Where do we go from here?
This course has provided us with invaluable resources that I will use as I continue in my work as an adult educator, and a social entrepreneur.
Tony Bates’ (2015) Teaching in a Digital Age, 2nd Edition will now be a “reference bible” as I continue in this space of (virtual) adult education, as well as Igor Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development. As part of my growing self-reflective practice, I will try to include an exercise or an activity, may it be done through a pre-course survey or a quick introduction poll, to better comprehend my learners’ current understanding of the course material. This is especially important when I am facilitating a course with a mixed group of participants, with varying levels of prior knowledge and/or prior experience. Online technologies are readily available to help me accomplish this such as the use of Google Forms or Survey Monkey for a pre-course online survey, or Mentimeter or polling within the Zoom platform to conduct a poll with the learners.
The global pandemic has accelerated the migration of learning into the online learning environment, and this has significantly affected my work as an adult educator engaged in instructional design and facilitation. How will I update my current lessons plans, to ensure that they retain the centrality of experiential and participatory learning? Which online learning tools are best to enhance the learning, and not be distracting for the learners and other facilitators whenever I’m engaged in a train-the-trainer situation? What technological onboarding techniques can I integrate at the beginning of every session to ensure that no learner is left behind?
Perhaps more practically, the immediate next step for me is whether or not I will invest time, effort and capital on a learning management system (LMS) like TalentLMS or Moodle, or whether I will continue to use a smorgasbord of tools in combination such as Zoom, the G Suite tools, and Mentimeter. For this purpose, the SECTIONS Model (Bates, 2015) will be very useful in determining the pros and cons of whichever approach I will be taking, especially with the view of longevity, sustainability, ease of use, and accessibility for learners.
by Jhoanna Gonzales Miners, MA
27 October 2020