Let’s talk journaling. For a long time, when I read that part of a course’s requirements was that one creates a journal, I always cringed. I never understood why the powers that be wanted to know what I thought. And then somewhere along the way someone (author unknown and yet completely appreciated) offered me this genius breakdown for proper educational journaling. What an epiphany!
So now, when I do write a journal, not only do I not cringe, but I somewhat enjoy them and appreciate that I can use them as an overview of what I have been learning. A refresher if you will. Now I know you are all (again, did you catch the reference to more than one reader?) wondering what I am blabbering about, don’t panic, I got this.
First, understand that a journal can be broken down into four basic parts,
- Objective questions – begin with data, facts, and external reality.
Factual – what did I see, read, hear, etc…?
- Reflective questions – evoke immediate personal reactions, internal responses, sometimes emotions or feelings, hidden images, and associations with the facts.
What was my gut reaction? My first thoughts?
- Interpretive questions – draw out the meanings, values, significance, implications.
That was my reaction, now why did I react that way?
- Decisional questions – bring the conversation to a close, eliciting resolution to make a decision about the future.
And now, just to show you I am not blowing smoke about using them, I will throw in here my last journal for eLearn4150, the course I am in right now. This is the last journal for this course and in it I am to pull all the learning for this particular course together and apply it to what I already know, and how I can use it with what I already know. Now honestly, you may not find it all that mindblowing, but I assure you, if you saw it as a way of review and connection, like I do (now), you would find it amazing. Read on faithful readers!! (Heehee, I did it again, I crack me up).
Elearn 4150 JOURNAL ENTRY #3
VANCOUVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE
I always find myself thinking about a course, as I work my way through it, with a modicum of criticism and skepticism, what does this have to do with the subject matter? I would never consider this as being disrespectful to those who created the course; I have the utmost of respect for fellow instructors, and have high expectations of myself to follow in their shoes. It is my way of making the connection, of pulling the course material together. I have learned that by writing a journal I can do just that, pull everything in the course together and I consider it genius. So what did I learn this time, during eLearn4150? I learned from Richard Buckland (2009) that wikis are interactive, and are an amazing tool. I have learned that there are hundreds, if not thousands of eLearning tools to incorporate into your program. I learned about the possibility for what I refer to as an educational divide, understanding that there are many challenges faced by both teachers and students, and the possible solutions to those challenges. I also learned that, after all this time of thinking I belonged to one generation of thinkers, I am a member of completely different club. And finally, at least for now, I learned that there are guidelines for the courses I am learning from, and for those I will create along my journey. These guidelines, assuring that best practice and quality in the programs, are essential for effective and successful teaching, and learning.
As a veteran of the online educational environment, I always understood that using digital information was paramount. I know understand how to apply some of those websites, and other online tools, such as Grammerly and, my personal favorite, TEDtalks to my curriculum as enhancements to my course materials. I now appreciate the quality guidelines for programs and the purpose for assessment and to take into account the challenges that students may face. These responsibilities lie with me, as the course facilitator, and I take them seriously.
As I mentioned above, although I have done most of my post high school education online, I actually went into the eLearning program with a bit of skepticism and doubt, and maybe even a little feeling of not taking it seriously. I have a feeling that I would never have considered it if I lived in a bigger community, where the options to teach where greater. Add to this that at least two of my PIDP instructors said that my writing was decent enough to get people to actually read it, even though I felt my writing was substandard, and in a weird way, juvenile and silly. This attitude, that I never took the online teaching world all that serious, is something I completely regret now. I have insight now into the relevance and importance of offering an education from a digital perspective.
Now what does this mean for my own journey? I know now that I am capable of creating a program for online learners that will be effective, relevant, educational, supportive and interesting. I have resources, many of them, which I can use to create the atmosphere where students feel confident to apply the information provided in the course I facilitate. I will continue to explore the options out there to make my programs as interactive, lively and informative as I possibly can. There are far too many to list, but I have included a link to at least one in the references below. By incorporating a variety of these, and other, tools into my classes, I can be sure to keep my students engaged and learning. I also now understand there is standard by which the classes provided online can be held to, something I always wondered of the existence of. I vow to do my best, as I feel it an expectation of my adult students, to be sure that the classes I create follow those standards and are of the utmost quality experience. By following the quality guidelines questions I can be accountable for the information I put out there. And, one final resolution, at the completion of this first stop on my eLearning journey, is that I will make all efforts to use the internet to my advantage. There are so many resources out there that I can provide my students any support they need, and the future teachers of the courses I may create. That is not to say that there are not other resources out there, and that traditional support models are now irrelevant, but the World Wide Web is vast, unending and constantly evolving and I owe it to myself, my students, and those I support, to use it, embrace it and appreciate it for what it is.
Erikesen, T. (2008). Managing Generation Y. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDAdaaupMno
Schroer, W.J. (2016). Generations X, Y, Z and the Others. Retrieved from http://socialmarketing.org/archives/generations-xy-z-and-the-others/
Alley, L. (2000). Ten keys to quality assurance and assessment in online learning. Retrieved from http://www.worldclassstrategies.com/papers/keys
Barker, K. (2002). Canadian Recommended E-Learning Guidelines (CanREGs). Retrieved from http://www.futured.com/pdf/CanREGs%20Eng.pdf
Buckland, R. (2009). Wikis in University Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1-8OOrBi0o
Hart, J. (2016). Top 200 Tools for Learning 2016: Overview. Retrieved from http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/
See? Cool right? I told you that the journal was cool. So next time someone asks you to journal, refer to this blog, (you know that means you actually have to keep track of me right?) and take advantage of the chance to explore what you have learned. You might be pleasantly surprised, I always am.
So this is me, for now. I am finished with the this course, and there is a couple more, I will get there. Until next time reader…