So what’s the best way to deliver online learning?

(19 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Mon 16-Mar-20 20:40:31

We have blackboard and I’m quite happy sticking the usual materials on there.

But I’d like to be able to set up some “live” discussion groups. So have been fiddling around a bit looking at Collaborate Ultra in blackboard today. Someone else mentioned Zoom and someone else mentioned Microsoft Team....anyone got any experience and have an opinion on which is user friendly, easy to work out?

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historyrocks Mon 16-Mar-20 20:46:04

I was coming on here to ask exactly the same question.

I’ve come to the conclusion that collaborate is the best option, but I have no idea how to convert a normal seminar discussion to online teaching.

Sorry, that’s much help!

Whynotnowbaby Mon 16-Mar-20 20:48:03

In a school rather than uni but google classroom has a very good conferencing facility (via hangouts) which we have used with all our secondary students and have, as of today, started delivering our entire 11-16 curriculum online. (Not in U.K.)

VivaLeBeaver Mon 16-Mar-20 20:51:37

Me and a colleague are going to have a practice run with collaborate tomorrow. So I’ve set up an event. Which has a specific start time and end time. I’ve emailed them to tell them.

I hope if they click onto the correct blackboard site and then collaborate they’ll be able to join it. But I have sent them a web link code to the event in case they can’t. That link was generated when I made the event.

I’m hoping it will be like some sort of live chat event. That you can see who’s there. See who is making a comment, who is asking a question.

I think people can put their hands up to ask a question?

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VivaLeBeaver Mon 16-Mar-20 20:52:20

Thanks, will have a look at google classroom now as well.

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worstofbothworlds Mon 16-Mar-20 21:06:26

We have just gone over to Teams for most document sharing and I have a class on Friday; on Thurs I have a meeting with my HoD so I'll practice with it then. DH uses it a lot so I'll give him a shout if it gives up on me. My other half on the module has already added all the students to our team.
Good thing it wasn't earlier though as I had a couple of really hands on seminars practicing using equipment.

smurffy Mon 16-Mar-20 21:10:53

You could try Webex it's free due to the virus and has great collaboration features gives more info

Ali85 Mon 16-Mar-20 21:13:23

oh I was just coming on to post exactly the same question! I have some one-to-one supervisions this week that I will do with microsoft team (we have a uni log in so that seems sensible). I did one last week and that seemed fairly normal and fine.

I also have some teaching for groups of about 5 and I am more uncertain about how to do that. It's usually very student led so I want something where they can all see each other but we can manage discussion in some way so everyone knows who to listen to. Will try it with teams and see.

No real advice from the uni as yet on how to use it effectively. I am hoping that we can get something positive out of this and think of some innovative ways to do things.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 16-Mar-20 21:16:24

I guess been able to do it as a voice video conference might be good and more natural than typing? But I have 30 plus students so it might just be chaos if everyone tries talking?

Probably best to stick to typing?

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Ali85 Mon 16-Mar-20 21:47:39

I know my DCs school is using Teams to do teaching if they have to close for the virus. They gave all the DC a test lesson today and they said it worked for a full class and teacher could share powerpoint etc with them. So it might work. It's just trying to manage the conversation so that everyone can be involved but you know who is trying to speak when.

Deianira Mon 16-Mar-20 22:27:21

This all has been a lot to get sorted in quite a short period of time, and I think the students will understand that. I think that we need to try and remember that too, and not pile on the pressure. These are extraordinary circumstances.

Most of the video call things we'll be using (Collaborate and Zoom certainly) have a 'raise hand' button which allows users/students to indicate that they want to speak - I am planning to lead group discussions by asking them to make liberal and frequent use of this (and then I'll steer/direct contributions), as I agree that their just chipping in will just cause chaos over an internet setting. I think it'll be a little stilted, but it's the best way to keep track of contributions and involvement in this format.

Personally I like Zoom the best - it runs smoothly and is very user-friendly for people who haven't used it before. It also works okay on phones, which Blackboard tools don't always. But Collaborate is not too awful if you haven't got a university subscription you can use with zoom (free calls can't go as long, I believe).

ghislaine Tue 17-Mar-20 18:03:14

You can also use the chat function on Collaborate for students to ask questions. You could also assign certain questions to specific students to respond to to cut down the risk of everyone talking over each other.

Another tip I've picked up is that everything needs to slow down in the digital classroom.

OhioOhioOhio Tue 17-Mar-20 18:24:37

The idea of video conferencing the kids in my class from my home makes me wince.

worstofbothworlds Tue 17-Mar-20 20:44:12

Ok, meeting on Teams, drop in class in chat in Moodle.

ghislaine Tue 17-Mar-20 20:47:42

I know! My computer camera includes the den of Lego in the background!

VivaLeBeaver Tue 17-Mar-20 21:31:26

Well we had a practice run with collaborate and teams today. Both went badly. We couldn’t all hear each other or be heard. So I could hear one person, she couldn’t hear me, but could hear someone else who I couldn’t.

We gave up and did a group voice call on WhatsApp which moving forward we will use for team meetings.

Going to use Blackboard Discussion for the students.

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VivaLeBeaver Tue 17-Mar-20 21:32:14

My computer camera picks up me and the wall behind me, nothing else! 😁

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AgileLass Tue 17-Mar-20 22:06:29

I’ve come to the conclusion that in the current situation any live online seminar is inadvisable - we don’t know what equipment/broadband students may have access to if they have travelled home, nor if they have a quiet private place to participate from. Also, their situations may have changed a lot over recent days and in the future - they may have additional caring responsibilities which might make it hard for them to participate at a set time and place. The same applies to me as their teacher! I expect next week I’ll have to have my children with me. For these reasons, I’ve decided to go for discussion boards and tasks to be completed week by week, rather than trying to recreate my 12pm Tuesday seminar.

Ali85 Wed 18-Mar-20 22:29:49

I did my first online tutorial group today on Teams today and it was better than I feared but not as good as in person. We had a pretty clear structure with each participant taking a lead in presenting an answer to each question (and circulating bullet points via the chat first) then discussion. That worked reasonably well. This was a nice group of final year students who are used to working together and all very considerate and committed. I can see that it might be more difficult with one dominating. I would really like to learn more about effective online teaching but that's clearly some way down the department's to do list at the moment (understandably) so I am trying to find any good resources myself.

I did have a very good experience of zoom with a group of researchers from across different universities but we seem to be guiding people to canvas or Teams at the moment.

I had set the camera up to be in my most office like part of the house but the professional veneer it was all ruined when I had to move closer to the router and the kids came out to see what was going on and there was a full lego Harry Potter town on view!

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