Facing Challenges

What has challenged you the most in this course?

Time management. Often I am trying to balance doing well on my assignments, but not overdoing it. I can spend hours just on 1 post, but that much time isn’t always necessary. I am trying to break up discussion posts into manageable chunks instead of a 2 page paper.

I also have struggled with conceptualizing some of the activities for my course. I have a general idea of what I want to do, or the outcome that I am looking for, but I don’t always know the best way to go about it. Would it be better as a discussion, a group task or individual one, a project, debate, etc.? I KNOW some of the activities that I have decided on will be changed.

What has been most difficult or uncomfortable and why?

Something that has been very uncomfortable for me is honesty. Being honest with myself, being honest in public, being honest with my instructor. I was taught to respect authority, which includes not questioning or disagreeing with them, even if you disagree with them. Saying, “I don’t like this,” or “I would do it differently” is hard for me. Blogging my thoughts are difficult too. It is a vulnerable feeling to put myself out there for all to read. I treat the blog as a free-form, stream-of-consciousness, where I can just write my thoughts as they occur with minimal editing. This has allowed me to be the most open and honest about my experiences.

As you go through this process as a student in this course and as the developer of your own online course, what are you thinking about?

I am thinking about what I feel is working for me as a student and what is not, so I can include or not include those things in my course. One of the topics we have discussed in this module is social presence—how to create it, what impedes it, and how are we experiencing it. I was surprised to find that others were struggling with feeling a strong connection to others as well, despite the extensive conversations that we have had. I’m thinking about how to make that different for my students. I am thinking about more collaborative group work with a consistent team of students that can really develop cohesion.

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