Week 6 Reflection

30 August 2021

                      Week 6 Reflection

Once my learning design plan (LDP) gets to the implementation phase, I envisage a number of barriers or challenges to the implementation process. This reflection therefore seeks to analyse these barriers and critically reflect on the interventions that I could implement to mitigate these barriers. 

The first barrier that comes to mind is the issue of access to digital devices and internet data. The majority of my students come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and as such their parents/families cannot afford to provide them with digital devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Access to internet data is also another challenge. One way to mitigate these two challenges is to ensure that all the content and activities that are in the LDP are available both synchronously and asynchronously. This is to ensure that those who do not have ready gadgets will be able to engage with the content and undertake the learning activities as and when they have access to devices. Furthermore, through discussions and engagement with my students, I will build a database of those students who have limited access to digital devices and internet data so that I can take their situation into consideration when I come up with deadlines for the submission of assessments. The university currently provides data to students who cannot afford to buy their own data and I will therefore submit the names of all my students to our Information Technology Department (ICT) for them to be provided with data. 

The other barrier that I envisage is my students’ lack of adequate computer skills to navigate the learning design. Much as the proposed learning design is simple, you always find those students who struggle to navigate the site and are thus not able to do all the required activities. In order to ameliorate this challenge, on the landing page, I will post a video which comprehensively explains how the students can navigate the site. In addition to that, I will also add a tab of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that my students can look at for an immediate explanation on how they can go about doing certain activities on the learning platform.

The third barrier that I envisage pertains to the inability of some of my students to use the different educational technologies that I intend to integrate into the proposed learning design. These tools include educational technologies such as Jamboard, Mentimeter, FlipGrid and Kawoot. Much as these tools may be free to download and easy to use, some of my students, due to their disadvantaged backgrounds may find it difficult to download and use these software applications. In order to mitigate this challenge, I will adopt two approaches. The first one will be to provide training videos on how to download and use these software applications. The second approach will be to link my students who have challenges in downloading and using the applications with those students who are able to use these applications and are thus able assist them (peer-to-peer learning and social learning). I am confident that these approaches will work especially the second one as research has proven that peer to peer learning is effective especially for concepts that are difficult to grasp.

The last challenge that I envisage with regards to the implementation of my learning design plan could be the unwillingness of some of the students to play the games that I will incorporate as part of the formative assessment. Generally, the games may be perceived as fun and interesting by some students whilst others may find the games to be boring and uninteresting. In order to overcome this envisaged challenge I will have to deeply engage with my students to identify the kind of games that they enjoy and those activities that they regard as interesting so that I can incorporate them in my learning design. In this regard, the learning design, the activities and the formative and summative assessment in the LDP will all have to be deeply rooted in context and be student-centric and focused on ensuring deep, authentic, significant, memorable and enjoyable learning experience for the students.

As I end this reflection, it is important to point out that I do not envisage my proposed learning design plan to be 100% perfect. I regard it as a learning process and as such it will remain work in progress. Furthermore, I regard myself as a life-long learner and as such, through critical reflectivity and reflexivity, I will learn from experience and make the necessary changes and interventions to ensure that the learning design continues to meet the learning needs of my students and facilitates their authentic, significant and deep learning in a way that leads to their success. Thus my efforts towards mitigating the challenges highlighted in this reflection will be part of my efforts towards ensuring a contextually responsive, socially just and compassionate learning design for my course.