As I write the draft for this blog post I am struggling through a tutorial using Adobe Connect, it is coming from the USA, and quite frankly, I am surprised that I am still signed in. I have discovered that on this internet connection I can stream a YouTube video smoothly, but I can’t listen to smooth audio in this tutorial. Adobe connect is supposedly the best online tutorial software available, and for me it is not working.
At Cornerstone conducting tutorials via Google hangouts, and have really struggled with some aspects of them. At the same time, many students who are not able to come in to campus have found the tutorials to be very helpful. Some have especially appreciated the ability to watch recordings of the tutorials.
What I have learnt tonight is that even when technical things go wrong, we can still learn a lot. An engaged learner, somebody who actually wants to learn, will be able to gain important information even from the glitchiest tutorial.
We have struggled with:
- Poor connections
- Not being able to hear one presenters
- Not knowing all of the technical aspects of this software.
Perhaps it is not our Institution or our software alone that are struggling so much. There is perhaps another systemic issue at play that hampers the delivery of great webinars and online tutorials in South Africa. Either way, here is a summary of some lessons learnt.
What I have discovered through this 1.5 hour struggle:
- As I am listening to bits and pieces, and seeing bits of slides, I am getting links to valuable content and hearing snippets of good stuff.
- It is frustrating that the audio comes and goes, but I am able to have a space to think and work while this lesson is going on in the background ever now and then.
- Even a glitchy tutorial can be valuable, it becomes what the student makes of it.
- Visuals communication is very important when presentation is not smooth.
Some important resources and ideas that I have found as a result of this:
- The Eight Roles of Online Educators
- 10 Principles of Online Education
- Components of a comprehensive Course Syllabus
- “Having a class Facebook page is a help”
Stay tuned for the next few blogs based on important lessons I learnt through this seminar that went so badly.