This picture is from a rehabilitation period at ”Vintersol”, Teneriffa. It was the best rehabilitation I’ve experienced, and I have been thinking a lot about why I felt that way. I have been to other places, some in sunny places and some not, that have been much ”flashier” than ”Vintersol”, but not half as good. I have come to the following conclusions:
- At ”Vintersol” we were treated as adults and got to take charge of our own rehabilitation, while at other places we were treated more like a bunch of disabled people, where others decided which activities we should attend and set up rules for us to follow.
- At ”Vintersol” everything was kept simple, focus was on us as participants in the different activities rather than on the setting or attendance.
- People who came to ”Vintersol” came back over and over again, some as on-site-patients and others as outpatients. It was easy to get to know people who had been there before and could help you get about in the beginning.
- Somehow, it was natural to turn to other participants in the rehab-program, rather than to the leaders all the time.
Transferred to a learning situation that would be:
- Trust the students, they are there because they want to learn/get a degree, just give them the opportunity to do so!
- Keep it simple, focus on the students learning and offer activities that feel relevant for them to reach their goals. No need for flashy media or great-looking materials.
- Invite senior students to assist in different activities.
- Encourage collaboration between participants in the course.
Much of that is actually the way ONL162 works and I will really try to use some of it in my future courses. I think the hardest part is the first point; to trust the students to do the job. Maybe that is because the financing situation looks as it does in Sweden – we get about half of the money when a student passes, so maybe we don’t dare to let go and trust our students? If they fail, we fail.
Other important lessons learnt in this course were the parts about digital literacies and how to find and attribute Creative Commons material. I didn’t know those essential rules, and think it is crucial that we teach our students about them!
Also, I believe that I switched my thinking about developed course materials from belonging to me to belonging to all of us, and I feel much more inclined to share!
Thank you for an interesting and deeply developing course!
- Developing digital literacies (2014) JISC guide. Available here
- Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand (2012) Creative Commons guide
- Gerestrand, A. (2016) Webinar for ONL162