When I think about my learning experience during this course, I recognize that I´ve gained a lot during this journey, certainly more than I could expect. When I applied to the course, basically I imagined that I would learn how to design an on-line course. I was a little bit afraid if I could keep up as I had no background in pedagogy. I must say it was not easy, every topic was challenging, in the beginning the scenarios and resources seemed a little far from me, but as I participated in the webinars, group discussions and Twitter chat, it got clear of the importance of the content and it was quite easy to relate it to my present activities and future perspectives.
In spite of the challenges, the course was inspiring. In my point of view, ONL enables you to re-think your learning and teaching strategies, not only for online courses, but also for face to face activities. During Topic 1, I was motivated to use technology in a responsible way. When you are able to critically evaluate the pros and cons of using a tool, it´s empowering! Even those who hate computers would agree that it´s not possible to abolish technology, but we should learn how to use it for our benefit.
In Topic 2, I learned about open education and it was amazing to explore a world of resources freely available that will be of great value for my professional development. I found out that there is so much going on in my country and I was completely unaware of it! Additional to the possibility of using open educational resources, I was also encouraged to share my educational materials. After that, for Topic 3, we discussed about collaboration and networking, a moment that I was captured by the idea of developing a Personal Learning Network. Although Topic 4 was the most challenging at first, it gave me the foundation for designing effective online or blended courses. I would also say that it has changed even the way I prepare a lecture.
I couldn´t end this post without commenting about the course design. It was amazing! When I thought about the diversity of people, countries, languages and time zones, I was afraid that the group meetings wouldn´t work. For me it was astonishing when I realized I was connecting with people so different but at the same time with the same motivations, worries and difficulties that I had.
At last, as an open learner, I´m especially thankful for the opportunity to be part of ONL community. It has been a thought-provoking, challenging and rewarding journey.