eLearning: A Reflection from Wearing Multiple Hats
Computer-mediated interactions have become ingrained in all aspects of our lives. Between texting, emailing, instant messaging, blogging, wikis and social networking, we are a Web 2.0-dependent society. Educational institutions have a duty to prepare students by equipping them with the tools to navigate the real world, and given our technology-driven society, it is a natural progression of this that schools go online in order to stay current with the practices of the surrounding culture.
eLearning from two perspectives
I am fortunate that I have been exposed to eLearning both as a university administrator and as a student completing a Master of Education degree. Having seen eLearning from these different perspectives, I am especially appreciative of how demanding and rewarding it truly is, and of how misunderstood eLearning can often be.
When I began my program, I was initially surprised by how self-directed the learning was, and how much this had differed from both my prior undergraduate and graduate school experience in “on ground” campuses. Being in the driver’s seat in regards to attending the class, completing the readings, conducting my own research and trying to craft thoughtful discussion board posts felt very rewarding. I also became very mindful of how responsible I was for gaining a meaningful experience from the interactive learning process taking place.
Peer interaction enhances online education
If I could offer any words of wisdom based upon my own experiences, it would be how important it is to interact with your peers and establish a stream of communication within the course room. I experienced first-hand how the more my peers and I interacted, the richer the conversations in the discussion board area became, which created both a deeper pool of shared knowledge and a stronger sense of community.