Personal Learning — An Instructional Designer perspective

 

Screencapture of Watercolor Study notebook

OneNote Watercolor Study. Note Book

Sometimes you don’t want formal instruction, but rather to explore on your own, to take your time and focus on certain things. Personal learning is a concept that learning is directed by the needs of the learner. Although, more and more personal learning spaces are showing up in Academics, individuals can set up their own Personal Learning Spaces with tools like OneNote. You can see my personal learning space I used in Onenote: Watercolor Study – OneNote – View only 

The set up is very simple, I added tabs across the top that will allow me quick access to those specific concepts, ideas, and interests I have in watercolor. In the first tab, I asked what I wanted to do, this is my goal, assignment, mission statement area. This tab includes my story. It gives me the ability to set long and short term goals. I can even give myself specific measurable learning objectives. In Academics, Instructors could provide a syllabus and instructions. Since this is an informal learning space in which I am learning as I go along, my goals will be broad and not specific. As I learn, I can be more specific and detailed. Since I am using OneNote as my platform, I can add editors and viewers, which means that I can add mentors or others who share the hobby or the profession.

To keep track of the material that I consume, I use the OneNote chrome extension and

Image of Chrome extension in action.

OneNote Chrome Extension

place it under the tab that I think it belongs. I really like the extension app because it allows me to save things quickly in different formats, full page(saves an HTML file in Onenote), screen-capture of area of screen, bookmarks, or other formats.  No need for cutting and pasting. In OneNote, there is an ability to annotate the page, add notes, and to customize it. This comes in helpful when I want to make notes about my work.

 

 

Screencapture of My Work Section in OneNore

My Work section with notes!

At some point I will want real feedback from others, this will help me share the work with the person I want feedback from and allow them to edit the notebook. Possibly to add additional resources I don’t have, to evaluate the material I have in the Notebook (is it good enough), give assignments, and/or project ideas. Feedback not only from those who are in the field, but other learners can be a powerful tool. The nice thing about OneNote, is that you the learner can dictate how you want the feedback and in what format. To keep track of my work I created a My Work tab and used my camera on my phone to take a picture of it and upload it via the OneNote Android app.  I can also use the Andriod App to upload images for future projects, take notes on the go (using the keyboard or draw with my finger).

Starting a OneNote for a personal learning is easy and totally customizable. Here are some tips to get started:

  1. Title the notebook for the type of learning you want.
  2. Create goals, and break down the goals into bite-sized pieces that you can obtain in short periods of time.
  3. Give yourself assignments. Just don’t “watch” a video, make sure you do something with the knowledge in the video. If you watch a video on “how-to” something then follow along. You can always pause, go back, or move forward.
  4. Be critical of the material you are using. Only you can see if the material is useful to you.
  5. Create different sections. Even if you don’t end up using them, or they turn out to have a life of their own, you can modify them, split them up, or even delete them.
  6. Use the clipping tool from Chrome, it helps you to organize better.
  7. Be creative, look at different ways you can use OneNote.
    1. Record a note – Audio or Video
    2. Draw with a pen tool or your finger (on a touch screen device)
    3. Use the TO Do list and if you have it linked to Outlook you can add them to your calendar.

Over all, this process is working for me. As an Instructional Designer, I like to have neat and organized areas to put my learning material. As I grow more comfortable with Watercolor, I can imagine this space growing into a Place where others can benefit from the information in it.

#OneNote #PersonalLearning #Instructional Design

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