FDOL132 unit 1


Rationale: During this important first unit, learners will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the online learning spaces and make first contacts with peers and facilitators. Learners will be encouraged to share their background knowledge, experiences and practices and begin to build relationships with peers and facilitators in order to be able to effectively engage in open collaborative activities and develop learning support networks. Also, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about Problem-Based Learning (PBL) which is the pedagogical design used to enable collaborative peer learning and join specific PBL groups if this is their preferred way of learning during FDOL.

by Chrissi Nerantzi


Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, you will have had the opportunity to

  1. familiarise yourself with the online learning spaces and features
  2. make first contacts with other learners and facilitators
  3. discuss Problem-Based, open and online learning in the context of FDOL

Activities/tasks for all learners

  1. The tools used in FDOL132
    Please familiarise yourself with the various tools used in FDOL, (see tab 6. tools)
    As presented in the tool section the course communication and collaboration in FDOL132 will mainly take place in the Google+ communities, thus you will need to create a Google + profile which is required to join the communities.
  2. Google + community FDOL132
    The FDOL132 community will open for all learners when the course start. Please join this as soon as this has been made available.
    Participate in the who is who discussion: Introduce yourself and share the link to your portfolio or web-presence. Comment on other learners’ introductions. Feel free to add a video comment also to the PBL facilitators’ video introductions.
  3. Problem-based learning
    Familiarise yourself with Problem-Based Learning (PBL). You will find useful information regarding PBL and the approach we are using here in FDOL at https://fdol.wordpress.com/design/.
  4. Twitter
    During this first unit we would like you to create a/use your Twitter account. Make a tweet about this course to say hello there. Remember to use the hashtag #fdol132. A simple tweet is enough at this stage if you are new to Twitter. You might also want to follow @openfdol and the facilitators.
  5. Personal learning space/portfolio
    We recommend you to use a space for your reflective posts (please see below) and other texts. Please consider this and present your choice/space to the other learners in the FDOL132 community. If you are studying at an institution and use the FDOL course to compliment your studies, please check the programme requirements.

Additional activities/tasks for learners within PBL groups

  1. Formation of PBL groups
    During unit 1 PBL groups will be formed that will collaborate throughout the course. If you want to become a member of a facilitated PBL group you will be able to sign up for membership from Monday 16 September on the FDOL course site. Please note, there will be limited places in the facilitated PBL groups. Once groups are created you will be invited to join a PBL group in a Google+ community that will be provided.
  2. Connect with the other group members and start forming as a group
    When you have become a member of a PBL group you can start connecting in your Google+ community. We suggest you to organize a Google hangout with your group members (and facilitator) as soon as possible to get to know each other a bit better. Please note that you will need a webcam and a headset to participate fully in the Hangouts.
    You will need to agree working practices and ground rules, for suggestions on structure to use for your collaboration in the group please look in the Cool FISh doc. You can do this in any way you prefer (a discussion in your community, create a Google doc for your group, hangouts or something else). Your working practices and ground rules should be presented in your community.
  3. Thoughts on PBL challenges
    After finding out more about PBL and how it will be used in #FDOL132, share within your group what the benefits and challenges will be for you.
  4. Presentation of your group to the other learners
    During the second week of the unit, we would like you share with the rest of the participants in the FDOL132 community, who you are as a group and what you have learnt about PBL. Be creative! Can you find and present what characterises your group? Share a summary of your thoughts about PBL in the FDOL132 community by 25 September (category; unit 1 orientation).

Orientation webinars

There will be two informal orientation webinars in this unit, with Chrissi Nerantzi, Lars Uhlin, Maria Kvarnström and Neil Withnell

  • Tuesday 17 September 6.30-7.30 pm (UK time)
  • Thursday 19 September 10-11 am (UK time)
    (find your local time)

It would be great if you could participate in one of the above. If you are not available on any of these 2 dates/times, please remember that both recordings will be made available. We are using Adobe Connect. Information about this, including tutorials and the webinar room can be found at https://fdol.wordpress.com/units/webinars/ There is also an Adobe Connect app if you would like to participate from a smart device.

Recording: Orientation webinar 17 September

Recording: Orientation webinar 19 September

Slides: FDOL132 unit1 orientation from openfdol

The reflective post in unit 1

The title of the reflective post for this unit is “The digital me: past, present and future”

Reflect on who you are as an individual in the digital age today and your journey so far. Start making links between the digital me in your personal and professional life and start thinking what you would like to get out of FDOL, how and why. Capture your reflections in your portfolio/personal learning space. Use relevant literature.

This piece needs to be completed by the end of unit 2 the latest. Remember to add the hashtag #FDOL132 and @openfdol to your title if you want to share through Twitter
Share the link to your portfolio/personal learning space and invite others to comment.

If you study towards towards credits, please check with your institution.

suggested readings

1. Online learning: it is all about dialogue, involvement, support and control- according to the research by Marion Coomey* and John Stephenson available here

2. Problem-Based Learning Online: Multiple Perspectives on Collaborative Knowledge Construction by Ellina Chernobilsky, Anandi Nagarajan and Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver, available here

3. Openness, Dynamic Specialization, and the Disaggregated Future of Higher Education, by David Wiley, John Hilton, available here

additional resources

FDOL diigo group at http://groups.diigo.com/group/fdol-resources

Please check this learners’ generated collection and add further resources you find useful and link well with this unit. Remember to use tags and comment on resources shared by others.

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