Monday, 19 May 2014

#ocTEL Into a routine

I've been settling into ocTEL and a routine of only dipping into what I need to (and can realistically achieve)

I realised quite quickly that as I'm at an early stage of my career in Learning Technology I don't have the same practice experience that others do, or much knowledge of methods and strategies and frameworks, but it's been really interesting to 'eavesdrop' on some of the discussions in the forums and elsewhere.

I think one of the tricky things to deal with (for me anyway) on an open and less structured course like this is the feeling of "being behind". With so much to read and posts continually coming in, I've had to constantly remind myself that it's ok to stop reading and take time to review what I've learned and think reflectively (and critically).

The 'badges' on offer are a great incentive, but at the same time I need to remind myself that not necessarily achieving every single one is ok too :)

Over the last week I enjoyed looking at the Pre-Course Questionnaires, and thinking critically about my own readiness and approach to learning.

I initially chose this questionnaire, as it seemed to be more in-depth than some, and offered more choices than just yes or no:

University of Houston - Distance Education

Although I scored highly on the computer skills areas, I ended up in the 'almost there' category, which I suppose was something of a surprise. Perhaps I was being cautious with my answers, or perhaps (more likely) I genuinely do need to work on preparing for any online learning I might do. Certainly it's been some time since I did any serious study myself, so I'm sure there are some "academic skills" I could do with brushing up on. So, in a way, that outcome has been a positive one, as it's made me take some time to reflect on this and work out how to improve these skills.

I like the idea that a pre-course questionnaire can be for the benefit of both the institution (to gain an insight into the capabilities and potential needs of students-to-be) but also for the potential student (to give them constructive suggestions and pointers about which areas they might need to pay extra attention)

I suppose what struck me most overall was that the questionnaires could easily have been tweaked (and only slightly!) to apply to 'traditional' on-campus courses. I wonder how many Colleges and Universties take into account things like IT literacy, independent study skills and time management skills when preparing to admit undergraduates or postgraduates to face to face courses?

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