Reflecting back on the learning experiences I gained this semester, I thought about how critical designing an online course was to my overall development and understanding of the use of educational technology. In fact, I believe that activity was probably one of the most eye-opening assignments I have had during my time in the EDTECH program. In short, an instructor’s sound understanding of the intricacies involved in designing an online course is critical to an instructor’s success in the current learning environment. Specifically, my biggest lesson during this assignment was figuring out how to effectively communicate important information to students using a content management system. In the end, the proper implementation and use of Moodle ultimately allowed me the opportunities to see how various pedagogies could be implemented in various creative and effective ways.
In probing further into what I have learned, I thought about how my newfound knowledge impacted my teaching over the last few months. Essentially, after a lot of thought, I realized how important this class was in viewing my teaching and use of educational technology tools from the learners’ perspective (Ko & Rossen, 2010). In other words, after using and experiencing many different teaching strategies and web tools for adult teaching in this course, I realized I was merely approaching my teaching from a singular viewpoint. In essence, I had ironically been focused on teaching design technology tools from a more traditional standpoint. Thus, since I made that realization, I have begun to review my personal teaching strategies to focus more on stimulating student engagement and retention.
More specifically, I plan to select a few of the effective instructional techniques from this class and ultimately implement them into my daily teaching. For example, one of the main techniques I harnessed an understanding of in this class was experiential learning. In short, I quickly began to realize how motivated my students could be if I let them try new concepts or processes during my lessons (Taylor & Kroth, 2009, p. 6). In other words, I realized that my students would exponentially increase their motivation and excitement towards a project based on how closely it resembled their own experiences (Ko & Rossen, 2010). In short, for that idea alone, I am grateful for this course.
Finally, after reviewing the various assignments in this course that provided me with new knowledge to incorporate during my teaching, I immediately thought about how the lessons I teach often fail to use all of the educational technology tools I have available to me. In short, this is because I do not usually spend enough time learning or playing with a particular technology to learn it past its basic level. Essentially, the basic instructional methods I use do not typically engage my learners past their general curiosities. In fact, I now see that I may be hurting my students’ retention by failing to provide them more constructivist outlets. Thus, I look forward to making these changes and experiencing the positive results of my newfound knowledge.
Ko, S., & Rossen, S. (2010). Teaching online a practical guide. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
Taylor, B., & Kroth, M. (January 01, 2009). Andragogy’s transition into the future: Meta-Analysis of andragogy and its search for a measurable instrument. Journal of Adult Education, 38, 1, 1-11.