For this activity, I will assume the role of the educational technology coordinator at the HOBY organization, and will attempt to put an insider spin on the online course that was recently created. The first area that I want to reflect on is the ability to design a brilliant instructional design program for the HOBY organization. As I look at the duty that I will assume in this club, I believe that behaviorism, connectivism, and constructivism all play a prominent role in online learning.
Constructivism & Course Development
In the instance of HOBY, constructivism might be the best choice for an online course. Constructivism is a learning theory which says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, based on experiencing new things and reflecting on them. I want our HOBY volunteers to develop a sense of optimism for online learning by looking at their own volunteer experiences and taking the time to learn new things that would benefit their skill set. This teaching style can help all of our volunteers become more involved in what they are doing. I had a bit of a hard time deciding to go down this pathway as all of these instructional design theories seem to overlap with each other. Now that I have designed this course, though, I am confident that my design will allow our volunteers to play a role in their development by learning from their own experiences.
Understanding by Design & Going Forward
In conjunction with this, I previously developed a UbD outline that showed my plan as the coordinator in this role. If you recall, I worked closely with my associates to develop a new model of learning that will begin with the Training Institute held in August. I have decided that the best way to put this course into action is to do it over a series of months that run during the seminar year. The course begins by getting students involved in online learning, and then changing staff training methods to become more engaging at their seminar site. The first assignment begins with a “why” statement and the final activity is a comprehensive plan and reflection for seminar engagement. Each module teaches the volunteer something new that they did not know before the online course. This entire program will be implemented over a generous amount of time to allow people to get accustomed to new changes. In the future, we will need to consider making adjustments to the course design to keep up with demand and the needs of the organization.
Relevance of Online Learning
When I think about what I have learned in this course, I can only think of online learning and the implications it will have in the future. The Internet has played a vital role in connecting our busy world and making sure that we have new tools for learning. As more and more people around the world get access to the Internet, our world will become a smaller place. As time has passed, barriers of distance to communication have been broken, and will continue as we become more inter-connected. As the educational technology coordinator for HOBY, it is up to me to make sure that these barriers are torn down in our organization. The Internet is the future, and the primary spot of where we will all connect in the future. What is the way forward? ONLINE LEARNING. Online learning may seem like a futuristic method, but we will all be accustomed to this process one day soon. It is important for us to work to promote this new learning platform to ensure that all people, wherever their location or status, have access to a world-class education.
As I look forward to the future, I have to begin to look at what my enduring lesson from this course will be. When I think about it, though, it is very simple. I have, for a long time, held the belief that education can unlock doors for people. In many impoverished countries in Africa, for example, education is the key that can make or brake a child’s future. Education is the key that can pull a child out of poverty for the rest of their life. I think it is possible that we will see entirely new societies develop because of the education they received. Online learning is the key that we could use to bring education to new places that were previously uninhabited.
Online learning could be used as a powerful weapon of peace in our violent world. As we learn more about each other online, we have less reason to argue and fight with each other. I believe that my role as an educational technology coordinator is to ensure that HOBY becomes a part of this solution. As we go further online, HOBY will need to open up doors for volunteer training by putting more courses online for people to utilize. This would allow our staff to develop their skills by exploring new things and developing their own experiences. Our staff would have less reason to argue if they have the chance to understand each other’s roles better. This action would allow our staff to become even more passionate about our organization.
The single most important thing that I will take away from this course is that online learning can bridge the way for many people to create opportunities for themselves. The lesson that I will always instill in my students is the same thing that the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” This is the primary reason online learning is so important. Online learning can bring us all together in ways that we never thought possible, so as to live and learn together as brothers. I want to make sure that our volunteers always experience new things and form their own opinions based on how they will make the world a better place. By shaping the minds of tomorrow, we can create new pathways for people to overcome strife in their lives. As the educational technology coordinator at HOBY, I have the responsibility of lighting the torch of change to ignite online learning. By writing this reflection, I have every confidence that I can successfully do that.
In closing, I have now become a believer in online learning. Even as I have completed all of my courses online for this degree, I am now more fully aware of the impact that we can make on education. As we move away from a brick-and-mortar model of education, we must ensure that everyone can benefit from online learning. The key for all of us is to understand how we plan to use online learning. According to Dr. Tony Bates, “The move to blended or hybrid learning means rethinking the use of the campus…” (Bates, 2016). The challenge for all of us is to decide how we will do that. In the case of HOBY, I plan to create a system that has all of the razzle dazzle of a Las Vegas magic show. The use of the campus will be online, and I will always ensure that the students in my program are just as excited as I was in designing this course. From here, I cannot wait to see what the future of HOBY’s campus looks like. This online course will pave the way for all of this to take effect. All in all, I think it will be just as exciting as the day I first walked into HOBY. In the end, I think that my time as an educational technology coordinator is going to get more and more exciting as time goes by. Here’s to the OUTSTANDING online course at HOBY.
In addition to the above, I have decided to include a list of resources that might be beneficial to anyone designing an online course to be taught. Please check them out.
Bates, T. (2016). Teaching in a digital age: guidelines for designing teaching and learning. British Columbia: SFU Document Solutions.
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