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Development – Scenario 2

Development Scenario 2

Not all development has to proceed in a linear fashion. In fact, there are times that this approach will not yield the kind of results you might have hoped for when moving online. The following approach is quite different from Scenario 1.

Retaining the feel of a face-to-face environment

This scenario depends on a very “hands-on” approach by the instructor. Instructors who enjoy the dynamic nature of a classroom environment, and want a similar experience online, can do so by using synchronous tools such as Blackboard Collaborate, which is an online conferencing tool that allows you to “meet” students virtually, in an environment that includes a whiteboard for graphic illustrations, the ability to speak to each other via voice or chat, and for you to show videos or PowerPoint slides and narrate them at the same time (as you might in a classroom).

Rather than relying on course texts and online notes for content, your scheduled Blackboard Collaborate sessions become the focus of the students’ online course experience. You will probably want to schedule at least one session per week. Try to achieve a balance between the number of sessions and any activities or outside reading your students will need to do to prepare for the sessions.

You will need to decide how to structure the sessions. As an example, you might start by introducing the topic, then use PowerPoint or video for the heart of the session, and a wrap up with a 10 minute question and answer period. Try to allow interactive time to keep the sessions lively; a long video or PowerPoint presentation will not be as effective as short, to-the-point presentations that hold the students’ interest. Remember that this is also a chance for your students to get to know you and each other, and to learn through engaged conversations and shared experience.

Commitment required

The structure of this kind of scenario lends itself to very involved, enthusiastic and hands-on instructors and students who are prepared to give up the flexibility of a more traditional distance course for a very focused, immersive experience. Students will have to commit to being available for the Blackboard Collaborate (or other conferencing software) sessions.

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