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