As the only non-lecturer/researcher in my group, I’ve got a slightly different perspective. My main objective for joining this series was to look at how as the library can support online learning as the new organisation I joined has mostly (70-80%) online/distance learners. However, as time has gone on, I’m finding myself reflecting as a learner and identifying my interaction between my current studies and what research and other universities are looking into. I believe the reason for this is I’ve realised my role where I am, I am unable to do much or encourage change in this area – no matter how much I talk to people and there are others that feel the same.
While I’ve been studying online for the last 3 and a half years, I’ve found myself engaged in my studies when I’ve actually liked the topic, and could see the relevance in my own work. A couple of my subjects that stood out with this were in relation to organisation culture and digital environment. However, most of the information given to me has been a website or an article to read and reflect on, most of the time the reflection is “find something else to support this claim” – not very reflective. For me, the idea with the online realm should open up opportunities to be able to create and engage differently with the information, but still being able to receive and reflect with the information.
Online/Distance vs. relevant teaching options/assessment
In the PBL group that I’m part of, an interesting factor came about for blended learning: it’s not about online resources vs. physical resources. As someone who is constantly going “why?” in the world, it came a little bit as a shock that I was so focused on the materials themselves rather than what the students are getting out of it. In my current course for my Masters, this has been a good demonstration. The lecturer has given us a bunch of different tools to give us knowledge on how to make a website and the various considerations you have to remember whilst making a website. Then there was an exam with 22 multiple choice and three short essay answers: one for understanding a concept, one evaluating a website design and the other…. I honestly can’t remember. For our last piece of assessment is using all these elements to create a small five page website. All these elements give justification to how all the learning activities and the assessments go together to give a holistic approach into what I can use in my professional and personal life.