When I first looked at the Online Lesson Facilitation Assignment, I was excited for the opportunity to get a taste of what it would be like to facilitate an online course with real students, instead of simply planning another unit. I was particularly looking forward to interacting with the other students. Being provided with unit notes, suggested readings, and learning activities, etc. made me feel calm and confident. I was a bit nervous being in the first group and afraid that not everyone would get the activities completed in time for their peers and Abbi, Chris, and I to respond. I was worried that the learners would not like the activities as well. Because my efforts did not only affect my mark, but also the marks of the other members in my group, I felt pressure. There were feelings of anxiety as well, after meeting with the rest of the group and trying to coordinate who is going to do what. Everyone’s schedule is different, and people are busy with work and family commitments, etc. Realizing this as an instructor is important, especially when we barely know each other; unlike a traditional face-to-face classroom setting where a teacher really gets to know their students and has a bit of an idea how their time is spent outside of school. During the week, I found myself constantly checking to see if anyone had posted anything and wanting to reach out, but at the same time, not wanting to bombard everyone with too many messages from Abbi, Chris, and myself. Now that it’s over, I feel relief and pride that it went well, and I want to do a good job as a student for the remaining facilitating groups.
I loved the separate website that was created. I think it made navigating through all of the week’s activities a breeze, without having to do a lot of scrolling or jumping back and forth from multiple sites. Having the readings and videos embedded on the page was also a nice touch. I get overwhelmed and disorganized when I have a ton of different tabs open at the same time. Having the estimated timing on the home page was helpful, along with the module’s objectives and learning opportunities. I think we did a good job of coming up with a variety of activities and responded quickly and thoroughly to any posts. The QuizBreaker activity was my favourite and it was neat learning more about our peers. By the way, we wanted to share some of your individual successes in the activity:
- Corrie answered the most icebreaker questions
- Gulia was the only one to earn the Einstein badge for answering a quiz question correctly for every member of the team
- Kate tied for the most correct answers
- Tammy earned the most achievement badges and tied for the most correct answers
- Michael scored the highest percentage of correct answers
And last but not least…
- Michelle somehow figured out how to hack into the test version of QuizBreaker I created and became a part of my wife’s team!
For the Mentimeter and Poll everywhere activities, we could ask learners to include their name so we could see who said what. While researching throughout the week, we found a ton of really great resources online, in both print and digital media formats. I would incorporate more of those if I was to do it again, and I would only take the best sections of each resource, in order to keep the readings shorter and more impactful. Being more familiar with the material and resources that are out there, I would also create a bank of resources I could draw from, so when I replied to a post, I could offer them pertinent links to extend their learning. Putting our email addresses and a visual schedule highlighting when the different activities were due on the home page, would have helped. Some design improvements include ensuring all images used are clear and selecting an easy to read font and colour.
The feedback was valuable, especially the recommendations for what we could change. I am a firm believer in constructive criticism and during exercises like this, is the time to learn and improve. It was also encouraging and felt good reading the comments about what we did well. I enjoyed answering the questions and feel like we are in a good position to help guide the groups who have yet to facilitate, and who are probably feeling quite nervous but excited right now. I am used to working with younger students who are full of questions and need help getting organized and focused, etc., so it was a strange feeling providing feedback to learners who did not need any clarification and were not feeling completely lost. Seeing the moment the light goes on for a student when they finally get a concept is a special experience that would be difficult to duplicate in an online asynchronous environment. This assignment has again highlighted some of the challenges in encouraging, empowering, and nurturing the development of learners.