My reflection on Topic 5 #ONL171

Flickr: brandslang firehose by LotteCh Creative Commons BY-NC-ND

Gain experience of online learning

My purpose to participate in the course and in a PBL-group was to gain experience of online learning. This because the college I recently started work at, is using online learning. From before I had experiences from synchrounous  webmeetings and asynchrounous collaboration in different webtools. But not from e-learning in its entirety. I learned that we can make a better use of the advantages of synchronous communication and the advantages of asynchronous communication.

Educational ideas about e-learning

I also wanted to know the educational ideas in e-learning. I must say, what I have gained insight into, is over my expectations. For me it’s not new with different and varying learning activities, formative assessment and collaboration (Cooperative Learning), partly together with ICT-tools. But my experiences is from the classroom in primary school and high school. It made me very happy that Vygotskijs thougts about learning also influence online learning. It has inspired strengthened me further in my mission to support the teachers how to develop the e-learning at our college.

Language barriers

The most significant experience was the language barriers. I knew it could be a  issue, but I did´t expect it to be such a big barrier.  I’m 55 years old, but sometimes I felt like 15. Everyday language about casual things in english is no problem. And pedagogical disussions in swedish is no problem. But pedagogical critical discussions in english became a big barrier. Or long discussions where the topic surged back and forth. My brain processor was not enough for analysing the meaning of all words and at the same time do my own inferences. 

Usually I’m not afraid to ask questions if there is something that is unclear to me. Mostly my strategy was to listen, hoping that I would understand by context. It was not always helping. I wish I had been able to participate better in the discussions. Now I have a clear sense of what it’s like to be an immigrant in a country where you do not know the language completely. Hopefully, I have developed my academic English language. 

Interesting reading

It has been interesting texts to read. I used to read a lot of pedagogical books, articles and thesis. But I have not read so much in english. But because the texts were so interesting, I put a lot of effort in the reading. I have made underlinings and notes wich I have translated  to realy understand. I struggled to find the Swedish pedagogical meanings of English  pedagogical concepts and words. And of course it took time and it was not enough time to read everything.

Last but not least …

… it has been fantastic learning to know the other participants in PBL-group 6! It has been exiting and thrilling to discuss with other people from all ower the world. I feel that we  developed our collaboration. Of course it’s becuse we learned to know each other better. I would be nice to have continuing exchange.

Charlotte Ch




My reflection at Topic 4 #ONL171


Figure inspired by Vaughan et. al. (2013)

The importance of explicit facilitation for joyful learning.

I believe that one of the most important things a teacher can do is to facilitate explicit with direct instructions, without being too dominant . If the students feel safe and secure collaborate it will help the students into learning precence , this in turn will helt the students to collaborate , further they will get motivated and in the end get a positive learning experience.  In other words – feel the joy of learning.

As a ICT-educater at MSB college, my assignment and challenge  is  to support the teachers/instructors to develop the blended learning design.  Not all the teachers have a pedagogical education. They are experts in different areas. Some are engeneers and Ph.D:s and some are former rescuepeople (some of them is parttime still active).  There is a lack of theoretical teories about learning. But so far they do a fantastic work by ambition, experience, intuition and by learning from collegues.

Many of our students has choosed this education becuse they want a profession that has a more practical alignment. Some of our students has been away from studies for a while and it can be hard to be a student again. Meanwhile the profession as a fireman demands more theoretical knowledge and the education has became more academic. This requires that the training must be designed to support and motivate the students. The teachers feel this is a challenge. As time goes, we will get students with another expericence from education, when the primary and secondary education are more advanced in their educational development.

  • We have to balance the lecturing format and one-way-communication to activate students into the theoretical parts of the education.
  • We have to balance the  studying for a final test with formative assessments to create learningprocesses and learning presence.
  • We have to give balanced direct instructions about how to collaborate.
  • We have to balance individual learning – in groups,  with collaborative learning in positive social interdependence.

Social presence
I think it is important to emphasize that ”social presence, is not just a “feel good” issue. Social presence sets the environmental conditions for higher learning. Research has shown social presence to be an essential mediating variable between teaching presence and cognitive presence” (Garrison, Cleveland-Innes, & Fung, 2010; Shea & Bidjerano, 2009). Social presence is connected to perceived learning and persistence (Akyol & Garrison, 2008; Boston et al., 2009).   Vaughan et. al. (2013).

Direct instructions
Direct instruction is a crusial and developmental component of teaching precence in a Community of inquiry. IT has been shown that students expect structure and leadership.  (Garrisson & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Direct instruction is specifically tasked with ensuring systematic and disciplined inquiry and to ensure that participants move through the inquiry phases in a timely manner. Direct instructions also play an important role in enhancing metacognitive awarness and action. Vaughan et. al. (2013).

Constructive alignment
To achieve the intended learninggoals we need to have an constructive alignment to the intended outcome. As a teacher I have to align teaching and assessment to those outcomes. The outcome statements contain a learning activity, a verb, that students need to perform to best achieve the outcome, (John Biggs). Vaughan & Cleveland-Inneset say that rubrics kan be useful for claryfing assignment and assessment expectations only when students ar actively involved in their co-contruction. Rubrics is an explicit set of criteria used for assessing a particular type of work or performance.

Formative assessment
According to Yeh, (2009) there is an international call for a greater focus on assessment for learning, rather than on assessment for just measurement and accountability of students performance.  Vaughan & Cleveland-Innes (2013).  Like many others Vaughan & Cleveland-Inneset says that a
ssessment very much shapes the quality of learning and the quality of teaching. In short, students do what is rewarded. … Quantitative formative assessment online has an efficiency advantage.

I belive that Vaughan & Clevelands guidelines can be a good help for me and my  collegues to create and sustain a community of inqiury ín a blended learning enviroment.

Charlotte Ch

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press.

John Biggs – constructive alignment [Homepage]

My reflection at Topic 3 #ONL171

Flickr: firebrigade_group by LotteCh Creative Commons BY-NC-ND

Topic 3:
Learning in communities – networked & collaborative learning

It was 2010 and I participated a (live) course here in Sweden together with other teachers. Trainers was two British Teacher trainers; Wendy Jolliffe and Chris Holland. We were activated the whole day with diffrent small assignments. The trainers explained clearly and explicit what we should do. I was overwhelmed by the way the gave us instructions.

They not only explained the assignment itself. They told us HOW to work with the assignment and HOW to work together in small groups. Randomly they also gave the groupmembers diffrent roles. A role to take responsibility for. All this impressed me a lot.

Assessment framework

In one article in this course #ONL171, Terry Anderson (2008) give an example of assessment frameworks by Susan Levine (2002). She has developed a very clear set of instructions to describe her expectations för stundent contributions to asynchronous online learning courses. It is very simular to my experience from the course with Jolliffe and Holland.

She posts the following message to her students:

  1. The instructor will start each discussion by posting one or more questions at the beginning of each week (Sunday or Monday). The discussion will continue until the following Sunday night, at which time the discussion board will close for that week.
  2. Please focus on the questions posted. But do bring in related thoughts and material, other readings, or questions that occur to you from the ongoing discussion.
  3. You are expected to post at least two substantive messages for each discussion question. Your postings should reflect an  understanding of the course material.
  4. Your postings should advance the group’s negotiation of ideas and meanings about the material; that is, your contributions should go beyond a “ditto.” Some ways you can further the  discussion include
    • expressing opinions or observations. These should be offered in depth and supported by more than personal opinion;
    • making a connection between the current discussion and previous discussions, a personal experience, or concepts from the readings;
    • commenting on or asking for clarification of another student’s statement;
    • synthesizing other students’ responses; or
    • posing a substantive question aimed at furthering the group’s understanding. (Levine, 2002)

As we can see, she’s not only explains what the students should do. She also tell them the expectations of quantity and/or quality.

Even if the students just contribute with two messages for each discussion. It will be enough material for the group to process. 

To much scaffolding?

Is it to much scaffolding? I dont think so. Of course you need to balance. Brindley, J., Blaschke, L. M. & Walti, C. (2009) made some findings in their study and pointed out some strategies to improve the quality of group collaboration. Two of the strategies says:

  • Establish a healthy balance between structure (clarity of task) and learner autonomy (flexibility of task).  
  • Facilitate learner readiness for group work and provide scaffolding to build skills.

Instructional strategies

Capdeferro, N. & Romero, M. (2012) made a study to characterize the feelings of frustration as a negative emotion among online learners collaborating in small groups. In their analys they agree with other reserchers that the teacher/instructor should play an active role in the collaborate process. He or she should be proactive in monotoring and intervening in collaborative activities and should ensure that the group works effectivly through mechanisms för assistans, feedback, and evolution.

I think there has been a gap between the assessment intruction and the work in a small group.  We need to fill that gap. Brindley et al. (2009) use the word “instructional strategies”. The scaffollding is also traning in how to work in small groups.

Scaffoldning for the teacher/trainer

The course I attended with Jolliffe and Holland, was about Coooperative Learning strategies. These strategies can be scaffolding for the teachers/trainers. 

This Topic 3 was very interesting. From before I’m very intrested of Cooperative Learning strategies och the mindset behind. Now I’ve got some more connections and conformation about the importance of ‘instructional strategies’. 



Anderson, T. (2008). Teaching in an online learning context. In The theory and practice of online learning (pp. 343-395). Athabasca university press.

Brindley, J., Blaschke, L. M. & Walti, C. (2009). Creating effective collaborative learning groups in an online environment. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning.

Capdeferro, N. & Romero, M. (2012). Are online learners frustrated with collaborative learning experiences?. The International review of research in open and distance learning.

My Reflection at Topic 2 #ONL

grenror Brandposthuvud by LotteCh Creative Commons BY-SA


Topic 2 – Open Learning – Sharing and Openness

Expected and unexpected effects with sharing
– good or bad?

Before this topic 2 at #ONL171, I knew the exist of open educational resources and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Now I have realized it’s complicated to start an open course or a MOOC at a university.

  • As a teacher you need permission from the administration/department and it depends on the current view if there are threats or benefits.
  • It takes a lot of time an effort to plan and create an online open course. Will the university put hours to that whitout knowing if they get something back?
  • There are fees and certificate costs for platforms.

Possible abilitys is

  • teacher development and development of courses branding and marketing – the open courses attract can more students to formal courses.
  • They can get student from geographical a spread.
  • The university contributes to a ´learning society

My context, as a teacher and ICT-educater, is primary school to high school in Sweden. Not higher education – until just recently. I have attended formal courses at the university – and now also an open course.

The Swedish teachers “extended colleague society” at the web

In this ICT-evolution has sharing among Swedish teachers in Primary school to high school completely exploded. (And I’m sure it’s not only in Sweden). Digital infrastructure, social media and free digital tools made it possible.

Teachers get in touch with other teachers and start discussions at social media. The material and discussions is maybe not packed and structured as a course. It can be YouTube-channels and blogs with downloadmaterials backed up with Facebook groups, Twitter and Pinterest. Sometimes sharing teachers have CC-licensed their material, sometimes not.

Sharing has for many teachers became a way to learn och develop their pedagogical thoughts and practice. In Sweden we talk about “the extended colleague society” at the web.

Has sharing been good or bad? How much impact do the “the extended colleague society” have at the pedagogical development in schools? Depends schooldevelopment and improved results only at develop programs from the local school departments and national school department?

Unexpected effects

The administrations of schools have so far not set any limits for sharing. It´s good branding and can attract other the teachers to work at the school. But sharing also give other effects.

Some sharing teachers are so good to marketing them self trough social media and get many followers. Soon will book publishers and conference organizers get in touch with them and new career is possibly, part time or fulltime. Their name is already well known and the publisher save marketing money. Then, when teachers get published the publishers want them to remove the material from the webb. Is this sideeffect good or bad?

The value of certifacates without credits?

What is the value of formal credits from a university and a certificate from an open course without credits? Well, in the concurrence about an advertised vacancy formal credits make a big different. But I think a certificate without credits, together with the formal grades,
give the employee signals that it’s a ‘learning person’, that it’s a person who wants to learn things. For the teacher itself, it can be that useful knowledge at the work you have at the moment.


Do you want to start an open course?


My Reflection at Topic 1 #ONL


Map inspirated by White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011)

I have never been interested in teknology it self, but in the possibility to create and organize things. When I was a young girl I could make paperposters, my own magazines and a register over all my books. I beleve it’s here my digital journey begins.

Now I do posters, magazines and registers, but with the computer – and today it’s easy to share and publish. I consider myself rather digital literate. As well what conserns living, learning and working.  But can you be digital literat whitout beeing social? I can handle small technical problems, I can manage different digital tools, I can search and find information at the web and review the information. My weakest part of digital literacy is to use the social part of social media.

Social media not my cup of tea

The last years I’ve learned about my self that I’m not god in making ‘likes’ and comments. I have tried out social media tools becourse I want to know what it is, becourse it belongs to my job. But after a while I loose my interest in the social part. It make me feel stressed. In the rich flow of posts felt expectations to like and comment. I’m not the one who check my smartphone all the time and stop up to do ‘likes’ and comments. And when I sit by the computer always have other things I want to do and create.

My digital personal and professional life

This has resulted in that i unfollowed everybody exept my close family. Maybee it’s mirroring who I am in real life. I can bee social but I also have some integrety and a introvert side. It’s easier to engage in social media as the professional me, than the personal me – if it’ not my family. I seldom express my opinions on the web. But i have no problem to write objective about subjects or about teachers who do a good pedagogical work. That makes my digital personal life separated and not public för anyone.

Expose myself for e-learning

After a few years working with other pedagogicalprojekts I’m back as a ICT-educater. I joined ONL becourse I want to catch up whats going on in the digital world. For me ONL menas that I want to expose myself for e-learning. My new kontext as a ICT-educater is about e-learning.

Charlotte Ch



White, D. & Le Cornu, A. (2011) Visitors and residents: A new typology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9).

My reflection First week #ONL171


Onlinemeeting with PBL-group 6

I have a new employment as an ICT-educater. I will support teachers using online learning and that part is a new kontext for me. I need to learn more about e-learning and education at distance. I searched on the web to find some readingmaterial. I found a MOOC which was right on spot!

I’m especially intrested in how to design online learning and how to create collaborative learning online. The course also gives me the opportunity to expose myself for e-learning in action. If I have’t tryed it myself, I think it’s hard to support others.

But there was two problems. The course started one week ago and it’s in english! Well, I try to sign up anyway. And about the english, I just throw myself in to it.

The next day I took part of a webinarium with Sara Mörtsell, and the day after that I participitated an PBL-group. Now I have attended three meetings with my wonderful PBL-group.

About the english language it’s difficult to both listen and do the metathinking at the same time. But maybee I will develop the ability.

”The filter bubble”

From the webinarium with Sara Mörtell I became aware of how ”Googlified” we have become. I learned about the ”the filter bubble”. I’m a big fan and a user of Googles tools. But It gave me someting to think about. I’m already familiar with Wikimedia and Creative Commons. But I will try to ge better to CC-mark my own material.

The evolution of PBL

In the PBL-groups we will use ‘Problem based learning’ (PBL). I haven’t used PBL since I studied to became a teacher in the 80:s. But I think the backgroundthoughts for PBL has influenced the pedagogic of today. Funnily enough PBL is one officiell method at the college I just started to work at. I’m not surprised. The education at this college is a preparation for a very practical profession.

When I read the articel by Savin-Baden (2014) I understand that PBL has growing into new constallations since the 80:s. Savis-Baden had mapped the PBL-constallations with particilar theorists and activities. She means that there is a relatively little understanding of the different consteallations. But the map can help those who wants to use or want to develop PBL, be clearer about the purpose, practicis, and pedagogies involved. It’s to early for me to identify  what PBL-constallation the teachers at our college use.



Savin-Baden, M., (2014) Problem-based learning: New constellations for the 21stCentury. Journal of Excellence in College Teaching 25 (3/4) 197-219 Preprint Savin-Baden JECT (3)