Ontario Extend mOOC: The Penultimate pre-mOOC Check In

I am of the opinion that you never pass up an opportunity to use the word penultimate, so what we have here is the next to last post reporting in on our pre-mOOC Learny Journey through the Ontario Extend modules. To give you the bigger picture, in this post we are each around half way through our respective modules, and the next post will (hopefully) be us celebrating us receiving more badges (yay!). Blog posts after that will be coming to you from the real actual Ontario Extend mOOC 2021 hosted by Trent Online!

A reminder of the different paths we are on:

So without further ado, let’s hear about the progress that’s been made in the last couple of weeks!


It is that time of year. The snow has melted away, green shoots are beginning to appear on the landscape and many people, including yours truly, are thinking about the joys of creating a kitchen garden over the coming weeks and months. Soooo, my most recent activity for the Extend Collaborator module – titled Cultivate Your PLN – was quite inspirational and definitely on theme! To learn more about my plans to tend to my personal and professional development “garden”, take a look at my Collaborator – Activity #3 Response.


Because the questions of engagement with my SoTL were pretty rapidly done, I decided this time to bounce excitedly onward to my official Scholarship of Teaching and Learning plan! I decided to chew into the challenge that is always part of my work as I educate learners around the trans-Atlantic slave trade: how do you teach trauma without minimizing or retraumatizing? Having a plan was a very helpful way to come at the problem, and think my way through pedagogical approaches to address it. On my Google Document workspace, I’ve laid out the Extend Activity 2 and linked through in Extend Activity 3 to my plan. Check it out!


For my next activity in the Experimenter module, I thought I’d tackle A Serious Use for Silly Media and create a GIF! I use GIFs daily but always in casual messaging and for the purpose of conveying emotion and evoking smiles only. I’ve never used it as an education tool so the challenge was on. This was also the activity I thought I would try to complete using my phone (a suggestion in the module criteria) because giphy.com actually has an app, and I thought it would be pretty straightforward. Epic fail! I got completely frustrated on my phone only to find out that it’s not even possible to create the kind of GIF I wanted to on the app. I was able to create it really easily using my laptop, but it was certainly a great reminder to always consider limitations when designing activities in online spaces!

Here is my GIF – a quick Blackboard lesson on why it’s important to use Student Preview mode when designing your online course. 



What I’ll say after attempting this second Curator activity is that the process of ‘searching’ most definitely feels like diving underwater for extended lengths of time. You have to be down there long enough to give yourself the time to scour the seafloor and find the shiny things, but if you take too long it becomes a tiring exercise–don’t suffocate yourself! The ‘Find your fit’ activity (which I’ve linked to up above) asks us to put our newfound skills to the test and explore both repositories (places have the stuff) and referatories (places pointing you to the places with the stuff) and bring 3 useful things back to shore. I’ve documented my adventure in the usual place.


In a brilliant move to attract the busy modern educator, the Technologist module activities both build off of each other and result in the creation of something you can use in real life. By the end of it, you have identified a need or a gap that your students have and developed a technological solution to help. If you were to take the time to head over to my Extend workspace, you’d see that I worked my way through the Empathy Map, Learner Challenge #1, completing the SECTIONS model and finally Learner Challenge #2. You’d also see that the tech solution I believe I need is actually ridiculously simple! But effective, I hope. We shall find out. All I have left for the module is a prototype plan and to actually create it.

What’s Next?

Next week we’ll each be tackling some more activities in each of our modules. Don’t forget to add your name to the list if you’re interested in joining us in the spring. See you next week!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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