December, 10, 2021
I think the overall big lesson learnt from this course is the new perspectives on the balance between content and process in learning activities. It’s perhaps not that I have understood what is the right balance but rather that it has enhanced my awareness of this balance and perhaps that I have come to better understand the value of the processes taking place around learning activities.
The discussions in our PBL group was really a journey, hovering above the task at first, trying to figure out what we were supposed to do and why. Then after some weeks we felt more and more trust in whatever we do, it will be of some sort of value and interest to the group and to our learning. When we yesterday (December 9th) had our last group session, this was what we agreed upon was the greatest part of this course, how we learnt from our discussions and perhaps also the frustration some of us felt along the way.
But nevertheless, the course content, if that was the tasks assigned to us, then we perhaps failed terribly but neither of us felt very stressed by that. But if this was to be a course in anatomy in a medical programme using PBL learning, the less focus on the content would perhaps have been more problematic. I’m not sure any of us would like to have a MD praising her/his learning process with her/his classmates during her/his studies while not knowing the where the liver is located.
But this was on the general overall level, there are of course more to be said around what I have learnt during this course. When we in our group summarized lessons learnt I came up with the following three take home messages:
- How to foster and design learning processes in an online and open environment raises tremendous of questions and options that has widened the scope higher education. Some questions are new and some are just same ‘old’ pedagogical questions dressed in new digital clothes.
- The emphasize on learning processes in an online environment challenges, influence or even alters the core competencies of some areas of knowledge in social science as for instance public health and public health work.
- Expertise and sources of knowledge have moved to places, persons, communities, platforms partly outside the academia, or rather academia have become more societal. This adaptation need to be balanced with even more and serious critical thinking.
As for how this learning experiences will affect my practice I think it already did. This course ran parallell to a quite hectic period of teaching and I think my learning experience was also enhanced by this. Hosting group works and processes of learning in an ongoing course, made me value the importance of open discussions and reflections and also perhaps showing greater trust towards students being responsible for their own learning, simply chilling down a bit.
I certainly learnt about new tools during this course like Miro, Vocaroo, Cartoon maker, Telegram among others. I will continue use these tools, getting more accustomed and hopefully skilled.
This course has been a great companion this fall. Being a new recruit at Karlstad university and in a new learning environment I found this course to be of great value as a forum for reflections, thoughts and learning. I ended up in a great PBL-group with Miriam and Peter being great facilitators, acting more as group members than accommodators. The rest of us contributed I think equally with great respect for each other and the task we had in from of us. Silvia in our group concluded yesterday in our last session by saying that not once did we talk about Covid 19 and the pandemic during our group discussions. She thought that proved how focused we were and that our discussions and the assignments caught our full attention. A space by its own where we found ourselves being fully engaged in in our learning process.
Thanks for an interesting, challenging and different learning experience!