Reaching the goal is only a new beginning

The ONL course has finished. A bit late, I have now found the time to reflect on the experience of Online Network Learning. The literature and the learning material was very informative, and the structure as well as the planning of the course were good examples that can inspire my own future teaching. In the ONL group, with both synchronous and asynchronous work, we found a way to collaborate. Even though we never met in real life (IRL), some of us, got to know each other, at least at a basic level. I think it would have been easier to get the work going in the group if we would have had the opportunity to meet IRL, at least in one meeting. Those of the participants who where passive, might have had a chance to be more motivated in taking part of the process. But maybe not, I think it is always some people who are more passive than others.

To collaborate, really collaborate, and not just sharing tasks in the group, is difficult. This learning experience has been important for me both as a teacher, but also in my profession as a psychologist. Psychotherapy is a learning process in many ways. In order to help clients take responsibilities for their health and wellbeing, a true collaboration between client and psychotherapist is necessary. A treatment process needs to take time in order to integrate knowledge and new learning experiences of the client. I think it would be great to have both synchronous and asynchronous online work in therapy as well. For example writing the treatment plan together in the journal, is already possible, and the journal of the client is assessable from the internet. Using digital tools would facilitate the treatment process for the clients, for example looking at short video clips etc. The last decade internet based therapies have emerged and are quickly spread, showing good treatment results (Hedman, et al., 2014). I think this is only the beginning of these new ways of practicing psychotherapy.

Although much of the healthcare is increasingly digitalized, the education of our future psychologist is still quite traditional. Incorporating eLearning in the psychology programme is therefore essential. A major challenge is the large amount of time needed to develop higher education. If you are not very familiar with all new technologies, digital tools and new ways of teaching yourself, it is difficult to incorporate this in your own teaching. Taking part of the ONL course is a great start. You do not have to take this journey alone. There are so many good examples out there already. You only need to open your eyes and throw yourself into it. In the long run you would actually save time. If learning material and sharing is natural for every teacher, you do not have to create everything yourself. At least I will have a go for it!

Best of luck!

Anna Bratt

Hedman, E., Carlbring, P., Ljótsson, B. & Andersson, G. (2014) Internetbaserad psykologisk behandlng: evidens, indikation och praktiskt genomförande. Natur och Kultur


Online learning for psychologist students

I think it would be enriching to include a blended learning in the courses of Health Psychology I run at the Institute of Psychology at Linnaeus University in Växjö. For those of you who are not familiar with what blended learning means, a brief explanation is that you complement traditional face-to-face learning with online learning activities (Vaughan, N., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D., 2013). Today, I am, as a teacher familiar with using Mymoodle, where I interact with the students, put material, films etc. From my experiences from the ONL course, I can see opportunities for further development in this area. One main goal of a blended learning approach is to increase engagement and motivation in students. In a blended approach, verbal communication with the students in class can be added with asynchronous written work of the students, and enhance the learning process. The Community of Inquiry (Col) theoretical framework (ibid) put forward three main elements: social, cognitive and teaching presence in order to incorporate both collaboration and individual work in higher education. Social presence is an environment of trust and open communication where students and teachers can, among other things, share ideas and help each other challenge opinions with a critical view. Cognitive presence, is the individual approach where the learner construct meaning, reflect and integrate knowledge. The teaching presence facilitate, organize and design the learning process. A blended learning approach integrate all three elements, and the role of the teacher and the role of the students are different from traditional ways of teaching in higher education. As the students progress in their abilities they need to take more active responsibility in the learning process. In a collaborative learning environment all participants takes responsibility for contributing to learning in different and innovative ways.

In order to incorporate all these different aspects, mentioned above, in own teaching, could be to let the students create a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). In my own experience, teaching others is a great way to learn things yourself. The students can learn to collaborate by deciding what different parts the online course should include, what would be the take home message for the audience, how do you spread knowledge etc. They could learn how to use different digital tools. The examination goals would be clear at the start of the course for the students, including both individual tasks as well as group based work. I am sure I would learn a lot as a teacher as well.


Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press. Chapter 1 “Conceptual framework”.

Online network learning

Working together in a group, where we only have met online has been a new experience. I thought it was very confusing in the beginning, writing at the same time in a document and having meetings online. It has been a great learning experience for me. I have learnt new digital tools and we in the group have got to know each other, even though not at a deeper level.

I can really recommend this course if you are interested in learning more about collaboration online and using new digital tools.

For more information:

Sincerely Anna Bratt

Collaborative learning

In order to solve all the challenges of the world, we need to work together. We cannot manage these problems alone. Therefore it is necessary to learn how to collaborate in new forms. Learning collaboratively online, would be a new way for students at my department to acquire knowledge, and it would be a new way to teach for us teachers.

My own experience of online collaborative learning is that it is quite hard and difficult. We come from different backgrounds with different education, and we shall try to solve problems we are not familiar with. However, if I participated in an online course in my own field, discussing problems I am familiar with, it would be different, I think. Then I could really engage in the problems, with motivation and energy. In order to be able to do that in the future, I need to learn all this different digital tools, and I need to experience how to work collaboratively online.

If you too, would be interested in learning how to do that there is so much information to read and be inspired of. And taking this online open network learning course I am participating in now could be the first step.

In my experience real collaborative learning has taken place when I together with close colleagues have tried to solve problems at the child and psychiatric clinic I work at. We can share our knowledge and inspire one another, and our minds are free and open. That is a great experience. In order to make this happen, I think it is essential that you trust each other, it is without competition, and you do not have your own interest at heart. Another great experience is the compassion network that I am part of, it is a google group where we share experiences, communicate and share scientific papers. Everyone who is interested and is a psychologist or scientist in the field can take part. It is created by professor Paul Gilbert, at the Compassionate Mind Foundation in the UK. He is a great inspiration and he always share both knowledge and great ideas for free.

A webpage for those who are interested in collaborative learning, and a film:


A new revolution…

If we would create a whole new educational system today, what would that be like? If we not had to think of the system of today, what would that be? In his book ”The one world schoolhouse”, (2012), Salman Khan says that we need to rethink the needs of today, where everything changes quickly, and students need to be able to be more active in their processing of information.

I like the ide of the flipped classroom, where students can listen to lectures at home and the time together with the teacher is about problem solving and discussion the topic. I will try this in my teaching. Will you?

References: The one world schoolhouse (2012) by Salman Khan

Here is a nice little clip from youtube

  • Standardlicens för YouTube


The world is changing, moment by moment.

If you think of it, changing is a word that could be interpreted as a threat. The situation in the world is getting worse. That is what you hear.

But many things are getting better, I think. Such as this movement, very much in the online world, that information, digital tools and knowledge should be freely available. For everyone. Did you know that you can attend courses for free, read free books, and even share scientific data. That is amazing.

When I was a psychology student for 25 years ago, there was not much openness about the psychologist profession. Therapy was something performed with closed doors. I think my profession would benefit from more openness, even in the psychotherapy room. Different digital tools could benefit the therapeutic process. Of course, as a psychologist, you have professional secrecy. But that does not prevent us from sharing our knowledge and experience.

As a psychologist you could create different online courses, that would be free and available for everyone. Today psychologist earn a lot of money creating courses, that are expensive for the public to join. I think that Universities and hospitals could save a lot of resources to create important information in both a preventive and treatment purposes.

Openly licensed resources means at a basic level that people are allowed to freely use the material for their own purposes, watch educational videos and read different material. They can also share this material with others. I do not think that this material should be free for people to change or modify though, since it is important that the information is correct. 

Here is a short video clip where you can get information about creative commons licence:

As a teacher I can inform the psychology student about this great potential. The future psychologist need to be well prepared for using different digital tools and create information to the public. One important thing though, is to be critical about all the information on the internet. A lot of knowledge in psychology is created by uneducated people, for example clients having problems themselves who tell people how it is to have mental difficulties. This is not wrong, it is important that clients tell about their perspective, but we as professionals need to share knowledge too, that is without costs for those in need.

Are you curious what a free online course could be like? Here you can attend a free course:



Weller, M., & Anderson, T. (2013). Digital resilience in higher education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 16(1), 53.

Bates, T. (2015). Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning.

Bates, T. (2016).  The 10 Fundamentals of Teaching Online for Faculty and Instructors

A new world record…

I am happy to announce that, most likely, I have a new world record. For some it may not seem as a big achievement, but for those of you who have had a moose fly in your hair, you understand that this surely is something special. Some of you may not know what a moose fly is. Here is a picture (from Wikipedia)


I had 15 of these in my hair. Surely this must be a record? If I wrote that I had this record on Wikipedia, a lot of people would believe me. Or, what do you think? It is a new trend in society that even if we can proof that information that is spread on the internet is false, a lot of people do not care. They claim that it does not matter. Who could you trust anyway?