Friday, April 28, 2006

Discussion Week

We're at the end of the discussion week, and it's been an interesting experience.

It took up more time than I had anticipated, especially as a lot of the time was spent trying to get people who had signed up for it to engage. A lot of people seemed to be lurking and not posting. I guess that lurking is a valuable experience, but I would have liked to have seen more postings from people. Around about 1/5th of the people signed up posted, and what they had to say was very interesting. A lot of the discussion came from people who were already keen using it; maybe that was because I asked questions that only those people could answer.

I spent a lot of time emailing the participants trying to persuade them to join in. Interesting, our VLE supplier has just provided a new set of tools for the VLE and one of them is the abliity to subscribe to a thread so you get emails when a new message has been added. That would have been useful this week! I'm not sure whether my emails just irritated people, or whether it made them at least look at the boards.

I have designed a survey to try and get people to let me know why they didn't post. Maybe it was the wrong time (the first week of term), or maybe the topic wasn't interesting enough. Maybe I just need to learn a few skills for dragging lurkers in!

I have alternated between feeling positive and negative about the experience. However, overall I figure I now know what it's like being a tutor when students don't join in.

The other thing that made me feel a bit low this week was that no-one turned up for a lunchtime session I had organised. I did have a couple of apologies and some interest in any future ones. But I did feel a bit of an idiot sitting on my own waiting for people to come along! Maybe the topic wasn't interesting. I have some plans for the next one ...

That seems a pretty big post. Oh, and the Steering Group I service has agreed that we can take a blog project forward.

But it's Bank Holiday weekend, the sun is shining and we're off to see my mum and dad at the weekend. My little bro will be there too, so pipsqueak will be happy! I'm finishing early this afternoon to have some mummy and pipsqueak time - I think we'll go shopping!

[Hope this post won't get lost this time ... one I tried to publish during the beginning of the week got lost!]

Monday, April 24, 2006

And we're off

The discussion has now officially started. I'm stupidly excited about how it's going to go ...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Online Discussion - Lesson 1

Well - my week long online discussion starts next week; and I have already learnt my first lesson. I pointed all those joining in to an article on an external web site. Got in this morning to find that the web site had gone down!! The site assures me it will be back up soon, but it has taught me not to rely on external content ...

Meanwhile I have discovered that opera is great to work to. Currently getting through loads of little jobs to the accompaniment of Verdi. The sun is shining and my task list is shrinking. Hurrah!!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Online discussion

As part of my strategy for getting more staff involved in online discussion I'm organising a week-long discussion in our VLE on the topic of ... online discussion.

I'm really excited about how it's going to go - especially as this will be my first go at moderating a discussion. I advertised it today and we've already had quite a few people registering their interest. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

This week is pretty busy; it's the first week of the vacation, so I'd organised a lot of events in the hope that staff are around before Easter. Yesterday was a demonstration of a streaming video solution (very nice but pretty pricey); today was teaching a new course - good turnout and positive feedback; tomorrow we have another course; Friday we have to meet with Senior Management about the strategy.