Image: Murray and Morgan 2009 bronwynannh

The first workshop was a good chance for six participants in the class to make eye contact with the facilitators and each other. Apologies for the really poor sound quality on Elluminate, it turns out the microphone was not properly connected so there was a lot of white noise which was pretty much drowning out the voices. We did get the web cam to work though so Steven and Jennifer got a look at most of the class.

The main thing to explore in the course is to explode the myth: Flexible learning is online learning. We start off in the course getting you to look at yourself as a teacher - are you a flexible teacherand how can you make this happen? Then we move into looking at the learners you are teaching or facilitating. The course blog will be used for regular announcements and summaries of the class activity so make sure you keep a close eye on the blog notices coming into the course wiki.

Whose in the running for a chocolate fish?

  • The first person to find the link to the course blog on the wiki, can win a chocolate fish. So let the class know on email (use reply all).
  • Everyone who gets their blog up and running in the first two weeks and posts their goals for the course to it also win a treat - follow the instructions on the course wiki - Orientation and introductions.
What happened in the first workshop?
You may wish to listen to a recording of the first Flexible Learning workshop on Wednesday 29 July 2009, but if it is too confusing, you will not have missed much if you work through the orientation exercise. One thing I suggested to the class is that they find a buddy (someone in the course) to study with or a mentor (someone who has done the course, maybe from their department).

The main things we did in the workshop were to look at the course schedule on the wiki and run through the orientation exercise. There was discussion around the concept of being a flexible teacher. There are dates for each topic, some take two weeks or three weeks and one topic is only one week long (educational organisations). If you can keep to the dates (approx 5-6 hrs work each week) you will be able to meet the deadline for the course - 27 November 2009. Apologies but we can't be flexible on this due to the need to get results into the student management system.

Class meetings - face-to-face and online
The on-campus participants would like weekly sessions to start with, on Wednesday lunchtimes - 1200-1300. These class meetings will predominantly be active sessions about flexible learning based on topics in the course.

We will start on Wednesday 5 August with a session on learning preferences - H208A. This coincides with an EDC workshop which is relevant to the flexible learning subject. I will run this separately as an online session for those off-campus. For assistance with digital media, e.g. blogs, there are other options - see further on.

Jennifer and I will also offer fortnightly online meetings (web-conferencing meeting link) starting on Wednesday 5 August at 1930 - 2030 - the first one is to make sure everyone is comfortable with the orientation requirements. You will need a microphone or headset to speak. This is for all participants and not just those who are at a distance.

Assistance setting up your blog
For assistance with setting up your blog and to find out how to get your blog the way you would like it, drop into the Forth Street Community Learning Centre (CLC) and ask for Lyn Blair who will assist you - afternoons are best.

Other assistance
  • Library workshops - using online databases and Google Scholar - Monday 10 August 1100 -1200 and Thursday 13 August 0900 -1000 - BG1 (back room ground floor) at the Bill Robertson library - 135 Union Street East, Dunedin.
  • Social Media workshops (wikis, blogs, video, manipulating and using digital material etc) at the George Street CLC every Tuesday at 1800-2000 hrs run by Veronique Olin and Leigh Blackall. When you are ready to explore other skills you will need for digital environments, these workshops will be ideal.


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