Artefact #5

Description

This artefact represents the first module I ever designed using entirely open resources. As per the assignment instructions, I was able to focus on a topic area that is applicable to my actual work deliverables. It incorporates a variety of text, activities and videos and was designed to take the student less than one hour to complete the entire module. I was able to use this module with my students and took advantage of the opportunity to seek their feedback after they completed it. 

Associated Competencies

1. Problem Solving, Analysis, & Decision Making
1.4.Find and access information
1.5.Critically evaluate the relevance of information for a given situation
1.10.Recognize the wider implications of specific knowledge
1.11.Adapt solutions to suit varied situations.
  
  
2. Instructional Design & Development
2.1Critically analyze and discuss the implications of personal perspectives and epistemological orientations for the teaching-learning process
2.3Describe and appropriately apply a range of learning and motivational theories to instructional design situations in distance education
2.4Describe the activities of the instructional design process and the advantages and disadvantages of using them in distance education contexts
2.5Develop instructional products or learning objects in distance education
2.6Critically analyze and discuss the common criticisms and controversies relating to the use of traditional and emerging instructional design models in distance education
2.7Apply instructional design principles and models in distance education, in your workplace, or in other instructional contexts
  
  

3. Communication Technologies and Networking

3.1Use a variety of communication and document-sharing tools to create, reflect, and communicate with others
  
  
4. Communication & Interpersonal Skills
4.1Write clearly and in a style appropriate to purpose (e.g. assignments, essays, published documents, and theses)
4.2Construct coherent arguments and articulate ideas clearly to a range of audiences, formally and informally, through a variety of techniques and media
4.6Demonstrate effective design, delivery and critical evaluation of presentations, computer conferences, or seminars

Reflection

I chose this artifact because it represents new skills, new ways of thinking and a real-world application of these new aptitudes. Prior to the MDDE622 course I had only a vague understanding of open resources. I had heard the acronym OER but didn’t really have a solid grasp on the concept. I was both surprised and excited to learn that the definition extends far beyond a simple tool to use for my classes, but in fact encompasses a movement and a philosophical orientation toward access in education. I found myself quite passionate about this concept as I worked my way through the course, and was delighted to discover that building my own OER module was not only a meaningful exercise, but a transformative one. I found myself rethinking many of the values I held about the moral obligations inherent in teaching and found that the ideas discussed in this course resonated with me.

In completing this assignment I created an online module for Child & Youth Workers using only open resources. This process was challenging as it required me to be aware of the definition of open resources, to know how to find them, and to understand how to accurately attributed credit to the creators of the resource (1.4, 1.5). I searched through a large number of potential resources to finally decide on these activities, videos and articles. The searching process really underlined for me how important it is to stay connected with others who share a passion for open resources and to keep a current list of OER repositories. It also requires discernment in selecting the best resources and in deciding which ones to use for a given purpose, recognizing that not all OER are relevant, of good quality or appropriately matched to student learning needs (2.1). I relied on instructional design theories to help make decisions about what made the cut (1.6) and used my web-design skills to present the material in a format conducive to learning (3.1, 4.1, 4.6). In creating this online module I also had to go through the process of reworking previous material from the face-to-face environment to suit the criteria of the assignment (1.11, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7).

After seeing what my students learned from the OER module on bullying, I was pleasantly surprised to find they actually retained more information than in my previous lecture and application approach in the face-to-face classroom. I believe the MDDE622 OER assignment was an excellent example of how to design a learning activity that actually meets the course objectives and I now strive to ensure my assignments are also well aligned with the learning aims.

Studying the impact of OER on education has had a significant influence on my values and has resulted in a major shift in my thinking (1.10). For example, the idea of curating materials for students was noteworthy. Simply asking students to find appropriate materials on their own could generate more frustration and lost time for students. However, dictating what content will be used and allowable is also restrictive. I now believe the educator’s responsibility is to provide students with some materials that have been vetted through the lens of responsible teaching and learning (curated), while also encouraging students to contribute resources they have found on their own and to share these with the learning community for further discussion and exploration.

I currently hold a very strong belief about removing barriers to education (1.10). This course absolutely solidified this stance and gave me many opportunities to consider and reconsider my views on the topic. I found that it sometimes came into direct conflict with old ways of thinking in my workplace, particularly as it related to textbook ordering and the relationship faculty members have with the library. I found myself telling my colleagues about my thoughts and questions and shared my OER module with them as an example of how to rethink the way we resource our unit objectives (2.6, 4.2).

I learned that I am more interested in making sure that everyone has the opportunity to get an education, to continually learn, not to simply sign up and pay for a program and get a certificate. I also learned that I would like to create OERs and share them with others. My area of study is quite unique in that most of the journals and articles historically have been about social work, not child and youth work specifically. This is changing, but many of these new publications require payment and subscriptions and would not fit the definition of open source.

I have reworked many of my lessons since completing this module/course. I have shared them with others. I have championed the passion about openness as a movement among my colleagues. I have shared my materials worldwide. As I make selections for materials, as I access material and link students to various resources, I find myself referring back to much that was learned in this course. I am awe struck by the magnitude of open courses, open colleges and universities and marvel at the future possibilities.

I am still sifting through my thoughts and feelings about these changing times in education but envision the potential for it to really address some major flaws in traditional education. That being said, I am also respectfully mindful of the potential for any inadvertent consequences which might diminish some of the better aspects of traditional approaches to education. This tension between these ideals has become a motivator for inquiry, and a balancing act I use when trying to problem solve educational problems in my workplace. These musings have also brought to light the dissonance, which still exists in my workplace, between openness and the profit-based business of education in post-secondary institutions.

The spirit of helping, sharing, supporting other learners was nurtured and honed through this course experience. I am now far less competitive, more open to sharing my own contributions, interested in getting the most out of everyone, and not focused on being the best or having the best assignment. I believe the professor, Dr. George Siemens was an absolutely amazing motivator and his actions truly exemplified the best aspects of openness. I was regularly inspired by his ongoing work and consider myself a fan. My enthusiasm for supporting others and promoting online education prompted me to apply as a facilitator with the Learning to Learn Online MOOC offered by Athabasca University. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and really saw how much my perspectives had changed since being a student just learning to learn online.

The impact of ‘openness’ is also evident in my relationships with classmates, colleagues and students. It has also surfaced in my pursuit of other interests such as ‘openness’ as facilitated or aided by mobile technologies. This interest motivated me to take MDDE623 to further pursue this quest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>