Online Course Reflection

This is going to be my tenth year teaching.  What I’ve learned is that we, as educators, must prepare our students for the future.  Instead of teaching for the now, educators must teach for the future.  By exposing our students to online learning, we are equipping our students with the skills to be lifelong learners.

I believe that theories ideal to the development of online courses are constructivism and cognitivism. I think that primarily these are the learning theories that hook students.  Although, I feel that constructivism really makes a long lasting impression I believe that cognitivism gets students engaged.  Cognitivism helps with students activate prior knowledge and students have linking information to the new information.  This learning takes place from starting with the known to the new. (Alberta Education, 2015) Constructivism assists the students to learn by doing. (LearningDctr,2010)  Even though they are both two different concepts, they would work well with students in online learning classrooms.

As for my teaching style, it’s pretty spot on with constructivism. I try to have my students problem solve and figure out the solution.  I really feel that by doing that, the moment really “sticks” with the students and makes a more meaningful impact.  I’ve had a lot more success with practicing this learning theory.  Along with learning the content, I believe that constructivism helps students learn how to learn.  This helps prepare students to become lifelong learners.  This is my ultimate goal for all of my students.

After deciding what would be used to deliver instruction for my online course, I needed to develop objectives.  By using the UbD plan, it helped me to design my course backwards and with the goal in mind.  I first asked myself what I wanted the students to learn. In relation to ePortfolios, I needed to think about what the important concepts associated with ePortfolios.  Then I needed to ask myself how they will learn this content.  I had to decide the vehicle for learning these concepts, whether it was a discussion or an assessment. The UbD plan was great tool and guideline for any educator that is developing their own course.   This tool allowed me to develop an online class that is both important and relevant to all students, trying to prepare for their post-secondary lives.

Teaching high school, I really feel like the Cognitive Overload video applied to my students.  Darren McNelis mentioned the issues that he had, being able to focus on academics. (McNelis, 2014) He spoke about how difficult of a time that he had, because of his constant screen time and technology usage.  This is an issue that we face with a lot of our students.  Whether it’s getting them to stay on task or complete an assignment outside of school.  I believe that it all relates to the screentime that have.  They don’t give themselves any quiet time or time to reflect, they constantly need to be engaged with technology.  This video made me take this into account when creating my course.  I allowed for time for reflection.  I also made sure to chunk the assignments, to keep the students’ attention.

Online learning isn’t just a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity for all students.  We are now living in digital age and we must prepare our students for the future.  ePortfolios are becoming the way to display an individual’s work.  Now, we know ePortfolios can be used for much more than that.  Besides using strictly ePortfolios, online courses help students to learn independently.  After high school, learning isn’t always supported.  By students participating in an online course, they are learning to problem solve and find information in their own way.  In addition to learning material, it demands that students communicate and collaborate with others.  In a regular class, one can drift into the background.  In an online class, students need to participate and collaborate in discussions.  Online learning has many benefits that help shape our students.

What I’ve learned  from this course is that it is crucial to constantly reflect on your teaching journey.  Throughout the time of creating my online course, I needed to reflect and figure our what could be adjusted to best help students.  That continuous reflection helps me to grow as an educator.  I also learned about how important communication is, with any plan involving others.  Online classes require communication, since there isn’t that face to face time.  In regards to my course that I created, it’s a school-wide course.  This course requires all educators to be on board.  For a plan to be successful and make a meaningful impact on students, all educators must communicate and be invested.  Bates noted that the necessary skills and characteristics for the future include:  knowledge construction, reasoning, critical analysis, problem-solving, creative, collaborate with learning and teamwork and multi-tasking and flexibility. (Bates, 2015)  All of these skills help to form a lifelong learner.  That is my goal for my online course.

References:

Alberta Education. (2015, January 30). Scaffolding for student success [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTR_snb-0nQ

Bates, A.W. (2015) Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/

LearningDctr. (2010, June 17). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism & learning and instructional theory [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YOqgXjynd0

TEDx Talks. (2014, Nov. 6). Cognitive overload — rewire your brain in the digital age | Darren McNelis | TEDxTallaght [Video file]. Retrieved from https://amara.org/en/videos/JNHMjDiZmYdF/info/cognitive-overload-rewire-your-brain-in-the-digital-age-darren-mcnelis-tedxtallaght/

Enter list of successful online programs that you have discovered through your Discussion forum using the space you need.

Upon investigation, below are successful online learning programs:

https://www.khanacademy.org/

https://www.edx.org/

 

 

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