Conclusions and experiences of #ONL162

Learning  for me is a matter of

  • formulating questions,
  • being responsable for my own learning
  • making choices,
  • talking with people,
  • being involved with others,
  • negotiate,
  • putting things in context,
  • listen to your heart,
  • listen to others,
  • take time to think it over,
  • take time for inspirational activities, like watching video’s and reading articles, reading blogs and writing blogs
  • putting all together in something witch you can share,
  • use your insights directly. in a practical way
  • talk about your insights with others

The ONL161 course

Technical problems

Technical problems were serious. Even the last session people of the group did not use headsets. We made a rule in the live sessions that we will check the audio every time, but…

Tip 1: give information how to setup audio and give the advice to use an USB headset. Because I don’t join sessions with bad audio anymore. I am getting a headache and hearing problems. Even ta recording about Flexible Learning was recorded with apple-ears instead of a proper professional headset. It is really a serious thing if you want people to listen to you, you have to be polite in a technical way. So prepare participants, than we have better sessions.

Language problems

We had some native English speakers, some very well English speakers, some bad English speakers, some had problems to follow the discussion in English and needed time to formulate their thoughts, etcetera… the level of language-control was too different for communicating effective, so we needed three sessions before we could understand what everyone was saying. The people who spoke very well the language were not satisfied because their was not enough discussion, I think.

The skills of joining an (online) discussion were very different. Asking questions, summarize, invite others to join the discussion, being clear in thinking lines… it was a mess… but funny. I wonder if everyone was feeling comfortable in this group to say what they want to say and to understand what was said.

Tip 2 : Communication and speaking the same language is important if the focus is on the topics and the experiences. People with the same level of the language in one group will guarantee more satisfaction

The online & interactive sessions

Tip 3:  It was better to steer the online group work, by being more clear about “how we do it”, “the rules”, “the routines”, because it was too much new stuff for most of the group members. The content and the process were all new so too much was fallen off the train.

Of course you can say, the group had to solve the problem, but I think in two hours online collaboration in a week it is not realistic to think that way.

Tip 4: We have to find out how we can use the technical tools of Adobe Connect to work with the Fish document in an effective way.  I would like to work with a trainer and a philosopher to find a way to make this more interesting and effective, instead of the survival of the fittest which it was now. Techniques can be used. We have to find out how to level up the debating and discussion skills while using the online techniques.

The tweetchat was a peak;  fast, clear, structured, fun, personal professional and well scaffolded. It was an example how a group discussion can start using technology. For more depth or width we can find some other methods.

The topics

They were all familiar to me more or less.The topic of openness was the most confusing topic for me, because my perspective as a small entrepreneur is different from an educator with every month salary.  I was more interested in business models, than in the opportunity for learners with little acces to education. I think that I had to focus more on my perspective and make the subject smaller, but then I was losing contact with the group and the Fish model… I was in a spread position between me and the group…

I loved the documents and the video’s. Thank you for sharing all these sources.


I put lots of time in the project, but I still feel it was not enough. Next time I want to know more about and more specific of what time you need for participating well. Participants had a different level of study time, that infects the group work.

If you have only two hours in a week to discuss a Fish model. How can you do it in a satis factional way? It was a Fish with a waterhead. We prepared too much and we discussed too little.

Tip 5: Be clear about the time which is needed to prepare and execute the online course. So there was less frustration in the group.

Scaffolding on learning

Lars and Victoria did very well. The familiarity of the tools was not OK with all groupmembers when we started the discussions, so the scaffolding on learning model of Gilly Salmon was ignored. And indeed we learned that we could better listen to Gilly Salmon… because some felt nearly of the train.

Tip 6: Listen to Gilly Salmon

The fish model

We had some unclearness about the role of the literature in our inquiry. For me literature was just an instrument to getting practical thing in a reference, a context. My focus was on practical use. I thought the discussion was often so general, so not personal (about our personal professional environment), that I was wondering how other group members would use the knowledge and experience in their work. I could’t find out. And there was lack of time.

The Fish is swimming in schools.

A lonely fish can swim well, but we did not succeed very well to swim together, I had fun, frustrations, I was motivated and exited but also exhausted because it was too much. How to collaborate with the Fish model? How do we discuss the most interesting topics in this setting, where the group is not a group?  I did not find a way to collaborate and discuss properly on most of the topics with the group. It was an opportunity to experience what is not working. Not because the Fish was not OK. It was, I think, but the groups conditions were not fulfilled. (technical, group management, language, level of skills… etc). I am not afraid to suffer a bit, but I needed more positive experiences in online collaboration work.

Tip 7: Time is needed before a group is becoming a group with a certain discussion-culture. Therefore the Fish-document was too complicated to work with in the group when you relate it to the effectiveness of the topics which were described by members. Too much interesting things were not discussed.

The relevance for me

It was interesting, I learned a lot, in particular I learned from the input of my group members, how they experienced it. I can’t get enough of those stories. Therefore it was disappointing that most of my group members were not blogging. But I experienced the power of blogging even more.

Next step

My greatest wish is to work on a Fish documents with my group members after the show and find out a way to discuss things in an online and synchronous session in an effective way, using technology of Adobe Connect and other technology in optima forma. Then it is not about the knowledge, but finding out a method to make it “fast, clear, structured, fun, personal professional and well scaffolded.” Who will volunteer?

Thank for the opportunity to join the cours #ONL161!

Francisca Frenks



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