Rethinking my virtual presence/ONL161

This is the first time I participate in a distance course. And yet this is familiar territory for me. I research virtual learning environments, and I’ve taught a couple of virtual courses as well. What fascinates me is how important theoretical and practical knowledge is in virtual learning environments. As a teacher there are many matters to identify and solve beforehand, and during, a course. Basically the teaching methods need to be adapted to the programs used, and this meant more or less rethinking the pedagogy I knew. Participating as a student is equally challenging and rewarding, I hope. Stepping out into a virtual environment feels like moving in uncharted territories. Communicating and participating is different from a physical environment. I’ve enjoyed the first week of introductions and the webinar as ways to find a common ground. The structure of the PBL-group and related assignments seem well planned, too. I think this will be an interesting journey to rethink my virtual presence and how I communicate online. I am also looking forward to collaborating with people from across the world and from different scientific fields.

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10 comments

  1. alastaircreelman · February 22, 2016

    Many people say that they find online courses more interactive and participatory than classroom courses. It all depends on the course design really and creating a collaborative course culture. See especially Gilly Salmon’s 5 stage model http://www.gillysalmon.com/five-stage-model.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • chilli2012 · February 22, 2016

      Yes, I’ve found that my students say that too. I used Salmon while planning my distance courses. It was a great way to learn more about course structure or simply course design online.

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  2. catonl16 · February 22, 2016

    I really enjoyed reading the post! It reminded me of a conversation I had with one of my students when she came back to university after doing an internship alongside my on-line internship course. We communicated on-line for an entire semester and once we had the chance to see each other again we both cherished all the material “stuff’ that surrounded us. I will never forget what she said to me: “we need the Internet as much as we need these chairs and tables!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • chilli2012 · February 22, 2016

      That is so true! It’s as important to us today as any other appliance or tool or whatever you chose to call it. I’m intrigued by how much of ourselves we put in the written language we use, not to mention all links and videos we post or like. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Arla Cederberg · February 24, 2016

    Hej Charlotta! I totally agree with your comment ” Stepping out into a virtual environment feels like moving in uncharted territories” and also “that communication and participation is different from physical environments”- so far I personally find it more difficult and not only because of (for me) complex tools and technical issues. It will be interesting to see how it feels in the end of this course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • chilli2012 · February 24, 2016

      I think it quite quickly gets easier. The problem is you need know-how to manage all the programs before you can focus on content related issues. That can be a bit of a challenge. At least for me Google+ groups have always been rather chaotic no matter how much I use them.

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  4. Openness in developing countries · February 24, 2016

    The interesting thing is that I have a friend, a psychologist, deeply involved in distance learning and her Master thesis was exactly to identify the differences/similarities of our personality traits online and face-to-face. According to her research, we present the same traits after a while…in the beginning, we may be able to hide, but in the end, they all come to the surface….

    Liked by 1 person

    • chilli2012 · February 24, 2016

      Yes, I notice the same thing. Very few people manage to hide “who”they are online. We leave a lot of traces all over the place. You can tell a lot about a person from how they write, how often they reply. Did she cover language barriers also? I wonder if people who are less fluent are more shy or less talkative online, as well as in a face-to-face meeting (I suppose?).

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  5. Arla Cederberg · February 24, 2016

    Interesting! I personally find it difficult “to be me” online. I am (sometimes even too) talkative and spontaneous in real live, but definitely not online (for better or worse;)) Or maybe it is just lack of practice..

    Liked by 1 person

    • chilli2012 · February 25, 2016

      Perhaps it’s something you’ll grow more accustomed to during this course. I think most people are more timid when in a large group of people. But perhaps you’re one of the few who’d participate in a discussion face-to-face if all of us (80-90 people now?) gathered? 🙂

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