Connecting and sharing

The Authentic eDesign course started on Monday and most participants have already accessed the course. I’m really enjoying reading their introductions and finding out a bit more about each of them. I added a suggestion to reveal something unusual about either themselves or a possession as I find this breaks the “ice” a little better than just saying who they are and what they do. It makes the conversation a bit more human and people can often connect to something a bit more personal.

Peacock image

There have been some really unusual items noted. For example: 1 person has been a peacock-caretaker, another is intending to walk the Camino in Spain and another married someone with the same their surname so as a female she is carrying on the family name. I’ve seen the peacocks this person cared for so I had an instant connection. I also look after our family tree website so I can relate to how unusual it is to marry someone with the same surname. I’ve never been to Spain, but I would like to. I don’t think I want to walk 800klms but it certainly sounds like an adventure and I would be interested in reading about this person’s journey.

From the introductions it is obvious that the participants have a broad range of skills and knowledge and I will actively encourage them to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences with each other.

I have posted a few links to resources in my replies to some of their posts, as I want to model sharing ideas and resources. However, I am wary of “telling them how to suck eggs” so I will use my blog to reflect on some of the issues and concepts that are discussed and articulate my experience (or lack of) here. I have added a link to this blog to the course and will invite participants to visit and comment on anything of relevance to them.

Time is money image

Time is money by Toastwife (2010)

A common issue in designing and delivering online courses in higher education (or for that matter any educational setting) is finding the time to research and explore different pedagogies and locating resources to support the learning. This issue has already been raised and I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer. Reduced budgets and no or limited time allocated for course creation make it hard for educators to  keep up with changing trends and technologies to enable them to create quality learning experiences. One way a colleague and I addressed this issue was to apply for a research grant. We used the grant funds to buy teaching hours eg: paid someone to deliver the course to reduce our workload to give us more time to focus on designing a more interactive, engaging and authentic learning experience. Now that the course has been redesigned it will be interesting to see if it can be tweeked and sustained for future iterations without further funding.

Lack of remuneration for time to create courses is an issue we all have to deal with. How have you tackled this problem?

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