When I was asked what were the three words that best describe my experience of being an ONL student, I immediately thought of the following: brainstorming, improvising, experimenting.
I had not participated in problem-based learning before this course. So, I was ready to follow the new rules of the new learning format until … I understood that there are no ‘rules’ as such. Yes, you have the schedule, you are supported, you are given suggestions, you receive feedback. But you are free to work with the scenario in your chosen style, investigate in the manner you wish, select digital tools to your group preference etc. And unless you are an experienced PBL learner, you simply improvise and experiment. So, I did.
I experimented with the learning approach to the scenario sometimes relying more on the reading material, sometimes on some additional resources. I experimented with the choice of tools, sometimes trying what other groups tried, sometimes we followed suggestions by someone in our group who knew the tool better, sometimes just experimenting with the tool no one in our PBL used before. I experimented even with leadership: I spontaneously volunteered to co-lead the first topic with the person who I had met 40 minutes earlier and I absolutely enjoyed how we worked together.
The format of the course was great. So many layers that give you a chance to explore the topic from different angles: team work in your PBL, Google + to see what others are doing/thinking, webinars to hear educators from all over the world, the blog for personal reflections.
The variety of tools was a bit overwhelming. I tried to make a record of the tools and their main function. I will definitely try to implement more of them in my future practice.
So, I think this course was an experiement for all of us, a successful one and we eventually chrystallized something beautiful.
Thank you all for the inspiring course and network!
Happy experimenting to everyone and Merry Christmas:)