Week 10 and Blog Wrap-Up

The last week of the course is here and I am busily working on my last assignment.  I’ve been reflecting on this blog that I’ve created over the past nine weeks.  Overall, I’m very satisfied with the blog I have created over the duration of this course. It contains carefully selected resources and reflective comments that I know I will refer to when I build my online courses. I admit I was initially wary about setting up a blog for this course. I had never blogged before and had never followed other people’s blogs, so I questioned how useful this tool would be. When first creating my blog I wondered why would other people be interested in reading about my journey. However, I realized that the blog was not a tool for others to use, it was a tool for me. With that in mind, I was able to create a blog based on my preferences, resources of choice, and personal thoughts that I wanted to record. Therefore, the ultimate goal of creating the blog has been met: I’ve created a tool that will help me develop my online course in EDUC 4152. The blog posts are organized into categories so I can easily go back and find particular posts. I initially set up the blog to be organized by the type of resource, e.g. links to webpages, video and audio clips, book references, etc. I chose to set it up this way because I thought this is how I would search for the resources and posts. I quickly found out that this was an inefficient system so I took on the task of re-categorizing the entire blog about halfway through the course. I changed the categories from the type of resource to the subject matter, e.g. General eLearning Resources, Technology and Social Media Resources, Adult Learning & Andragogy Resources, and so on. I was extremely pleased with the new organizational system and have since found it much easier to search for past posts and resources.  I hope to continue contributing to this blog in the future!

How My Thinking Has Changed

At the beginning of the EDUC 4151 course, we were asked to post five practical considerations for taking a face to face course and putting it online.  My five were as follows:

1. Clear criteria and time for activities

2. Frequent and timely communication with instructor

3. User-friendly and well-organized

4. Diversity of media

5. Interaction among learners

Now at week 9 of the course we were asked to post three practical considerations for setting up an online course (a similar question).  My three were as follows:

1. Nature of technology (ease/reliability/accessibility)

2. Relationship between technology and learning objectives

3. Logical organization

It was definitely interesting to look back at the five statements from week one versus the three statements from this week.  One of my five appeared again this week, being that the course must be well-organized and easy to navigate.  Other than that, my focus has shifted from instructional methods to the technology itself (and how that technology can be used effectively).  Interesting trend!  This means that I have moved beyond the basic course design and am more involved with the technology and the role it plays in learning.

Web Resources for Plant Chemistry Module

Review of the 3 processes:

http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/141.html

Environmental effects on photosynthesis:

http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/content/filerepository/CMP/00/001/069/Rate%20of%20photosynthesis%20environmental%20factors.pdf

Environmental effects on respiration:

http://www.ehow.com/list_7397759_factors-affect-respiration-plants.html

Environmental effects on transpiration:

http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/T/Transpiration.html

Less Than 2 Weeks to Go

After a busy weekend of moving, I am surprised to realize that there are less than 2 weeks left in the EDUC 4151 course.  Despite being a bit behind on the final project, I am starting to get into it more deeply.  In these early stages of my online course development training, I am definitely feeling shaky about my abilities to actually pull an effective module together.  My approach is to put myself in my learner’s shoes and think about what technology would help me learn best, and what would simply be distracting or otherwise ineffective.  My learners are typically not tech-savvy and I don’t want the learning objective to be overshadowed by the technology.  I think I need to start simple and see how it goes, and I can always add more complex technology in the future if it fits.  The SECTIONS model is quite helpful in pinpointing why I will choose to use particular features in my online course, and why I wouldn’t choose to use others.

All in all, it will be a busy and hopefully productive 10 days to complete this course!