I got into the LDT (Learning, Design, and Technology) program at the University of Georgia smoothly. I chose the LDT program as my destination because my 4 years’ journey here would direct me towards becoming a researcher, more specifically a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) developer, and an educational data scientist. Reflecting on my first year at the program, I am getting close to becoming a researcher and a MOOC developer, but there is a long way for me to go in terms of becoming a data scientist. The following will explain what I did as a researcher and a MOOC developer.
My knowledge in sociology and the experience of teaching English and running Smart Education Center in Busan have led me to combine the knowledge and experience to my research. Then, I decided to develop an online learning environment where I could teach English with cultural content that has a multicultural perspective. Under the guidance of Dr. Chanmin Kim in the EDIT 9990 course, I made a draft for my research to investigate students’ engagement in online learning environments. In the EDIT 9990 course of Dr. Janette Hill , I developed a model of teaching English online where I reflected theories of instructional technology. In addition, through the EDIT 8190 course of Dr. LLoyd Rieber, I designed a model of cross-cultural communication activity between American students and Korean students, and I like this model very much; starting March 2016, the first cross-cultural activities began.
My learning activities in the courses above show that I am developing a personal MOOC environment that I define as a type of MOOC developed by an individual, but not by an institution. I integrated engagement theories and meaningful learning theories to the personal MOOC. My next step is to combine it with multiculturalism. To accomplish this goal, I am taking LLED 7040E course, Language and Culture. That course is teaching me about multiculturalism and social justice. I expect that my sociological perspective on social justice issues will be of help for making an online learning environment based on cultural diversities.
While I was doing the coursework, I also worked with the RoboSTEM team led by Dr. Chanmin Kim. The experience helped me understand the process of research, mixed methods in research, and data analysis. This experience gave me the confidence that I will be able to implement in STEM related research other than English education related research.
Starting March 2016, I am helping out in Dr. Orey’s EDIT 6190E course. I am learning a lot from the organization of content and aspect of activities in the course. In addition, I also learned how constructivism can be implemented in a full-fledged e-learning course.
Unlike my achievement towards the goal of becoming a researcher and a MOOC developer, I have not developed my skills as an educational data scientist. Sometimes I feel that it is overwhelming, however, I want to continue to strive towards achieving the goal of becoming an educational data scientist. Someday, I will achieve this goal.