Finishing up ONL162

As the course has now finished I will try to summarize and capture my learning throughout the course modules.

The course started with the module about connecting, participation and digital literacy. In the beginning and especially in the first module, I found myself very confused about the format of the course, I had difficulties to understand what the task was and how the group would function. I believe all of us in the group experience the same thing and we were all quite passive in our meetings online, due to now knowing what was expected from us. I found that the literature on digital literacy made me understand the first topic and also learn about my own digital literacy. Before this course I thought that my digital literacy was quite well developed, but by reading and understanding that there are more dimension of the digital literacy (JISC, 2014 ) I could see that I had several areas that could improve and especially collaboration and communication in online networks for learning (JISC, 2014).

The next module was a prefect next step in my learning process since it was about learning online by sharing and being open. Before, I could feel that I had been hesitant and unsure about what I was allowed to use and share and how to do that in a responsible manner. After learning about the Creative Commons license and its options I was feeling more confident of how I could use resources that are found online like Open Educational Resources and videos and pictures (Bates, 2015). Also, now I know how I can share my own work online, without being afraid to lose all control of the material. The practicalities of sharing and using was one of the lessons I learned from this module, but the other lesson was about how the digital age will change how learning will happen and how I as a teacher/instructor need to change in order to be updated with the skills I need and my students need for the future. Bates (2015) describes the changing role of the teacher/instructor; how the instructor need to support the learner to develop their skills needed in order to learn in the digital age (instead of just developing content that is already available). Alistair Creelman talked about this during one of the webinars in the course, when he said that we should not invent the wheel again meaning that content that already exists online should be used. Further that I as a teacher can allocate my time and the resources in a more efficient way in order for the learners to have a productive learning experience.

In the next module that was about learning in communities, it became evident that our group needed be more efficient in our communication and collaboration than we currently were. It was a challenge to truly build trust and a community to learn. I could see that in our group we were really just dividing up the task and trying to put the pieces together instead of co-creating knowledge and meaning in a more efficient way (Brindley and Walti, 2009). The webinar by Martha Innes (2016) where she presented her model on social, cognitive and learning presence to build community of inquiry was important for me to understand how to invest time and effort into my own learning online and to get the most out from the course. I realized that I had not invested enough presence into the social and cognitive dimension yet.

The last module was about designing for online or blended learning and in this module I was ready to take the task to analyse and redesign a blended course that I am currently leading. My analysis revealed that the course I am running has several flaws and the online component in the course needs to be redesigned in order to support the students in their learning process. We read about the ADDIE model (Bates, 2015) and the five stage model (Salmon, 2013) and it was the lather that made me realize that my course had underdeveloped stages. For example, in the course I am running, stage 2 that is about team building and socialization, was underdeveloped in the sense that the students only has one activity, and that is to present themselves online for each other. Also in the course the group component was not working and needs to be re-designed so that the students starts with a team-building task in order to build their communication and social connection from the beginning of the course.

That was a brief description of the four main modules of the course in the perspective of my learning process, another important component that was used during the course where the digital tools. During the course I have been using several new tools (new to me) and one of them that I particularly like is Prezi. I decided to use Prezi for a keynote lecture in the beginning of December 2016 (straight after the course) and it was a success I would say, not just for me, but also for the audience that really liked the visual output and films that I inserted in the presentation. The last and most important thing that I would like to reflect on is the use of problem base learning (PBL) approach in an online format. This use of PBL in an online format was totally new to me, not just in practice but also in theory. I was very sceptical in the beginning of the course, but I am now sure that this approach was the key to my learning. Having to invest time and effort in the group and the group learning was valuable and the key for my own learning and it was very interesting to see how efficient it was.


Bates, T. (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning. Available from

Brindley, J., Blaschke, L. M. & Walti, C. (2009). Creating effective collaborative learning groups in an online environment. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3).

Salmon, G (2013) The Five Stage Model. Available from

Dr Martha Cleveland-Innes is Professor and Chair of Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University, Webinar about Learning in online communities, 9 November 2016.

Developing digital literacies (2014) JISC guide. Available from




Being part of an online PBL community

I did not think that I would learn as much as I have during this ONL 162 course. So what have you learned, you might ask? The main lesson learned is that there is a certain need for commitment from members within a PBL Group and I would say that the engagement have to be even higher when happening online. Online learning is based on sharing and if you do not share there will be no learning. Also learning is about taking roles and responsiblity for your learning and this becomes even more evident when learning happens in the PBL context and online.

I have really enjoyed the freedom of online learning, but it has also been hard since it demands that you plan your learning activities, even though it is not strucured in a calender (i.e. with set lectures).

For the future I will use my new knowledge in course- desing and to increase the learning experiences of the students that I teach online and in blended learning courses.

Designing an online Learning activity

The next phase is to use our new knowledge and actually desing a learning activity online using two different models, the ADDIE model and the Five stage model. Both models are very useful, the ADDIE being more detailed and goal-oriented and the Five stage more about scaffolding learning on an abstract level. I really enjoyed reading about both models and I found that the Five stage model could help me with a current course.

I run a blended course with most of its methods for learning related to IRL tasks so the blending of online activities is quite sparse rather it is a platform for getting the literature and have sporadic discussions. With the use of the Five stage model I can see that I can make several changes and improve the course and the learning activities! Yes, excactly what I needed since the students are failing with too high % in my course. As an exmple we do not have any group activities in the course that are online, so they do not use each other in an efficient way, just for the few meetings that we have. Next semester there will be substantial changes in the course and I expect that more of the students will achive the learning goals….

The challenge of collaboration online

I have been coordinating a bleded course that have both online and onsite collaborations included. I have noticed that the students are hesitant and struggle with the online tasks and collaboration, especially to start the collaboration. I am now in a similar position and know more about their experience. It is not easy to collaborate in learning and build a learning community online. You have to be active, social and give from your self to the groups efforts to move forward in the collaborative learning process. Being part of ONL162 have really given me experiences from ”the other side”. It is easy to just fall into the trap of just doing your assigned part of the task (according to a definition by Siemens from 2002 this is online collaboration) and not do things together and learn together, truly build a trust and a community of learning. I believe that the case scenarios is great in the way that it puts us in the position that we need not just to collaborate, but also to invest in a community of learning in order to move forward with the scearios and the groups learning process.



How open am I? After watching the Adobe link with Alastair Creelman I can see that I am not open at all when it comes to both teaching and research. Open access I believe has in research become widely spread and accepted. The issues there is that it costs a lot of money to publish in open access journals, but we all want our research to be read, shared and referenced and Open access is a motivated tool for that. However, when it comes to teaching I am a novice in sharing and have had many doubts related to being scared, just as the example for our Topic 2 describes. Next step is to investigate; how can I be open and still feel safe that my teaching is not taken out of its context.

Now we are really getting a hang of the online learning, and by that I mean my own learning. The PBL Group is starting to be very active and so am I. Next week I will have my own course, in a blended learning course, mixing online and onsite learning. I am realizing that there are many things that I can improve in the course, things that are related to the online part. I have not used the chat before and it is really an excellent tool that I think would fit one of the tasks in the course.