Monday, March 17, 2008

Module 1 (week 2) reflections

Well module 1 of FET5601 is schedule to be covered in week 2 to 4 but I managed to finish it in week 2. (thanx to the government for a public holiday in Fiji).

The most interesting thing which I learned in module 1 was that the 4 part definition of Instructional designing - being a process, a discipline, a science and a reality, which is actually true. Prior to this I was always thinking of ID being a process.

I also developed a concept map (using Visio) to explain what ID means from my perspective.

There were some interesting thoughts on the definition of flexible learning. It was really good to read about the various definitions and connotations of flexible learning. For me I think flexible delivery is a vehicle for achieving flexible learning which includes open, distance and online learning. Flexible learning means leaners have a choice of what, how and when they want to study. This encompasses a learner’s learning styles, needs, outcomes, strategies, preferences and prior experience. Basically the learner is in control of their learning and they decide how, when and what their learning experience be.

The were some really good papers for module 1 readings. However I found the Siemens (2002) and Dougiamas (1998) very useful. In Seimens (2002), he discusses the various definitions, models and benefits of ID which I never knew. Dougiamas (1998) discusses the several types of constructivism which being trivial, radical, social, cultural and critical constructivism. I had a brief idea as to what constructivism was but this is the first time I had read about the several types of constructivism and how they are interrelated.

I have also started work on the project outline and getting a hang of stuffs. I am thinking of creating an online course on teaching and learning using the Moodle LMS for the teaching staffs at the University of the South Pacific (where I work). I also read the exemplars given for the course which has been really helpful in guiding me.

Iam ready to have my foray into this project.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Week 1 reflections

This week I started with the course proper of FET5601 Instructional designing for flexible learning, my 7th course in the Masters for Educational Technology programme. Since iam already working in the field of instructional designing (ID), I basically know aspects of ID.

Interesting thing which I have noticed in the course introduction is about graphic organizers. I, personally am not a big fan of concept mapping but after reading about it in the course introduction I have noticed the benefits of it. It gives a visual representation as to how the content all fits together, how they are connected and related to each other – a holistic view – the big picture kind of thing. From a learners point of view I see certain benefits:

- gives a overall picture – a snapshot, summary which is easier to comprehend and recall rather than a whole page of text.

- provides direction to the learner as to where he/she is and where they are to head to ( guides them)

Also I managed to find out the difference between mind mapping and concept mapping. Mind mapping considers only one concept while concept mapping considers several concepts All this time I was thinking that both mean the same or synonymous. I had never used Visio to do concept mapping and this week I had Visio installed in my PC and have started to learn how to use it…..the course is already bearing its fruit.

It was also good to see some familiar student names from previous courses and some new names. They bring a lot experience and diversity to the course which we all can learn from each other…..i think semester will be quite a learning adventure.

Can’t wait to progress with the course.