Probing the boundary of my comfort zone: A novice's experience of using WebEx for online tutorial


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By Cha Yeow Siah. Department of Psychology, NUS.

Probing the boundary of my comfort zone: A novice's experience of using WebEx for online tutorial

Technological innovations have equipped us with an increasing array of tools to conduct lessons. However, most of us have a fair amount of reservation when it comes to adopting such tools in our teaching, for various reasons. These include having to deal with the uncertainties that a lesson may go awry because of technical difficulties one experiences during class, having to adjust our teaching approach because of the different medium; and last but not least, the additional time and effort required for learning the tool, for adapting lessons to suit the use of the tool, and for carrying out additional coordination. In this presentation, I hope to share with you my first experience of using WebEx for my online tutorial during the faculty e-learning week, by highlighting on some of the above mentioned challenges. I will also report the reaction and feedback from students after the experience.

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Probing the boundary of my comfort zone: A novice's experience of using WebEx for online tutorial

  2. 2. Presentation Outline: Why did I choose to use WebEx? y  E-learning week  Great technical support from CIT What is WebEx?  Tools & features What did I do for my online tutorial? y  Case study (in the form of role-play)  Group Discussion What did students think about the session? Lessons learned from the experience WebEx for tutorial: Recommend or not?
  3. 3. 1. Motivation for i WebEx M i i f using W bE E-learning week El i k Briefing on WebEx
  4. 4. What is WebEx? A program used for hosting online p g g meetings and web-conferences. Voice, text-chat and video-cam capabilities provide numerous ways for online interaction. Enticing features:  Allows for desktop sharing  Whiteboard tool  Breakout groups  Interesting feedback tools  Quick polls and monitoring features
  5. 5. Motivation for using WebEx g How close will an online tutorial approximate a face-to- face classroom tutorial given the advanced capability of WebEx? Students stand to benefit from being exposed to a web- conferencing tool that is gaining widespread acceptance. Excellent support offered by CIT staff
  6. 6. 2. Lesson plan L l Case S d C Study Group discussion and presentation
  7. 7. Lesson PlanMotivationM  Case study: A church committee of 4 members meet C d h h f bWebExLesson Plan… to discuss issues pertaining to the maintenance ofStudent’s their church. One issue on the meeting agendafeedbackf db kAfterthoughts pertains to the repair of the leaking church roof:Recommendation  Robert – committee chair who has his own hidden agenda  David – high in need for control and desires to build a 40 40- feet large neon cross outside the church.  Latasha – a member who wants to push for her church choir to l t play a more prominent role, and who i sensitive about i t l d h is iti b t her uniqueness as the sole African American female in the committee  Mary Jane – hi h i need f affiliation M J high in d for ffili ti
  8. 8. Lesson Plan A planned 2-hr tutorial comprising: 2 hr  15 mins to settle technical problems at the start of the class (20 - 25 mins)  20 mins role-play  30 mins group discussion (40 mins)  40 mins group presentation (20 - 25 mins) Actual time spent?
  9. 9. 4. Student f db k S d feedback Preference for WebEx tutorial to other online P f f W bE i l h li tutorial formats Likes Di lik Lik & Dislikes of the W bE experience f th WebEx i
  10. 10. What do students think of the WebEx session?MotivationWebExLesson PlanStudent’sfeedback…f db kAfterthoughtsRecommendation 68.5% of the students (n=108) think the format encourages participation.
  11. 11. Student’s feedback on the WebEx tutorial(the Good)
  12. 12. Student’s feedback on the WebEx tutorial(the Bad)
  13. 13. 5. Afterthoughts Af h h Verdict V di on the use of WebEx h f W bE Main concerns How to improve lesson using WebEx?
  14. 14. Some afterthoughts on my WebEx experienceMotivationM  Easy t use – i t iti interface, minimal setup E to intuitive i t f i i l tWebExLesson Plan issuesStudent’s  However, technical support is certainly needed for thefeedbackf db kAfterthoughts… first few sessions that students have.Recommendation  TA support will be a plus.  Main concerns concerns:  minimize waiting time.  Less could be done compared to classroom tutorial.  non-responsive students.
  15. 15. Some afterthoughts on my WebEx experienceMotivationM  How t d i th l H to design the lesson such that students will h th t t d t illWebExLesson Plan feel more involved?Student’s  Have filler activity (e.g., use Quickpoll) while studentsfeedbackf db kAfterthoughts… wait.Recommendation  Have students try the features at the beginning of the c ass. class.  Have each (or as many as possible) student to say a few words before ending the class.
  16. 16. Will I recommend the use of WebEx for tutorial?MotivationMWebEx  Yes, b Y but if your students are using it for d i i fLesson Plan the first time…Student’sfeedbackf db k  if one h good t h i l support. has d technical tAfterthoughts…Recommendation  if the tutorial is longer than an hour.  But B t content is still what matters in t t i till h t tt i determining whether the experience is deemed positively by students students.