Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lunch n Learn Webinar - Instructio​nal Design for Live, Online Learning

Corporate personhood by

Yesterday I attended a one hour mini-workshop - a Lunch and Learn webinar, conducted via Citrix online by GoToTraining. I am not sure how I got my name on the list of subscribers but I have been receiving invites to these sessions for a few months and have been keen to try them out. I did have to register but I only registered moments before the session as I knew I would be available then.

Speakers during the session were Roger Courville, author of The Virtual Presenter's Handbook and Karen Moloney (moderator) from LearnX Foundation. The session was obviously targetting a 'corporate' audience. The look and feel was more 'corporate' than any of the other OER sessions that I attend.

I really enjoyed Roger's style, he was clear and moved through the concepts at pace but allowed several opportunities for participants to interact. He used several techniques to encourage participation. The first was very clever, he assumed that participants were taking notes and directed them on how to set out a diagram to follow the diagram that was being completed by him throughout the session. Being a visual learner this enticed me to neaten up my notes and I quickly transferred from pen to pencil and grabbed a ruler, interesting human behaviour. I am going to try this one in the training room, because everytime I suggest participants take notes I get a blank stare as if to say "but You are the one doing the work, I'll just get a copy of that later". Roger also enticed participants to answer questions using their mic's, he used a copy of his book as the incentive.

Throughout the session Karen acted as the moderator and fed questions that were coming in via the chatroll. It was not clear how many participants were in the session and I could not see the questions coming through, but I could see messages sent 'To All' from Karen, so I can only assume that participants were directing their questions directly to the facilitators, rather than 'To All' in the group.

The topic of the webinar was considerations when designing online learning, in particular taking existing modules into an online environment.
In the email brief they explaint that ...The challenge is to move beyond 'talking over PowerPoint' to designing an interactive learning experience that engages and educates learners. Courville offers some very practical steps to adapt exercises for a virtual classroom.

GoToTraining offer the use of their webinar (GoToWebinar) service (at a cost), they also have GoToMeeting and GoToTraining but offer a free 30 day trial on these services. I found the Citrix online platform very user friendly, it did not cut out during the session and the images and audio were very clear. The follow up emails sent to me offer a recorded copy of the session, which will come in handy as there were several interruptions during the session - baby waking and husband coming home.

Overall I really enjoyed the session and will be keen to involve myself in more of these sessions and perhaps delve into Roger's written work when I come to sit down and transfer material into an online format.

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