The Teaching and Learning in Online Distance Education course is where I delved into the literature that describes processes by which teaching and learning occur when teacher and learners are separated by time and space. I read many articles in order to make connections, think and find answers. I put myself at the center of this intellectual exercise, to critically consider my readings and what they meant to me and to distance learners and teachers. I found this class to be difficult and challenging, and one that stretched me far beyond my comfort zone. I found the work to be immensely fulfilling intellectually and rewarding.
This is a short paper to describe my learning style and the ways distance education complements that style. I was able to analyze what DE offers me, and by extension other learners, and strengths and weaknesses that I bring to the DE environment. In essence, I uncovered that the learner-centered aspects of DE complement the way that I learn both in class and in my every day life. I realized that learning is the process of acquiring knowledge through study and integrating it with pre-existing knowledge. And I realized that DE, with its constructivist viewpoint toward learning is well suited to me and to life-long learning in the modern world. This was a somewhat philosophical exercise, but I feel I was able to incorporate sufficient literature to make the assignment stand on solid ground.OMDE 610 Ghofrani1-My Learning Style
This article critique was a major component of the class, an assignment that allowed me to read relevant articles and think deeply about the sense of community in distance education. I considered the matter of community building in DE from several viewpoints and synthesized a solid understanding from juxtaposing and comparing varying research articles. This analysis and synthesis process meant that I assessed where each research article succeeded or fell short, and as a consequence constructed a more complete understanding. I feel that an article critique, when done properly and with gusto, is an excellent way to learn about a new topic.OMDE 610 Ghofrani2-Article Critique
The last artifact from this class is short to read here, but in fact represents a great semester-long effort to write an ongoing learning journal. The journal was the vehicle to integrate what I learned each week, through an iterative process of thinking about the new knowledge and examining it through the lens of what I had learned during prior weeks or in other classes or even relevant portions of my personal and professional life. I had not written a learning journal before, and doing so was tough and stretched me beyond my comfort zone. As weeks passed, the process became increasingly exciting and I appreciated the great utility and impact of a learning journal as a knowledge construction tool.OMDE 610 Ghofrani3-Learning Journal