Sunshine at the end!

There is sun at the end of the winding road. Today I had my last meeting with my PBL5 group. We talked a lot about our experiences during the ONL171 course. It was good. I am aware that we often need to hear about what went well. However, to receive constructive criticism is also important. In our group we were very honest with each other and we spent quite some time trying to work together in a way that satisfied everybody. It was difficult and demanding…but guess what? It was extremely rewarding to come today to our meeting and realize that we could finally grasp the concept of collaboration and understand each other. Watch our final production that Susan put so kindly together for us! I am very proud, PBL5, of being your co-facilitator together with Kenneth Johansson, the facilitator of the group. Thanks for this trip!

These are my take-home messages

  • Take the time during the first week to know the people you are going to work with. Mingle and figure out what they need, expect, fear, how they interact and their learning style.
  • Introduce collaboration as an intended learning outcome and work with this concept earlier in the course
  • Introduce each topic with a Webinar or introductory video. To create more structure.
  • Be clear with setting the group ground rules from the beginning (rules can translate as norms or values for the group). What is accepted and what is not.
  • Talk about netiquette or social behaviour online. How to communicate with each other.
  • Agree with the group about how to use the meeting time.
  • Work more asynchronously with group members not attending meeting or not contributing enough to group presentations. Dropouts affect group dynamic a lot.
  • Be clear about the workload of this course. Yes, it is intense and demanding but also rewarding and amazing.
  • Introduce Problem Based Learning. What is it? Why so much confusion and frustration? Is it unavoidable?

As Alastair Creelman commented in a previous blog post. We often think about education from a consumer perspective and maybe it is time to think about education from a producer perspective. I liked that and it is something I am taking with me.


3 thoughts on “Sunshine at the end!

  1. Yes, I agree with your blog post, Gizeh. In our PBL we learned to work together. I find more frustrating to work with other PBLs because we leave comments and thoughts only in our own groups. It could be that our blogs are boring and not very interesting, but as ONL171 participant I tried to interact with others and have read almost all blogs, even I could not follow some of blogs at all.
    For the organisators of ONl171 course:

    You should find another strategy how to bring PBLs together. The introduction, final webinar and our common homepage are not enough. If you look at blog posts, many PBLs say goodbye to only their own groups, because they don’t feel connected to other PBLs. I think it is a pity! As one suggestion from my side would be to mix participants for one topic and work in different group according to ABC method. Think carefully about the topic and especially organization so that the participants don’t need to think mostly about what they are going to do. Instead, they will be more concentrated on their collaboration as a major aim of that topic.


  2. Very imprortant pionts! The ones that catch me the most are the first points and the last one because for me the course felt shorter – had to change group and therefore did not attend the first meetings of the new group at all. This probably contributed greatly to my big confusion at the beginning, it would have been easier if I had been more aware of their value, knowing what was dealt with and could see / hear them afterwards. Or have had your splendid list!


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