1. What were your experiences and feelings during the session?
Using Elluminate helped me communicate with other students of the H800 course. Through such an experience doubts and problems are shared, thus I could see that problems I encounter are similar to those of other participants. This syncrounous experience provided a good ground to put in practice the participation methapor . As discussed in Sfard’s article, the teacher’s role was that of an expert participant which provided a learning environment for all the peripheral participants. Being eight participants seemed to be a bit confusing at first although being able to discuss the articles in a breakout room (3 participants) proved to be a good challenge to put in place the ideas posed by Sfard and Bayne. On the other hand as we discussed, this amount of participation depends on the type of course and student age/maturity.
Also it was interesting to notice that I felt much more at ease using the texting rather then the microphone. Maybe this preference might change over time through further experience.
2. What did you learn about the Bayne chapter itself? Were some parts of the session more useful than others in this respect?
In the session it was very interesting to view what each participant had to say about the way they view on line identity. Regarding my choice ‘Kijt’, it was interesting to notice the reaction of other participants which saw it as a linguistic difference in descriptions. It has been agreed that a metamorphosis in identity when shifting from the real to on line world is not considered as dangerous but as a ‘normal’ consequence of getting online.
Another important point mentioned in the breakout room by Kim was, Identity change is a methapor or a biproduct ?
3. Can you come to any (perhaps tentative) views about the pros and cons of Elluminate for the task you were set, in the context of a Masters course of this kind? Do you feel, for example, that this synchronous event carries more status when compared with online forums? (You’ll remember from Week 3a that Goodyear (2006) argues that this is the case.)
As mentioned in part 1, Elluminate is a good way to share taughts about the course. Moreover the blend of synchronous and assynchronous tools (Elluminate and First Class) makes the student work at his own pace when discussing weekly activities, thus giving more time to reflect on what is being learned. Elluminate used through time slots
4. How far, if at all, would Elluminate or a similar tool be useful in your own context?
In Malta’s context distance is not an issue due to the the small dimensions. Thus using Elluminate instead of a physical class environment might not seem initially worth it. On the other hand after second toughts, Elluminate can be used to consolidate the formal lesson. Students might be asked to use this tool to discuss and organise their ideas about specific lessons.
5. How would you design the activities?
6. If you are already using a tool of this kind, how do the activities you run compare with the session you have just completed?
I don’t use such a tool. The tool which I use the Yahoo group, which I find quiet good for my students to post any problems or queries that they might be facing. I feel that such an experience makes my students participate more in their learning process.