Reflection On Topic 3: Learning in Communities – networked and collaborative learning

  • An occasion when real collaborative learning took place, that moved my own thinking forward
    • With a little bit of embarrassment I have to admit that this happened in a recent session of a programming module.  I used an example which I thought to have understood quite well and which I in class have been using for the past few years in a variety of circumstances.  The solution came naturally to me.  I explained the premise of the solution and why certain components were needed as part of the solution.  I then proceeded to explain the logic of the solution….and then the bomb exploded…suddenly my own solution (which works in theory and practice) no longer made sense to me.  What was I to do…my brain said no.  I decided to turn my embarrassment into a learning opportunity by asking the students…..why do you think this is not making sense?  Does this really not make sense or am I missing something? TRIUMPH!! A student in my class, who finds paying attention to anything extremely challenging…got a light bulb moment and in such simple terms explained why the solution does make sense.  The rest of the class’ faces lid up as understanding spread from the back to the front.  Students spontaneously started refining their understanding by directing questions towards me about the solution and alternative solutions, taking the solution apart.  This situation moved my thinking forward and reaffirmed that a successful class/ collaborative effort depends on a relationship of trust and give and take.  As humiliated as I felt (because I am, in my mind supposed to have all the answers)…I became very much aware that admitting to not knowing something is not always a bad thing, admitting to fault shakes our reality and resuscitates our awareness.  It also taught me to never underestimate students’ abilities for constructing their own knowledge.
  • My own Personal Learning Networks – how have they developed and how they can be taken further
    • First of all, I have to give credit to the institution I work for.
    • The institution has made me part of a team of academics, so varied in approach, personality and area of specialization that small discussions become big ones about topics ranging from the modules we teach to current events affecting the economy and everything in between.  Multiple perspectives are shared and debated with no one shying away from their opinion about the truth.  Problems are solved and solutions are supported.
    • The institution provided me with the opportunity to partake in the ONL171 course which meant that I now had two learning communities of which I was a part.
    • These opportunities that have been afforded to me gives me the courage to engage in more online courses and have highlighted the role of organizational support for the creation of personal learning networks.
  • Reflection on how I can use technologies to enable my own networks for learning processes:
    • Technologies as an enabler implies  having knowledge of the various technologies available.
    • I have learned about so many different tools as part of my ONL171 journey, that I have made it my mission to consciously find opportunities for the use of these tools in such a way that I support the creation of learning networks.

2 thoughts on “Reflection On Topic 3: Learning in Communities – networked and collaborative learning

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