#crit101 – week 1 blog

Originally published here.

I was told about the course by a colleague of mine who thought I might be interested.  It is really hard when you are on annual leave from work to get yourself motivated to do a course but I signed up anyway.

As a tertiary teacher it is good to put myself in the position of my students and to remember what it is like to be in “study mode”.  Don’t get me wrong, as a teacher I never stop learning but it is different when you sign up for a course instead of the incidental learning that goes on while we teach and share our thoughts and knowledge.  So I guess I want to improve my teaching and learning capabilities and hopefully pass on my learning experiences to my students and improve their experiences.

It is like the “learning gods” are conspiring against me in these last few days since enrolling as I have had a power outage in my street for a few hours and then have had several personal/family commitments to keep me away from my laptop and my children have used up our download limit for this month so the speed of the internet has dropped down significantly.

Needless to say, I have started questioning why I signed up for the course.  I then realised that sometimes life throws these obstacles in your way but you have to soldier on.  As a learner you can decide when and how much you want to get out of your learning experiences.  Having perfectionist tendencies I hate to disappoint both myself and others around me so usually I give a 110% of myself when it comes to my commitments.  On the other hand, being a realist as well, I also realise that you cannot do everything all the time and be everything to everyone without it affecting some aspect of your life.

I suppose to me to learn independently is take to take direction and guidance and then organise oneself in a way so as to make the most of your learning experience.  This does not always happen in isolation but can involve all sorts of resources, whether they are books, journals, websites or one’s peers.  In an education environment this means that the teacher/facilitator might introduce a topic and then with some guidance the learners then take all the resources at their disposal and research the topic further and may then bring it back to the group.

I like the concept of in(ter)dependence (as described by James Michie) and think that although some people are naturally inclined that way; one can still be taught how to become more interdependent.  Hopefully in doing this course we will all become more in(ter)dependent.