We had a great second day in our Institute for faculty transitioning to online teaching and learning. Tuesday was devoted to focusing on just what a “classroom” meant for an online class. We explored our learning management system – Blackboard 9 – in the morning, and compared that to two open access options, a Ning and a class Jon Becker developed using Google Sites.
In the afternoon, we examined the use of Wimba for synchronous sessions. We compared and contrasted asynchronous and synchronous delivery of instruction, and closed with an examination of Twitter as a quasi-synchronous vehicle.
We were fortunate to have Lisa M. Lane as a guest speaker last evening, using Wimba to demonstrate a synchronous class experience. For over an hour, she discussed and answered participant questions on how instructor presence plays a critical role in the success of an online class. Many approach online teaching focusing on the tools, but Lisa reaffirmed the importance of the affective domain – human emotions – in online teaching and learning. Lisa has already taken the audio from our session and mixed it in Slideshare.
It was a great cap on a very good day.