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Reflection on the Web-Conference Experience

on December 10, 2013

Online learning is nothing new nowadays. This is already the second experience I had with an online course. But it is the first time I had a web-conference with a learning partner. And this experience proves very interesting and meaningful to me. My learning partner Lori shares similar understandings with me about life and education. But she is much more sensitive to new development, especially new trends in adult education. And she is more efficient in searching for information and learning new technologies like blogs. It is through her that I began to know MOOCs and through MOOCs I have gained a lot more insights about adult education and about the new roles an adult educator should and can play. As a matter of fact, after doing research about MOOCs, we both got some ideas about future trends in the field of adult education, but with quite different perspectives. While I was much attracted by the prospect offered by MOOCs, Lori was more concerned with some specific problems and challenges MOOCs have to face. Through the web-conference with her, I began to pay more attention to future development of MOOCs, the prospect they promise, challenges they have to take and the problems they need to address. From this web-conference I learned at least one thing: as different people have different family, education and even cultural backgrounds and different personal experiences, which will certainly lead to different perspectives and viewpoints, interactions not only between the instructor and the learners but also among the learners will be very meaningful and fruitful. It will greatly enhance all the participants’ understanding of the learning process and optimize the learning outcome. This web-conference experience also reminds me of something I cherish so much in my memory about earlier schooling. I remember in my secondary school I hated the subject of history very much because I found it so boring to memorize those so-called historical facts and figures. Then I came up with an idea. That is to discuss those historical events with my classmates, which really made my history learning more fun and meaningful. With that I began to love this subject and became interested in reading historical books. That’s one of the reasons why I attached great importance in my teaching to and arranged much time on interactive class activities, including pair work, group work and whole class discussions about the reading we worked on and about the insights it poses on our current daily life. I think in this way the learners can have better understandings of their readings and can improve their communication skills, and most important of all, enhance their ability to accept and value the diversity of perspectives, diversity of views and diversity of outcomes. Thanks to the development of new technologies and its application in the education field, learners living in different places with different cultural and education backgrounds can talk to each other “face-to-face” through Skype. Thanks to Glenn and thanks to Lori, I enjoyed and benefited much from this web-conference experience. Thanks!

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