My language and culture class [A & B]wrapped-up their first round of online discussions. Class B kicked it off with Michael Coghlan. I sent my feedback to our language and culture classs yahoogroup which was also a response to Michael Coghlan's email and feedback.
"Volunteers for Class B, you did a great job today. Despite the technical glitches and a slight stage fright, I think that in time you'll master the craft of participating in online discussions.
Follow the link below to read Michael's blog.
Michael Coghlan wrote:
From: Michael Coghlan
Date: Thu, 03 Mar 2005 01:01:57 +1030
Subject: [evonline2002_webheads] Session with Aiden's Students Today
I had the great pleasure today to be the first of many guest speakers for
Aiden's Language and Culture class over the coming weeks. As always, a
thoroughly instructive and enlightening experience. For a few comments in
audio about the experience you might like to go to
http://mikecogh.blogspot.com/ to hear them.
Thanks Aiden! :)
PS Will the archive be posted anywhere? I have a copy but am running out of
A feedback from my student
One of the volunteer students in Class B wrote and he said, "I'm glad that you like our performance in the online conference.
[name deleted] I would like to share my feeling about the online
conference. I'm really happy that we didn’t spoil it. However, I
have to say that I am still not so satisfied about the conference.
For me, I think the time is not enough for a decent discussion. Take
this online conference for an example, [names deleted] did
a great preparation for the presentation of the article, but they
didn't have enough time to present them before they ask their
question. Also, each one of us can only ask two questions instead of
the questions list that we've made. I had some relative examples and
questions that I want to discuss but I didn't have the time to do
so. I believe that most of my classmates could not raise a proper
question because we jumped one issue from another too fast. I hope
that we can have a longer and more decent conference."
I wrote back
So in respone, I wrote, "Thanks for your feedback. I know what you mean, the time wasn't enough. The discussion was fairly decent, but not exhaustive. True. This was because we started 15 mins late than the time I expected the session to start, which was at 11:00. I forgot about the 10 min. break. I also wasted 5 min. of your time trying to upload your powerpoint- I was hoping to use my laptop for that but I couldn't get my wireless connection to work. Bummer.
I learned something from your session and I hope to improve the situation for the actual group presentations, both for class A and B.
Group presentations will have to be done an hour before the online discussion. In this in-class presentation, the group will present their powerpoints and all other researched materials that they have. They will also make it interactive to engage their classmates in their presentation.
The online discussion will be done after the in-class presentation and online meetings will simply be based on discussion, asking and answering questions. The goal is 'getting and giving' information. The approach is similar to radio broadcasting. If you've listened to the audio recording- you'll find some similarities.
I know you were expecting to talk more, and I was hoping that I could give you that time. I wanted to. I want to. And if you're willing, I could invite you to 'real' online sessions to experience how it's like, to know that there are time limitations and to learn how to appreciate the opportunities in 'free' online or blended learning events.
I'd just like to remind you the limitations that we have and we could only work with what we have. Your class is big, for group presentations, 5-6 members to share an hour for online discussion. One computer- one mic. I am trying to make use of what we have. So, given this situation, let us strive [together] to make the best out of it. Let's not focus on the frustrations that we've had, but instead, appreciate the chance to take part in meaningful discussions.
The online session that you had was a trial run, and I'd like to thank you again for taking part in it.
I learned something from it."
Class A's turn
We started early. I logged on to Alado and waited for Elizabeth, our online guest speaker. When I had the feeling that she won't make it, I logged on to Yahoo messenger and buzzed all webheads who were online. 3 came to the rescue: James Bakker, Vance Stevens and Bob Brannan aka Elderbob. We had a good session- well at least, I think the volunteers felt happy. They even stayed for another 40 minutes to chat with me and Vance who remained online. I'll be posting the screenshots that Vance took. We were having fun.
For class A, the volunteer students prepared a list of questions which was uploaded on the Internet. I pushed the URL during their online discussion and it can be seen all throughout the online session. The list also helped the students follow the outline of their discussion and they were able to carry on until the very end. They also invited their classmates to ask queestions. There were I think 2 representatives who came to the Mic and talked to Vance, James and Elderbob.
Looking back at the comments made by Class B, I think Class A learned the lessons and prepared their questions on a webpage where they could see at a glance what they needed to tackle. They also had a time frame, which I think was necessary.
I must admit that delivering a blended learning activity with 50 students is not easy and it takes a lot of effort and explaining to the students the limitations that we have. Yet, despite this, I feel much better after Class A had done their presentation. They were organized, collaborated well, no one controlled the show, it was well divided. They learned from past mistakes and I am very happy to see that.
The links to the recordings are http://www.geocities.com/wentzao2004/culture/2ndsem/online_sked.htm