A few weekends ago those readers who also see my Twitter feed would have been overwhelmed by the traffic from a CPE#01 hash tag. It is now time to ‘spill the beans’ on this event so to speak.
I want to update you on some of our e-learning activities. Last Saturday we ran an e-learning event called ‘the Big Day Out’ for our students in CPE’s quantitative methods subject running over summer school.
The event was held in the Kwong Lee Dow Centre, we streamed live lectures and activities to a number students (8) around the world, we also had students attending the event in person (15) . Students online and in attendance were able to communicate with one another through the live stream and tweeter, students could see all the threads and discussions online through twitterfall. CPE now has its own twitter account!
The #CPE01 was one element of a workshop associated with an online subject run by the Centre for Program Evaluation. While a number of students who are locally based attended physically, others who are located across Australia and overseas attended online. The initial scope was for twenty people attending in person and approximately five participating online from different geographical regions.
There were two primary objectives.
1.) Students who could not attend the workshop physically could attend virtually (and synchronously) through video based web conference. Students will be able to see and hear but they may have to communicate via chat [ie. broadcast]
2.) Students who could not attend physically and cannot attend the workshop synchronously could access a recorded video file of the workshop after the event.
Video – The video component for these sessions used UStream for both the live broadcast and the archives of the sessions. The ‘channel’ that was used was the basic free service which contained advertisements – for this reason the broadcast will start 5 minutes before the presentations commence.
Audio and video for UStream via Skype-A-Raptor allowing for Pan-Tilt-Zomm on the camera and multiple microphone inputs.
Due to the live broadcast nature of the channel there ise a delay between the classroom and the video.
All students were able to test their computers to ensure that their video and audio would work on the day. The test was to check that the test video plays in their web browser for receiving both video and audio.
☑ For some background information regarding the use of UStream in education, please read the Educause write up 7 things you should know about Ustream
Chat – Although UStream does have chat functionality, to allow for greater collaboration we used a Twitter back channel for these sessions.
Authoritative information from the class was via the Twitter account @MGSECPE and questions were directed to this account. General discussion was via the Hash Tag #CPE01 to allow for filtering and search tools. Participants were reminded to keep in mind that all standard Tweets are published in public when posting.
Students were also advised that for technical support they could Tweet using the #CPE01 hash tag as the venue Technician was following the discussion and could assist directly.
☑ For some background information regarding the use of Twitter in education, please read the Educause write up 7 things you should know about Twitter
Heads up – For those not participating in the Twitter chat, but wishing to observe the discussion we recommended the following web based search/compilation tools;
In the room we used twitterfall in conference mode;
Overall a very successful event. The following are some issues that would be addressed in a followup event;
* Many in room participants forgot about the broadcast and wandered off camera (even using the PTZ camera) and walked away from the microphones. A ‘guidelines’ handout for reference before the day for both presenters and participants may help to identify and give a general awareness of these issues and the impact on remote participants.
* Issues following the power point slides for remote participants (slides had been distributed to view locally), Twitter was used to refer to slides via slide number.
Parallel streaming of the slides or moving from UStream to a virtual classroom (Adobe Connect, WebEx, Elluminate)
* Returning from breaks: suggest that there is a tweet that goes out 2 mins before saying about to come back- so students on line know the session is about to commence.
* The advertising on UStream was distracting, some students used add blockers to work around this. A paid channel may be more appropriate.