Task 5: Share your ideas (up to 2 hours in lots of small chunks)

 
 
Picture of Linda Bryant
Personality preferences and online learning
by Linda Bryant - Wednesday, 18 March 2015, 5:38 PM
 

I haven't been a fan of online learning - hence joining this programme to immerse myself into the process and overcome my prejudice against it. I tend to learn best when I'm fully and freely interacting with other people and trying new things out in a supportive environment. Online learning happens in a very isolated manner if its asynchronous. it feels somewhat unsupported as no-one is there provide support - perhaps at the end of the line. I recognise that this programme is stretching me already - I'm hanging in here and trying different things out. My concern is whether I am really embedding my learning or will it be lost? I'll have to reflect on this as we go through the programme and see if I can tap into motivation that I wasn't aware was there and do whatever it takes to embed the learning.

How have others overcome this essential isolation that may not suit all personality types and learning styles?

 

Linda

Abi Ball
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Abi Ball - Thursday, 19 March 2015, 8:14 AM
 

Hello Linda

Personally I don't have a problem with online learning and independent learning. I actually prefer them to more collaborative forms of learning as I tend to find I learn more (and more quickly) on my own. I'm not bothered by the isolation (I'm doing a PhD so isolation is the norm for me) but I would be interested to hear how other people deal with the issues you have raised.

Abi

Picture of Linda Bryant
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Linda Bryant - Thursday, 19 March 2015, 3:21 PM
 

I use MBTI a lot and recognise that I have a preference for talking things through and taking action (extraversion preference). It motivates me and I find it so much more enjoyable to try things out - sometimes trying them out alone rather than in groups. I find online learning somewhat passive and I have to make a real effort to engage with it. Hence why I'm doing this programme - I need to find ways to engage others in technology enhanced learning and online learning by understanding how it feels to be on the receiving end myself. I'm really stretching my comfort zone here.

Its all very interesting - by May I hope to find it all much easier ;-)

How do others handle these things?

Linda

Picture of Elizabeth Lovegrove
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Elizabeth Lovegrove - Friday, 20 March 2015, 7:38 AM
 

Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Linda, and good to have you here despite reservations!

I'm not a big fan of the more passive types of online learning, either, which is part of why we emphasise discussion and interaction in TOOC. Do keep thinking about that feeling of stretching your comfort zone, and about what we could be doing to make it more -- or less! -- comfortable while you get used to the environment.

Liz.

Picture of marion waite
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by marion waite - Sunday, 22 March 2015, 7:54 PM
 

Hi Linda

I agree with Liz . The values behind the course encourage collaboration and participation. I think that to be an effective online learner you need to be active and motivated. However, I agree with you also. Online learning can be very isolating. Many of the learners that I encounter in my daily teaching practice don't really have a choice between face-to-face or online. They are distance learners because of work and family commitments and geographical considerations. Teacher presence and a sense of immediacy appears important to online learners. Aiming to be an effective online teacher enhances your face-to-face teaching practice, also but this is based on my experiences rather than empirical evidence.

Will be interested to see how you feel about things as the course progresses.

Marion

Picture of Adrian Judd
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Adrian Judd - Thursday, 19 March 2015, 8:53 AM
 

If your online health and safety courses don't inspire you then - speaking as someone who delivers health and safety courses, including online - there's somethng wrong with the courses. The very worst type online are 'watch this video and choose a multiple choice answer' ones.

If you are lucky you get to click a picture looking for hotspots aka hazards.

Picture of Linda Bryant
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Linda Bryant - Thursday, 19 March 2015, 3:15 PM
 

Yes, I recognise that our online H&S courses are not good from a learning perspective. They have been created by people who do not understand the learning process, but do understand Health & Safety. All they do is to ensure a certain amount of compliance and 'proof' that people have had the information they need to have - far too generic. Not my choice certainly.

Linda

Picture of Vincent Cornelius
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Vincent Cornelius - Tuesday, 24 March 2015, 5:51 PM
 

I think understanding the learning process is of critical importance. I am curious as to the extent to which online learning can optimise this, it's why I am taking this course. When I started to design learning for the vle  I looked for examples of best practice and have not come across anything that really inspires me.

Picture of Vincent Cornelius
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Vincent Cornelius - Tuesday, 24 March 2015, 5:55 PM
 

I think understanding the learning process is of critical importance. I am curious as to the extent to which online learning can optimise this, it's why I am taking this course. When I started to design learning for the vle  I looked for examples of best practice and have not come across anything that really inspires me.

Picture of Cheryl Scudamore
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Cheryl Scudamore - Thursday, 19 March 2015, 3:53 PM
 

The jury is still out for me. My preference is for face to face learning but in reality I feel for me most of the embedding comes when I am working alone so in theory on line should be fine! I think the issues for me are making something engaging - I have to confess my favourite game with our mandatory on line courses for governance/H&S etc at work is to see how fast I can get through them and still get enough questions right to get a pass mark! And feeling part of a group. I am hoping to eventually get Adobe Connect to work because I think I will feel better about having at least some synchronous contact with others.

Cheryl

 

Picture of Elizabeth Lovegrove
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Elizabeth Lovegrove - Friday, 20 March 2015, 7:39 AM
 

I play a similar game with those type of courses ;-) Although to be honest I don't really think of them as courses so much as rather over-complicated quizzes!

Liz.

Picture of Judy Sandeman
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Judy Sandeman - Saturday, 21 March 2015, 1:48 PM
 

Hi,

I agree that my preference would be for face to face learning but hopefully this course will help to overcome that.  The appeal to me of online is that now I may have to opportunity to do some courses that are purely for interest.

From a teaching perspective, many students often seem more comfortable and motivated when learning online so I feel I need to tap into that 'learning style'.  Now I need to master and feel confident with the technology involved and to be able to design activities that meet the students' language learning needs.

Judy 

 

Abi Ball
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Abi Ball - Monday, 23 March 2015, 8:27 AM
 

Hello Judy

This is an interesting observation, do you have any particular activities in mind for transferring from face to face to online learning?

Abi

Picture of Dawn Buzzard
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Dawn Buzzard - Saturday, 21 March 2015, 4:21 PM
 

You are right, I have done a number of these mandatory online courses and I only retain the information long enough to pass the end of course quiz and get the certificate of completion.  These courses give online learning a bad name

Abi Ball
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Abi Ball - Monday, 23 March 2015, 8:32 AM
 

Dawn

Fortunately I've not had to complete mandatory online courses.  I think I've been at Brookes so long that all of the mandatory training was covered in face to face courses years ago.  Mind you some of them were pretty dismal too so perhaps it is the nature of the training rather than the medium that it is delivered in that makes the knowledge retention short term?  Any thoughts?

Abi 

Picture of Dawn Buzzard
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Dawn Buzzard - Monday, 23 March 2015, 9:06 PM
 

Having started my reading I can see that the mandatory training fits into Moules ladder model, but I it only just makes onto the second rung.  As the learning is a best broken into chunks and then assessed by an interactive quiz and fits into the instructional paradigm (Rusby, 1979). 

With regards to the nature of the training, it should be possible to design a variety of learning methods regardless of the delivery method to improve retention.

 

Picture of Elizabeth Lovegrove
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Elizabeth Lovegrove - Tuesday, 24 March 2015, 9:10 AM
 

Yes, I think it's one of the useful things about Moule's ladder, to help us identify different types of course. It makes me think that it might be an interesting challenge to design a constructivist course to teach the 'you must remember these facts' type of subject that's more usually delivered by those 'online training packages'...

Picture of marion waite
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by marion waite - Sunday, 22 March 2015, 7:59 PM
 

Hi Cheryl

Thank you. I think you are tapping into the fact that learning happens at two levels. A Vygotskian perspective is that learning is both interpersonal and intrapersonal and happens on the social plane before being internalised by the individual. Good online learning design ( cue week 2 topic) considers this. The examples of mandatory training online described by you and others in this thread lacks a social dimension.  An interesting discussion.

Marion

Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Malcolm Kirkpatrick - Sunday, 22 March 2015, 11:28 PM
 

Hi Linda,

We have run courses that are blended , ie  mostly on - line, for many years now, These BSc courses include for three short periods per year for each module ( normally students take four modules in an academic year) so there will be a total of twelve F2F sessions per year for each student ..

For the online part of the course, our students are allocated a module tutor who looks after them and who stays with them for the duration of the 4 - 5 year course.

This method puts the students directly into contact with the lecturers at he F2F sessions and develops a sense of community with the other students . We are 'guides on the side' and are totally accessible to the students during business hours so their exposure to the feelings of isolation are reduced.

We do of course appreciate the student diversity, especially as we have students around the globe and recognize  MBTI and other types and other needs.

I believe that the synchronous contact with students is very important for maximising the teaching and learning opportunities and the asynchronous teaching is totally supported.

Malcolm

Abi Ball
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Abi Ball - Monday, 23 March 2015, 8:40 AM
 

Malcolm

Have you read any of the work by Hrastinki or Haythornthwaite?  They both discuss this importance of synchronous and asynchronous technology for different purposes in online learning.

Asynchronous and Synchronous E-Learning by Stefan Hrastinski EDUCAUSE Quarterly, vol. 31, no. 4 (October–December 2008): http://www.slideshare.net/creativemultimedia/asynchronous-vs-synchronous-learning

Caroline Haythornthwaite, 'Building Social Networks via Computer Networks: Creating and Sustaining Distributed Learning Communities', in Building Virtual Communities: Learning and Change in Cyberspace, K. Ann Renninger and Wesley Schumar, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 159–190.

Abi

Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Malcolm Kirkpatrick - Tuesday, 24 March 2015, 11:10 PM
 

Hi Abi,

Thank you for the references -

Stefan Hrastinski's article highlighted that a study of asynchronous and synchronous E learning methods discovered that each supports different learning.

He concluded that an essential challenge is to critically study the benefits and limitations of emerging types of synchronous, asynchronous and hybrid e learning.This will facilitate the complex task ahead.

I will catch up on Caroline's works

Malcolm

Picture of Hannah Evans
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Hannah Evans - Tuesday, 24 March 2015, 8:37 AM
 

I've never done an online course before whether to teach or as a student, so this is my first online course.  I'm really surprised by how much interaction there is and I'm starting to think that it may even be possible to interact more in this kind of environment, it's just in a different kind of way.  I am an introvert but I still like to talk through ideas with a small group of people or individuals after I've thought them through a bit myself.  It can be quite difficult to do that in a physical environment as more extroverted people tend to dominate the conversation and I often feel that I can't get a word in.  This will be an interesting experience for me and I'll see if I feel more able to share in an online context.

Picture of Elizabeth Lovegrove
Re: Personality preferences and online learning
by Elizabeth Lovegrove - Tuesday, 24 March 2015, 9:20 AM
 

Thanks for that, Hannah - it's really interesting to have your impressions as a complete newcomer to online learning.

We've deliberately built the course around lots of interaction. Since it's an open course, we try to offer lots of possible pathways to suit individual needs and preferences, but the interactions are where most of the learning takes place, if only because we're mostly talking about people and their experiences. So I look forward to hearing more about your experiences as the course goes on, if you feel able to share.