OTL301 – Post 5

The various posts I made did fall into at least one of the 4 phases of CI process.  Some of the issues I faced, particularly around the integration and resolution phases were not really obtainable because I have not yet interacted with any students other than from an introduction e-mail.  I did categorize posts 2 and 4 as “resolution” because I reached the conclusion that my experience was lacking to apply the learnings of the courses to my “tutoring”.   As I am assigned students and the skills obtained from these courses will become more applicable.

OTL301 – Post 6

To me this was the most useful course of the 3 courses taken and I found it interesting.  As a learner it highlighted many of the issues my students are likely to face including:

  • the challenges of navigating and using Word Press.
  • staying motivated to push through when I was unclear on where a lesson was going and I was either unsure of the objective
  • My preconceived ideas of what was being covered conflicted with what was actually being covered.  I found myself on many occasions frustrated by trying to really understand the material and just wanting to get it done.
  • There needed to be an easy mechanism to get help or seek assistance and “permission” given to seek it out when I was stuck on something. Still don’t know who I could / would / should go to about it.

For me the key learning in all of this is to support the students by being readily accessible to answer questions they may have and by showing that support with regular, but not intrusive, reminders.

I found WordPress a frustrating, yet potentially useful, tool.  I frequently had to battle my discomfort with social media and resistance to establishing a social media presence with the desire to meet course objectives, perform well and complete the courses.  From a technical perspective, following the step-by-step procedures did not provide me with any understanding of what and why I was doing something and only how, which in my opinion has left me poorly skilled to continue using it in effectively in the future.

As students (hopefully) sign up for my course I will recall my experiences from these 3 courses and implement some of my learning activity strategies to assist them in having a positive learning experience.

OTL 301 – Post 4

At this early stage in my career as a new OL faculty member I do not know any other faculty members and have been unable to interview someone.  I feel this is actually a shortcoming of the OLFM new hire / orientation process and although I am vaguely aware I am splitting the marking assignments with another OLFM for my course, I do not know who they are or what their experience might be.  It would be beneficial to at least make contact with another OLFM and it will be something I pursue after completion of this course.

I look forward to becoming more knowledgeable in the processes, pitfalls and opportunities of online learning once students start taking the course.

OTL301 – Post 3

I have designed several courses as a safety consultant, including a course in due diligence.  The stated learning outcomes for the course included:

  • Raise awareness of what constitutes due diligence
  • Raise awareness of the requirements for due diligence

To achieve the overall outcomes, several secondary outcomes were also stated, including:

  • identification of mechanisms in place within the student’s organization to facilitate due diligence
  • prove (or disprove) due diligence for a scenario

Learning activities included:

  • looking up relevant safety legislation
  • comparing company requirements to regulatory requirements
  • using a scenario and learnings from the 2 previous activities to prove (or disprove) due diligence for a scenario

 

OTL301 – Post 2

Interestingly, I’ve felt there has been very little teaching presence with no teacher or tutor to facilitate and guide the course.  After reading the article I’ve found that teaching presence also can include other elements such as the design and organization of the courses, not just facilitation and instruction. I found the instructions of the courses relatively easy to understand, but without the facilitation component I’ve found the courses challenging at times.  The idea of a cohort completing the courses at the same time likely helped to alleviate that, but I found few of the cohort, myself include, trading ideas or comments about the subject matter.  Better instruction at the outset of the courses on how the interactions were to occur may have helped improve the teaching presence.

OTL 301 – Post 1

I am the newest OLFM for the OCHS 3511: Occupational Health and Safety Legislation and Standards course.  As a Canadian Registered Safety Professional and owner of a safety consultancy with nearly 15 years of experience in safety, this course is a good fit for me.

Although I have done several e-learning training sessions, all were very short and were rather simplistic.  All were a token effort at providing training to people and while all achieved their goal of passing on information, they were easily manipulated by skipping steps or components and challenging quizzes and tests to show knowledge retention.

These OTL courses are the first “real” courses I’ve taken using an e-learning platform and I find them both frustrating and valuable.  The effective parts of these courses are the clear layout and navigation and reasonably clear instructions on the exercises for each lesson.  I like the ability to easily see and track my progress.

I find WordPress very frustrating to navigate at times and I would find someone with experience to help me figure it out next time.  I am not yet confident in working with WordPress and that experience, along with other competing priorities, has made sitting down to complete the exercises a challenge at times. Although a peer cohort was set for completing these course I found it difficult, especially at first, to find posts from my peers, and as a non-facilitated course there was little to no interaction amongst members of the cohort.

OTL 201 – Post 6: Updating the Learning Activities Portfolio

This has been a challenging module for me, in part because as I have not yet had any active students for my OL course.  4 have signed up and 1 withdrew after a couple weeks.

In combing the internet, I’ve found a couple other potential learning activities that I may try:

  • Developing short, online presentations explaining parts of the course that students have difficulty with.  This will only be possible after students have taken the course!
  • Encourage engagement between the students by sending a response to a question from a particular student to other students and have them weigh in. Source:  https://elearningindustry.com/top-10-elearning-activities-can-employ-build-strong-online-learning-communities

OTL 201 – Post 5

Over this section of the course I’ve learned that working in WordPress and some of the technology can be very fun, but also very frustrating and I’m sure students will encounter similar experiences as they navigate the online, e-learning environment.

With that in mind, I will need to reach out to students, both individually and as a group initially and on an ongoing basis to maintain their engagement and to help them to complete the course.  The direct contact may be what they need to “keep going” and see it through, especially when there are competing priorities!

Certainly a specific goal will be to contact each student at least once every 4 – 6 weeks to ensure they are on track with the course assignments.  Setting up a tracker to determine course milestone dates for each student and contact dates will help me to ensure I meet my goals. To date I have 3 students signed up to the course and have done the intros, but have not yet followed up.  Another goal will be do contact each of them over the next week to see how they are faring and to attempt to retain them.

Learning Activity Strategy #3

Activity:  Encouragement to complete

Working on a course alone, in your pajamas, devoid of human interaction can make it difficult for students to keep on track and complete assignments and the course.  By having regular contact with students I can encourage them to complete assignments, ask questions and answer questions.