A few weeks ago, Oxford University learning technology expert Dave White sacrificed a Saturday lie-in to deliver a virtual keynote presentation at an event we were supporting.
Outlining his thoughts on MOOCs in relation to his research on digital visitors and residents, Dave questioned the role of higher education online. Does it provide the teaching required to further student’s ability to learn or is favouring those that are already educationally ‘rich’?
He went on to discuss how his research into modes of engagement online has informed his practice and the challenges of facilitating a ‘conversation at scale’ with students online and the positive influence the web should have on pedagogy.
Many thanks to Dave for this presentation and allowing us to share it here.
The recording is also available in Collaborate which includes the text chat and webcam feed.
Beaming a presenter in via Collaborate
The keynote was delivered remotely via Blackboard Collaborate as part of a conference built around an MSc in Technology Enhanced Learning, Innovation & Change – a course I’ve been studying through Sheffield Hallam University.
It’s an annual event that is student run and this year, Marc Bennett from Newcastle Uni and I took the lead and invited students and alumni from universities across the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands to Newcastle.
Dave’s talk certainly wasn’t the first time Collaborate has been used to manage this sort of thing but it was the first time I’d used it for beaming a presenter into a room of people.
Technically it worked really well and it also meant that at least this part of the conference was available to people who couldn’t travel to Newcastle.
Max participation via mobile app
One thing we did worked particularly well.
A possible problem with this arrangement is that any interaction through the platform has to be passed through a single machine that is being used for the linkup which can stifle participation.
Instead we advised people attending to download the mobile app for Collaborate before arriving and Marc provided a range of tablet devices with the app pre-installed.
This meant that individuals could participate in the backchannel without needing to be sat in a computer suite as well as bringing in attendees from outside the event.
Dave, for his part, was particularly good at responding to questions and comments in the chat as he went along.