Topic 5: Lessons Learnt – Future Practice

It seems like we started the course not so long ago, yet now we are at the end of the chapter of our Open Networked Learning. More accurately, it is the beginning of a new chapter as we take forward what we have experienced during this course and apply them in our own practice and to help our colleagues and students in the area of online and collaborative learning.

Our team’s meme aptly summarized our thoughts on this topic: “Don’t Ask What Online Learning Did For you, Ask What You Did For Online Learning“. Our team accomplished a collaborative MEME where each of us were part of the message and it was coordinated via Zoom.

Taking this course amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic highlights the importance to be able to use online learning and teaching tools and to engage student learning using online platforms. Though the face-to-face and social interaction will still be important, being ready for online learning and assessments helps us to be resilient when facing times or uncertainties or adversity.

Future Practice:

With the topics discussed, I have found greater understanding and confidence in my course design for both online and blended learning. The pedagogical readings help us to reinforce our ideas of successful planning and execution of online learning, and as an assurance of what we have already been doing correctly in our own practice.

Most importantly, the experience helps me to be stepping in the role of a student and be able to understand better the difficulties that they may face. This can help me to develop the course design to better engage the needs of difference students in the near future.

The journey is just beginning and I am really glad to have started it with the valuable ONL201 course.


Stay Safe!

Cheers, Cindy

ONL Topic 4: Online and Blended Learning

Topic 4 is a great summary and sharing of our ideas and experiences of online and blended learning. The learning materials and activities, especially the padlet and webinar activities were very engaging. I remember in the webinar’s breakout session, I was in the same breakout group as another female educator who also teaches engineering and found that we shared similar experiences in the aspect of emotional presence in the classroom both online and offline, and how sometimes we may be seen to be perceived like a “mother” in the classroom. Another interesting point we shared was how we sometimes also need to understand how the mindset and culture change in our students changes over the years. I recalled how i have been teaching a course in “renewable energy” since the start of my academic career and one of the examples that I illustrate to provide some thought provoking humor in class is a snapshot of one of the classic scene from a famous chinese movie by Stephen Chow. The first 2 batches of students i have taught immediately identified with the images and could understand the humor and message behind. But in the more recent years, i can clearly see that many of my students do not know/watch Stephen Chow movies and that the message then becomes less relevant. Nevertheless, these are part and parcel of our journey as an educator to constantly refine how we bring the message across to our students.

For the task on Blended and Online Learning, where we found that there were so much information to share and hence, deciding on the focus for the topic was the most challenging task in the beginning. However, it is also through our active interaction and discussion that we manage to move forward to bring our presentation to fruition. Our presentation can be found here: (click here)  Despite the fact that we are a team of 7 (plus 2 facilitators) who has never met in person and from different countries and background. The tasks that we have been working together on for the past few months has helped us to build the necessary trust and rapport to work well together towards a common goal.

In line with our investigation on the 5-stage model by Gilly Salmon, I feel that one can clearly see how in the ONL201 course has supported our learning in the following ways:

1 Access and Motivation

Right at the start, our organizers provided a good summary of the schedule and overview of the course. The ONL website provides a good summary of the information we need and the first week was dedicated to making sure our blogs are connected right.

2 Online Socialization

The introductory meetings on Zoom and the group meetings helps us to get to know the community and also our group members. We also started by posting our introduction on the blogs. We got to know our facilitators and feel really assured that they are around to support us during the course.

3. Information exchange

Readings, videos and webinars can all be found and access on the ONL website. I find this so well-structured that it is not difficult to find the article recommended for our reading. Our PBL group Google Drive also provide fast and easy access to our group meeting and task materials.

4. Knowledge Construction

Every 2 weeks, we will work with our PBL group to complete one task and along the way, we discuss and exchange information and knowledge via our Zoom meetings.

5. Development

After ever task, we are also encouraged to post our reflections on our blogs to document what are our biggest take-away and most importantly how to apply our learning to develop our own practice.


The course and this topic has helped me to better appreciate and understand how to design online and blended learning.

Stay safe!

Cheers, Cindy

ONL Topic 3: Learning in Communities – Networked Collaborative learning

For topic 3, we looked at the scenario of networked collaborative learning. Learning in Communities present many opportunities for sharing, thinking and creativity. However, assessment fairness, timely feedback and ability of students to work harmoniously together present challenges to facilitating such learning activitives.

Networked collaborative learning is exactly what we are currently doing with our participation in the open networked learning community. The weekly meetings, learning activities and webinars provide us with a structured and focused environment to work on our task. For this topic, we have shared our inputs using Google Docs, something that we are all very comfortable with using at this time. Another new tool was the creation of brochure online which was our presentation output for this discussion.

One of the challenges in this topic is finding the focus point as the topic has many interesting areas worth investigating. Eventually, we agreed on a structure for our brochure and efficiently narrowed down our findings into succinct and condensed points that we want to share with our community. I admit that this process of distilling information and coming to a common consensus of what to share is the most difficult part of the collaborative work. I am reminded of the many times when students complain about the page limits we impose on them for their group project reports as they feel that they have so much to share.

Overall, this topic and the recommended readings provided helps me to reflect on the challenges and frustrations faced by our students in online collaborative learning, but also provides an understanding of how to better facilitate effective online collaborative learning for our students, an activity that proves to be both useful and necessary amidst the Covid 19 situation around the world.

Stay Safe Everyone!

ONL Topic 2

In topic 2, our team explored the use of Coogle (  to collaborate and prepare our presentation for our topic.

Overall, i feel that there are so many take-away lessons from this collaborative process:

Tools for collaborative learning

Together with my team members, we all learnt and explored a new tool and used it to collaborate on the topic. Overall, the use of tools such as Coogle, Google docs, Google drive, blogging, Zoom, etc. has kind of “forced” me to learn to to be comfortable with the use of such resources in a very short period of time and understand the limitations and possibilities in such tools for learning and instruction.

Structure of collaborative learning

As we get to know our team members and the structure of this open network learning community, we become more efficient in communicating and sharing our ideas. Thanks to the guidance of Sandeep and David, our 2 great facilitators for PBL Group 10, we always manage to keep to our tasks and timeline. I particularly enjoy the sessions where we discuss our thoughts for focus of investigation at the start of each topic. It is particularly interesting to observe and learn about the ideas and opinion of each and every other member.


One of my goals is to learn to be a better educator and instructor to facilitate learning for my students. In this ONL environment, I can see myself as a learner and at the same time, allows me to revisit some of the common issues and problems faced by my students when I try to incorporate collaborative and project based learning activities.

Certainly look forward to the next 2 topics to come!

Stay safe!


Week 1 Topic 1 ONL PBL Group 10

It is week 2 as I write this blog post. Last week has been an intense week of this, working on the tasks, in addition to my daily routine. Also, tuning in to the webinars and also to the online meetings. The thought of doing this with a great team of like-minded coursemates, encouraging group facilitators Sandeep and David, really helped a lot in this journey.

I  feel like a student again and it really helps me reflect on the difficulties faced by students in terms of time constraints, datelines, information (sometimes overload) etc. Sometimes we think, how hard is it to learn this. They had 1 week to understand my lecture before coming to my tutorial. But the truth is that they do NOT HAVE 1 WEEK to learn my lecture. They have 5 other lectures, projects, assignments etc in the week as well and all this adds and really dramatically reduces the time they have to spend on our modules.

As we explore the topic of digital literacy in this week’s topic. I cannot help but think how the availability of such tools and platforms has enabled/ unabled learning. On one hand, there are many more possibilities of how information and knowledge may be disseminated, but too much information may also mean more time needed to distil the useful information from the non-essential or unreliable ones.

I look forward to consolidating our ideas for this topic with my coursemates and share it with the wider ONL community. (and maybe even a wider learning community :))


Cindy Lee

ONL201 Introduction

This is the connecting week to ONL201 course and I am excited to embark on this journey with like minded members across the globe to learn and network.

This will be the category assigned on my blog to follow my progress on this journey. Looking forward to filling up with new updates regularly.