I chose to do this subject last year when I decided to do two subject in the semester in order to finish my Masters. I have on many occasions just done one subject as my wife and I both have busy jobs and our two daughters are in grade one and three so we are all very busy. I usually like to have just one evening away at uni a week. So when I was this course had the option to be a non attending student I knew it would suit me and my families needs. I also know the content of the subject was likely to be in interesting and possibly a challenge for me. When I started the subject I didn’t quite know what to expect. I read about the assessment and was very unsure how it would all work. Indeed I was challenged at first and because of my natural tentativeness when it comes to change. This subject is definitely a deviation from the usual formats and I had to go through a unique change process. I had a period of uncertainly at my work due to significant restructures and I did get distracted from setting up a routine for this subject. I was challenged by the media and all by the need to engage the process immediately and also the need to share your personal feelings with the collective. I felt much better when Katya and Kathleen reached out to me immediately when I did get involved. So I guess what I am trying to say is that I did get challenged by the format of the subject and also didn’t get a routine set up early enough to get in the swing of the subject. I then had to catch up. Again its not a great subject to get behind in. I would stress this to new starters . Anyway I caught up pretty easily and was welcomed back into the participating students very kindly. The subject went on to really exceed my expectations. The fact that the subject’s format was in itself an emerging format made the subject seem very authentic and therefore really engaging. I learnt about so many relevant current topics in such a interactive way that I was really engaged throughout.
The learning environment of the subject was, when I got into a routine, very effective. My wife was travelling most of semester so I was not able to join the online lectures however every Saturday morning I would listen back to the class and go through the learning content and on Sunday afternoons complete my assessments. I took time thought out the week to play and explore different learning activities when I had the time. For a working student the format is excellent. The Lectures were clear and relevant to assessments and the play and reflect activities, including the readings, were interesting and engaging. I ended up listening to all lectures and completing all assessments with ease and considering I didn’t set foot on campus I was truely amazed at how engaged I became.
What I found most challenging in the subject was the sharing via posting element of the course. I struggled to feel compelled to share. It is something that I regret now however I for some reason let the desire to be genuine and authentic override the requirement to share your thoughts. I did post occasionally but was reluctant to do of it for the sake if it. I am disappointed I didn’t interact more with my peers and know if I am in they type of situation again I will definitely learn from the experience.
What I most enjoyed about the subject was the reflective writing pieces. I was genuinely discovering every week and found a reflective writing task a great way to cement the learning. As far as anything missing from the subject well I was so enlightened by everything it would be pretty mean of me to say anything was missed. I played it pretty safe but I guess I was thinking before I started I thought that we may be challenged to attempt to invent potential innovations ourselves.
I had so many learnings on so many levels its hard to identify one. For a old fashioned genXer the pr0cess of understand recent trending technology is a great experience. When initially exposed to the concept of open learning or internet privacy I held pretty uninformed beliefs. When asked to reflect and play with the technology I was enlightened very week. Gameification was new to me but now is something I see everywhere. On another level I learnt a lot about online learning format and the advantages of blended courses. I am used to attending uni and the fact that I was engaged more by this subject really pointed out to me that I had to accept and engage online web based learning. I think this was the lightbulb moment for me when I compared the experience of this subject against my other subject I realise that this format done properly was better suited to my lifestyle. Although I had barriers when I broke them down this subject was my preferred format.
I also liked the Persona project. I thought it was interesting to contextualise yourself in relation to modern technology. I was amazed by how much technology my family and i used and relied on. It really brought to me home the fact that technology is everywhere and everyone is a participant. The format of the assignment was also a challenge that I was pretty pleased to get something ok up.
I didn’t try and get a seven for this subject. I just tried to pass through all the gates that were presented. However I was determined to have a go at everything and develop the right habits to enable me to benefit from the format. The content itself was for me a real journey. Every week I was discovering new and exciting content and then given the chance to express how it related to me personally. This is what makes this subject so good – the fact you get to express your own experience. Its a rare learning experience and one I am very grateful to have been involved in. Thanks.