Thursday, May 20, 2010

Adult Learning and Work-Life Balance

Pulling together ideas from the past week.

Adult Learning

Malcolm Knowles argues..
  • Typically adults need to know why they need to learn something and how it is going to apply to their real life.
  • They prefer to approach learning as problems solving
  • They learn best when the topic is of immediate value
  • They need to learn experientially
Learning styles/preferences exist and it is a good idea to be aware of the different styles and how you can cater to them. You could incorporate video, audio, photos, guest speakers, text and include activities such as role playing, case studies, simulations, and self-evaluations.

We need to recognize the above points and accept that adult learners need to be able to self-direct and to take personal responsibility for their learning.

Work-Life Balance

This is a reminder and re-post of what I shared in the course. I am hoping when I come back to my blog that it will remind me of what I am experiencing now and bring work-life priorities back into focus.

"My life is a bit chaotic to say the least and I am definitely struggling to find time for everything. I am currently looking at my priorities and realizing that even though I feel they are priorities they are getting put on the back burner.

I love the idea of making lists that everyone has suggested. I used to make lists all the time but haven't in a while because I just don't have time to sit down and make a list! tongueout

But I think everyone is right, making a list and crossing things off allows you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to feel like you are getting somewhere and getting things done. I am going to do this tonight, although I think my list will be huge.

One other thing I find extremely useful but lacking in my life at the moment is physical activity, whether it be riding my bike, walking the dogs, or classes at the gym. They all make me feel amazing. I must find time to fit that in every day."

Sunday, May 9, 2010

ISWO - Building an Online Learning Community

I have chosen to use this blog to pull together ideas that I have learned from week to week.

What is an online learning community?

I believe an online learning community enables sharing, communication, and collaboration. It allows members of the community to build knowledge, share their experiences with each other and support one another. Communities should also be social, fun, and provide a way for members to make connections. Most of all the online piece allows for flexibility.

Some ways for an online facilitator to enable/encourage/build an online learning community are:
  • Provide an audio/video introduction to the course and yourself. Encourage learners to do the same. Video and audio make it easier to build a sense of connection.
  • Make expectations regarding the course and behaviour clear up front.
  • Be present in the course, respond to questions in a timely manner, be available to learners, and be clear in your responses.
  • Provide a place where learners can connect socially , without requiring them to do so. ex. share photos, exchange link to personal accounts such as blogs, twitter and facebook.
  • Provide a Q&A area that allows learners to jump in and help other learners.
  • Model behaviours/expectations you have for learners.
  • Provide similar types of interaction (forum, wiki, etc) repeatedly to allow learners to become comfortable with them.
  • Allow routines to develop. People like routines and it puts them at ease.
  • Throw in activities from time to time that shake things up. This keeps learners interested.
Note: In the end, it is up to learners how much they want to participate, you can't force community, all you can do is try to enable it.

I am sure I haven't captured all of the ways to enable/encourage/build an online learning community, if you have others please comment and let me know :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My first post to my new blog.

This is my first post to my blog and I am not 100% sure what I want to say or what I will use this blog for.

So for now, welcome to my blog :)

Soon enough I will share my thoughts with you.