Reflections about the course
This course has given me in-depth insights into the nature of online learning and the application of information technologies. Admittedly, I had some prior knowledge of this subject. For example, I was familiar with such issues as computer-based training, the application of multimedia, or the personalization of E-learning. This knowledge has helped me better understand the concepts discussed during the classes.
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There are several assumptions that I brought to the course. For example, I was convinced that online education was more time-consuming than conventional learning. Moreover, I thought that the Internet learning environment did not encourage group work. However, this course has demonstrated to me that these views are not substantiated because information technologies and effective instruction methods can ensure time-efficiency and facilitate group work.
This course has demonstrated to me that educators should help students reduce extraneous processing. Such a situation occurs when a person has to focus his/her attention on the material or stimuli that are not strictly related to the learning objectives (Lowe & Schnotz, 2007, p. 36). Moreover, extraneous processing can be caused by the poor layout of the learning material (Lowe & Schnotz, 2007, p. 36). To some extent, this experience is familiar to me. For example, I remember when using a textbook in which there were practically no bullet points, tables, or diagrams. It did not have any visual aids that could attract the readers’ attention to the most important ideas or questions.
Overall, this course has attracted my attention to some of the most important concepts and principles of online education. For instance, I was able to learn more about the benefits and mechanisms of the personalization principle that helps teachers make their instruction methods more engaging (Clark & Mayer, 2008). In my opinion, it can benefit many teachers.
The use of technologies
The effectiveness of online learning greatly depends on a person’s ability to use technologies. Overall, I enjoy using new software or multimedia devices, especially when I can see the benefit that they can bring. It seems that my students will have an attitude toward this issue.
Admittedly, sometimes people can become fearful when they have to use new technologies. This fear can be attributed to several factors. First of all, students can believe that new software solutions or devices are designed in a very complicated way. In some cases, these people may think that they are unable to use these technologies. This confusion is the underlying reason for this fear. Teachers should help learners overcome this fear. First of all, it is necessary to demonstrate new technologies are designed to be user-friendly and explain how they can be applied. Moreover, educators have to show the benefit of new software solutions. Provided that it is done, learners will be more motivated to explore new technologies.
The development of technologies has changed the expectations that people set for online experiences. For example, Web.2.0 has enabled users to interact more closely. Social networks, peer-to-peer websites, or wikis enable people to form Internet communities. Due to these developments, I could establish contacts with people with whom I have common interests. For example, I established a personal learning network or PLN. This PLN includes people who want to learn more about online learning and education. Such cooperation is very important for me because students should able to exchange their views.
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Clark, C., & Mayer, R. (2008). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Lowe, R., & Schnotz, W. (2007). Learning with Animation: Research Implications for Design. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.