The course EdTech 597 is my first course in the Boise State EdTech program. It is also the first fully online credit course I have taken. In 1990, I completed my Masters of Arts in a traditional classroom delivery model. In 1995, I started teaching in a post-graduate College program at Conestoga College. In 1997, I created my first online course. Five years ago, the program became 100% online. The most important learning experience for me this term was that of being a student again. Through this experience, I have been truly humbled and am deeply appreciative of this learning opportunity.
One of the things I have observed with my own students is that there is a need to “learn the technology and systems in order to use the technology and systems to learn”. In other words, the process of becoming literate in the course is critical to be able to learn from the course. A significant amount of my time has been spent learning how the technology and systems worked. It is this understanding that has impacted my the most. I am now determined to set-up a mandatory non-credit ‘orientation’ course for the program I teach in. I am also going to ensure that I am very clear with all learners in the course design and expectations.
Another interesting element for me was the awareness of my own learning preferences. I have always been an independent self-directed learner. I seek out learning opportunities on an ongoing basis in order to accomplish things that I need to do. This means that my learning has been oriented towards very practical ‘just-in-time’ projects. A key difference in a formal course is the need to learn things to earn marks, which may or may not be helpful to my educational practice. The other challenge in this formal approach is that I found it difficult to come up with learning designs that I was not likely to put into practice in my courses. In the past, when I am designing a course, I take a lot more time than the length of a summer course allows. However, I do see that I will be able to integrate this material into future course designs.
In regards to the AECT standards, the course assignment projects facilitated the development of the “Design, Development and Utilization” competencies. I created learning outcomes and designed instructional strategies to meet those goals by integrating a variety of audio, visual and text-based social media. One of my favourite assignments was the review of sound based activities, which helped me to develop my evaluative capabilities in the audio domain of learning. I make no claim to have mastered these standards through the course assignments; however, I have become empassioned to continue to professional development to achieve this over time! To understand what I mean by this and its relevance for my teaching, I invite you to listen to this quote to understand My Passion for Teaching.