We have reached the end of the ONL course. It was an interesting experience and I am happy to have tried out and have given my contributions.
The online collaborative work was difficult and not always worked. To process of developing an online team takes much longer time than the process of forming teams working with face-to-face meetings. So it was no surprise that collaboration didn’t work out of the box. I work in European project where most of the interaction occurs via be-weekly teleconference. However, every 3-4 months we meet in person so we can accelerate in person the process of team building. Building the ONL course was too short to allow for this process to happen.
The most important finding for me in this class was to understand how difficult to learn online. I have never taken a course like this and this class showed me what are the challenges for students. The main difficulty is that student is let to decided when to do the actual work for the course. Time management has been the number issue for me in this class. I have taught three classes this semester and between research and administration duties has been difficult to find time for the course. I ended it up in doing all the work on Saturday or Sunday or after work.
One of the most positive aspects of this class is the fact that it made me use blogging framework and discover the pleasure of writing or at least investigate more artistic part of my personality. I have done humanistic studies (greek, latin, philosophy) and used to write long essay. However, after carrying out the engineering school I lost contact with this part of myself. To write in the blog was a nice experience and I think that will continue in the future.
I think that google plus worked well as a forum where people posted things and give feedback. However, I found the interface is not very pleasant and somehow simplistic. On the other hand, it is not as invasive as other platforms like facebook. I am still not sure if I will keep using google plus after the class ends.
Twitter was nice. I have followed the American presidential election with it and it was lot of fun. It could be an useful tool for dissemination of conference and events. Tweet chat can work but not in the way that has been proposed in the course. To have bunch of people waiting for people to tweet is frustrating. The best way is to do it when you are on the subway or when you are doing something else.
The adobe connect experience was OK. It easy to set-up and widely used in Sweden and other European Institutions. The main problem I had with it is the interaction of adobe connect with other similar tools, like pexip (the other KTH videoconferencing tool), skype and webex. As soon as I use one this, sometimes the microphone or the audio in adobe connect stops working. So before joining a adobe connect call, I always need to restart my laptop. After all, maybe it is good thing to restart the system.
Overall good course that made me know many new things!