Dear Open Networked Learning community:

It has been a pleasure meeting you. Time passed too fast, as usual, when having fun. Not only did I have fun but I learned a lot during these weeks (watch this). I met wonderful people in my PBL9 group and experienced the true pleasure of a successful online team work.

 I am a researcher who loves teaching and mentoring. When I started this course I didn’t feel so happy with my offline professional life. I belong to a research group struggling for money to survive the academic world. However, the Open Networked Learning course motivated me to work with happiness again. Now I know why: it gave me autonomy, mastery and purpose (watch this video and read this interesting post).

 So what I want to do here is to dissect what made my journey so fascinating.

 First, I discovered that my “carrot” consists in having a challenge and in the excitement of doing something new. In this course, like in a game, I was given topics every two weeks.  A new topic and a new problem were there to be solved. For this I got hints and sometimes more extensive instructions but the important thing is that I was free to innovate and look for creative solutions.

In doing this, I was not alone. I was part of an online PBL group which became an online team over time. In our little online space, we backed up each other, laughed together and discussed strategy as if preparing for a battle. We had two facilitators (Mohammed and Francisca)  who watched over the group process, encouraged us and asked clever questions from time to time. That was wonderful! See what Francisca wrote in her blog.

What else? Well, I was surrounded by passionate, ambitious people, most of them doing this for the pleasure of learning and creating new knowledge. People, picking up the challenges without fear of non-performing. People with the same carrots as me.

Finally, we had clear deadlines, just enough pressure to accomplish a task and the same chance to excel. All group members were group leaders at least twice and therefore responsible for delivering the group presentations on time and with quality. The course was designed so everyone felt involved and occupied doing things all the time. Webinars, blogs, tweets. Many things going on at the same time.

The dynamics of the course was great and despite the high tempo and life spinning outside the computer, I didn’t feel stressed at all in the ONL162. In fact I wish I had more of this offline.


Now that I got the taste, I know more about what I am looking for in my professional life. In the future I would like to engage more in pedagogical development, help to increase digital literacy, use more of the available technology in online education, create pedagogical materials and to design a whole course together with a wonderful team.

Meanwhile I cannot wait for the ONL171 and a new experience as co-facilitator!

Thanks to Maria Kvarnström for introducing me to this course and Tina Persson for introducing me to the term MOOC

Other things I did and learned:

  • Used the FISH model for the first time

  • Practiced PBL online for the first time

  • Became aware of my digital identity

  • Learned about digital literacy

  • Realized what a MOOC is

  • Started to learn about MOOC design

  • Realized the importance of online openness and sharing

  • Took advantage of the CC licenses and learned how to look for this

  • Became aware of the filter bubble

  • Wikipedia is a wonderful educational project

  • Learned a lot about useful tools used in education

  • Participated in a tweetchat and organized my tweetdeck

  • Tweetchats go fast  

  • Webinars goes really fast, especially when you have to present

  • Technical problems can take over in online meetings. IT support is needed!

  • The importance of a good headset

  • To plug the headset in the right hole

  • Online collaboration is amazing

  • Groups develop over time and go through stages. Don’t rush it!

  • Human dynamics

  • Think about conflicts as something good

  • Learning theories and learning models.

  • How to create a blog and even enjoy writing in it

  • It is allow to be wrong and show lack of knowledge

  • Generosity and kindness are vital

  • Helped to start a homepage for a virtual course (link)

  • The role of the facilitator is key in motivating and creating group cohesion

  • Suddenly realized that the ONL162 posts on google+ were more interesting than my Facebook page! 



The like cloud was inspired by our last webinar and created with

Firework picture taken from Pixabay under CC license


7 thoughts on “Dear Open Networked Learning community:

  1. Hi @Gizeh what a great summary. You learned so much and you made your learning moments so explicit. Well done and very usefull. I think new ONL171learners would love you blog. The last bulletpoint is realy Interesting. I think you continue learning when you join ON171. And I would like to ask you if you want to complete our “PBL for dummies” course with me for our own use? Maybe some other groupmembers of PBL9 want to join? What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Gizeh, thanks for your very honest and authentic post about your experiences with the course. I definitely agree with you that being surrounded by passionate, ambitious people inspires and motivates a person to work through each topic. I also felt the high tempo of the course and trying to manage professional and personal dynamics whilst completing the course was problematic. Have a we rested festive season 🙂


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