Final Course Reflection

Week 8 – can’t believe it is already here! What a ride this has been. I spent many nights on my final portfolio and sharing my story and journey during this eight week adventure. I have learned a lot about social media, storytelling, and about myself.

Me as a learner in this course: I feel this course taught me so much more than any other class. Each week required me to go out of my comfort zone and I had to learn a new application to complete my assignments. Most of the class was self-directed and allowed me to take baby steps as I entered the world of social media. Of course there was some direction from Remi and Lisa but the coolest thing this class allowed me to pick the assignments. Each week I could pick an assignment and create something to reflect my focal theme of work-life balance. I felt by picking my own assignments I had more accountability to go beyond each week and to let myself fail and then try again. The social learning practices shared by L&K and other authors were all new to me. I had to read the articles a couple of times to fully understand. Each week I took a risk and annotated my thoughts about the readings. Sometimes I didn’t get any responses but it was helpful to be able to read thoughts from peers. I feel that the ability to read other’s thoughts helped me understand the articles and learn. I learned so much about HOW to tell a story and what traits should be included in MY story so that my message is clear. The social learning practices allowed me to see through different lenses and this new “sight” will follow me and guide me to be a better storyteller. My storytelling can be either in-person or via social media. This class introduced me to the world of social media. I learned about Twitter and blogging. The DS106 community was intriguing and I was amazed how people just put themselves out there – a goal for me. I am not sure how much I will continue to blog stories but I might keep my Twitter account 🙂

My co-design of this course: This course was so different than any other in-person or online class. The ability to pick and choose your assignments was something that I truly enjoyed. It allowed me to have time to learn these new applications but yet it pushed me to try new things. The fear of failing wasn’t there and it allowed me to explore. I felt I gave some insights of my thoughts and perspective via my annotations and story critiques. I hope that my peers learned something from the videos I picked to help them create a work-life balance; I know I certainly did. The ability to see other’s creation was fun plus it gave me inspiration to “step it up” for the next week. Each week I became less frustrated and started to relax and enjoy the ride. After the first few weeks I started to have fun with things and allowed myself to take some risks.The course was designed to give students a different learning platform. The connections with Ds106 community and the annotations gave the students a great way to share our own specific stories.

My understanding of pedagogy: I give credit to Remi and Lisa for designing a four-month course into a eight-week class. It was a huge time commitment for both students and instructors. The design of the class seemed to be the instructors gave an address but didn’t tell the student how to get there – because it didn’t matter what route he/she took, as long as you arrived. This allowed the decision-making to be up to the student; how much time and effort he/she wanted to give to the assignment. It was a lot to do each week but it was a great learning opportunity and pushed me. Instructor’s do not need to “tell” their students how to do something but give them a destination and allow them to find their way on their own. I am a type of person that learns better my doing not someone telling me. So this was a perfect for me to do some hands-on learning. The only thing that was a little frustrating for me was the feedback. I understand there wasn’t grades along the way but sometimes I felt I was floating and didn’t know where I was going. I know it was said early on that I would receive feedback if I needed it but sometimes I wasn’t sure how I was doing. I guess it is like the old quote, “No news is good news.”

The first week I wasn’t sure about this class and was intimidated. But I continued the journey and I am so glad I finished it. I have learned so much and I feel like I can incorporate what I learned into my personal and professional life. Thank you for a great ride and for having a safe environment to make mistakes while I learned.

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