For this 4th topic, we shifted focus from participation in a learning environment to how to support and design for learning. My first reflection of this topic was on the picture representing the topic on the ONL-homepage. The more trained you are, the easier it gets?
This spring my collogues and I are preparing for the start of the new online-program for Dental hygienists. For us, we don’t go from campus-based education to online, which maybe makes it easier as we don’t have to rethink or reconstruct existing courses. There are large amounts of research about on-line education, a new world has opened up to me. I really liked the suggested literature from Vaughan et al., 2013. Overall, the book presents principles that provide a set of tools facilitating teaching and learning available through different technologies and teaching practices related to the blended learning experiences. Also, the article of Ameijde et al., 2018 gave thoughtful insights on the students’ perspective in order to maintain student’s retention in courses. Several of the aspects, which caused the students dropouts, were related to the social context and the feelings students experienced, and not only the workload, this highlights that emotions among the students are important to address in online-education, as well in blended learning.
To provide the students with support, facilitation and scaffolding in online and blended learning environments the five-stage model (Salmon, 2013) is a good framework to lean on. Step-by-step Salmon guides you through the different stages, creating a scaffold for both teachers and students. One important aspect of supporting the students are especially in the beginning of the education. A lesson I learned through the course, when everything is new and everything takes longer than planned it stresses you. I would say that chaos is an appropriate word explaining the feelings. If it is possible to soften the stressful feeling among the students, it is positive and enhances the possibilities of learning. Being new in this field, I think it’s important to allow yourself and your colleagues to try things out and evaluate the courses and the techniques and methods used as the learning process progress.
Salmon, G (2013) The Five Stage Model. http://www.gillysalmon.com/five-stage-model.html
van Ameijde, J., Weller, M. and Cross, S. (2018). Learning Design for Student Retention. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, Vol 6 | Issue 2 | pp.41-50.
Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press. Chapter 1 “The Community of Inquiry Conceptual framework”.