I interviewed Candice Thille, Ann Porteous, Sara Rutheford-Quach, and Karin Forssell regarding my learning problem. The greatest take-away for me was the vast amount of research and practice that has already happened. The depth and width of the problem space is enormous yet it helped me immensely in understanding the need to become more specific and focus on areas that interest me the most and with which I have the most familiarity with.
Learners’ goals: From the learner’s perspective, I understood from the interviews that there is a real challenge in knowing how to effectively create, publish, run and/or lead an online course. Very few tools aid the content-expert in acquiring PK and PCK during the process of publishing a course for example. There are few lesson planning tools embedded in the existing educational technologies out there.
Context: I was ‘forced’ to learned about all the distinct online course types and methodologies that exist in the market to be able to ‘talk-the-talk’ during the interviews. This showed how rich the field is and how much there is to advance in it still. A major take-away was that human interaction has to be designed into a course, be it teacher-student or student-student along with a temporal dimension so that the course is effective in terms of course completion and depth of learning.
Special Needs: The learner’s needs are very specific to the subject matter I found out through the interviews. A statistics course has different needs than a linguistic course and different needs than a programing course. The scaffolding required for each subject matter would be different. The teaching strategies are different. The activities recommended to be done with the learners will be different.
In conclusion, the interviews were a tremendous source of information and served a great purpose of directing further inquiry, research and the desire to repeat the interviews in order to evolve the debate once I can get a better grasp of the material. Inspiring.