Me as a learner in this course: I started off this course with a complete blank slate. This was my first semester in the CU Denver ILT graduate program. This semester I did a lot of learning by just “failing and flailing”. I took Professor Elliot’s advice from the first screencast to heart and decided to just go for it! I tried new things, I found my online voice, and used others work as references to expand my perspective on storytelling and to try new techniques and approaches. Learning from fellow classmates was also essential to my development throughout this course.
The chapters from the Lamber and Alexander books were much easier to digest than the initial L&K New Literacy that was assigned. I felt like I was able to internalize and implement more using an a’ la carte approach to decide what I wanted to learn about. Learning to engage with other eLearning professionals via social media was not an outlet I had considered before this course. Now I understand that there are others out there using their online resources, voice, blogs, etc to communicate and share information.
My co-design of this course: Because this was my first graduate level course, I don’t really have much feedback to how it compares to prior courses, but I will say that the format was perfect. While there was weekly structure, the ability to investigate my own interests and share them with others using many different mediums was fantastic. I felt like I was able to contribute to the development of the course by providing feedback early on that I was having difficulty comprehending and applying some of the academic text from the L&K novel. I also feel like being able to respond to other’s blog posts helped to shape the focus of the information they were trying to convey; whether I was agreeing or disagreeing with a different point, the shared interactions were essential for everyone to further knowledge and perspective.
My understanding of pedagogy: This course was the first time I had ever heard the word pedagogy! I literally had to google the definition when the course began. I don’t enter this graduate program from an education based collegiate background. I’m a criminal justice major who fell into training within the private sector and fell in love with it. I enjoyed Professor Elliott’s design for the course and reasoning for want to let students explore and create in order to set their own learning goals. This course helped me to learn to think outside of the box with what lessons I create and implement, as well as to engage the learners in their education. I think this principle is especially true in the corporate training environment as the knowledge being passed along is important for professional success. I now see how important is to empower individuals in their own learning process.
Professor Elliott did a fantastic job this semester creating a learning culture that was engaging, unique and safe. The format of this course forced learners to step outside of individual comfort zones and takes risks, but in an environment where failure was “ok”. I would love it if all of my graduate courses throughout the rest of the program implemented a similar learning format as I really feel that I excelled in this one and have built a firm base of knowledge to continue my education on.
With that said, thanks to everyone in the class and to Professor Elliot for making my first graduate school semester an enjoyable one! A high bar has been set and I look forward to continued learning with everyone.