My original reasons for entering the MEd DE program included:
- increase ability to consider various positions and roles within the college
- become a better educator
- contribute to the larger organizational goals and eLearning strategies
- take on a leadership role in eLearning within my division
- become a resource for fellow faculty and administrators in my department
- become skilled in developing future online programs
- participate in research
As I consider these intentions I'm delighted to realize that each of them has been attained and remain realistic goals for continued development.
- I am now trained to take on new roles and responsibilities within my organization.
- I am better equipped to develop learning materials and activities which has ultimately improved my teaching.
- I have been recognized by my peers and administrators as a leader, early adopter and change agent in my department.
- I have been asked to take on an official role as E-Learning Coordinator in the School of Humans Services, thereby contributing to the overall E-Learning organizational goals and strategic plan of the college.
- I am sought out by colleagues and peers for support and consultation on matters involving distance and online education.
- I have the opportunity to implement skills, competencies, program plans and visions developed while in the MEd DE program. I have participated in ELearning research initiatives and look forward to continued involvement in these areas with both Athabasca University and Fanshawe College.
If I had to sum up my collective experience in the MEd DE program with one word, it would have to be "transformative". My expectations were fulfilled and I believe surpassed in that I have an immense sense of pride and competence that I didn't quite expect at the onset.
Influence During Studies:
While in the program I also took advantage of free training opportunities being offered by my work. Fanshawe College had partnered with the University of Illinois to train faculty through a program called the Master Online Teacher (MOT) Certification. I completed the MOT and the MEd DE simultaneously. I'm quite certain I would not have jumped at this opportunity if it were not for the enthusiasm and motivation I was feeling as an Athabasca student.
I also noticed that my studies had a direct impact on my work performance and relationships. I found myself engaging regularly in conversation about eLearning issues and advancements and became known as a champion for eLearning initiatives. However, I was also known to hold strong values about the need for faculty training, infrastructure and adequate support to "do" eLearning well.
I found my course material was always in need of some sort of update after each new skill or competence I learned. I frequently made changes to course materials, methods, evaluation strategies and performance measures as a result of new knowledge. Universal instructional design principles were of particular focus.
My completion of the MEd DE program continues to shape my current situation.
I notice the various eLearning groups and activities in my organization. I volunteer to participate in various consulation committees and continue to try to stay abreast of the local initiatives I could join.
I applied to be a facilitator with the Learning to Learn Online (LTLO) MOOC.
I agreed to take on ELearning Coordinator role for the School of Human Services.
I plan to take a break from formal studies over the next year, but will consider the best time to return. I am currently considering the Doctor of Distance Education program for the future.
One thing is certain.....this experience has changed me. The most amazing thing about learning is that "you can't NOT know what you now know". I'm determined to make the most out of my new skills and competencies and eagerly await the chance to put some of my ideas into practice!