I found the Paechter, Maier and Macher (2010) article to be a great spring board into ADLT 640. In it the authors outline five fields of instruction as a framework in investigating how students’ expectations of and experiences in e-learning relate to their learning achievements and course satisfaction. The five fields include; course design and the ease of using a learning management system, interaction between students and instructor, interaction between students, individual learning processes and course outcomes. Interestingly, the authors noted that gender, age and number of e-learning courses were not related to student evaluation variables. Rather, they discovered that students’ expectations and achievement goals were highly correlated to success and that the instructor’s expertise and his/her counseling and support were highly correlated to the learners’ achievement and course satisfaction. Additionally, self-regulated and collaborative learning were also related to learning achievement. As I contemplated all this, I found myself going back and reviewing the course syllabus for ADLT 640, especially the learning goals as outlined by the instructor. They seem clear and on target. The instructor has the expertise to guide my learning. He seems willing to provide counseling and support and has built into the course opportunities for self-regulated collaborative learning. However, I have to wonder if I have done my part in articulating my personal expectations and learning goals for this course both for myself and the instructor. Where exactly do I hope to arrive if I am not certain of where it is I wish to go? Would it not better facilitate this journey of learning to have a “roadmap”, so to speak, to accompany me along the way?
So it is that as I reflect on this past week and the results of research conducted by Paechter, et al.(2010), that I find it needful to map out some clearly defined expectations and learning goals. So far, this is what I have.
1) Become acquainted with various modalities for online learning and explore their utility and usability.
2) Develop a degree of media competence for e-learning.
3) Engage in and contribute to a community of learners including other students and the instructor.
4) Identify new ways in which e-learning can be incorporated into graduate medical education.
Now, these may change a little along the way. I might even add to this list as I continue this journey. Likely, I will move a little slower than some who are on this journey with me, but as I take up my roadmap for success I am filled with anticipation and confident that I’m going to enjoy this ride. Here’s wishing all my learning collaborators, “Happy trails”!