Friday, August 9, 2013

Module 4 Reflection - EDU 710- Online Content Construction - Can you empower your students to be a part of our current knowledge base?

"What challenges occur when students are empowered to create online "text" and share globally with others? "

"In Online Content Construction, we are empowering teachers and students to use the reader/writer nature of the Web to create and publish information. What are the "soft skills" and discussions that we need to have as we conduct this work?"

Above questions are from the Online  Research & Media Model (ORMS) at

  • I start reflecting on this question by noting that I do not know what is meant by the terms "soft skills" so I Google the term.  
Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.[1] Soft skills complement hard skills which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

  • I dig a little deeper to discover more details about soft skills and found this article:

  • Even though the above mentioned article is target to the IT professional I think the skills can apply to any career and to the field of education in general.

I would summarize soft skills as those skills needed to be effective and respectful inter-personally.

It is necessary for all of us to demonstrate honest, respectful behavior as we work with others to learn and share in the online arena.

  • So back to the first question, "What challenges occur when students are empowered to create online "text" and share globally with others? "  

One of the challenges has to do with helping students, both adults and children, understand soft skills. We should not only understand what they are but also why there is a need for what I will call "internet common courtesy".  There are both rights and responsibilities which come with internet use and it can be dangerous and even unlawful if the responsible use of the internet is ignored.

It is important to ensure students begin with the planning phase of online creation.  Without a plan students can wonder aimlessly without focus.  If goals are not clear at the beginning of the journey the detours can be detrimental.  If the goals are clear the detours can provide beautiful scenery on the way to the final destination. 

Online construction can be challenging in terms of power and control.  This is a topic which could be discussed in a doctoral dissertation (hmm, now there is an idea, opps there I go... self distraction).   For the purpose of this blog I will just note that in working with others to create online content issues of control and power arise and that is where those critical interpersonal skills or common courtesy skills come into play.  The ego is also involved in ownership of ideas, images, and re- purposing of content.

I will continue to ponder the questions associated with online creation challenges.  And I am sure I will come back to revise this very blog post as I drive down this journey of my own!


  1. Nice post Joan! I can see you were losing sleep over these notions about online content construction (posted at 4:15am!!) I agree with your thoughts and ideas throughout the post! I can relate with you about having to go back and research what "soft skills" are. Something that I want to commend you on is your meticulous citing of sources throughout this post. This is something that I know I can improve on and also an aspect of "netiquette" that we should be modeling for our students. Way to go!

  2. Thanks for sharing Joni, that was helpful as I also was a little miffed by the term "soft skills".