Welcome to my ePortfolio

About Me 

I am a professor at Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Ontario, Canada. My PhD in Theoretical Physics is from Goethe University in Frankfurt-Germany.  After I immigrated to Canada in 1997, I taught Calculus courses at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and then moved to Sheridan College to take a full-time position in the Applied Computing faculty. My extensive experience in teaching, and in providing Professional Development for new hired Sheridan faculty and in developing curriculum led me to join the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Sheridan College in 2009.  CTL delivers professional development workshops for Sheridan College faculty, develops curriculum for new degrees, and supports digital learning technologies. My job at CTL as a program review consultant is to ensure the educational quality of the college programs through regular comprehensive program review.

In the first decade of the 21st century, a number of Sheridan College faculty voluntarily started transforming a good number of face-to-face courses into the blended online learning model, which combines traditional class time with online learning elements.  I have been one of them who had realized the need to be prepared to transform my courses into the blended learning model.  

Selecting the Athabasca MEd program was the right choice as my studies in the program have empowered me, provided me with valuable experiences in instructional design, planning and managing distance learning systems, and introduced me to the various ways of implementing educational technology in teaching. As a result of taking the MEd courses,  I achieved a number of  Learning Outcomes that benefited me in my work and my personal life.

Introduction to my ePortfolio artefacts

This section briefly describes the 5 artefacts of my ePortfolio and why I choose to present them.

Artefact1 from MDDE 603 Course

This artefact interprets constructivist and motivational theories in order to provide an analysis of how well these theories speak to my views of how students learn.  Constructivist and motivational theory concepts are analyzed, and the changes to my instructional design practices in light of the new insights and knowledge are addressed in this artefact. This paper’s conclusion shows that constructivist and motivational theories mesh well with my views of how people learn, and this is why I chose to present it in my ePortfolio.

Artefact 2 from MDDE 604 Course

In this artefact I developed a module of Physics 101 hybrid course using the open source LMS of CANVAS Instructure: https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/822194

Open Source LMS plays an important role in education and this is one of the reasons why I selected this artefact for my ePortfolio. In addition, my goal for this assignment was to develop an instructional physics unit that achieved getting the students to unlearn the sticky, false idea that physics is difficult and not easy as easy to learn as other subjects, such as history. 

Artefact 3 from MDDE 622 Course

This artefact is a concept map that displays the entire key learning concepts of the Openness in Education (MDDE 622) course.  This map connects these concepts through meaningful relationships and it brings valuable information to understand the openness in education concepts, which is a good reason to choose to present in my ePortfolio.

Artefact 4 from MDDE 602 Course

This artefact is a research article critique of Ivankova and Stick (2007): “Doctoral Program Educational Leadership in Higher Education, A Mixed Methods Study.” In the distance education research, collecting qualitative data played an essential component in the research process while in my previous physics research papers the qualitative data had not existed.  This explains why I selected to reflect on this artefact in my ePortfolio.

Artefact 5 from MDDE 610 Course

This artefact is an ePortfolio that records my unique “learning journey” in the MDDE610 course: Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications. In this ePortfolio I describe the use of each educational technology in teaching and supported my description with published research articles. The MDDE 610 ePortfolio includes my reflection about the experience of using different educational technologies in teaching.

Professional Activities

This artefact is a summary of the professional activities that I have been involved in as a faculty at Sheridan College and as a postgrad student at Athabasca University. Sheridan College professional development programming demonstrates a value that is placed not only on teaching but also on my own personal growth and development as an educator. During the time period of taking my MEd, I have been involved in a number of interesting workshops, and I have attended conferences or presented at them. In addition, I reviewed papers for publications and evaluated thesis for PhD degree.  My ePortfolio itself became a rich resource for me to find quickly my workshops dates/materials. I am glad to use the MEd ePortfolio to be a resource for me and others and this is the reason why I added this tab.

Reference: 

Ivankova, N., & Stick, S. (2007). Students’ persistence in a distributed doctoral program in educational leadership in higher education: A mixed methods study. Research in Higher Education, 48(1), 93.

Why have I studied the Master of Education in Distance Education at Athabasca University?

Sheridan College’s Academic Innovative strategy (2009 – 2014) highlights online learning as a high priority strategic action item to accomplish. In 2008, I started to search for universities that offered postgraduate studies in online learning that could fulfill my need of  quality postgraduate studies, while keeping in mind that I already had my PhD credential in theoretical physics. Through my search for postgraduate studies that fulfilled my goals, I found that the Athabasca University's Master of Education in Distance Education (MEd) program suited me well.  The MEd (DE) Competencies have been designed to provide students with a common base of skills, knowledge, and values regarding distance education and training and takes a more constructivist look at the possible use of technologies in distance education.

The MEd teaching philosophy included the hands-on approach; I developed many artefacts that I can implement immediately in my teaching: mostly physics modules or planning and developing real-world online systems.  These artefacts are worth the time and the effort I spent in completing them and I can use them as a basis for further development of instructional materials.

 My MEd Journey

My biggest hurdle during the MEd program journey has been involving myself sufficiently in the online discussion. While working full-time at Sheridan College, I had to find the time to create a high quality discussion post that brought new ideas and provided the appropriate resources related to the discussion’s concepts.  At the same time, the online discussion was a main source for learning running parallel with the instructional course materials and textbooks.

In summary, there were many “Aha” moments during the MEd program that I really enjoyed.  Thanks to the MEd professors who led me in the learning journey.


Athabasca MEd courses

I enjoyed and learned a lot from the MEd courses that I completed successfully

MDDE 601- Introduction to Distance Education and Training
MDDE 602 - Research Methods in Distance Education
MDDE 614 - International Issues in Open and Distance Learning
MDDE 605 - Planning and Management in Distance Education and Training

MDDE 617 - Program Evaluation in Distance Education
MDDE620 - Advanced Technology in Distance Education and Training
MDDE 621 - On-Line Teaching in Distance Education and Training
MDDE 622 - Openness in Education

MDDE 603 - Foundations of Instructional Design: Systems Analysis and Learning Theory
MDDE 604 - Instructional Design in Distance Education
MDDE 610- Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications






Finally, this cartoon describes the 21st century skills and attributes, and I am so glad that I have further developed these skills and attributes over the time period of the MEd study period.

I live in Mississauga Ontario – married and have three children. I love my city and I volunteer for many activities that support our community. My interests are mainly travelling, photography and reading/reviewing books in psychology, philosophy and brain research.

Nagwa Abou El-Naga, MSc., PhD.

Centre for Teaching and Learning

Sheridan College, Ontario, Canada

nagwa.elnaga@sheridancollege.ca