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Welcome to Week #7

by Russ Wilde.  

Hello Everyone – and welcome to Week#7!

Wrapping Up Unit 3

Thanks to all for a fantastic debate activity to complete Unit 3! I am now working on feedback for each of the teams and expect to have this completed by early next week. If you have not yet submitted your Self and Team Assessment to the Assignment 2 Moodle drop box, please do so by the end of Wed, May 22.

I am always curious to know how thoughts and opinions might have changed as a result of engagement with the debate activity and look forward to some discussion on the topic at our synchronous session this evening - Tue, May 21. In the meantime, I have started a thread in the Debate Debrief forum for any thoughts or comments you may wish to share. Did you find any of the arguments presented sufficient to change your mind about any aspect of digital learning environments? Is there a clear “correct” answer—or is it all about context?

Moving on to Unit 4

Starting today, we dive into Unit 4 of our course. Unit 4 runs over the next two weeks and invites us to focus on the impact of digital learning environments, networks, and communities as we take what we learned thus far in the course and apply it to larger issues.

I know many of you may have already reached out to schedule a team debrief session with our MALAT team coach Julia which is great! Julia and the rest of the Team Coaching group have developed many great resources in recent years, including the RRU Teamwork Competencies and Skills Framework, tips sheets for transitioning teams as well as some resources for developing critical thinking in teams, which have all been added to our Moodle shell in a folder called Teamwork Resources and I encourage you to explore them and the other team resources as you are able. These will form a valuable foundation for the many team activities you will undertake as part of your MALAT program.

In addition to the Unit 4 readings, there are two activities in Unit 4, along with the currently running debate debrief discussion, and this evening’s synchronous session. Be sure to check the course Schedule for due dates:

  • Unit 4 Activity 1 - which is a pair or triad activity with the purpose of beginning to discuss some of the impacts of digital learning. As outlined in the activity description, you will need to use this Google doc, to pair up (triads are fine if needed). Each pair/triad should focus on a contemporary societal problem, such as poverty, racism, lack of learning opportunities in rural areas, or some other topic of your choice. I am looking forward to seeing what emerges from your work – please let me know should any questions arise.

Note: While it is preferred that everyone work in pairs or triads where possible, I am open to individual completion of this activity if there are timing challenges or if there is a specific topic you strongly wish to explore, and no other participants are interested. Please still go ahead and sign up under your chosen topic but drop me a note to let me know why you have chosen an individual approach.

  • Assignment Three - the briefing note assignment is due Sun, June 02. In the assignment description you will also see the link to the Briefing Note google doc "book" that has been built over the years by previous students. You are invited and encouraged to share your briefing note to this book as well if you are able when it is ready. The briefs contained in the google book represent all aspects of the RRU MA grading continuum and may have ideas for references or additional articles that might support a point you are trying to make. There is also a briefing note FAQ's document linked from the assignment description but I have put it here as well so you have it handy.
  • Tue, May 21st, at 5:30 pm PT is our final synchronous session for the course. We will spend about 60-90 minutes together this evening, depending on group needs, questions, discussion, etc. We will start with a break-out/large group debrief of our work and learning thus far and conclude with an overview of the remaining course assignments—especially the briefing note. The session will be recorded in case you are not able to join us.

And last but not least, if you would like some feedback on your individual writing don’t hesitate to reach out to the RRU Writing Centre and book an appointment. I am also happy to have you send me one of your blog posts on which you would like some specific feedback if that would be useful to you – always happy to connect on any questions or support needs as you work through the rest of the course activities.

Okay - I think that is it from my end for now. Have a great week and enjoy Unit 4!



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