“What is required is sight and insight – then you might add one more: excite.” (Robert Frost). I find this to be a great quote to help surmise the first week of LRNT521 and the new wealth of information coming my way. When I first saw the schedule for the course and all the virtual symposium lectures, I was overwhelmed and felt unprepared for the course. I knew that the MALAT program was going to be challenging, but I did not think we would start off so heavy (or at least at first glance what I thought was heavy). After “plugging” in to the first session with the Executive Director, Mary Burgess, my mind was put at ease. The atmosphere was very relaxed and it was refreshing to see that I was on the same page as my fellow MALATERS as we are all “in this together”.

The presentation that was most intriguing to me was “Rethinking the purpose of online learning” as not only do I teach online, but I am now an online learner. It opened my eyes to new ideas and opportunities to use in the classroom for my own students, but also questions I needed to ask myself. Although the information was geared to Ontario’s k-12 online strategies, there was research (as evidenced in the Huffpost article Tony posted) which showed that that this model can help reduce the cost of post-secondary costs for students. The statistics presented were really interesting to me and it made me look at the Ontario education system differently, something I did not expect to happen. To be honest, I wish I had seen this live as I would have loved to have had a back and forth conversation with both the classmates and Dr. Tony Bates.

I couldn’t say that I agreed nor disagreed with any of the presentations as I found each and every one very helpful. From learning about new software and beginning a blog in Keith Webster’s presentation, to having a refresher with tips and tricks in academic writing from Dr. Elizabeth Childs. One that will continue to resonate with me would be “The role of ID in Higher Education Reform” by Dr. Marti Cleveland-Innes. I found the eleven elements in education reform so interesting and I fully agree that education continues to evolve and that technology implementation is a driving force behind this evolution. I also found great tips and ideas to help with curriculum development and preparing for “Tidal changes” in the “quality of instruction” (Dr. Marti Cleveland-Innes). She brought up interesting points in regards to the overwhelming amounts of pressure being put on instructors regarding curriculum, as well as students needing to be taught how to learn. It was also great to see that everyone experiences technical issues and it made the presentation more relatable as I feel we have all been there.

After the symposium, I feel more confident and passionate about moving forward with the program. I am so excited to see what is on the horizon and what more interesting things I am about to learn.

 

References

Bates, Tony (2019, April 16) Rethinking the purpose of online learning (video file) Retrieved https://ca.bbcollab.com/collab/ui/session/playback

Burgess, Mary (2019, April 15) Insights from BC Campus – a conversation. (video file) Retrieved from: http://media.royalroads.ca/owl/media/lrnt521/video/insights-bccampus-15april2019.mp4

Carey, K. (2018, April 01). The Corporations Devouring American Colleges. Retrieved from

https://www.huffpost.com/highline/article/capitalist-takeover-college/

Childs, Elizabeth (2019, April 18). Threading the Themes Together & Academic Writing. (video file) Retrieved from

https://ca.bbcollab.com/collab/ui/session/playback/load/2b092da0588143dba268d766b009ad34

Cleveland-Innes, Marti (2019, April 18). The role of ID in Higher Education Reform. (video file) Retrieved from https://ca.bbcollab.com/collab/ui/session/playback

Webster, Keith (2018). Keith Webster and Feedly. (video file) Retrieved from

https://ca.bbcollab.com/collab/ui/session/playback/load/76111522ddf64d1cb6d8b2282a0e7518?platform=hootsuite