I presented my learning theory to my peers and instructor this week. I also received feedback on my brainstorming/initial draft and was asked important questions by my peers in the synchronous meeting. My research continues on adult learners and theory and practice of online learning. I am reading book chapters, articles, and studies to further support my theory. I am debating on my discussion of the barriers of online learning, but this section will likely be limited because of space considerations. I am also falling back to several attributes of the REAL advanced instructional design model because several attributes of this model are essential to my personal learning theory.
Numerous important questions were raised after my presentation: do you feel the method used depends on the topic; how do your students collaborate; do your students have a group project? I have over 20 students in each of my courses. The course I had in my mind when responding to these questions is a new online course, but one I taught face-to-face prior to this semester. Group work, projects, presenting problems, and collaboration in the F2F version worked well. What was my hesitation to bring this to the online course? (The number of students, the subject, or the lack of resources and support) Each of these is a consideration. I identify with the constructivist philosophy and want to bring this to my online courses. After presenting my ideas and personal learning theory, I was encouraged by the support of my peers to make this happen. Several peers are currently making this work in their online classes. My topic will not change, I teach software and technology courses and do believe that hands-on work and practice is needed to learn the various programs and systems. Providing group work options, presenting real-world problems, and increased collaboration in the course are my challenge for next semester.
As for my personal learning theory, this will transform over the next few years as I continue pushing myself to try new things in my online classroom.