An eCourse Experience - Part Two

My website! It ain't much to look at now, but wait until I learn some CSS...

My website! It ain't much to look at now, but wait until I learn some CSS...

This is the second HKLC blog post about my experience of taking an online professional development course. Read the first post here.

Okay, so it's been a couple of weeks since I started the course. I've learned a whole lot of (admittedly basic) stuff about HTML, but I won't bore you with that. Instead I want to reflect on the experience itself. Was participating in this online course an effective way to learn the material and acquire new skills?

Course structure

As mentioned in Part 1, the course is offered through the American Library Association, which provides a course site using the Moodle learning management system. All of the materials and activities are accessible from the site. The syllabus is spread out over four weeks, and for each the instructor has prepared a set of readings and activities.

The activities are built around the mini-project that each student has to complete. This involves creating a simple website to host a professional profile. The instructor puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of planning, and indeed the first five exercises entirely were focused on planning the website - no coding at all!

Thoughts so far...

For me, the most obvious benefit of participating in the eCourse is that is forcing me to work through the textbook! I often borrow professional development titles with the good intention of working diligently through them, but oftentimes this drop down the list of priorities. With the incentive (or pressure!) of assignment deadlines, I am motivated to continue working steadily through the text.

I've been impressed by the commitment and responsiveness of the instructor. Although there are over 70 participants in the course, she has given personalized feedback on all of the work I've submitted. Students have also been encouraged to give peer feedback via the course site forums, and folks have been very active on these. It has been really encouraging to see people helping each other out with problems and providing each other with support.

Overall it's been a good experience so far, and it's been pretty easy to fit in the work required around my job commitments. I'll wrap up this series after I finish the course in mid-August (if all goes to plan). Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them below!

Text by: Chris