that you might be viewed as incompetent; but if given the time to reflect and accept “…new ways to do old stuff…” (Prensky, p.4) the awkwardness may dissipate and success will prevail.

DECISIONAL: How can this new learning be applied in your online course?

I am excited and inspired to begin this new adventure. I am eager to learn the steps on how to put the knowledge that I intuitively know in the formation of an online course. I am ready to learn from the X and Y generation on how to present the knowledge. I have a face-to-face course that I am eager to convert to the online phenomenon – super excited! Uhmmm…there will be no group work required…just a lot of collaboration!

References

Prensky, M. (October 2001). Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon. MCB University Press, Vol. 9, No. 5.

Brookfield, S. D. (2015). The Skillful Teacher: On Technique, Trust, and Responsiveness in the Classroom. Third Edition. San      Francisco, CA, USA. Jossey-Bass, Wiley.


Section 3 – Challenges/Opportunities

10 PLUS 4 Best Practices

Boettcher, J. V. & Conrad, R. M. (2016). The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

1   Be Present.

Socially – a welcome video

Cognitively – personal goals of the learner

Teaching – a syllabus

2   Create a supportive online course

Video announcements

3   Develop a set of explicit expectations for your learners and yourself as to how you will communicate and how much time students should be working on the course each  week.

Up to date contact list of instructor for learners along with time schedule of availability

4   Use a variety of large group, small group and individual work experiences.

Individual work – syllabus work and independent active learning

Small group – facilitate opportunities for learners supporting learners by way of technology or…

Large group – If geography permits and potluck gathering (Eden Alternative) and/or an online support group for people with the disease, families and friends, and frontline staff.

5   Use synchronous and asynchronous activities.

Synchronous – a Definition of the course – Four Stages of a course – beginning, early middle, late middle and wrap-up.

Asynchronous – within the parameter of the course and aside from any course work that others may depend on you to complete a project – this course can be done on your own timeframe.

6  Ask for informal feedback early in the term.

A interview on Skype! A time to check in.

7   Prepare discussion posts that invite responses, questions, discussions, and reflections.

Discussion board may provide the teacher to ‘validate thinking and experiences’ also provide a time for reflection.

8   Search out and use content resources that are available in digital form.

There are many resources to share. I am now thinking of a particular text that I found helpful and am wondering if it is available as an E-textbook.  

9   Combine core concept learning customized and personal learning.

Initially I am drawn to John Dewey (1859-1952) Experiential learning is a favorite.

Ellen Langer (1947 – ) Mindful learning

I am interested to learn how I might use these two theorists as a guide in my program.

10 Plan a good and wrap activity for the course.

If geographically feasible a potluck; a tactic I learned through Eden Alternative, Dr. William Thomas. Alternatively could we come together on Google Hangout!

11 Assess as you go by gathering evidences of learning.

Survey monkey

12 Rigorously connect content to core concepts and learning outcomes.

Learn more about Dewey and Langer and incorporate the learning of them in to my area of interest.

13 Develop and use a content frame for your course

I look forward to doing this piece as part of my syllabus.

14 Design experiences to help learners make progress on their novice-to-expert journey.

Online support groups!

The blue comments will represent my learning as of April 25. I look forward to seeing how this may change and how I will grow during this program.

(Also See Resources For 10 best practices +4  )


Section 4 – Theories

How will you apply what you have discovered about learning theories and online learning to the creation of online resources and activities? Contribute your thoughts to your blog.

I have been investigating Humanism, initially because I am unable to wrap my brain around why I don’t know much about a theory that coined the term “person-centred”! Carl Rogers was the creator of this term and today we have client-centred, student-centered, and resident-centered…

Not only have I directed my learning towards Humanism but along the way I have also become aware of other theories to strategize with when designing an online course. As mentioned in my recent paper:

Experiential learning in class has been illustrated with a luncheon. Experiential luncheon learners will experience, stigma, shame, intolerance, they will be ignored, not validated, and subjected to passive aggressive staff that are roleplaying this style of caregiver just as one example.

Mindful learning fits well with practicing an anti-oppressive approach; especially when Ellen Langer “…defines mindfulness as having three characteristics: continually creating new categories, openness to new information, and an explicit awareness of more than one perspective” (Boettcher & Conrad, p. 20).

Ellen Langer is now on my radar, as is John Dewey as modern theorists to discover and to study. I will still continue my developing relationship with Carl Rogers.

Example #1

In the spirit of Malcom Knowles an online class taught by the writer using the topic of dementia would be ‘student directed’ for a few reasons; focused topic (dementia) and a focused group of people (people in the early stages of a dementia, their family and friends, and staff that may work in a residential setting that serves this group of people). As mentioned by Merriam and Bierema (2014) this topic of dementia could be ‘situation dependent’ in that a child or youth may want or need to know more about what is going on with their grandma or grandpa.

Example #2

The interactive model as explained by both Merriam and Bierema (2014) is perceived as having the perfect model for how the writer envisions herself to teach learners of dementia. Examining the terms of dementia, the types of dementia, the stages of dementia and reflecting how this knowledge of dementia applies to their personal experience. The group of learners that may want to gain this knowledge or develop skills that are offered, the learners are anticipated to come with anticipation of learning or confirming dementia knowledge, it is also hoped that the learners will experience tremendous transformational learning and to be strong advocates of people who have a diagnoses of a dementia.

Example #3

The cognitive approach for teaching dementia seems like an oxymoron; but allowing Jack Mezirow’s ideology of transformative learning is exactly what is wished for, when we look at the care of people with a diagnoses of dementia. The writer’s tolerance to stories of abuse of people while in care is low (http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/w5-nursing-home-investigation-reveals-1-500-cases-of-staff-to-resident-abuse-in-one-year-1.2321287), and if and until; we as a society (‘world-view’) can agree that there are alternative ways of caring (‘knowledge, values, and beliefs’) for this group of people we will continue to hear these stories in the media. In the online course on dementia it will include: Enhanced awareness of beliefs and feelings, Critique assumptions, Assessment of alternative perspectives, Negation of old perspectives or align new perspectives, Take action, A desire to fit new information to real life.

Be as specific as you can about why a particular learning theory applies to what you teach and who your students are. Support your reasoning with references.

Example #1

In the spirit of Malcom Knowles an online class taught by the writer using the topic of dementia would be ‘student directed’ for a few reasons; focused topic (dementia) and a focused group of people (people in the early stages of a dementia, their family and friends, and staff that may work in a residential setting that serves this group of people). As mentioned by Merriam and Bierema (2014) this topic of dementia could be ‘situation dependent’ in that a child or youth may want or need to know more about what is going on with their grandma or grandpa.

People in the early stages of a dementia have an enormous amount of decision making to do within a short amount of time; it is not know how much time they have till the disease deteriorates to a point where they are no longer able to make an informed decision. Learning the foundation of dementia will provide some insight as to the potential timeline of the disease process.

Family and friends can be younger than or piers of the person with a diagnoses of dementia and depending on where they are in the process of learning what is happening to the person they love; they also need to understand the foundation so that they can better understand what will be required of them as the disease progresses and also how they can support the person they love through this disheartening situation.

Frontline staff (or all staff) really have very little education on the dementia world yet the majority of the people they will serve in their career are those with the disease and they will also be one of the first people that families will go to; to ask their questions.  

As you can see it is imperative that a ‘student directed’ online course would provide a focused topic (dementia) and a focused group of people (people in the early stages of a dementia, their family and friends, and staff that may work in a residential setting that serves this group of people). As mentioned by Merriam and Bierema (2014) this topic of dementia could be ‘situation dependent’ for the person in the early stages of a dementia, their family and friends or frontline staff. 

Example #2

The interactive model as explained by both Merriam and Bierema (2014) is perceived as having the perfect model for how the writer envisions herself to teach learners of dementia. Examining the terms of dementia, the types of dementia, the stages of dementia and reflecting how this knowledge of dementia applies to their personal experience. The group of learners that may want to gain this knowledge or develop skills that are offered, the learners are anticipated to come with anticipation of learning or confirming dementia knowledge, it is also hoped that the learners will experience tremendous transformational learning and to be strong advocates of people who have a diagnoses of a dementia.

Examining the terms of dementia, the types of dementia, the stages of dementia and reflecting how this knowledge of dementia applies to their personal experience. Maya Angelou said “when you know better, do better”; having this foundation of knowledge of dementia I would hope that the transformational learning may lead towards being strong advocates of people who have a diagnoses of a dementia.

Example #3

The cognitive approach for teaching dementia seems like an oxymoron; but allowing Jack Mezirow’s ideology of transformative learning is exactly what is wished for, when we look at the care of people with a diagnoses of dementia. The writer’s tolerance to stories of abuse of people while in care is low (http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/w5-nursing-home-investigation-reveals-1-500-cases-of-staff-to-resident-abuse-in-one-year-1.2321287), and if and until; we as a society (‘world-view’) can agree that there are alternative ways of caring (‘knowledge, values, and beliefs’) for this group of people we will continue to hear these stories in the media. In the online course on dementia it will include: Enhanced awareness of beliefs and feelings, Critique assumptions, Assessment of alternative perspectives, Negation of old perspectives or align new perspectives, Take action, A desire to fit new information to real life.

I would find it hard to believe that if after taking this online course that it would “Enhanced awareness of beliefs and feelings, Critique assumptions, Assessment of alternative perspectives, Negation of old perspectives or align new perspectives, Take action, A desire to fit new information to real life”


Section 5 – Wiki

https://sites.google.com/s/0B86DZDLCwbS5RzZPUW9CNEpOaDA/p/0B86DZDLCwbS5SnRqMzNwSTc0S1U/edit

 


Section 6 – ePortfolios

Summarize your learning around eportfolios on your blog.

Excellent! I wonder if I am already doing some of this in my blog. As per video What is an ePortfolio? (1:16) describes that I am pretty close; the narrator speaks of the “sweet spot” between “LinkedIn, Blog and paper portfolios”.

Just like Vincent Lam (4:02) I too enjoy the opportunity to express myself creatively.

Do you think there is a place in your teaching for ePortfolios? Why or why not?

Absolutely!

Frontline staff – this tool would be an absolute asset not only to their learning but a moral boost on how they see themselves as professionals. Also to consider an opportunity to further their learning.

Friends and Family – this tool would organize not only their learning but how this new information interlocks with their own life experience, it may me a great tool to share in support groups and a documented sequential visual diary of their personal experience.

People in the early stages of dementia could use this tool as a part of a legacy to their family and friends. Today some people with a diagnoses of dementia have “Good-bye parties – this tool would be a fabulous way to say good-bye.

ePortfolios are increasingly being used to illustrate personal/professional development and achievements in teaching. What value do you see in creating your own personal teaching eportfolio? What kind of artifacts would you think of including in this portfolio?

I can hardly wait to find the time to apply this to my repertoire of work. I can see that I would share my ePortfolio – just because. I would share my ePortfolio for further education. I still have not ruled out achieving my PhD. Artifacts may be some things that I love…an adopted elephant Shukuru

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I am sponsoring two girls in Kajiado, Kenya their Secondary Education and although I do respect their privacy…it does not stop me from bragging about their successes!

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Then there is my passion of dementia…I might start by sharing a few videos

http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/w5-nursing-home-investigation-reveals-1-500-cases-of-staff-to-resident-abuse-in-one-year-1.2321287

I would love to do a PhD in education…adult learning…dementia focus…the ePortfolio might be the ingredient needed when this social worker makes her case to an education faculty!


 Section 7 – Guidelines

Quality Guidelines List?

Well this may become a fluid document and may change from course design to course design. Today I have it in mind to convert a f2f class workshop into an online course: ABC: Alzheimer Basic Concepts may be coming to a computer near you soon! This is where I will start when considering the guidelines for this course.

Guidelines

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