This post is in response to a post (Martlew, 2016) made by Angela on her excellent blog. She mentions feeling there is a lack of interaction between learners in our course. I agree with this and feel I am especially guilty. In trying to analyse the difference between my contributions so far and those of other students, I think perhaps my reasons for and initial expectations of undertaking an online form of study may have not been appropriate.
I initially chose to study education online as I was working as a full-time teacher in Japan. I wanted to continue working on my professional credentials to have better opportunities after completion of my contract in Japan. Japanese universities were not an option as they allow no flexibility and, from my own investigations, mostly rely on outdated teaching methods. Online study seemed like a good alternative as I was unable to attend lessons in person.
I often had periods of busyness and high stress in this job and I thought online study would allow me to complete work in my own time. I now think I was quite naive. Online study requires the same adherence to deadlines as on-campus learning, however I think greater discipline is required without the contact hours with classmates and teaching staff. Online courses, such as this current NGL course, require quick and consistent attention.
A blog post by Kristina Ericksen echoes the lessons that I’ve learnt from my experiences with online study. She highlights the importance of identifying your own learning style and points out that “people have different learning styles, so an advantage to one student may be a disadvantage to another” (Ericksen, 2014). I’ve now come to realise that face-to-face and hands-on learning are important for me to maintain motivation for the subject that I am studying.
I don’t want to give the impression with posts like this that I dislike NGL or think it isn’t effective. I’m grateful for the opportunities it has given me. I think it’s necessary to identify it’s weaknesses in order to find solutions that make it a more effective learning tool.
Ericksen, K. (2014). What I Wish Someone Told Me BEFORE Taking Online Classes. COLLEGE LIFE BLOG. Retrieved from http://www.rasmussen.edu/student-life/blogs/college-life/what-i-wish-someone-told-me-before-taking-online-classes/
Martlew, A. (2016). THOUGHTS ON OUR NGL COURSE. Angelamartlewedu8117. Retrieved from https://angelamartlewedu8117.wordpress.com/2016/08/14/thoughts-on-our-ngl-course/