Tag Archives: learning project

Learning Project, Final Reflection

So I managed to pull together a workable Webquest for my ECMP355  Learning Project but haven’t yet been able to try it out; I hope to be able to in the new year.  This will be my last formal reflection on my project for this term but I will update when I have a chance to elaborate, apply or re-create another webquest!

I’m very much a self-directed learner.  One who likes to teach herself things.  A visual learner.  One who likes to see things done but doesn’t have the attention span for long videos or movies.  I am a sitcom watcher, not a movie-goer.  The online class has been challenging for me because it is a long time for me to focus on a screen and voices.  But I was up for the challenge.

When teaching myself something, I generally know where my learning is going, but because my vision changes the further along I go, and the more ideas I come up with, I never really know what path I’ll be on.  I just know that when I get to where I need to be, I’ll know.  It’ll look and feel and sound right.  I don’t like to ask for help before I try to solve a problem myself.  I enjoy problem/challenge identification and the problem solving process to figure things out. Having to be transparent meant that I was very cognizant of every piece of information that I gathered for my project.   I did research online, saw people’s experiences via YouTube, spoke to teachers who have used Webquests, took information from our online and face-to-face ECMP355 classes and considered suggestions from people online during our class time.  Much of my learning was trial and error, and I think that because I was allowed to choose what I wanted to learn I was much more motivated.    I think that a project such as this one makes me realize that it is easy to rely on one way to learn something but if we use a variety of sources, we are able to get so much more, not the least of which is continuing to build a Personal Learning Network to exchange ideas in the future, as well.

I was the kid who started a million projects and didn’t finish them because I got bored of them.  Drove my parents crazy.  I am the adult who has bought all the materials and taught herself how to scrapbook, do stained glass stepping stones, do stamped card-making, cake and cupcake decorating, and a little bit of photography.  But never at the same time.  I do one, get bored, move on.  Now I’m driving my husband crazy.  My little ‘interest stashes’ all over the storage room are a bit out of control!   That is one of the reasons that I chose a learning project that would have a product that I could ‘end’ with.  I know that learning how to do a webquest doesn’t have to end.  It can always be developed at a different grade levels, use different types of problems and reach different levels of webquest taxonomy.  I was afraid that I would ‘give up’ or ‘get bored’ without a product in mind.

So being transparent was sometimes a challenge.  I would wake up at 3 in the morning with a GREAT idea and would jot it on a notepad on my bedside table.  Then I’d search out the information online the next day.  I didn’t document everytime I did that or I would be documenting All.  The.  Time.  I was surprised at the amount of learning that I got from various places, having been a person who was used to researching in books and articles.

I didn’t realize how much of a perfectionist I was until I had to be transparent.  It has been hard for me to break down the learning to my project publicly because I like to keep my process my ‘secret.’  I like people to see the sparkly, fabulous product or result of my learning endeavours but not the messy, unorganized process that I take to get there because that is inexplicable, even to me. I want them to see how brilliantly creative I am (What?  Too much?)  and not the struggles and frustrations that I went through to make it so.   I tried to be reflective and show those things for this project, though.

Our class was asked to contribute to the rubric or to help identify what we would look for in a successful learning project.  I contributed the following to our Google Doc for class discussion:

Regular updates via blog on progress (weekly?)
Identification of struggles/roadblocks
I am happy with my learning success, the process, and the product and I have been thankful for the opportunity to take part in this project.   I have also truly enjoyed following the  journeys of my classmates, Dean Shareski and those others in the web-world who have taken up Mr. Shareski’s challenge of the learning project, such as this one by Mr. Jared Nichol.  I wish everyone the best in their learning and would encourage them to continue on the path of being forever-learners.

“And to learn, you have to be willing to push yourself.”

(Quote by Brandi Chastain)

One of my biggest fears is always that I might fail at something that I try.  I don’t like to fail.  I don’t like if there’s a remote possibility that I will fail.  I wish I could take all the quotes about failure and live them, but it’s hard for me.   Signing up to take the ECMP355 class at the University of Regina was a GIANT step out of my comfort zone.  Having been out of the profession for a number of years and having not been a student for much, much longer, I was terrified that I would not be able to understand, keep up, or relate.  When the Learning Project was introduced to us at the beginning of this term I will admit that I panicked a little bit.  I was afraid that I would not succeed at something that I tried and worse, that since my learning was to be transparent and publicly documented, I would be publicly humiliated.

I have learned some very important things since the beginning of this term.

* I can do whatever I set my mind to.  I am relevant, motivated and intelligent enough to do this.

* Stepping outside my comfort zone is something I need to do more often.

* People are mostly good and supportive.

I substitute taught in a Core French classroom last week.  Grades One to 8, during the day.  I’m not bilingual.  In fact,  I haven’t taken French since Grade Nine but do have basic classroom instructional abilities, verbally and to read.  I amazed myself (and my own children, who I had the pleasure of teaching during the day!) with my abilities and I think that now, thanks to that experience and the confidence that taking this class and doing my learning project has reignited for me, I am going to try to take a French class next year.

This post will serve, also, as a  public thank you to my friends and family who encouraged me, pushed me, and insisted that I take these steps. You know who you are, and I will send you a link to this post to make sure you read it.   Sometimes, I need the push.  Your push helped me more than you know.