Humanizing the Online Experience: May 25-June 7, 2009

Welcome to our May seminar!

Welcome to our May seminar!

by Sylvia Currie -
Number of replies: 19
About our seminar
Humanizing the Online Experience: May 25-June 7, 2009

Even with careful planning and the best advice from our experienced colleagues, many of us find that we are uncomfortable in facilitating live, interactive sessions. Why is this? How can we increase our confidence? What are some strategies for making real-time sessions engaging and interactive?

These are questions many educators and staff are asking, especially in the past couple of years as we become more aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprint by engaging in virtual meetings and classroom discussions.

About our facilitator
Jesai Jayhmes is a professional director and actor appearing on TV and film, and has performed and staged work all over the world. He has translated the essence of that training towards enhancing teachers' abilities and facilitating collaborative processes. Jesai has taught at Yale University Theatre Studies and at SFU School for the Contemporary Arts. At SFU he created a highly successful program for professors called Voice and Effective Speaking Techniques, which helped professors develop skills for creating dynamic learning environments in the classroom.

Participating in the Live Sessions
Our first weekly live session is May 26, 10:00 PDT (other time zones) via Adobe Connect. For the best experience when you participate in the live sessions, you should have a headset with a microphone and a webcam. If you have never used Adobe Connect before, here is a quick diagnostic test to ensure your computer and network connections are properly configured.

Participating in SCoPE seminars
New to SCoPE or wondering how to manage your participation?
Check this resource

We would like to extend a special welcome to the new SCoPE members who will be joining us during this seminar, and hopefully many more times in the future!
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Jesai Jayhmes -

Not too many years back Frank Campbell at the video studio in the Learning and Instructional Development Centre at Simon Fraser University, and I offered a course for teachers at Simon Fraser University called “Talking to the Camera”. It was designed to familiarize teachers with the video medium as on camera talent. Although the course was popular with those who took it, on camera practice was not widely recognized as an essential teaching skill.

As high band width on the internet became a household requirement, and tv on the web was close at hand, we renamed the course “Say it on the Web”. We knew that bringing the high touch (heart and soul) element to the high tech (internet) environment would be essential.

This time it took off. Everyone involved got very excited about creatively using the medium and became re-inspired around their own teaching.

We now use a high degree of interactivity and various online platforms...

HUMANIZING THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE:

“More and more distance courses to be offered”

“Professors are adding to their lecture hall obligations and going online”

“Teachers blending online and face to face instruction like never before”

“Economic realities and greener foot prints drive the drive to online meetings"

The Danger: Technology takes priority over human interaction.

What does “Humanizing the Online Experience” refer to?

Effective education, the transmission of knowledge, in its most basic form is from person to person, orally, as in master and apprentice, parent to child, mentor and mentee, friend to friend.

A teacher showing interest in a learner’s development can be the difference between success and failure in their academic career and in later life.

Teaching and learning are inseparable. It is not possible to be a great teacher and have learners that don’t get it. The definition of a great teacher must include inspiring learning, growth and development on the part of the learner.

After having been involved in the training of professors, teachers, and trainers of all kinds for over 10 years it has become clear me that each teacher and each discipline defines knowledge differently. What is considered essential theoretical and practical knowledge in one discipline is as foreign to another as Mandarin is to English.

One praises analytical thinking, another critical thinking, for some it is the ability to calculate, for others the keys are empathy and intuition, for still another the ability to be spontaneous and connect with emotions, or it’s the sanctity of expression in speaking or written word that is paramount.

The purpose of learning is also defined differently in each discipline and by each professor and each learner. For some it might be “to get a job” for others “to be a more balanced human being” or “ to get help on research” “to create change agents in the world” “to develop a team” “to prove that you are smart” “to prove you can follow rules” “to collaborate effectively with others towards achieving a goal”

Add to this confusion of tongues the bureaucratic challenges Universities face,
and the economics of tuition and funding required to pay the bills. Online learning runs the danger of distancing people ever more from the essential connection, that of person to person.

I invite you to read through the following questions and consider each one from your own perspective and experience of being a teacher and what that means to you.

QUESTIONS?
What is your criteria for teaching and learning based on your discipline and your prefered teaching style?

What practices do you employ?

How do you experience the learning moment as teacher or student within the context of online learning?

Personal anecdotes are welcome.

By the way, I hope you were able to catch a look at the video link.
If not, please check it out now.




If you were a panelist in such a teleconference, what would you say?

What is your experience of being in front of the camera?

How do you feel when you see yourself on video?

What are the challenges for you in being a really effective online teacher/facilitator?

What’s holding you back?

What skills would you like to develop as far as online delivery goes?

I am delighted to be working with Sylvia and BCCampus on this and very much look forward to your participation. I would also like to thank the Learning and Instructional Development Centre at Simon Fraser University and Professor David Kaufman for having been able to develop much of the foundation for this seminar through programs which began at the LIDC.

Please sign in by posting your comments below and responding to any or all of the above questions...... and join us "live virtually" on Tuesday, 10:am pst.

Thanks so much,

Jesai Jayhmes
In reply to Jesai Jayhmes

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Christine Horgan -

Hello Jesai:

What excellent timing. I'm presently taking an in-house course regarding blended learning (using Jing, photoshop, Audacity, etc).

To answer some of the questions you pose in your opening email:


What is your experience of being in front of the camera? None--and I'm happy that it stay that way.


How do you feel when you see yourself on video? I try to avoid it in social situations so I'm unlikely to use video, with me as the model, in work situations. I am fortunately to have some attractive, articulated workmates who are comfortable in front of a camera and who are quite willing to be the "host" of any video pieces. Whew!


What are the challenges for you in being a really effective online teacher/facilitator? I'm not longer in the classroom (F2F or blended) and  now facilitate online courses so rarely that I can no longer really call myself a teacher. As much as I can, though,  I stay current with classroom issues by facilitating ISW sessions for new instructors, through occassionally facilitating online courses, and through attending internal and external PD sessions. This all so that I stay current and helpful in my role as Curriculum Co-ordinator for a large service department. In addition to project managing many, many projects, I also function as a curriculum coach for SMEs working on curriculum projects (blended and facilitated online).


What’s holding you back? I'd like to offer an answer that might be a little different than you expected...... As being in front of a camera is not an expectation in my job, I'm off the hook on this one. But...in my role as Curriculum Co-ordinator/coach, looking at different ways to support blended/online learning for learners and making these options interesting and "do-able" to SMEs puts me very much back on the hook. I learn as much as I can so I can talk knowledgeably, but also so that I have first-hand experience to offer SMEs.


What skills would you like to develop as far as online delivery goes? I'd like to increase my understanding of how we can best use video/audio in online courses to support learning.

Lastly, who am I? I am active and regular SCoPE participant. Christine Horgan, SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta.

There are times I may have to lurk, but I do hope to be an active participant in this seminar, Jesai.

Cheers, Chris

In reply to Christine Horgan

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -
I'm starting this session a week late but here goes:

What is your criteria for teaching and learning based on your discipline and your preferred teaching style?

1. Student centered - What does the student need to learn. Medicine has very clear objectives but too often we focus on teaching in preordained time slots as opposed to learning to meet the objectives.
2. Active/Interactive - How do you engage them physically, mentally and collaboratively in learning X. Medicine lends itself to multimodal/concrete learning and I am multimodal/abstract in my teaching so I have to adjust.

What is your experience of being in front of the camera?
moderate in front, quite a bit behind the camera

How do you feel when you see yourself on video?
Fat - personally
OK-professionally I like my voice

What are the challenges for you in being a really effective online teacher/facilitator?
Not having enough experience as a facilitator as opposed to course developer where my experience is extensive.

What’s holding you back?
opportunity and time

What skills would you like to develop as far as online delivery goes?
I hate talking head video so I would have to say finding ways to use video more interactively or as a story telling medium.

Lastly, who am I? Deirdre Bonnycastle, Faculty Development University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine. Just finished this video website.

In reply to Jesai Jayhmes

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Alice Macpherson -
Hi all!
<waves enthusiastically>

I am Alice Macpherson, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, PD & PLA Coordinator.

Such a pleasure to hear your 'voice' again Jesai!

If you were a panelist in such a teleconference, what would you say?
Something about Seizing the Fish and using it to my own ends (much as your 'panelists' did) :-)

What is your experience of being in front of the camera?
Limited, I prefer to be behind it. In the Online journal, Transformative Dialogues, my Co-editor and myself did one of our editorials as a video, with a text script also available. It was honest, not scintilating.

How do you feel when you see yourself on video?
Awkward but it can be done ...

What are the challenges for you in being a really effective online teacher/facilitator?
Pre-Planning, Discipline on time, and reading emotions.

What’s holding you back?
Time ...

What skills would you like to develop as far as online delivery goes?
Practise on ease of delivery and tips on good practices.

Looking forward to more on this topic.


In reply to Jesai Jayhmes

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Cindy Xin -
Hi Jessai and Sylvia,

I tried to participate in the online session but nothing worked for me. I could hear, and see people's chat, but couldn't speak or type. I tried every single button on the screen. It's funny how fighting with technology is such a perpetual theme.

I do prefer asynchronous communication/discussion. It always worked for me, technologically, pedagogically, and psychologically speaking.

Cindy
In reply to Jesai Jayhmes

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Emma Duke-Williams -
I'll try answering a few of these questions posed by Jesai:

What is your experience of being in front of the camera?
Only really with a webcam; though I did get videoed when doing my teaching practice for primary school teaching ... over 20 years ago. The camera was somewhat bulkier than todays!)

How do you feel when you see yourself on video?
Bit of a twit, really. That's why I quite like (if "like" is right) a webcam, as I can set it so that I can't see myself!

What are the challenges for you in being a really effective online teacher/facilitator?
When I saw the title "humanising" the online experience, it never entered my head that video would come into it!
Like others have said (e.g. Cindy) I tend to be happier with asynchronous aspects of online learning, I think that it gives more people a change to participate - when we've had real time conferences (most recently using FlashMeeting ( http://flashmeeting.open.ac.uk/home.html ) it seems that quite a bit of the session is spent getting people sorted out; even when they know the software, connections get dropped, cats play with USB cables or whatever; and so the actual content covered isn't that great; though it is good to *see* the students; and, I hope, useful for them to see us.
So, that's not really answered the question ...


What’s holding you back?
Time! Time to develop good oline activities (not necessarily resources, I think that courses with limited resources but really interactive / communication requiring activities [e.g. those we have here ... where 99% of the "resources" are those that people contribute/ create / whatever], are those that work. However, while you mayn't need the time to create a whizz bang Flash application to demonstrate human evolution, you do need time to respond to student discussions, point them in the direction of resources, keep up with new debates etc. etc., etc.


I noted that someone also said a bit about himself; I've been using SCOPE for a while now, sometimes more often than others ... depending on the amount of work I have on at the time - and whether or not I a: Notice new message in my email & b: have time to read them & c: am interested (though that is generally a "yes").
I'm in the UK, am a lecturer in the School of Computing at Portsmouth University, though my interests lie in how Computers can be used to support learning (either for face to face or distance learning students), rather than being too much of a hard core programmer.

My current research is, as many others! looking at the potential of "Web2.0" tools [increasingly thinking I don't like the term!] to support student learning - whether it's learning they *have* to do (e.g. as part of their coursework) or informal support that's running alongside supporting each other face to face etc.


In reply to Jesai Jayhmes

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier -
Hmmm answers to questions ... I usually ASK the question! mixed
I am an instructional designer who works with professors developing courses for online delivery. This is a timely discussion for me (a consummate lurker) as I put the fluff and polish on my dissertation research proposal (teachers perceptions moving from f-2-f to online modalities)... but... to the questions!

What is your criteria for teaching and learning based on your discipline and your preferred teaching style?
My discipline is education, and specifically teacher education, so I prefer interactive, student lead and discovered learning. Spaces in which to explore collaborative critical thinking are must-haves.

What practices do you employ?
Questioning, exploring, group work, reflection

How do you experience the learning moment as teacher or student within the context of online learning?
I don't have an answer to this one.. it really depends on the context of the moment.

If you were a panelist in such a teleconference, what would you say?
I would probably tell stories of experiences and throw in some theory-based research to spice it up.

What is your experience of being in front of the camera?
Some presentations (classroom and conference)
Web cam intros to online classes

How do you feel when you see yourself on video?
Self-conscious... do I really move my hands THAT much???

What are the challenges for you in being a really effective online teacher/facilitator?
Attending to the moment. Being able to do what I want to do, yet knowing some of my audience are on low bandwidth connections.

What’s holding you back?
Bandwidth, bandwidth, and bandwidth... oh, and bandwidth too. Also the time to play and practice.

What skills would you like to develop as far as online delivery goes?
More in other forms of online teaching in learning. Want to explore ways of knowing and of assessment FOR and assessment OF learning online.

Wendy

Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier
St. Francis Xavier University
PhD student, University of South Australia


In reply to Jesai Jayhmes

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -

I am Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers, R. Psych. (AB) in private practice and working contracts in teaching/educational development

What is your criteria for teaching and learning based on your discipline and your prefered teaching style?
I’m a psychologist (teach various psychology subjects using LMS – like WebCT and Moodle), and art therapist (various art therapy traditionally as a teacher, but as a student I have studied art therapy online) (like all the digital and art making videos), and as a dance/movement therapist (ADTR), I’m excited about more use of videos.

What practices do you employ?

I’m still developing my skills. Right now I have been attempting to get my webcam to work (it used to). I recently presented a Power Point on Art Therapies and Technology. Professionals in my areas are very excited about any “camera” work that can be distributed for learning purposes.

How do you experience the learning moment as teacher or student within the context of online learning?
I get excited. Most students are really positive to learning the content of the subjects I've been fortunate to teach and I challenge myself to keep learning more.

If you were a panellist in such a teleconference, what would you say?

I think that camera skills improve with practice and exposure – like dancing – practice, practice, practice. I think with practice I will be more comfortable with being on webcams and with making and distributing Youtube videos. As a panellist I might get rather self-conscious, but I would proceed anyway.


What is your experience of being in front of the camera?
I used to do a group work and research work on camera and had varied experiences, mostly good. These days,I feel okay in doing demos for the work that I do, especially videos of work with clients and demo-volunteers as I think that the camera demonstrations are important for sharing and teaching. Lately I have did some demo videos as a distant education student (not for massive distribution on Youtube or for my colleagues). My son and I did demos in art therapy. As well, I recently made some videos with some clients and myself that were used in teaching in an inclass context. I really appreciated and loved recent videos that other professionals did that I saw on Youtubes. They were inspiring. 

How do you feel when you see yourself on video?
Self-conscious about what I say and do, but okay. I feel I want to get it "right".. hmm... and there probably is only better.

What are the challenges for you in being a really effective online teacher/facilitator?

Having time to do what I want to do, Costs to donate more time and to teach takes away from my hours in clinical work, continued development of technical skill, using attractive instructional design that is well chosen for the material and learners.

What’s holding you back?
More time, money, clear objectives, engaging more with peers of similar interests, and projects with defined objectives.

What skills would you like to develop as far as online delivery goes?
Ease of delivery for online camera use and good practices.

In reply to Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Jesai Jayhmes -
Jo Ann you say whats holding you back is
that you have...
"More time, money, clear objectives, engaging more with peers of similar interests, and projects with defined objectives."
We should all be so lucky. You must be unstoppable.
Thanks for your participation.

As you are each preparing your vlog intro
Have a look here if you didn't already get it off the handout.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2x5hzYM1ZY.

and yes Nellie, when you get into it, it can be much faster than writing. In fact dictate your research paper and transcribe it after.
There are quite a few for whom that method works very well... with editting of course for ummm's and ahhhh's.

Which brings me to another point. Those of you who have ever been in Toastmaster's to practice your speaking will recall the "ahhh" counter. In my club we had to pay a quarter for each umm or ahhh we say. Now with video there is no excuse because you can edit them out... unless you want to appear totally natural and ummm not very aaahhhh bright, just kidding.

A suggestion when you make your recording is to become aware of that tendency, if you have it... and instead, pause and breathe in while you think about what you are going to say next.
That generally works very well.



In reply to Jesai Jayhmes

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Jesai,
Thank you for the tips. I was wondering about the lip smacking feature. I didn't like it very much. I urgently need an editor for my recording so I start improving. I am using XP. iMovie seems to only work with Vista. Sounding natural is fine for a start, but I'd like to move on beyond the humanizing stage to a more professional looking video. wink

|I would appreciate any suggestions on what's out there?

Thank you.


In reply to Jesai Jayhmes

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -
Dear Jesai,
I only wish that I really could make more progress in teaching with technology with all the blessings, skills and wonderful contacts I have already online and off. I don't feel unstoppable -- in fact -- just the opposite, Jesai -- but that does not really surprise me. In Canada most people who teach post-secondary seem to be on a tenure track -- that has never been the case with me. The good part is that I can take various contracts at various universities/colleges -- and that is what I have done over the past 4 years. However in the fields of dance/movement therapy, art therapy, and health psychology, there needs to be a lot more political good will developed and continued quality research support. On the American Dance/Movement Therapy Listserv, it is clear that many therapists making strides and work diligently towards more public and professional teaching and PR. There are so many therapies nowadays and many people still have not heard of what Dance/Movement Therapy, Art Therapy or Health Psychology are about.

Regarding use of video, in terms of Health Psychology, I've seen no videos in this area yet. With art therapy, I've seen one professional Youtube that was really amazing -- where children's drawings showed what happened to their communities in war. I know that there are many other digital videos that are sitting with people -- like myself -- but they are not out there for various reasons. In terms of Dance/Movement therapy, I've seen three very good quality Youtubes, and 6 films, total. Theses fields are not that integrated into the world of Clinical/counselling psychology, but it is slowly happening.

The "upside" is that there are getting to be greater numbers of trained professionals who are wading into technology now and who appreciate the potential of making and distributing videos for teaching/learning and PR purposes.

On a personal note, when I used Skype and Marratech with my students from U of L in a Health Psychology course I was teaching, it was a first for all that actually did it with me. They used webcams. The students appreciated the opportunity and enjoyed the "humanizing aspect".

BTW, I really think that Nellie and Sylvie were super in their webcams and they are inspirational. Now if I could only get my connection repaired -- breakdowns are one of the minor but disruptive glitches of technology for me. I will promise to keep my future posts short and hopefully at a video at some point. Jo Ann
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Prince Obiri-Mainoo -

Dear Sylvia and Jesai,

Thanks for another opportunity to be "equipped for service". I am very grateful once again for the chance to learn and to share.

To both new and seasoned SCoPE members, I am the director/resident trainer of the newly-established Pentecost Leadership Training Institute (PLTRC) at Leominster, Massachusetts. PLTRC is a Church of Pentecost USA-Inc. facility that provides theological and other necessary training to both the clergy and lay members of the church.

Prince

In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Derek Chirnside -
[Too many questions to do all in one hit]
I'm just dabbling here. I've been off SCoPE for a year or so, and then when suddenly e-mails started again a month ago I decided I'd dip into the next topic, no matter what it was.

So Hi everybody.
In my brain you guys are mostly "in Canada". (and England, other parts of the US etc etc). I live in Christchurch, NZ. I'm actually planning on coming over to Vancouver for the Open Ed conference in August.
My role is staff development and course design. I wok a lot with people dabbling in video/audio clips. There are some huge barriers, but most people find it stimulating and of benefit to the teaching and learning process.

Camstasia (Screen capture + audio) is where some people start. In some cases, this includes still pics in a PowerPoint as a quick "Amateur" introduction, even pictures of the cat, the office, a favourite place . . . .
We also offer professional video services, but the interface with the often busy/unfocused lecturers can sometimes be fraught. "Here is this video of some kids interacting I took on my cellphone. Can you rotate it 90 degrees and improve the sound a little so I can use it please?"
The conflict is often around production values. :-) To storyboard or not.

We do a lot of recorded stuff like classroom extracts with commentary. Little video conference (but increasing) - often very pedestrian. Quite a few teleconference meetups. We have just got 40 Adobe Connect places.

Just a couple of questions at random.

How do you experience the learning moment as teacher or student within the context of online learning?

Online: I actually do feel 'connected' even when I never see my students, or those I interact with. Generally connected positively.
At times this equates to a sort of a rush. cool The latest course I am involved with has 16 students starting to teach online for a short time about now. I have a mental trajectory for each one and have regularly, constantly been asking the question "By Wednesday, will they be ready?". This is a very special course. In the moment - I feel like I am taking part in a personal world/classroom/learning experience they are creating, and I'm kind of there on the side, but involved . . . and it is suprisingly intimate, sometimes even angst ridden as these guys head towards being online for the first time in some cases.'

It has been extremely frustrating at times. There is a great need for linearity in the online world. "First do your plan - check your learning pathways, then do the implementation." Working with some of these guys who are global, non-sequential learners has been fun.

For these guys it is like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. I could have helped more, but force feeding them and 'telling them' would have meant less deep learning. They may have 'done better' with their two weeks online as 'teachers', but in the 15 weeks course on "Learning to teach" . . . well . . .

How to humanise this? I may ask the class how humanised they feel their online experience has been.
  • The video annoyed me intensely. (Probably a reflection on me not the video)
  • Personally I don't do too well onscreen, but with a decent camera person/direction, things are a lot better.
  • The other questions are interesting, but that is enough for now.
Jesai, thanks for being here.






In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Penny Heaslip -
I thought others might like to read this article re online teaching. 
In reply to Penny Heaslip

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier -
Thanks, Penny
This is quite helpful for what I am trying to write at the moment. It will be cited!
Wendy
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Welcome to our May seminar!

by Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier -
Hi Sylvia
I am a lurker to SCOPE, sitting back, taking it all in. I had tech issues (i.e., no power in the office!) so couldn't attend the Live Session. Is there a link to the recording?
Enjoying the conversation
Wendy
In reply to Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier

Re: recording

by Sylvia Currie -
Wendy asks: Is there a link to the recording?
There is (I hope!) but I'm just trying to get my hands it. I'll post it the minute I have it.
Sylvia