I am a person who likes to explore online tools and see its potential in teaching and learning. I have been running courses on blogs, some of the common Google apps for communication and collaboration, developing e-learning resources, etc., but this is the first time I am experiencing all these as a student. This reminds me of a wonderful advice given by my previous CDTL director, A/P Lakshminarayanan Samavedham, during the e-learning week exercise we had a few years back in NUS. He said sharing your knowledge through workshop is good, but in order to convince your audience that this is the way to go, you need to walk the talk. Going through the entire process allows one to understand the ups and downs the users will experience, and having that experience tells a lot. This is my inspiration to take up this course in spite of all the worries I have in my head – time, meeting expectations, perceptions, and deliverable. I told myself, I am here to learn and to gain that experience, so I just have to give my best and be brave. (jia-you!)
So, how did the first week go? I was completely nervous! There were seven of us from my department (CDTL) who joined the course, but we were assigned in different groups. To avoid the web traffic, we decided to sit together as a group during the first webinar. We experienced some delay and sound issues at first, but it went on smoothly afterwards. In general, I would say that the session was informative and engaging. We get to meet the participants from all over the world. We were in different timezone, but everyone made an effort to be there during the session. We were also oriented about the platforms that will be used for the course (Google Plus, ONL171 WordPress blog, PBL community, etc.), where to get the resources, course requirements, and there was a sharing of experiences from the previous batch of ONL course which was encouraging.
The same day, 10pm-11pm, Singapore time, our PBL group met. It was quite rush for me because we had a student activity on campus until 10pm that day and our daughter didn’t want to sleep yet and was very curious about the people we were talking to online. For the very first time, we get to meet our facilitator and groupmates up-close. There were still issues on the connection and sound, but everybody stayed calm, friendly, and supportive. Most of the time, those of us with poor connection were relying on the chat. As a group, we discussed about our first task on self-introduction, which we decided to use Google slides to share a little information about each of us, and shared it to the ONL community. It was nice to see the diversity from each group. Our group also distributed the topics that each of us will facilitate and ground rules. Some of us were a bit hesitant to choose a topic that is unfamiliar and the date that some of us find a bit too close, but we really appreciate the support from all the members and scaffolding provided by the facilitators.
Looking forward to learn more insights from the rest of the groups when we start discussing and sharing on Topic 1: Online participation and digital literacies.