Activity 2 | Disseminating Research

After my research is completed, I plan disseminate my research in a professional development workshop.

The reason to choose this channel is that the target audience of my research is English teachers in China. This research is aimed at finding out the problems with English education, and serve as a basis for teachers to find out solutions.

In order to make the findings accessible to the target audience, I will have several methods. The first is to publicize the findings on open cloud platforms, such as Baidu docs, which is the local counterpart of google docs. Users can find and download the related documents by searching key words. Besides, the second channel is to send to individuals by emails; however, the problem with this method is that it would be limited to teachers in the workshop where I take the research.

The new 3-2-1 blog post – Refelction on facilitaition week

The past 8 weeks have saw a rewarding learning experience of facilitation in digital environments. In retrospect, here is the reflection and update on my previous 3-2-1 blog post (to see my original post, please click here).

Point 1: To promote interaction is the key

Unlike the initial choice in my previous post, the first point that concerns me after the 8 weeks’ learning is facilitators’ leading role in promote interaction in the digital environment. This choice comes from both my own experience involved in the course design and management over the facilitation design and the learner of the rest 3 teams. The significance of leading interaction and maintain the impetus of each participant cannot be emphasized more over the facilitation week, from the ice breaker module, to the synchronous session. It is the transition from social interaction to academic interaction and critical discourse that moves the learning community from social presence to cognitive presence and leads to deep and meaningful learning outcome (Vaughan et al., 2014).

Point 2: Facilitators’ role as a learning coach

While facilitators encouraging interaction is imperative to social and cognitive presence, their role as a cheerleader comes to me as the second key point. In the digitalized environment, students would encounter various impediments, whether these be technological problems, confusion over course content, or just lack of learning enthusiasm. All these problems had happened to me throughout the facilitation weeks, and it was where the facilitators who provided great support in dealing with all these problems. This role of learning coach is justified over the experience, it is to provide subject over to students, to teaches them to throw a spiral for themselves (Bull, 2013).

Point 3: Do not overburden learners

This point is the very one that I have ignored over the facilitation week. This is also reflected in the feedbacks of many learners. It is also one of the requirement of the facilitation assignment; however, I didn’t realize the learning pressure until I experience as a learner of other teams’ course.

2 questions you have about digital facilitation.

The two questions in my previous post still remain over the learning experience. To create a humanized digital learning community and how to create a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere in virtual classroom is still ranked as my top concern; however, I did learn from the facilitation session, both as a learner and teacher, to learn to use ice breaker strategies to start conversations among teachers and students, thus facilitating social presence. Particularly, as a learner over the facilitation week, I also learn the importance of giving special attention to individual students who are less involved in interaction.


I still remain my metaphor of the role of facilitator in digital learning environment, who is expected to act as a conductor and arranger of an orchestra. In my former expectation, the facilitator should also ensure every student receives equal consideration, and I would add another point from my experience from the facilitation week: facilitators manage and ready to change the design over the implementation according to the feedbacks of different students, so as to make the course content to cater to discrete needs of individual learners.


Bull, B. (2013). Eight Roles of an Effective Online Teacher. Faculty Focus.

Vaughan, N. D. 1960-, Garrison, D. R. (Donn R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. T. A.-T. T.-. (2014). Teaching in blended learning environments : creating and sustaining communities of inquiry LK  – (NV-1 online resource (viii, 142 pages) : illustrations.). AU Press.

Reflection and Personal Exprience of Informed Conflict

Photo on I-sight

I must say it is a rewardable experience to learn the conflicts and solutions in a systematic but concise way.

Among all types of conflicts that taking places, what concerns me more is relationship conflict. Such a conflict seems difficult to address, as it is caused by innate attribute or personality. While grouping students with commonalities together seems to be a remedy, it doesn’t work in small combos with only 2-3 students. And such types of small classes are very popular in customized courses in my school: fewer learners in a course offers students better learning efficacy.

In such a case, to avoid relationship conflict, I sometimes need to give special treatment to the more introverted students, who are less likely to express their frustration, for example by asking more feedbacks from them to find out how they think. In many cases, they may have a sense of inferiority when their peers show a proficiency in certain realm. My solution to cope with the feeling usually is to sharing personal learning stories featuring commonality with them.

Apart from that, I also act as an interpreter of these introverted students over discussion, help them to express what they think in a more logical way, and ask them if I am on the same track with them? By doing so, in case where relationship conflict cannot be avoid, I hope such approaches can alleviate the communication impediments. As mentioned by Shonk, 2020, teacher acting as a mediator can be of great help in dealing with this tricky conditions.


Shonk, K. (2020, October 1). 3 Types of Conflict and How to

Address Them. Program on Negotiation: Harvard Law School.

Assignment 1 | Create and share an infographic – Strategies for 3 Presences of COI


For teaching presence:

Strategy 1:Be present at the course site

Maintain frequency of presence via a variety of tools, whether these be virtual classrooms, emails, or texting, responding to learners’ questions in a real time manner (Boettcher, 2011).

Strategy 2:Reach out to students prior the course

Plan instruction and guide for students long before the course starts, devoting more time to guiding the students instead of preparing lessons. It helps students better prepare for the future learning (Eight Roles of an Effective Online Teacher, n.d.).

Strategy 3:Ask for feedbacks over the course

Response timely to students’ feedbacks and make adjustment when needed over the course – to treat the course in an agile model of course design, like a jazz combo (Bates, 2015) .

For Social presence:

Strategy 1:Encourage purposeful engagement

Encourage interaction, and relationships between members of the group is practical measures to maintain purposeful engagement in terms so social presence, practices regard this include setting the tone of openness, fairness, safety, and debate (Garrison et al., 2017).

Strategy 2:Establish diversified connection with students

Translate all communication ideas in the face-to-face setting to the digital environment, for example by sharing personal experiences, leaving feedbacks, synchronous conversation (SIP 10.10 Establish a Strong Social Presence Online – The Well, n.d.).

Strategy 3:Take advantage of the online discussion board.

Use online discussion board to establish conversation is a useful way for establishing social presence for all learners. Activities regarding this include asking questions, posting threads relative to courses, group discussion.

For cognitive presence:

Strategy 1:Give support for students’ understanding

Use discussions to encourage students discourse with questions so as to avoid any misunderstanding; Give directions and instructions to assist learners in moving beyond misconceptions; Provide indications of the connection of new knowledge with prior learning experience or knowledge, thus helping students understanding of new knowledge.

Strategy 2: Initiate practical application of knowledge

Use case study to help students understand the application of theoretical knowledge in addressing real-world problems.

Strategy 3:Encourage reflection

Design clear rubrics for learners’ reflection and assessment.

Organize peer-review activities to encourage students to exchange their understanding and reflection, based on precise rubrics for assessment.

Use discussions to encourage learners to share their own experience in applying what they have learned in real work contexts or their learning goals for the future.

These strategies are based on the ‘three Rs’ of student engagement presented by  Littky and Grabelle, (2004).

  1. Relevance – prompting student curiosity and making connections to previous learning and knowledge.
  2. Rigour – asking students to solve problems that are meaningful to them personally.
  3. Relationships – designing a learning environment where students can work collaboratively.


Bates, T. (2015). Chapter 4.7 ‘Agile’ Design: flexible designs for learning. In Teaching in the digital age.

Boettcher, J. V. (2011). Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online Quick Guide for New Online Faculty. Designing for Learning.

Eight Roles of an Effective Online Teacher. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2021, from

Garrison, D. R., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Vaughan, N. D. (2017). Teaching in Blended learning environments – Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry. In E-Learning in the 21st Century: A Framework for Research and Practice, Second Edition.

Littky, D., & Grabelle, S. 1970-T. A.-T. T.-. (2004). The big picture : education is everyone’s business LK  – (NV-1 o). Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

SIP 10.10 Establish a Strong Social Presence Online – The Well. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2021, from

Activity 1-4 |3-2-1 blog post


3 initial thoughts, ideas or feelings you have about facilitation in digital environments.

The top 3 initial thoughts about facilitation in digitalized learning environment are as follows:

The first thing that concerns me of the facilitation in digital environments is to clarify the difference between traditional lectures and Internet-based learning. While the learners of lectures are reliant on teachers’ delivering knowledge to them, those registering for online courses are more self-reliant.

Based on this understanding, the next thing to realize is the role of teachers in digital learning environments. Rather than delivering knowledge, the new role of teachers is to become a guide showing students what and how to learn independently, which is mentioned by Bull (2003) in his discussion about roles of an effective online teacher, who act as a tour guide for students in their journey to new academic fields.

The last thing that stands out to me is how to achieve the target of digital facilitation. This is the topic I have learned from LRNT524 (Innovation, Design and Learning Environments), which compares different course design theories. It is the where I need to spend more time to experiment and evaluate over this course module.

2 questions you have about digital facilitation.

The first question about digital facilitation that concerns me most is how to create a humanized digitalized environment; this is the very problem that exhausts me so far. For example, it is difficult to start topics for discussion and guide students to participate.

Another question is how to create a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere in virtual classroom, where teachers are not physically present.

1 metaphor or simile about digital facilitation. 

If I need to make a metaphor about digital facilitation, I would say the approach is more like conducting an orchestra. The facilitator acts as the same role of a conductor and arranger, who are responsible for the organization of the roles of each member of the band, making sure every one has a role to play and the whole is on the right track. In particular, the facilitator should also ensure every student receives equal consideration – just like a conductor needs to ensure every instrument has its voice in the band.


Bull, B. (2013). Eight Roles of an Effective Online Teacher. Faculty Focus.

Unit 3, Activity 1: LRNT 527 Reflective Blog

The past 7 weeks have saw my progress in the cultivation of design thinking and recognition of how to prepare digital learning resources. Among all the rewards, the most surprising achievement is the team design of evaluation rubrics – it is where I had ignored, by which I mean I hadn’t designed the evaluation from such a holistic and systematic way that incorporate all possible stakeholders. Usually, from my former work experience, my focus had been targeted exclusively on students’ feedback and academic performances in terms of my solution. Not until the learning of course have I realize the systematic way of accessing the outcome of digital learning design. Particularly, the comprehensive way of thinking makes me reflect on my role not as a pure course designer, but more as project manager who need to take into account of the benefits for all stakeholders.

Apart from the achievement for academic readings in each unit, the conversation and feedback from instructors and classmates act as another key resources of knowledge in this unique course. Among so many insightful suggestions, Dr. Jenni Hayman’s suggestion on our Co-Created Rubrics for Evaluating Digital Learning Resources (Team) means something more interesting and meaning for my reflection and further thinking in this work. Her question on the customization of our rubric to meet the requirements for multiple contexts provides me with an insight into the practicality of our theoretical design in everyday business – I believe this is the very goal of our course – to translate our  prototype from class into practical solutions that be used as practical tools to address conundrums embedded in everyday business. More importantly, the suggestion indicates the thinking methods of course designers, who should bear in mind in the practicality in real business in the process of design.

Also, when it comes to my preferred reflection channels and processes in terms of my lifelong learning, so far I will say social media such as Twitter and Facebook is a useful platform. As for international courses, digital platforms such as Discord is a key channel for me to share ideas with classmates and learn from their suggestions. On the other hand, as to my current work communication with students and colleagues back in China, we use smartphone APP such as WeChat very frequently, it is also a popular tools to keep connected with students online, by which I can post threads for others to leave feedbacks.

Finally, when it come to the question as to how I plan to utilize the design thinking process for the design and creation of digital learning resources in the future, I am deeply convinced that the experience and thinking model I have acquired will be conducive to my real working contexts. From the skill of identifying Problem of Practice to counting possible stakeholder that may involve in the design, as well as the evaluation of outcomes pertaining to all stakeholders. All these skills can be of great value of my future career.

Reflection on COI and critical inqueiry of Discord


The past 2 months have witnessed my learning experience to make critical inquiry of discord, a digital learning platform, as well as a learning events of how to use this technology in establishing social connection in the first year of engineering course.

During the process, our team explore all elements of community of inquiry to analyze the pros and cons of Discord. By investigating the technology from 3 dimensions, namely teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence, I have build a profound understand of the use of the new technology in digital learning environment withr reference to the 3 principles. First is the instructors’ role in digital education environment, who should be responsible for the overall design of the course and learning environment and act as the facilitator of engaging discourse. Apart from that, from the social presence perspective, I learn how individuals merger their authentic selves into a group via a specific communication medium. Finally, I understand the value of cognitive presence in the construction of meaning by sustained discourse and reflection. It is from all the 3 aspects of inquiry that I reach a holistic overview of the technology of Discord: the positives include the common identity and improved discourse among learners, while informal and other inappropriate communication inevitably result in problems such as marginalization, and Subjugation to core values.

It is with this project of critical inquiry of Discord that I reflect on the use of COI and the holistic analysis of the digital tools used in education.


Activity 3- Specific Issue Exploration – Accessibility to Technology in Globalized Educational Environment

The specific issue I am interested in for critical inquiry is the problem with accessibility to digital learning platforms in the globalized learning environment. The reason why I focus on this factor is that the difficulty of accessibility to digital educational platforms has become an important conundrum for both students and schools; it doesn’t undermine the learning efficacy but also impact schools’ recruitment of international students.

It is imperative to recognize that in the globalized trend, international students have become an important source of incomes for many schools in western countries. Particularly, students from China have witnessed a stable growth for the past decades and will continue to be a catalyst behind the trend given the fact that the number of high-income households (whose earnings are more than USD40,000 per year and therefore able to afford overseas education) is expected to increase by an average of 16.4% a year between 2021‑2030, which means  a potentially fierce competition to attract Chinese students in the following decade; based on  this prediction, schools will need to tailor their courses to fit student needs (EIU’s Country Analysis service., 2020).

Sadly, the COVID 19 has prevent the majority of Chinese students going abroad, and most of new students have to embark on their university career in digital learning platforms in 2020. That begs a challenge: many platforms, tools or apps are blocked by local firewall set by the government in mainland China, and what is beyond the conundrum is consideration of the social political impacts during the course design and the selection of learning tools. The overriding problem here is: digital tools are initially used to jump start community building and facilitate educational efficacy; however, the issue needs to be considered from a critical perspective with reference to cultural and political milieu of the countries where the technology is expected to be used – this is where my personal learning plan aims to elaborate on, hoping the study can be contributive to the critical inquiry of the our team on technology relevance to the community building.


EIU’s Country Analysis service. (2020). How will the coronavirus affect outbound Chinese students?

Final reflections on learning throughout this course

At the end of the course, I would say it looks to me like a long journey for the past 8 weeks, which is a stairway a repository of knowledge about leadership in the digital learning environment, not limited to the academic theories, but also the empirical knowledge from the assignments in each stage. In reflecting my initial perspective in the beginning of the course, I do have changed my perspective to what leadership definitely means in a complex system. I used to believe that the key character to an excellent leader should be more in two aspects, the first being his or her expertise in professional fields where a project take place, the other being managerial skills focusing exclusively on the progression of the project. Now my vision has broaden to a systemic understanding of different models of leadership and change management, such as the qualities of reflective and adaptive leadership and their relevance to the change management of an organization in the digitalized age. It is from the learning that makes me realize other necessary features of a successful leadership, e.g. self-awareness, raising the self-esteem and confidence levels of followers aim to streamline the performance of the organization.

Based on above understanding, I am glad to reset my current role to help lead a change within my organization. Among all possible contributions, of particular impartance is I can help the leader to deal with changes in a more holistic way, placing equal emphasis on both intrinsic factors within the organization and extrinsic variables in the external environment, to align the goals of an educational institution with the whitewater digital environment that involves various determinants that may impacts leaders (e.g. cultural, societal factors) (Glover et al., 2002).

Also, for the question as to what can my envision do in the future, I would expect my envision will offer me an alternative view to reflect on problems in current work and predict potential challenge to my organization, which is not limited to the single dimension of educational environment, but from a macro milieu that incorporate facets and the underlying interactions within a complex system, whether these be culture, political, and other socioeconomic factors – all of which will impact the consideration of stakeholders and the evaluation of outcomes in a project..


Glover, J., Rainwater, K., Jones, G., & Friedman, H. (2002). Adaptive leadership (part two): Four principles for being adaptive LK  – Organization Development Journal TA  – TT  –, 20(4), 18–38.

Individual assessment plan – Implications for Change

New challenge facing my organization

According to statistics collected from 6 years of continuous survey, undergraduate students and above remain the dominant group of prospective students (73% of the total students continuing their student careers abroad); however, the data also indicated a potential indicator worthwhile noticing – an increasing trend can be seen it the portion of students in primary and secondary schools who intend to further study abroad, which is an increase of 4% (New Oriental Education., 2020). It is based on this growth that the marketing department in my company  predict a surging market in English training business, a virgin land deserving a new strategic scheme – it begets a challenge to new curricular design and pedagogy adjustment, which will be an arduous task incorporating various stakeholders from leadership to teachers on the front line. The plan aims to provide a toolkit that serves to initiate a technology change with reference to the potential business opportunity.

Identify the problem with current course design

Since the early 1990s, the traditional curricula design of IELTS exam training has been divided into 4 distinct courses of the exam (listening, reading, speaking, writing), each is taught separately. The course design is aimed at undergraduate students aged 18-21. The characteristics of this group is that they have relatively less study pressure from their universities and therefore more time to spend on training courses. Also, many of them are at the peak of their English language level, given that they have just completed high school learning. Adding to this point is their independent learning capability, who do not need much mentoring support and can associate knowledge in sperate courses by themselves. However, the teaching mode doesn’t apply to younger learners in primary and secondary school years. The features of teenagers are different, following are some of key characteristics.

First is their lack of after school time – the majority are inundated with compulsory school work. Adding to the point is that most of primary and secondary schools are boarding schools, which means that distant learning will be more propriate model for this group. Another point is their inadequate learning capability – those in primary and secondary school only have basic English grammar and vocabulary knowledge, which is incompatible with the current academic standards of our training course design. Given this, it requires a new course design, from course content, digital platform to pedagogies.

Strategies around leadership (who will lead the initiative)

The first step we need is to clarify the project scope and organizational goal for student success – the action is based on Team A’s toolkit (Eric, Jean-Pierre, Shelley & Vanessa, 2021), by which we will define the organizational policies on all facets of the projects, whether these be charters, standards, procedures or personals, etc. (Cox, 2009, p. 68). It is with the well defined project scope the clear goal that my organization can appoint the right leadership and strategy. According to aforementioned requirement for change, the project will need the participation of almost all departments, namely, course design, teaching and IT teams as main body, with budget, training staff as supporting teams. Based on the project scope,  the intended audiences of this project are the directors of education, sales and marketing departments of my organization, whom I believe will be the appropriate leaders for such an overarching project. The cooperation of the 3 key department will the core of the whole project from design to implementation; the 3 leaders will act as the key role to address the complexity of the project (Watts, 2014). Apart from the identification of intended audience and leadership, I will identify the role of myself in the project to be a member of course design team – this role is based on my experience as both a teacher and course designer for many years, not to left behind is my understanding of discrete demands of students’ and different age groups.

Change management (impacts, stakeholders),

While the leadership is appointed, it comes to the change management, which mainly focus on scrutiny of stakeholders of the change and the impacts on them. Again, addorcing to Team A’s toolkit (Eric, Jean-Pierre, Shelley & Vanessa, 2021), stakeholders are the judges who have the right to assess the success of a project (Jergeas & Williamson, 2000); it is important to identify all the stakeholders in the project upfront so as to avoid any undesirable consequences and uncertainty to the project caused by them (Karlsen, 2002). The key stakeholders of the change include students, course designers and teachers, coupled with other internal and external individuals participating in the project, namely, IT service, research company, financial and training teams. As for the impacts, the change is expected to make course align with the demand of students, while teachers in each course will be more effective with the new course design. Also, while the change will inevitably require extra costs, the success of the change will increase revenue for the organization from a long-term perspective.

Project management (resources, timelines)

As for costs of the change project mentioned above, the change project management serves to manage the three key elements of the costs – the collection of data for decision making, resources and timelines. The detailed items are as following:

Item Work Staff Timeline Cost
Research collect data of students’ needs and requests to support decision making external contractor 20 hrs

Mar 1 – Apr 1

Course content design design of 4 courses of IELTS exam (listening, reading, speaking, writing), $500; 8 teachers, 2 for each course, 160 hrs

Apr 1 – May 1

Supporting materials design practice books, relevant reading and exercise materials,


4 teachers, 1 for each course, 80 hrs

Apr 1 –May 1

$ 45,000
IT support digital platform design, maintenance, sever, cloud storage, 4 IT engineers 80 hrs

May 1 – Jun 1

$ 45,000
Trial and adjust invite students and teachers to use the demo version of the course and digital platform, and make adjustments according to their feedbacks 8 volunteer students, 4 teachers, 2 IT engineers 40 hrs

Jun 1 – Jul 1

$ 20,000
Teacher training teacher training for new courses,

digital platform usage training,

4 teachers: 1 for each course,

1 IT engineer

80 hrs

Jul 1 – Aug 1

$ 50,000
Marketing training train marketing staff of the new advantages of the new course to promote it to students 2 teachers, 1 IT engineers 10 hrs

Aug 1 – Sep 1

$ 2,000


To deal with the cost problem, the team anticipated the possible cost rates, in terms of the participants or tools that might involve in the task, so as to figure out the budget. This act was the same as described in by Watt (2012).  Among all the items listed in the table, of particular importance is the design and combination of 4 distinctive courses. As for the course design, the traditional 4 courses of the exam (listening, reading, speaking, writing) are taught separately, students were inundated with legions of learning materials within a short period of time (usually 2 month). The problem is that while a large proportion of materials in each course were duplicated in terms of their topics and relevant vocabularies (e.g. environmental preservation, the Internet, or crimes), students didn’t take full advantage of these materials to use them flexibly in different courses – this conundrum is of particularly importance to younger age students of primary and secondary school who cannot afford the time in the learning. To help them extend the learning outcome of one course to the other fields, it is imperative to initiate innovative course design – to connect relevant contents in different course to allow students to better remember vocabularies and main ideas. The second important part is the digitalization of all materials in a digital platform for distant learning, which caters to the needs of primary and secondary students who live in boarding schools.

Once the two key parts have been accomplished, the next stage of the project will be the trial and adjustment of the demo version of new course. When the final version is done, the organization will start training for all teachers to use the new course and digital platform. Not to left behind is the marketing of the new product, which also requires a training session for marketing and sales employees of the features of the new course.

Project outcomes

Above all, the key of project outcomes is to ensure the change meets students’ needs, making sure that people using the final product are satisfied with that they get (Watt, 2012). With this in mind, data collection will be a key indicator to reflect whether the change of course is successful or not. The data will be collected in different dimensions, the first being on revenue for the new courses – it also meets the demands of manager of the organization, who is the primary stakeholder of the project. Another outcome should be the students’ ratings of the courses collected from quantitative data collected from surveys. Beside students’ feedback, another important indicator should be their scores of IELTS exams, which will be the key demonstration of the success of new course content. Likewise, as discussed in Team A’s toolkit (Eric, Jean-Pierre, Shelley & Vanessa, 2021) – quantitative data gathered through surveys, tests and other methods can help identify the thoughts of other stakeholders, and the combination of this data from various stakeholders (e.g., faculty, students) through will provide a basis to improve the users’ satisfaction.


To predict a potential business trend and therefore initiate a change to a traditional educational model is momentous decision for an organization; however, one-size-fits all methods will result in failure in change (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). This project represents an enterprising attempt to design a new course set that caters to a brand new audience is an arduous project – it requires the combination of all elements of the project, from data collection for decision making, leadership, project management to the final evaluation of outcomes.


Cox, D. (2009). Project management skills for Instructional Designers: A practical guide. iUniverse.

Eric, Y., Jean-Pierre, J., Shelley, D., & Vanessa, T. (2021)   Accessibility Awareness Toolkit for Faculty.

Jergeas, G. F., & Williamson, E. (2000). Stakeholder Management on Construction Projects. LK  – AACE International Transactions TA  – TT  –.

Karlsen, J. T. (2002). Project stakeholder management. EMJ – Engineering Management Journal, 14(4).

Kotter, J. P., & Schlesinger, L. A. (2008). Choosing Strategies for Change. Harvard Business Review, 86(7–8).

New Oriental Education. (2020). Reports on Chinese Overseas Study.中国留学白皮书-英文版.pdf

Watt, A. (2012). 5. Stakeholder Management | Project Management. In Project Management .

Watt, A. (2014). Project management. BCcampus.