emoderating – Block 4

I think I struggled most with the final block of this course. We had spent previous weeks looking at asynchronous learning tools and this week moved onto synchronous.  We compared four applications:

·         WebEx

·         GoTo Meeting

·         Adobe connect

·         wizIQ

 

Having only experienced being in a virtual classroom once, and that was on this course two weeks ago, I struggled with what I would want to use a virtual classroom for, therefore was unclear what kind of functionality I would want or need. Overall, I think we agreed that Adobe Connect was the least user-friendly, and their marketing blurb did not do a good job of selling their service. As the CELTA Online will use Elluminate, as does the e-moderating course, this was all most of us had to compare to and we thought that WizIQ came closest to that ‘classroom’ feel.

 

We used Elluminate twice in this week. The first session we were the ‘students’ and so got a feel for what the technology could do and how an e-moderator can manage an online classroom. The second session, we all took turns in being the ‘teacher’ and ran a short 15 min mini-lesson. This was the most fun activity of the week, and really useful to get a feel for being a moderator for a small group as well as take part as a student. When planning this ‘live’ session it was interesting to have to think about what topics best fit this kind of activity, I think my first couple of ideas would work better in an asynchronous space and that it’s really important to have a clear aim for getting everyone together at the same time.

 

I have a little more understanding of what an online course may feel like now, although I’m not sure that I really would like to be solely an online tutor (sorry Bob!) I have managed to switch one of the DTELLS sessions and I intend on planning an ‘online’ session on e-learning. Rather than everyone be in the classroom together to explore these tool, allow them to experience undertaking a distance learning session for the week.

 

A final task was titled 3-2-1, and here is my responses:

·    think of 3 things that you’ve learned about e-moderating and how you can apply them to online courses that you’re planning (or would like) to teach

1.I have loved experiencing Moodle as an online delivery tool, the simplicity of the layout of the course has impressed me and how I could access the various resources in various different ways. So I’ve learnt that you need to keep the platform clean, tidy and usable.

2.That there are similarities and differences to teaching f2f but that initial teacher training courses don’t offer modules in online or blended learning by modelling them (or should I say I know ours don’t and suspect others don’t either) and that to ask tutors to be using a VLE ‘effectively’ by only giving them technical skills isn’t enough.

3.That all the tech and toys that I love to play with lend themselves so well to the online classroom, some of them more than the f2f classroom (it takes a lot for me to say that, as I’ve been very anti-’elearning=distance learning’ philosophies)

·         tell us your 2 favourite tools/techniques that you’re eager to implement in an upcoming online course

1.ice breakers: I am undecided whether to set an ice breaker activity on the CELTA blog between week 1 and 2, or to set it before the course starts

2.screen shots/videos and technical support: provide more consistent support in how to access the VLE and the CELTA blog and don’t just assume people can find out for themselves

·    come up with 1 suggestion for post-course development that you would like to follow-up once the course is over

1.only 1!!!! I want to be able to develop and offer online courses for the HE staff across the college as an alternative to the f2f staff development sessions that are planned to run.

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