Reading upon Weller’s 2002-2011 retrospective, I was hit again with various triggers that reminded me that I was now well into my working career during this period and experienced almost every chapter in real-time. Looking at the topics concerning my cooperative education work, going with the Educational Technology world’s cornerstone, Learning Management Systems (LMS), was the obvious choice. Having worked with various systems over the years, I attribute the LMS as the Atlas, holding up the other technology we would all use in education. The lesson learned here that I found most relevant to my work was that of Software Sedimentation (Weller, pg. 65). Having what I would consider a “knee-jerk reaction, the University I work at quickly adopted a new system to replace the aged Moodle/Coursespaces system and quickly structuring the latest model or processes to meet the demand for 95-100% complete online learning. It has quickly become apparent that as a course designer and instructor, this new LMS is already, as Weller mentioned, “stifling innovation.” (p. 65)
The second lesson learned from Weller’s book that I felt strongly contradicted my current practice was around E-portfolios’ use. As a Co-op practitioner in Engineering (specifically Biomedical and Software), we have not implemented an institutional requirement for students to use e-portfolios. However, we recommend that in addition to their resumes, they use said portfolio to supplement their competencies to employers based on their previous projects, reports and other relevant events in their lives. According to Weller, student engagement in the tool was not as appreciated and resisted (pg. 102). Perhaps this was in part to an implemented “off the shelf” software or program required for the students to follow? This solution was not the case with our students. We gave them the freedom and choice to use e-portfolios, and for the most part, students have no issue in creating a repository or portfolio to contain their work. In some instances, the Software Engineering students are using GitHub as their portfolio. I can only conclude the data pulled was perhaps from universities where Co-operative or Work Integrated Learning is not prevalent or practiced centrally on campus.
Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press.
On a lighter note, I thought I would share this meme about online learning/teaching shared on Twitter and in my class this week. They already know I am a Star Wars geek. Image taken from: http://www.joeydevilla.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/jedi-distance-learning.jpg