LRNT 521- Virtual Symposium Critical Reflective Post

After attending many Virtual Symposium sessions, I am excited. The discussion around open education, particularly Dave Cormier’s 2017 talk on the messiness of online communication was intriguing to me. Cormier (2017) spoke of many types of openness, open institution, open content, and open learning. It was the open learning concept that spoke to me the most. Open education to me has always meant that anyone can use it, but his in depth discussion on the use of common social resources for education was intriguing. Increasing the participation of students in platforms they are already using such as Facebook or YouTube can be difficult to control, however, the stage is set to use these for student learning.

In 2020 when Covid-19 shut down our current education delivery system, our country along with the world, was forced to respond. In his 2020 symposium lecture, Randy Labonte quoted Dr. Tony Bates’ comment about the response during Covid-19, stating “triage is not the same as best practice.” I agree whole heartedly with this statement. Responding to a need for elearning is not the same as building one for the future. Many classroom style learning shifted to mainly online with little plan for how long it would last, and limited or no support for educators. I found myself one of these educators, quickly developing online resources, lesson plans, and trying to imagine how a largely hands on program could be effective without the hands on.

Specifically within the healthcare sector itself, Sharon Ambata-Villanvera spoke of the importance health care professionals place on face to face learning (2021). She identified face to face learning as one of the important factors for healthcare professionals to adopt and sustain an online learning community. I found this to align with my own experience, as many health care professionals such as myself are used to face to face learning, and developing relationships in a more personal way. This might present a social challenge to transitioning to an elearning environment within certain areas such as healthcare.

Amanda Coolidge (2021) spoke of the increasing global attention on an open system within the K-12 education system, and the increased need for sharing knowledge. This inspires me to be a part of the growing community supporting the need for educational change. Although there are many pros and cons when we open the delivery of education and students to constant connectivity, the move towards openness can improve access to education for more people than ever before.



Ambata-Villanvera, S. (2021). The development of an online learning community to support the continuous learning and development of healthcare professionals; digital skills and practices. Retrieved from

Coolidge, A. (2021). Open education: What it is, what it does and its amazing impact. Retrieved from

Cormier, D. (2017). Intentional messiness of online communication. Retrieved from

Labonte, R. (2020). Remote teaching or online learning? K-12 Schooling in a pandemic world. Retrieved from

3 Replies to “LRNT 521- Virtual Symposium Critical Reflective Post”

  1. Hi Emma
    It looks like we gravitated to the some of the same lectures. I did not watch the Labonte presentation but perhaps I should. I loved the word choice of “triage”. I am not in the public school system but we have been encountering similar problems regarding reaching our students. I was speaking with a friend who teaches for the Vancouver School Board and it is the language that sometimes grabs my attention. He used words like “compliance” when talking about the expectation of teachers having to comply with school board directives but not having the tools or understanding of the tools to be able to ” comply”. As well as how Alisha in her blog post used words like ” stakeholders”. It is so bewitching how language can give different shades and nuance to how we perceive learning and pedagogy. I wonder how that impacts everything. Thank you for sharing Emma.

  2. Hi Emma,
    I will have to watch the Labonte presentation because the quote you included has piqued my interest. Thank you for highlighting the point that face to face training is needed for healthcare as it allows for the development of personal relationships and builds trust. I still have strong relationships with my classmates and wonder if this would be the case if a portion of the program had been online. What do you think? Thoughts?

    1. Yes I agree, and not to say we can’t build relationships without face to face, but there is something that is lost behind the screen, an ability to present an alternate self maybe, that I believe alters the way we do interact with others. Maybe a topic for a future posts perhaps 🙂

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