Week 5 – Your learning? Your networks?

In essence the focus this week is on consolidation, reflection, and transition. The aim is to consolidate and reflect on what you’ve done, thought, and learned to date and think about what you still need to do for Assignment 1. This then becomes the foundation on which you will build Assignment 2 – which we transition to next week.

A note about dates and views on time

This page appears to formally fit into Week 5 of semester and Assignment 1 is due on the 9th of September. A large assumption in this course about NGL is that it is based on self-directed learning. You are exploring topics of interest to you. Beyond some set readings there has been significant flexibility.

In terms of Assignment 1, as long as your assignment is “submitted” by the 16th of September, then there is no need to contact me.

If you need longer than that, we will need to talk. The main concern about going any longer is the need for you to get feedback on your ideas for Assignment 2. This means you need to get onto these before the end of semester.

Being open with your assignment work

Typically assignments are something you keep private. Not in this course. Not openly sharing your thinking as you work toward submitting your assignment and not sharing your final assignment does not fit well with the nature of this course and its topic. Especially given that Part 2 of Assignment 1 requires you to write three blog posts, rather than submit an assignment.

My advice is to freely share your thoughts, frustrations, dead-ends, and detours toward completing Assignment 1 via your blog. This can form part of your “Participation” mark for Assignment 1 and also open up possibilities of learning more via others.

The focus this week

The questions on the study schedule for this week were

What do need to still learn about NGL?
How will learn it?
How did you learn it?

The focus is on you figuring out what you still need to learn about NGL. In particular, what do you need to learn to complete your two assignments, but hopefully there’s some scope also for broader learning goals to be considered.

In terms of the assignments, for assignment 1 you need to start reflecting back on your experience so far this semester for each of your three roles. Identifying what worked, what didn’t, and why. Using your increasing understanding of various theoretical conceptualisations of netgl to help answer these and related questions.

In particular, you’re wanting to start derive lessons and insights that will be useful for you in designing a particular netgl-based intervention that is appropriate for your role “as teacher”. This is the focus in Assignment 2.

The assumption here is that since you are enrolled in a Masters program, you know how to identify what it is you still need to learn and the steps required. Which is why the level of direction this week is minimal.

What is provided below is a simple summary of reflection provided by one source. You almost certainly have seen others. Draw on this and any other sources of inspiration you have to addres

Elements of reflection

Ullmann et al (2012) identify five elements of reflection

  1. Description of an experience.It starts with something that happened and a brief description. In this course a link to an earlier blog post or other online artefact would likely be called for.
  2. Personal experience.What were you thinking and feeling during and after this experience?
  3. Critical analysis.Now we’re getting into the harder and more important elements.Description of what happened and your experience is not enough. You have to question your assumptions, values, beliefs and biases. You have to question the assumptions, values, beliefs and biases of what you’ve experienced, read, seen or listened to.You might analyse, argue, evaluate, synthesise and test these assumptions etc. with other ideas and experiences. Look for inconsistencies, disagreement, commonality, reasons and justification. Think about how you can link and integrate ideas.
  4. Taking other perspectives into account.We are constrained by our schemata. These constrain what we can see about an experience. Look for alternative perspectives. Various theories, models and literature can be useful ways to access alternate perspectives. Talk with others, see what they are thinking. Different ways of looking at a problem can reveal new ideas.An on-going process of PKM, reading more, sharing your thoughts and commenting on others would also help.
  5. An outcome of reflection.It helps if there is an outcome of your reflection. It might be a summary of what you learned, ideas for future action, or an evaluation of how this effects your development. Amongst other things.

Being critical

This web page from University College Dublin gives some good advice about how to be critical about your teaching. While not directly relevant to what you’ve done in the course, the discussion of four activities central to critical reflection and three types of assumptions will hopefully be useful.


Ullmann, T. D., Wild, F., & Scott, P. (2012). Comparing Automatically Detected Reflective Texts with Human Judgements. 2nd Workshop on Awareness and Reflection in Technology-Enhanced Learning. 7th European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (pp. 101–116). Saarbruecken, Germany.


2 thoughts on “Week 5 – Your learning? Your networks?

  1. Pingback: Week 8 material is up | An experiment in Networked & Global Learning

  2. Pingback: The Writing Hub – Is assessment an essential process for learning?

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