During the eight weeks of this course, many aspects of online learning were introduced. In
the Moodle Discussion Project we were asked to act as facilitator and create a discussion prompt for the group members. Based on the readings, I created a question relating to technology use issues that may be associated with online courses. Having taught online courses before, my expectations were met.
One learning opportunity I experienced from this exercise was not a new tool but rather the opportunity to hone my ability to respond and keep discussions moving in the discussion thread. It is always a learning experience to read other perspectives on discussion topics. The results of this exercise helped better prepare me for facilitating future discussion forums. The responses from my discussion prompt gave me direction on improvements that can be used in future classes I facilitate.
The Moodle learning management platform is extensive and once our roles were enhanced and all students had instructor privileges. The enhanced privileges allowed us to experience what teachers see in Moodle and how to create content. This content section of the course was centered around question types and assessments providing the information we would need to complete the main project of creating a survey or quiz in Moodle. I found this exercise both fulfilling and frustrating at times. I gained a lot of insight into the online assessment creation process. I have used Moodle in the past when it first came out but never played with the assessment tools. The frustrating part was the technical aspect of Quiz creation, but after a few tries, I was able to complete the project successfully. This project gave me a good idea of how best to approach the task in the future. The end result of taking all the assessments from fellow classmates and reading feedback from them all helps formulate ideas for improvements.
When teaching online we can often forget that all learners are not alike. Creating screencasts with closed captioned text to go along with it will enhance your course to reach a wider range of learners. This process was discussed and was quite interesting with the amount of work required being minimal as compared to the benefits of having the closed captioned text. The expected results from this project allowed me to see the flaws in my own screencasts. I always knew I spoke differently from how I type a document. Having to transcribe my spoken words made me aware of the amount of contracted words I used during my presentations. Student feedback indicated I tended to speak too quickly. I have long been aware of modifications to help all learners. I have tried to modify lessons to reach diverse learning styles. The inclusion of closed captioned text is one step to begin modifying the online course environment to help reach all learners.
The ScoopIt site is an excellent resource to collect articles for personal reference or as a means of sharing a collection of media. My intended use of this site is to collect resources for faculty to use as resources for online learning techniques. The task of selecting a topic and researching articles to create an online magazine to share is a nice step to researching best practices for online learning for staff. When designing an online professional development course for staff on the use of technology in the classroom, my ScoopIt resource will be one of the discussed tools for including online resources into course curriculum.
The following formative reflection of this course and how it has enhanced my teaching skills demonstrates the complexities of online learning. Being the first course in a series that explores aspects of online teaching, this class has been a valuable asset. After reading this reflection, feel free to contact me should you need further insight into the value this course has for online educators.