In this, the final post for OTL101, OTL201 and OTL301 we have been asked to “to reflect on your learning journey through the course and to look ahead as you integrate your new knowledge into your teaching practice”. As a guide, the following questions have been posed.
- What are the most important lessons you gathered from the course?
The courses discuss teaching and learning. These activities come naturally to everyone but can be optimized for each student cohort and student-teacher pair by keeping several principles in mind. First, courses should be constructed with clear learning outcomes and, if warranted, include all stages of critical inquiry (triggering events, exploration, integration and resolution). Beyond the construction of courses, student success is enhanced through constant feedback and interaction between a student and other students and the instructor. As the learning styles of everyone differs, these activities should modified and adapted to match the personalities of those involved.
- How has your thinking changed as a result of completing the course?
I can’t say that my thinking regarding teaching and learning has changed. The courses, however, have helped me solidify and refine my thoughts on teaching and learning.
- In what ways did the platform (WordPress) influence your interaction with the content and other people and what you learned?
Knowledge is advanced through dissemination and discussion. Improving how we learn and teach is no different, requiring extensive dialog. WordPress is a platform that extends the boundaries of those involved in the discussions of teaching and learning, and thus increases the amount of discussion possible
- What learning strategies were most effective for you? Why?
The learning strategies I like to employ and those that work for me are generally those that involve personalized assignments that include all aspects of critical inquiry. An example is letting students compose discussion posts, essays and projects on topics of their own choice. This gives students a sense of ownership on a topic that is of interest to them. It is important that there is a mechanism for other students and instructors to give feedback on the submitted work. For essays and projects I often suggest that students resubmit their work after reflecting on the feedback received on the submission.
In addition to reflecting on your work, please include 2-3 ideas that you would like to implement in your own practice and how you might go about doing so.
In reflection and review of my previous posts for OTL101, OTL201 and OTL301, I sense that two changes in my teaching practice will go a long way to improving my teaching and the successfulness of students that I teach. First, I will strive to optimise my social presence with students. I feel that, by developing better relationships with students through introductory posts and one-on-one communications, students would be more connected and engaged with the course. Secondly, I will be striving to give more and better feedback to students. As everyone earns best from reflection of one’s own work, quality constructive feedback is essential to the learning process.
I enjoyed participating in OTL101, OTL201 and OTL301.