Friday, December 10, 2010

V-Portals from the Open World

Curt Bonk, author of The World is Open, announced in his blog last week that he has designed and produced a series of 27 brief (7 to 10 minutes each) videos about teaching online. He's calling it the "V-Portal" for "Video Primers in an Online Repository for e-Teaching And Learning" and you can access the series at the V-Portal here. They're also conveniently available on YouTube here as a playlist. I recommend them for anyone interested in professional development, individual discovery, or introducing a topic related to online instruction to an audience or planning group.

Here's the topic list:
1. Planning an Online Course
2. Managing an Online Course: General
3. Managing an Online Course: Discussion Forums
4. Providing Feedback
5. Reducing Plagiarism
6. Building Community
7. Building Instructor and Social Presence
8. Online Relationships: Student-Student, Student-Instructor, Student-Practitioner, Student-Self
9. Fostering Online Collaboration/Teaming
10. Finding Quality Supplemental Materials
11. Blended Learning: General
12. Blended Learning: Implementation
13. Blended Learning: The Future
14. Online Writing and Reflection Activities
15. Online Visual Learning
16. Using Existing Online Video Resources
17. Webinars and Webcasts
18. Podcasting Uses and Applications
19. Wiki Uses and Applications
20. Blog Uses and Applications
21. Collaborative Tool Uses and Applications
22. Hands-On/Experiential Learning
23. Coordinating Online Project, Problem, and Product-Based Learning
24. Global Connections and Collaborations
25. Assessing Student Online Learning
26. Ending, Archiving, Updating, and Reusing an Online Course
27. Trends on the Horizon

Each video provides a good overview of its topic and suggestions for instructors considering using the relevant technology. For example, Topic 17 (Webinars and Webcasts) mentions most of the major players in the Web conferencing and lecture capture arena, with examples, and includes these suggestions for instructors:
  • Have an orientation/practice session before your first "live" Web conference with students
  • Check (at least 15-20 minutes early) to make your equipment works
  • Explain the purpose of the session/task
  • Schedule breaks for your students
  • Avoid talking for more than 15 or 20 minutes without pausing
  • Use polls or surveys to engage students
  • Archive the event for students who miss it
  • Review what you've covered at the end of the session
  • Follow up a synchronous experience with an asynchronous one (or vice versa)
  • Hang a "Do Not Disturb" sign outside your office door (and keep water handy)
  • Select a time that takes all students into account
  • Embed synchronous sessions where and when they best fit
  • Create an agenda for each session
  • Give students tips and guidelines for the Web conferencing technology
  • Be highly organized but flexible
  • Attend faculty development sessions on Web conferencing if possible
Good advice, and well presented! Thank you, Dr. Bonk.

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