I really enjoyed the course as well as blogging that was organized as a part of this course. It was an interesting and challenging experience for me. To begin with, the first problem that I faced was the lack of time to write assignments because of full time job. Secondly, my mini thesis and full thesis topics were about totally different themes. Writing mini thesis project impedes full thesis writing, because you need to read and analyze many articles on several areas.
However, with the help of this course I practiced APA citation style a lot. I believe that this experience will help me with my full thesis. Besides, blogging served as a tool for reflection. Posting blogs about the process of writing small scale study and reading other students’ comments really helped me to think over my learning. Somehow, this led me to draw my own learning trajectory or learning strategy.
My major advice to online learners who work would be thorough planning of your time devoted to writing assignments. It is really difficult to find enough time for reading articles, analyzing various sources of information and writing assignments when you have full time job. Usually, when you get urgent tasks from your workplace and you haven’t submitted your assignment or assignments yet, the mind starts to blow up. This may reduce the quality of writings. Therefore, it is better to make a plan where you divide your assignment or assignments into several sections. Then start writing as soon as possible by completing your assignments step by step.
After taking part in weekly blogging as a part of this course, I came to conclusion that blog writing process lacked some interactivity. There were not so many comments on students’ posts that could generate discussion while some posts had no comments at all. Usually blog participants read and leave comments long after the post was published. If I were the instructor of this course, I would try to use one of the social networks that are popular among all students. I believe that the frequent and everyday use of social networks by participants will lead to instant comments and replies.
I would also like to try to make assignment deadlines flexible, so that it will correspond to individual student’s learning pace and needs. Because, some students may have different learning styles, bareers and different life circumstances as well. Thus, I think that some flexibility or inclusiveness in terms of deadlines will help students to perform better.