Posted by: MandyS | February 28, 2013

A reflection on Elluminate…

What were your experiences and feelings during the session? If you have impaired vision or hearing, how did this affect your participation?

I suppose the most interesting feature was my not being with my own group. According to Bayne, I should perhaps have been anxious about this but in reality, I hardly know my own group and in any event it is good to be able to get a wider range of ideas.

The session took a while to set up but the tutor on her own admission has taken very few sessions and is only herself getting to grips with it. The quite a few audio issues but they resolved themselves after about 20 minutes.

I think the only anxiety came when I was transported to the ‘break-out’ group. There were only 3 of us and who speaks first? In the end I set the ball rolling and after that there was no stopping us. The second anxiety? when we went back to plenary. Who was going to speak on behalf of the group? Again I volunteered but thereafter we took turns.

It was interesting to gain the views of others and at least I could ascertain that my own thinking was not at a tangent to anyone else’s!

What did you learn about the Sfard paper itself? Were some parts of the session more useful than others in this respect?

I cannot say I learned anything about the paper but at least the session reinforced my own interpretation. Some useful points were made and it was good to chat ‘live’ with other students as the momentum of a discussion is not lost.

Can you come to any (perhaps tentative) views about the pros and cons of Elluminate for the task you were set, in the context of a Masters module of this kind? Do you feel, for example, that this synchronous event carries more status when compared with online forums?

To me, Elluminate is good when it works! It is definitely a good medium for discussion but I would not say it has any more status it is just a different medium. The fact the break-out groups were small though was definitely an advantage as I can imagine with any more and it would have been difficult to share views.

How far, if at all, would Elluminate or a similar tool be useful in your own context?

I already use Elluminate so it is useful in my own context.

How would you design the activities?

I would choose an essay or problem type question to discuss and use break-out rooms.

If you are already using a tool of this kind, how do the activities you run compare with the session you have just completed?

Now this is where the session has opened my eyes. I tend to try to emulate a face-to-face tutorial but keeping it simple like this i.e. discussing one topic (Bitesize almost) is much more beneficial.

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