My summary of the course ‘is one life enough?’
Development of attitudes towards learning and education
Having returned to formal education after quite a gap, I found that this module actually made sense to my own ability to learn. (https://inishblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/week-2/)
Jean Piaget’s theory on how we slot information into what we already know, based on previous learning and experience, ( http://psychology.about.com/od/piagetstheory/a/keyconcepts.htm ) is, in my opinion, the basis for adult education.This was very apparent right from the onset of the class.
As an adult I find that the method used for delivery of this module takes into account your own pre-conceived ideas, and without dismissing them, enables you take on board new ideas through discussion and debate. Also Vygotsky’s belief
(http://www.simplypsychology.org/Zone-of-Proximal-Development.html published 2010) that we can learn through guidance from others was also apparent within the group, both from the tutor and other participants. I found that I learned best from ‘scaffolding’ within the group and from the tutors.
On a more personal level, I had my own reservations about information I see on-line through social networking platforms, and the validity of their research. What I have learned is that I can dip into any of these content creators, learn from their research, and through listening to the experiences and views of others, I can form a more educated theory of my own. I guess that makes Vygotsky and Piaget right after all!
Online Course vs Real.
For me this has been an amazing experience. I live in a Town with no university and work full time. To study at this level would mean taking at least two hours of travel to campus – that is, IF the course is offered at night-time – or at weekends. I had always avoided the usual formats of online classes. However – the fact that this course was held in a virtual space , and that we had virtual bodies that could interact with each other and the environment, -embedded the illusion and comfort zone of a familiar learning environment. This made it totally different from other online class formats.
I feel there is something here that could be used by educators at all levels. If anyone has any links to research on this I would be very interested – please leave a comment.
Knowledge gained and new skills developed
On creating an online presence – I feel I have been living in the ‘dark’ ages when it comes to my personal online presence. I really didn’t have a clue about twitter, or blogging. During this course I have learned to create accounts, use the tools available within the social networking platforms, and now surf the web in quite a different way.
Rgulations, Conventions and Etiquette.
see blog entry https://inishblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/essay/
Social Networking – Establishing and maintaining relationships online –
I have learned two main points on this:
- That linking with what interests you professionally and personally are two different things, Although sometimes it is a good thing to share both with all, it can get confusing if you establish relationships as a Fae , then share that with your professional life as a politician! (or maybe not!)
- Maintaining those relationships is probably more important on line than it is in real life. If you are inactive on line you can be quickly forgotten, where as in real – relationships formed are not expected to stay in contact quite as regularly.
Intellectual Property (IP), copyright – Still a bit of a minefield – and seems to be growing organically with each case and evolving with the changes that happen in various platforms.
Summarising yourself – “the elevator pitch” – YOU REALLY CAN SAY THINGS USING A FEW WORDS!
Working in groups, & presentation
As avatars – age barriers were blasted away! That was a huge relief for me when it came to the group work. We were able to focus on personalities and skills much quicker that we would have, had it been a ‘real’ classroom.
Sitearm Madonna also shared the best piece of advice on presentations I have had to date. – to start off a clear message and to end with the same message.
Message – group work was really fun!
End message – group work was really fun!
I am left with a question for the tutors and module developers. What is the next stage now that this module is the success that it is? Can this method of delivery be extended to offer a full online Level 7 or 8? If so sign me up!
As I have stated before, I am an early school leaver, lone parent, and recovering dyslexic. I learned more in this course than I did in a year at school. I honestly feel that this course needs to be evaluated with a view to developing the format further to open up learning at all levels to ALL age groups.
How old knowledge has been altered or modified
In simple terms – I had always felt that social networking was a bit of a ‘joke.’ I saw no value in using social networking for anything more than a fleeting pastime. I now realise the value of them if used properly, with thought and planning. I have discovered that sites like twitter will take you by the hand and lead you to things that interest you or are relevant to your professional or personal life. Something that google tries to do by throwing up suggestions based on your search history. This just doesn’t work in the same way as when you choose to follow something based on your own personal choice or interest.
Application and implementation of learning
During the course I remained true to my Second Life avatar throughout the course. Now I am ready to take my ‘real’ avatar and applying what I have learned on this course -begin to develop a professional online persona. I also hope to continue to blog as Inish – for someone who usually shies away from the written word – this is a real breakthrough for me and certainly not an expected outcome of the course.
The application of the learning from the tutors, guest speakers and lecturers was immediate and reflected in the blogs we were ‘forced’ to write (;-). Our final presentation implemented the learning on a visual and verbal scale.
Feeling at the beginning and end of module
It took some time at the beginning of the course to adjust to the idea of returning to ‘formal’ learning. I had the preconception that because it was from a real university it would be stuffy and geared towards academia and things that would fly over my head.
At the first class, it wasn’t long before I realised that I couldn’t have been further from my expectations! The course helped me get an understanding of citations and referencing very early on, and that was a personal fear of mine.
There was so much new information to take on board which refreshed my ideas and renewed my interest in learning. (Which again proves Vygotsky right!)
The feeling at the end was that I didn’t want it to end – a feeling I am sure that classmates shared. I am left wanting more, but unsure what or how to do that.
What was not useful about the learning
I really have to say that the learning has all been useful. The only thing I would change is a little more time and focus on the group project. The group project we worked on could have travelled more extensively throughout Second Life and gathered more ideas and comments if we had had more time. A consistent thread within the class was that it was difficult to meet up as a group. Perhaps some extra timetabled classes to actually do group work would be useful (with some willing facilitors on hand to help if needed).
Group dynamics and tutor/student dynamics
Although we all come from very different professional settings – we all have something to contribute and learn from each other. The group was not afraid to ask questions and to share ideas and experience. The tutors enabled the group to learn this way and even though the time allocated to the subject was tight – they remained flexible and at a pace that suited us all.
Although the atmosphere was very relaxed, it didn’t take away the seriousness of producing the evidence needed to credit the module. Tutors were no less demanding of students and deadlines than they would be in the real college.
The group I worked with on the project became like a little ‘family’. This is a dynamic I don’t think would be possible if we were within the college campus. Relationships on-line seem to form much faster than in the real world. In Second Life, we could travel together, shop together, dance together, and slap each other – all in the space of a couple of hours. Impossible in real! Sharing these experiences brought us close very fast.
Time and the group project prevented the class as a whole to connect as deeply as I would hope for – but having said that I have made many friends as a result of this course that I intend to keep! Maybe we should all meet up for a pint in Temple Bar as our avatars??
Follow up needed
A cert giving night in Gogarty’s pub !