Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom
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Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom

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Presentation at ALT-C 2010: http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2010/

Presentation at ALT-C 2010: http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2010/

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  • Introduction – explain aim = enabling tutors move to online (with Wimba Classroom) to ensure continue high ratings of teaching quality
  • initial GDL pilot 1 week to learn - 'flying by the seat of your pants' approach to staff development issues raised in survey – showed was very much about copying over formal training currently given as part of a series of Learning Technology Skills Seminars - focus on how to use the application identified need to expand the training to include how to manage the teaching and learning: how is teaching and learning online compare to face to face teaching? Interaction Communicatons presentation of content what are the pros and cons of teaching and learning in either context? What implications does this have for teaching techniques in an online classroom? adapt existing ones? create new ones?

Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom Presentation Transcript

  • Presented by Darren Gash, Head of Learning Technology and Ian Gardner, Senior Learning Technology Specialist BPP University College [email_address] Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom
    • I ntroduction of staff development initiative
    • Aim: to develop tutors’ skills in facilitating learning via synchronous online classes
    • Classes conducted using Wimba Classroom tm with voice, text chat and graphics (no video)
    Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom
  • Evolution of tutor training and support
    • Wimba Classroom introduced at BPP early 2009
      • ‘ J ump in the d eep end' approach to training
      • Identified need for more structured approach
    • ‘ Learning Technology Skills Seminars’
      • “ How to use Wimba” workshop launched early 2010
      • Identified need for more pedagogical approach
    • Current initiative
      • Pilot launched summer 2010 with group of five tutors
      • From ‘how to use Wimba’ to ‘how to facilitate teaching and learning with Wimba’
  • Overview of current initiative
    • Pre-seminar activity
      • “ Imagine you are running a synchronous online seminar … what challenges would you expect to encounter?”
    • Seminar run by Learning Technology Team
      • Experience a Wimba session as a student
      • Learn how to facilitate a Wimba session as a tutor
    • Tutor led sessions
      • Each participant presents their own Wimba session
      • Other group members take part as students
    • Self and peer review
      • Wimba Classroom archives used for reference
    • Focus group (to take place next week)
      • Review the programme and lessons learned
  • Seminar activity: ice breaker
  • Seminar activity: whiteboard practice
  • Seminar activity: break out room discussions
  • Seminar activity: all class discussion
  • Key issues raised from self and peer review
    • Loss of control due to:
      • Communications overload: Voice, text, ‘raised hands’ etc.
        • “ It is very unclear when it is appropriate to use the comments box on the bottom left of the screen, and I think it is hard for the tutor to monitor comments while tutoring”.
      • inability to visually monitor students
        • "I found the break out rooms quite stressful for the very reason that you have limited visibility on their interaction".
      • Lack of confidence with technology
        • Is the student seeing what I am seeing?
  • Key issues raised from self and peer review
    • Lack of visual cues effecting flow of discussion
      • "Offering open questions as you do in the class doesn't seem to work so well - you need to call people out by name“
      • "The simple fact that you can’t see anybody makes it very difficult to know when to speak and when someone has finished making a point and this means you lose the richness of debate among students which you get with face-to-face."
  • Conclusions
    • Positive overall response to the initiative
      • " Being able to experience Wimba as a student is an excellent opportunity to be able to empathise and relate to their experience, which should in turn mean we are more student centred when we plan our sessions“
    • Established face to face techniques need modifying:
      • lack of eye contact and body language requires a different approach to class facilitation
      • need for communication etiquette
      • develop confidence to trust technology and students
  • What next?
    • Continue to run initiative with small groups
    • integrate workshop into wider learning technology skills seminar programme
    • reconsider use of video as well as audio communication
    • refine self and peer observation parameters
  • Presented by Darren Gash, Head of Learning Technology and Ian Gardner, Senior Learning Technology Specialist BPP University College [email_address] Q & A Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom