Curiosity, badges, new stuff… running and participating in ALT’s open course, ocTEL

ocTEL week 1 badge
ocTEL badge

For the past week I have been involved in running ocTEL, the open course in Technology Enhanced Learning – version 2.0. As well as helping with running the course, I have also done my bit to participate and now that the first few days are behind me, I want to reflect on my expectations of the course as a participant/organiser hybrid… .

So, first up, what am I hoping to achieve by participating? Like everyone else, this has to fit around all the other things I am doing and there are certainly limits to how much time I can spend on it. Still, participating is important to me and in an ideal scenario I would like to:

  • explore how the open badges impact on my approach to the course and interacting with it;
  • read a few posts each day to gain insight into what other participants are doing and thinking about;
  • reflect on how this kind of course and its activities can share my own learning habits.

Thus far, and week 1 has only just started, I have some thoughts on each of these three areas:

First, in regards to the badges, I am finding that I want them! I like looking at who else has earned the same badge and I like the way in which getting a badge or trying to at least makes me more concious about what I am achieving. From a personal point of view then, they work for me – for what I want from the course thus far.

Secondly, reading through the posts of what others have contributed gives me a whole new perspective on what others are up to in regards to using technology for learning, teaching or assessment. It’s inspirational to see how many resources there are that are being shared openly and in particular I enjoy reading contributions from outside the UK and getting a glimpse of the global learning landscape.

Last, but not least, even during this first, at times slightly chaotic week, participating in the course has given me a renewed sense of enthusiasm for learning new things. Exploring random links via Twitter #ocTEL or finding something interesting in a post gives me a sense of shared curiosity. I am enjoying seeing how questions come up and get answered.

So, that’s my thoughts after a week of ocTEL 2.0. For this week, week 1 of the course, I am taking on a tutor role alongside Phil Tubman and others, but I shall still try and get a bit of the participant experience. After that – let the badge quest begin.

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