Reflections on Personal Skills in an Online Learning Environment

Reflections on Personal Skills in an Online Environment. 

I agree with the student who posted to their blog saying that the skills needed to succeed in an online environment are like

those needed to succeed in an in person  class.  Being motivated is an important quality in both environments. You have to be aware of why you want to be in a program, which may include goals like learning more technological skills to get a better job.  You also have to have enthusiasm for the subject matter such as wanting to learn about reference because you are interested in doing research and helping people find information. 

Success in traditional classroom settings and online classes both require good time management and organizational skills. Because online classes are less structured, the readings say that students need stronger skills in these areas.  Also students have to be willing to experiment with and learn new technologies. 

I think that I am motivated to succeed in an online program. I enjoy the learning process. However, I face a few challenges. I am slow to learn new technologies and use strategies like note taking. Time management is another challenge.

I tend to stay up late at night reading online newspapers like the New York Times, which makes it harder for me to get up early. Though I have started to save my passwords in the locker in D2L, I have not yet set up a folder with course material. Instead I have saved print outs of important readings in paper folders. Creating online folders will make it easier to access these readings and would also save paper and ink.  I also find that keeping in contact with teachers and, if possible, other students by email are a good way to answer questions about assignments.  

As far as teamwork goes, both Haycock and Irwin say that working in teams is useful because it teaches students about situations which will arise in the workplace. Haycock arranges teams so they are like teams in the work place.  He also uses a controversial method of evaluating students. Because of the common pattern in teams, in which one or two students do most of the work, he uses peer assessments, in which each student evaluates other members of a team, rather than having the instructor do all the evaluations. I should think students in a team would find it difficult to evaluate other students, particularly to criticize them, because they are taking classes together and are in a working relationship. I also think that some teachers at SLIS do not like teamwork because of the ambiguity of who is accountable for the results.  

Based on my experience though I think that Haycock accurately describes some dysfunctional patterns in teamwork.  In the two groups with four or five people that I have participated in at SLIS, one or two students dominated the process and there were no ground rules for dealing with conflicts. These groups were in what Haycock calls the “storming stage” in which power struggles occur. Participating in these groups was not a good learning experience. I did, however, work with one other student on a project and found this to be a much better learning experience. From the beginning, we decided what we wanted to accomplish

and divided up the project so that each of us did one part. We had flexible meeting times and did lots of brainstorming.  I think that working with one student is easier than working with a team of five to eight people, like the ones that Haycock describes. 

Some qualities that are important in teamwork, in both in person and online environments are self-awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses, the ability to communicate directly, openness to other’s ideas, and the willingness to look at group process. Others include the willingness to meet agreed upon deadlines and to create and follow ground rules.   

Because online teamwork involves additional knowledge about communicating through technology, it presents more challenges than face-to-face teamwork.  I am hoping that being a part of this program will give me a chance to learn these skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflections on Personal Skills in an Online Environment.

 

I agree with the student who posted to their blog saying that the skills needed to succeed in an online environment are like

those needed to succeed in an in person  class.  Being motivated is an important quality in both environments. You have to be aware of why you want to be in a program, which may include goals like learning more technological skills to get a better job.  You also have to have enthusiasm for the subject matter such as wanting to learn about reference because you are interested in doing research and helping people find information.

 

Success in traditional classroom settings and online classes both require good time management and organizational skills. Because online classes are less structured, the readings say that students need stronger skills in these areas.  Also students have to be willing to experiment with and learn new technologies.

 

I think that I am motivated to succeed in an online program. I enjoy the learning process. However, I face some challenges. I am slow to learn new technologies and use strategies like note taking. Time management is another challenge.

I tend to stay up late at night reading online newspapers like the New York Times, which makes it harder for me to get up early. Though I have started to save my passwords in the locker in D2L, I have not yet set up a folder with course material. Instead I have saved print outs of important readings in paper folders. Creating online folders may make it easier to access these readings and would also save paper and ink.  I also find that keeping in contact with teachers and, if possible, other students by email are a good way to answer questions about assignments. 

 

As far as teamwork goes, both Haycock and Irwin say that working in teams is useful because it teaches students about situations which will arise in the workplace. Haycock arranges teams so they are like teams in the work place.  He also uses a controversial method of evaluating students. Because of the common pattern in teams in which one or two students do most of the work, he uses peer assessments, in which each student evaluates other members of a team, rather than having the instructor do all the evaluations. I should think students in a team would find it difficult to evaluate other students, particularly to criticize them, because they are taking classes together and are in a working relationship. I also think that some teachers at SLIS do not like teamwork because of the ambiguity of who is accountable for the final product.

 

Based on my experience though I think that Haycock accurately describes some dysfunctional patterns in teamwork.  In the two groups with four or five people that I have participated in at SLIS, one or two students dominated the agenda and there were no ground rules for dealing with conflicts. These groups were in what Haycock calls the storming stage in which power struggles occur. Participating in these groups was not a good learning experience. I did, however, work with one other student on a project and found this to be a much better learning experience. From the beginning, we decided what we wanted to accomplish

and we divided up the project so that each of us did one part. We had flexible meeting times and did lots of brainstorming.  I think that working with one student is easier than working with a team of five to eight people, like the teams that Haycock describes.

 

Some qualities that are important in teamwork both in person and online environments are self-awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses, the ability to communicate directly, openness to other’s ideas, and the willingness to look at group process. Others include the willingness to meet agreed upon deadlines and to create and follow ground rules.  

 

Because online teamwork involves the additional knowledge about communicating through technology, it presents more challenges than face-to-face teamwork.  I am hoping that being a part of this program will give me a chance to learn these skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reflections on Personal Skills in an Online Learning Environment

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