Topic 5 ..Lessons Learnt – Future Practice



The end of one journey and start of another….  

As this ONL course comes to closing it is actually new beginning for me. I walk away with a new skill, knowledge, perspectives and most importantly a new list academic contacts. This has been one of the most amazing journeys in my academic career. ONL has opened my mind to endless possibilities and ideas that am eager to try in my own creation of online learning programmes. Before I began the course I though that my digital literacy skills where well developed but as the course progressed I began to see my digital skills was just the tip of the iceberg and this course was going to introduce me to world of online learning unknown to me.

In the first topic we discussed residents and visitors which was mind opening experience to me. It made step back and look at myself, evaluate my digital interaction online. Understanding my own online interaction also made me view how students interacted digitally which is vital when creating an online course. This was also the key to understanding students better. It is also important to evaluate your work and receive feedback to improve online learning. Creating an environment of openness is important to making the course more approachable to students. Working on the FISh document also showed me how people can work together even they are unable to attend the meetings. I will certainly be using this.

When we moved on to topic 2 It was interesting to learn about of creative commons. This was completely new to me. I always had questions of what can or can’t be shared online and Topic 2 clarified this for me.

Personally topic 3 had the biggest impact on me. It provided information on how to ensure groups works collaboratively and that we need some comfortable learning environments that will allow for students to embrace each other’s diversity.

I have started implementing what have learnt from ONL in my online courses most especially the lessons from topic 4.I now apply the ICEBERG theory when creating my courses. This theory if applied correctly can prevent student from dropping out if . PBL12 group student dropping out of online course and it was interesting to hear my fellow group members views on this as it only helps to improve your online/blended course.

ONL and PBL group members have introduce me valuable tools to be used in online learning. Padlet, Canva, Emaze, Popplet, Metimeter are some the tools I have been introduced to which I will be certainly trying out.

Apart from developing my online digital and social skills there were also relationships built. The PBL 12 are going to remain in contact and will meet to celebrate our birthdays online and since my birthday is first up I’m looking forward to starting this tradition. I was pleased to be part of such an interesting and diverse group.

My suggestion for ONL is to create a big community for all past ONL students have access to so where can always stay in touch and share our future experiences with each other. This community will always keep us linked together and also allow us to share new information with each as well as share how we are practice our teaching and lessons learnt from this course. This has been an incredible journey and it something every academic involved in online learning should experience. A phrase that will stay with me forever that was mentioned in our first PBL 12 group meeting “Be comfortable in your discomfort zone” and that’s what I intend on doing…..time to put these new skills to practice 😊

P.S PBL has created amazing presentations and in case you missed it here’s the links again:

Topic 1

Topic 2

Topic 3

Topic 4

Topic 5


Class central

CC (2018). About the Licenses. [online]

Available at

[Accessed 24 Oct.2018]

S. White and A. Le Cornu. First Monday, Volume 16, Number 9 – 5 September 2011

Grow through Thinking and Learning (2016)
















Leading into Topic 4…. Design for Online and Blended learning

The anticipation was building up. I was going to be leading Topic 4 but still had a few challenges to overcome. How was I going to host this meeting when Educor doesn’t have Zoom licence? How was I going to access features that were required for the meeting? So, I just threw caution to the wind created a free account and hoped for the best. This was also an experience on how to overcome these digital learning challenges.

The first meeting went fairly well. It’s always interesting to learn the views of my fellow community members. Blended learning comes with many challenges and questions. How much of the course should be online? What kind of support will the student and staff require? How do we prevent students for dropping out from a blended course? Why are students dropping out?

Students drop out of courses for various reasons. It can be due to the lack academic background and not enough support received from their institute as well as the lecturer/facilitator. There are a number of students online learning experience as well as the necessary study skills and digital literacy. Added to this are factors that concern the course itself.

The design of the course is instrumental in retaining students. The ICEBERG  7 key principles provide a clear description of how an online course should be designed to avoid course dropouts. ICEBERG acronym concisely stands for:

  • Integrated. This clearly presents the activities and material of learning outcomes which allows the student sees a purpose for every section. Students need this visible to them from the beginning, so they will not receive any surprises during the course that will make them feel overwhelmed and drop out.
  • Collaborative. Creating a supportive learning community between students and teachers.
  • Engaging. Course material that is relevant and meaningful to the students.
  • Balanced. The course must at structures at a steady pace and manageable workload.
  • Economical. Teachers must avoid overloading students with too much information. They must stick to information that is relevant to the course.
  • Reflective. Students must be encouraged to reflect on their learning process through frequent formative assessment activities.
  • Gradual The course must be structured at a gradual process moving from simple to increasingly complex tasks as the course progresses.


These 7 principles provide a neat framework when designing a strictly online or blended learning course.

ONL has indeed helping me improve my skills in creation of online courses.



Van Ameijde, J., Weller, M., Cross, S. (2018) Learning Design for Student Retention. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice Vol 6 No 2.

Simpson, O. (2013). Student retention in distance education: are we failing our students?

Topic 3

Topic 3

In the midst of writing my exams we entered topic 3. I had to able to manage my time well and make sure to make a worthy contribution to our group work after all this week was dedicated to GROUP work.

This topic intrigued me from the start. It was interesting to learn how to ensure effective group work amongst students. I was excited to hear what my fellow PBL 12 members had to say.

The meeting brought about a range of sub topics about group work but at the same time we all seem to have similar concerns when come to students group work. The challenges experienced with students in group work were students not contributing enough, working in synergies, embracing diversity to mention just a few. The different roles participants played in a group. There were some remarkable discoveries.

Listing these challenges highlights that no matter what cultural differences that exist between us in our group we all have or experienced the same concerns when it comes to students working in groups. Therefore, we decided to look at our own group and evaluate what makes our PBL 12 work. This was interesting because we now had to step back at look at our group from the outside. PBL is a diverse group that accepts and respects each other and we also together collectively. We also set the ground the ground rules form the start that also contributes to the effectiveness of our group. We can also take these lessons that we learn and use it our own practices. ONL is certainly allowing for us to learn and practice simultaneously. Also reading the other communities insight and experience on group work has been fascinating. The benefit of ONL helps you to develop your skills form a range of different perspectives.

There has been a wealth of information discussed about the topics and the group members have provided a number of resources that certainly enhances my knowledge and practice of working in groups.

Topic 3 certainly made me re- evaluate my own practices as an academic most help me improve my methods of creating a lesson.

Now I eagerly await Topic 4….


Topic 2 – Online Sharing

What is openness and sharing in education? How much can one really share online? What are the benefits of sharing? What are challenges of sharing?

These are just a few questions that baffled me when I entered Topic 2. In my experience in education sharing academic content has always be frowned upon and working in my PBL group has shown me that this can actually be turned around. We looked at the various methods that can actually convince fellow academic to share their content. The SWOT analysis is a one of the most effective methods in trying to gain support from colleagues to support openness and sharing in education. The must be trust within the work environment in order for openness to take.

I also feel that staff should be informed that they are not obligated to share everything. They can have decided within their faculty what are their need and outcome’s and share their content accordingly. This topic has opened me to the numerous mooc’s available and these platforms also provide support and guidance for individuals who want to share their content. Institutes should make this information available to all academic staff. ONL serves as a perfect support and guidance to equip me with the knowledge of openness in education.

I have always wondered about the content that is used online if we are allowed to share it or if we can use the shared content in our work?  This is when we were introduced to creative common licence. This excited me because I always wanted to know how shared content is used online. The 6 different licences Attribution, Attribution -Share alike, Attribution- NoDerivs, Attribution -Non-commercial, Attribution – No Commercial- Share alike, Attribution Non-Commercial- NoDerivs has taught me how to appropriately use shared content.

The shared views of the PBL community has proven valuable to help me in my daily task. Every week is a new challenge that I look forward to. Let’s see what Topic 3 hold for us …. 😊




Topic 1


Topic one has come to an end, When I started the course I was excited and nervous at the same time not knowing what to expect. Once we began, I started realising the value that will be gained. The introduction to the fish model has already had an impact on my daily teaching at work. I now base my content creation using the FISh model. I am also sharing this information with my colleagues at work. The collaborative presentation creation with the group has been an eye opener for me. It made me see that sharing information with enhances the learning experience and it also take away any apprehension or doubts one might have as all problems are looked at collectively in the group. The resident and visitor are an interesting theory that taught me the different ways that people can engage on the web. I am now eagerly awaiting each topic and how it improves my work experience.

Topic 1

Topic 1 has been an interesting informative lesson. Everday activity allows your mind and skills to be challenged. I have I am now gaining a better understanding of PBL. I have been introduce to the visitor and resident user which was unknown to me previously. I can see this ONL programme helping me to grow within career.