One of the main features in EDU 3.0 is, the school are located everywhere, and everybody can be our teachers and are available everywhere, anytime. I also understand that the meaning of curriculum is ‘anything that is around us’; we tend to learn from our surroundings. How do we break the barrier of ‘brick and mortar’ that confined teachers and learners into a limited space? The answer to this simple question is, we can do it through the Internet. We are bombarded with the terms online learning, virtual learning environment, flipped learning, blended-learning, and so forth, but how far can we go to deliver the content through the medium of the Internet. We can go further, in fact, we can go beyond where the terms teacher turns to facilitator or tutor. Learners need a teacher, but they can also be independent. Teaching also changes, from sage on the stage to guide on the side. Perhaps we can learn from TED Talk
I remember on ideas by Vygotsky on Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), where 1) Learners can’t learn even if guided 2) learners can learn if guided and 3)learners can learn independently. If we are going to apply these ideas in online learning. Which category are you into in ZPD? To be an online learner, you need to adjust yourself according to your learning preferences.
Here are some tips for online learners:
1. In an online learning platform, the learning management system (LMS), study the ‘learning structure’, is it self-paced or modular? Is it design weekly or based on case-study or problem-solving? Most of the time, the teacher tend to design it in a weekly format where the tasks are scaffolded from easy to difficult. By doing this, you will be able to determine your time management to cope with all the tasks.
2. Understand the learning objectives and learning outcomes. How far can you go to fulfill the learning objectives? Usually, the learning objectives represent the skills and knowledge that you need to develop.
3. Go through the resources, the resources play a role to strengthen your understanding. The resources might be light, and it might be substantial, whatever it is, it is essential for you to grasp and ‘load’ it into your mind, digest it and synthesize. This will helps you in undergoing the tasks.
4. Regularly communicate in the online forum or any activity that makes you interact with your tutors and peers. Sharing your thought and response to other’s view will enable you to grow in terms of knowledge and skill.
5. Keep up your time regularly in handling the tasks. This will make you always update and not left behind, especially in understanding difficult concept.
6. Deliver on time. Some of the tasks may lead to the writing of reflective papers or write a proposal or develop the system etc.
So, what do you think? Learning online is a fantastic journey where you can develop yourself to be self-discipline and self-motivation, and the best thing is, transform your previous experience into a new experience. Try it, and you will enjoy it.
Image 1: Zone of Proximal Development
Description: Illustration of the zone of proximal development, the central ring where a child can complete a task with adult guidance, but not without it. This represents the borders of their current capability.
Attribution: Dcoetzee [CC0]