Two weeks into the course new thoughts have entered my mind. That’s the meaning of it all, isn’t it? The fun of learning! 25 years ago I took a teacher training course aimed at nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, at Uppsala university (‘Vårdlärarlinjen’). The course was run as a full-time “distance course” over a year and a half. Each time the course was run, it was with study groups in different parts of Sweden. I joined a study group in Boden, 80 kilometres from Piteå where I lived at the time (about 800 kms north of Uppsala). All study groups assembled in Uppsala three weeks each term for an assortment of face-to-face activities, and while “at home” we met in the study group about once a week. During this time I started using a word processor (a pc) – actually, the curriculum included a course called ‘computer knowledge’ – whereas all communication with the teachers in Uppsala was by post. Before this course, my sole experience of higher education was two and a half years at a very traditionalistic physiotherapy programme, and the first half of this course I was severely frustrated over the lack of instructions and structure. A week spent with co-participants and teachers in Tällberg halfway through the second term changed all this; it suddenly dawned upon me that I was in the driver’s seat of my own development and actually could decide largely what I wanted to do with the material and assignments provided by the course leaders. This was a true turning point for me!
When I consider this, I see some similarities to the experience of FDOL141 – the confusion, the uncertainty, the frustration regarding the set-up of the course, the different forums and also all these new digital tools, how they work (or don’t), how I manage them (or fail to). The group I’m in isn’t very active (neither am I) and I constantly wonder whether I’m looking in the right places for information and activities.