My last post was an experiment on Collaborative Blogging: I read a few interesting blog posts from my colleagues in the ONL172 course, and I elaborated further on those aspects that I found most interesting. Then, I left a comment on their blogs encouraging them to continue with the discussion. Now, two weeks have past and I consider this experiment a success. At least one of my fellow students, Nina Haugland Andersen took up on the idea, and has written a collaborative blog post herself with the revealing title The feedback potential. While I was reading her post, I had a revelation: I had to keep the wheel rolling and develop the concept further… my new blog post had to be built on Nina’s post, there was no other way!
It was just then that I realised that, in the ONL course, I am not a teacher – as I usually am in “normal life” – but a student, and this collaborative blogging concept has hooked me into writing a new blog post… it has MOTIVATED me to be ENGAGED in the course activities.
This was, by the way, one of the points in Nina’s post. Being engaged in something, in my opinion, implies a certain degree of emotional connection with that very something. The more you connect, the more you feel part of it, the more you will care for it and try to do your best to succeed. Provoking these kinds of emotions is not the main objective of the teacher of course – that should actually be to teach – but it could be seen as a tool or a means for teaching. In the same way, negative emotions (emotional relationship conflict as pointed out by Nina and Urban) will negatively affect the learning capabilities of the students or the group, and should be prevented by the teacher.
The good feedback I received from Nina had several implications, and all of them contributed to my engagement and motivation. First of all, it made me think that maybe I had actually had a good idea with the collaborative blogging experiment, and that all that time I devoted to think how to come up with something new for Topic 3 was not wasted. That’s always a good feeling!
Secondly, it motivated me to read her post, and the posts linked in her post, which in turn took me to the original article by Hjerto et al, and without almost realising, I had spent two hours reading about the topic.
Finally, it also made me realise that I should give even more, and more positive feedback to my students. After all, we are all very similar and we all like to be good at what we do, in a way because we are emotionally connected with it -whether we want to admit it or not!
Thanks Nina for believing in my Collaborative Blogging experiment… look what you did!