Since I have been designing a couple of online courses I was really looking forward to this topic and expecting a lot from it, not really knowing what to expect. It may sound a bit stupid but I was surprised (and happy) to find that the topic in fact was about emotions and not techy stuff as I had thought. Unfortunately this topis also was very stressful since it coincided with a crazy level of work amount – so, like prince Daniel would have put it: emotions all over the place! (If you are from Sweden you will probably recognize this reference to the moment when prince Daniel announces the birth of his first child, it is absolutely wonderful.)
Community of inquiry
As designers of online learning environments we need to create safe spaces, safe spaces for learning but also to express ones feelings since emotions can both hinder and support learning. I really enjoyed diving into the CoI model, especially the social and emotional dimensions. In short: in order for students to have a deep learning experience (especially in online environment) they will have to experience social, cognitive and teaching experience. Of course emotion is present online, this was my first big take away from this topic. And although I have been designing courses with regards to students feelings all along in one aspect, I have just not understood it – and not to the extent that I should have been doing it. The most common example would be that I would get feedback from students, maybe frustrated over a quiz not working or information missing on a subject and then I would redesign my course in order to make the learning experience more smooth. I have just not interpreted this as course design due to emotional factors.
As Alastair Creelman wrote on the course padlet:
Frustration and confusion are a natural stage in the learning process. It depends how you react to them.
We noticed in our group discussions that we talked almost exclusively about negative emotions, but of course there are a lot of examples on emotions on a more positive note. It was also rewarding shifting the gaze from student emotions to the emotions of us as teachers. In order to support confident, relaxed and enjoyable teaching experiences it is my opinion that we should engage and practice a more playful and ”trial and error-way” of using digital tools and techniques in our online teaching.
So, of course learning is a pretty emotional activity. Life tends to be.