EDTECH 522 – Course Reflection

Online learning is such a fantastic resource for education, and more particularly for adult education.  Of course, adult education can mean a variety of different things, but in the context of this post I am referring to continuing education and professional development.  By the time one reaches “adulthood” there are so many demands and constraints on your time, usually from the to be expected sources like family, work, and everything that fills in the spaces between.  The ability of an adult with a family and a full-time job to take time out of their day to sit in a classroom for an extended period hasn’t been realistic for quite some time, the difference is that now there is an extremely viable, interactive, flexible means available to accomplish those educational tasks without having to drive across town or take time off from work.  Online education and adult learners are a match made in heaven!

With my focus on professional training and continuing education for business professionals, the aspect of this course that I found the most engaging was the 5th module on Planning, Designing, and Facilitating Online Instruction.  While I had created  online training materials previous to this course, it was enlightening to have an opportunity to develop a course from within a system like Moodle.  Previously, training material I had created were built within web content or distributed straight to video screencast or YouTube.  While I had extensive experience using Blackboard and Moodle as a student, this was my first foray into the administration or instructor component and I was intrigued!  I was extremely impressed with the ability to sequester information and break modules and lesson specific information up into “bite sized” components that could then be made available as needed to students.  This was far superior to managing content on a simple website or forum script.  The downside with these LMS systems, as I see it, are that they have terrible collaboration and communication modules built into them.  Most notably their forum scripts.  After a decade of online community management there honestly a half dozen forum scripts (both free and paid) that offer a far superior user experience.

Navigating the course materials in EDTECH 522 has inspired me to spend time moving forward to both enhance my web design skills and to spend quite a bit of time exploring both Moodle and Blackboard for future use in online course development.  I would like to develop a sandbox course that fully utilizes the feature set of a LMS to further explore it’s capabilities for a professional development course.  As someone who enjoys exploration, tinkering, and trial & error, this would afford me the opportunity to continue to refine my understanding of these two LMS systems and at the end of the process I would be left with a course that could be made available for further evaluation of both the course content as well as the organization and flow of the modules that would make up the course.

Online Instruction for Adult Learners has been an extremely rewarding course and I expect that I will find many opportunities in the months and years to come to put the tools and skills gained through the work of this past semester to good use!


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