Working in higher education already, I already had an idea about what online learning entailed—some of the highlights of it, as well as some of the pitfalls. Drawing up a mind map, therefore, was a relatively easy process; after all, I tell my students all about online education every day, so how much could be different? What I learned was that, while my initial impressions of online learning were relatively spot on, it’s a different kettle of fish altogether on the opposite side of the classroom, and got me thinking about things in another way.
Learning how to balance teaching and taking classes was a trip—I’ve spoken on this before here, so this is no secret. Two of the things I added to my mind map were an extra branch in time management, as well as a branch regarding how online education is always evolving. At its core, online learning is made to evolve, to make itself better. It’s difficult on the students when class requirements change, but it’s even more difficult on the teachers. We’re so used to teaching a certain way that, when a course is evaluated and reworked, we sometimes forget what we’re doing, or we’re not as familiar with the improved course, so there are some growing pains. But we always have to remember, at the end of the day, that we’re always evolving in online education. That is so, so important to improving online programs, and that’s one of the main things I took away from this class.
My initial ideas are all in teal; the brainstormed ideas are in orange.