Thanks to a good friend, Alice Keeler, being in Europe a little longer than planned, I began a journey on Wednesday that I did not expect. I hear myself saying thanks to Alice a lot recently. This time it happens to be because she was not able to be somewhere, but usually these thanks are for her showing how amazing something is (smart car), suggesting a #coffeecue nearby me and making it happen, or just having her children create Weebly sites to remove the ads from the wedding website for Jenna and myself.
I am taking her place in an online Leading Edge Certification course which began on Wednesday, right smack-dab in the middle of what we had thought was going to be a relaxing spring break. (Wedding planning can sometimes take the ‘relaxing’ out of it.)
Anyway, I’m meant to reflect on what I look to get out of this certification course. More specifically, my “highest priority learning goal”. After taking the Foothill College Online Readiness assessment, I found that although I’d barely taken a course online (I say this knowing that some of my college courses had an online component, but they were still mostly in-person classes) I am pretty well suited for it. Except for one thing. When you’re in an online environment, there’s no real physical reminder of the timing and deadlines. Yes, there’s a calendar on the LMS, but honestly, it’s taken me years to be comfortable with an online calendar. To be more specific, it’s taken Siri and a fully integrated iCal/Google calendar collaboration to make my online calendar work.
In other words, my goal is to learn how to raise my own accountability for the online course I’m taking. One way is through the actual people I know who are in the course, including Mike Lawrence and Burt Lo. Because I know them and they know me, we can keep each other accountable for the work. I know if I’d been in the OC on Wednesday I would’ve met more people in the class and that would’ve made the work even more important, because then it’s not just you you’re working for, but a whole group of people.
I think that’s one thing I’ve already taken from this course. Any online course that really works has got to use the community within the class to make the work meaningful and valuable. The way to do that is not by just creating the products for yourself, but for the community as a whole… to share out those tools you’ve found and to reflect together in order to build deeper understandings than one would have alone.
By learning to raise my accountability and engagement level in this course, I hope I will be able to apply this to the courses I teach in the future, not only online, but also in-person.