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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/

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Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. <ul><li>I ntroduction of staff development initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Aim: to develop tutors’ skills in facilitating learning via synchronous online classes </li></ul><ul><li>Classes conducted using Wimba Classroom tm with voice, text chat and graphics (no video) </li></ul>Supporting the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom
  3. 3. Evolution of tutor training and support <ul><li>Wimba Classroom introduced at BPP early 2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ J ump in the d eep end' approach to training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identified need for more structured approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Learning Technology Skills Seminars’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ How to use Wimba” workshop launched early 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identified need for more pedagogical approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Current initiative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pilot launched summer 2010 with group of five tutors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From ‘how to use Wimba’ to ‘how to facilitate teaching and learning with Wimba’ </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Overview of current initiative <ul><li>Pre-seminar activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Imagine you are running a synchronous online seminar … what challenges would you expect to encounter?” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seminar run by Learning Technology Team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience a Wimba session as a student </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how to facilitate a Wimba session as a tutor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tutor led sessions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each participant presents their own Wimba session </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other group members take part as students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Self and peer review </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wimba Classroom archives used for reference </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus group (to take place next week) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review the programme and lessons learned </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Seminar activity: ice breaker
  6. 6. Seminar activity: whiteboard practice
  7. 7. Seminar activity: break out room discussions
  8. 8. Seminar activity: all class discussion
  9. 9. Key issues raised from self and peer review <ul><li>Loss of control due to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communications overload: Voice, text, ‘raised hands’ etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ 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”. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inability to visually monitor students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;I found the break out rooms quite stressful for the very reason that you have limited visibility on their interaction&quot;. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of confidence with technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is the student seeing what I am seeing? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Key issues raised from self and peer review <ul><li>Lack of visual cues effecting flow of discussion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Offering open questions as you do in the class doesn't seem to work so well - you need to call people out by name“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;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.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Conclusions <ul><li>Positive overall response to the initiative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot; 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“ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Established face to face techniques need modifying: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of eye contact and body language requires a different approach to class facilitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need for communication etiquette </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>develop confidence to trust technology and students </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. What next? <ul><li>Continue to run initiative with small groups </li></ul><ul><li>integrate workshop into wider learning technology skills seminar programme </li></ul><ul><li>reconsider use of video as well as audio communication </li></ul><ul><li>refine self and peer observation parameters </li></ul>
  13. 13. 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

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