Hi, welcome to the first (and slightly late!) post of my SBOSE reflective blog.
I thought it’d be worth spending a wee while going through the reasons why I chose to do a blog for this part of the coursework as it reflects a few of the experiences I’ve had of online learning so far. It also gives a bit more background about me and, so I’m told, apparently that’s a prerequiste for a sucessful blog!
So, to the reasons:
- Personal Learning Style: I know this is true of probably most people, but I feel it’s particularly true of me – I’m terrible at learning by rote. I need to think about things, process them and reorganise them in my head in order to remember anything. I studied Astrophysics as an undergrad and I found it easier to work out how to derive forumlae that to remember them by heart. At least the process of deriving made sense in my head, rather than just being a collection of random letters.I’m finding this is true also of doing lots of readings as is required on this course. I’ve read a fair bit of the recommended readings, and felt that I took it in at the time, but a week later I can’t recall most of the detail. If, however, I’ve made a discussion posting on the subject in the day or two after reading it which requires a bit of processing then I recall it for far far longer. It’s classic contructivist learning I think, having to connect the dots, tie it in with previous knowledge and re-present the information (Kearsley, 2008) and I think it works very well for me. It also brings home to me how important using these tools is for student support, as I feel that a lot of people are in a similar ‘learning boat’ with me. If it’s not present already, then attempting to force a little reflection can only be a good thing for supporting a student’s learning. Therefore, blogging it is for this course – hopefully this will force me to reflect on my readings more often and therefore retain a lot more information!
- It forces me out of my strategic learner mindset: I will hold my hands up and proclaim, I am very much a strategic learner when I don’t make the effort not to be. I will look at the assessment criteria and carefully craft my submissions aimed straight at the centre. I will attempt to keep my work to a minimum while still attaining a good grade. For example, when choosing whether to do a blog or a development project, I could visualise a number of things on which I am working just now which would fit the bill. I could complete them, as is requried for my work in any case, and no doubt pass the assessment with little extra work on my part. But, the purpose of taking this course is to learn of course! I’m not really doing it for the qualification, I’ve already got my masters after all, and so I took the conscious decision to do a blog based on the fact that it would force me to read more and reflect more, hopefully learning more.How this changes my view of student support I’m not sure. I do like the thought of offering students a choice in how they’re assessed, thus bringing them into the decision making process as is recommended in Knowles’ Theory of Andragogy. But will they always take this responsibility seriously, or will they simply expend vast amounts of time and energy (far more than they do on the coursework) finding the path of least resistance? Either way, I’ve decided to take what I think is, for me, the path of most resistance, and hope to reap the rewards. But will no doubt simply face the consequences!
Anyway, sorry for the slightly long post, but hopefully they’ll be shorter from now on. I’m going to attempt to live up to point number 1 above and reflect on things as I’m reading them. Let’s see how it goes…
Kearsley, G (2008). Constructivist Theory. Available from: http://tip.psychology.org/bruner.html [Accessed: 26/02/08].
Knowles, M. (1984). The Adult Learner: A Neglected Species (3rd Ed.). Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing.