EDTECH522: A Reflection

In 16 paradoxically long and short weeks, my course on Online Adult Teaching has come to end. The journey, however, steadily marches on.

There were two meaningful activities during EDTECH 522 that, if I were to pick one over another, would feel negligent on my part, thus this reflection is two-fold. First, a digital tool exploration (i.e. chat messengers) and then a Moodle-based lesson.

The digital tool analysis for how it might be used to develop cognitive, social, and teaching presence was valuable as I chose a set of tools that I am personally not fond of (i.e. I do not chat online frequently). This forced me to step outside of my personal biases and proclivities that would result in less consideration of them, though this could be detrimental to students. With the goal of always being a proactive educator, it is critical to be more inclusive and not let intrinsic bias have too much control over design decisions since it can never truly be eliminated.

For the activity I ultimately analysed how the instant messenger, Kakao Talk, could be used to facilitate synchronous discussions for an online course. In my local setting, this would not only be a perfect choice as the de-facto national messenger on smart phones, but demanded that I think differently about it in an educational context. Why would it be used? What would it be used for? What structure would be required to facilitate those goals? The result was a significant amount of planning but ultimately yielded a significant plan! This plan was directly incorporated into my online pilot course, and also doubles as effective tool in hybrid delivery.

In the end, I am appreciative of the fact that I chose to challenge myself to give attention to tools I do not gravitate towards. As I noted earlier in the semester what type of learner I viewed myself as on Grow’s SDLS, there is the pitfall of being inconsiderate of other levels of self-directedness which is definitely not ideal as an instructor.

The second assignment that was extremely valuable for me was the Moodle-based lesson. While I have a reasonable amount of experience building courses in other platforms (e.g. Canvas, Course Sites), I have never been able to use Moodle due to the need to personally host it on a server, and I have not been that motivated to invest that amount of work just to play with it. Gaining experience with it definitely rounded out some of my experiences, but shortly thereafter I was fortunate to be given an interview for job in which one of the main responsibilities is being the Moodle Admin. While this lesson did not give me that exact experience, it gave me enough to be considered for, and ultimately offered, the position. Having some experience with the platform, especially from a teacher-perspective, was no small part in that.

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