Tutor Meeting: what we said

Summary of the Tutors discus­sion via Zoom, May 7 *

*This is the final version of the summary origin­ally posted on May 8

Last week’s Board meeting (via Zoom) agreed to an invit­a­tion to Tutors to take part in a meeting via Zoom on coping with the shutdown. Nearly 30 met via Zoom nearly two hours. The following is a summary of the meeting.

It is unlikely that U3A will be back to normal for some months. The risk to elderly people in small rooms will deter members from returning to classes for some time, even when this is permitted. Room 4 has space for social distancing.

A modest number of estab­lished courses have continued since the shutdown with a majority of these using Zoom video meetings as their main platform. A small number of new online courses have opened with all but one using Zoom. There were strong support of the use of Zoom by tutors who have used it sofar. It is relat­ively easy to learn and parti­cipate. Some members are quite resistant to using it, and felt threatened by tech­no­logy. Some tutors find that Zoom is not suited to their class. In general newcomers to zoom quickly become comfort­able with it and enjoy the inter­ac­tion. Members should be encour­aged to join the class Come Zoom With Me which provides an indi­vidual intro­duc­tion to Zoom. 

It is likely that in the long term at U3A there will be a mixture of face-to-face course and online ones and hybrid classes

U3A should actively promote online learning and assist tutors (current and future) to manage classes online. It would be a good idea to have a forum or collec­tion of helpful comments, guides etc on how to use Zoom, and other means, effect­ively and effi­ciently… using the website.  [Done: see  Zooming category on this blog].

U3A should invest­igate getting a Business subscrip­tion to Zoom which may be cheaper than paying indi­vidual licences. 

An extensive tutorial was provided on the online enrolment and member­ship system, demon­strating how tutors can display enrol­ments, email a list and generally manage their class. Tutors were also reminded of the detailed guides for tutors and members that are on the website.

by John Travers

3 thoughts on “Tutor Meeting: what we said

  1. Thank you John, for organ­izing the exchange of ideas and experiences.

    I agree that the summary covers things well. On point 6, you might want to add that we discussed U3A invest­ig­ating the relative merits of acquiring a business licence under which all tutors could conduct Zoom sessions?

    Our group will continue our gentle buildup towards harnessing all this amazing technology.

  2. It was encour­aging to see so many tutors are the Zoom meeting, and it paves the way for wider outreach from U3A. While we are socially separated we can still be united in purpose.

    One encour­aging insight from the meeting was from one of our team who uses Zoom profes­sion­ally; they rein­forced that it has a very high level of encrypted security.

    Although really a ‘de-facto’ Zoom helper I learn a bit more about the ease and power, advant­ages and limit­a­tions of Zoom. Further, I also recognise that often we need someone to talk to about Zoom use — someone who is local, under­stands our needs and is not an automated computer response. Hence I would be happy to discuss with any of our people ways in which we can extend our Zoom skills.
    So, if at any time you need a Zoom chat (phone or video) even if just for a single issue, please contact me. 

    If you want a helpful tutorial there are plenty on the internet, or maybe run this one


    But beware, the actual instruc­tions may exper­i­ence minor changes as Zoom refines its system

    Roger Bills

  3. Agree all your points are accurate,John.
    Please add comments for the 2 live readings groups (Play reading and Shakespeare ) which tutors Joelie Hancock and Julanne Sweeney feel Zoom does not suit .

    Following are some of our reasons: Joelie : Too much is lost if we were not face-to-face. I agree with you Julanne. I can’t identify quite why that is.

    Good morning, Joelie . Do you think we should ask John to add an item for the LIVE READERS in our 2 groups saying Zoom does not suit the activity, quite apart from the diffi­culty of acquiring same texts? 

    I don’t think my group would be keen to meet on Zoom to discuss a play available on video or TV. Same for your group?

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