Saturday, January 10, 2015

Olé Days 2 & 3

Days 2 and 3 of OLE offered participants more new ideas to refresh pedagogical perspectives and work on their course sites.

1. Moving Images (In both sense of the word "moving")

Collage of stills from VCU course video trailers' by VCU ALT Lab, Molly Ransome and team
Collage of video stills from course trailers of 4 VCU professors

Molly Ransome shared with the participants course trailers of Ryan Cales, Jason Coats, Dianne Jennings,  Gardner Campbell and a few other instructors. The trailers were each fabulous in their own ways. Gardner's trailer is a self-made one that made us chuckle (and I'm not saying this because he is the Vice Provost of the Office of Learning Innovation and Student Success where I work). Gardner shows us that anyone can make a video clip if in possession of a smartphone. His trailer is whimsically and distinctively HIM; I hear his voice (literally, figuratively). The session inspired one participant to make one of her own, right away, i.e. after class, that day. Holly Buchanan, I salute you!

Well done, Holly, Molly and Team Creative at ALT Lab! If I were a student in any of these cited courses, these trailers will help me feel less isolated from a community of online learners who I don't get to see -- unless someone posts a message or communicates in some way. I'd love to hear, see and connect a face to my online instructor from the very beginning of my learning experience. It sets the right tone.

2. Practice Makes Perfect ...

... is indeed a truism. I spoke for 20 minutes (thereabouts) four times on the same topic, at 4 different stations/tables, for our Digital Petting Zoo session. By the end of the fourth session, I was cruising. Any reservations I had -- about how to talk to new bloggers about blogging for connected learning in 20 minutes without any projector or display surfaces -- were banished. I used a combination of devices and apps -- participants had their laptops; I emailed or tweeted a shared document; I wrote short URLs on a piece of paper (which didn't seem to work very well)... But you learn to adapt quickly.

We had great conversations at each table. I've been thinking if 20 minutes is long enough, including time for moving to different tables. I do like keeping things concise though!

Digital Petting Zoo VCUOLE
Image of whiteboard writing surface, and Jon Becker, Director of VCU ALT Lab. 

3. An Enthusiastic Learning Community

We had two OLE cohorts -- one gathered at Monroe Park Campus and one at MCV Campus, where I was at. On two occasions, we were connected via video conferencing. My reflections are based on my interactions with the MCV cohort participants alone, who were minds-on and hands-on with their learning. They were so engrossed in their discussions that food was an afterthought on Day 3.

VCU School of Nursing Doctoral Nursing Program group
VCU School of Nursing's Doctoral Nursing Program faculty
Thank you again for the delightful discussions. See you at Agora or the e-highway soon!

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