Online Supplement

Refresh

This inform­a­tion is for tutors who would like to consider possib­il­ities for deliv­ering some aspects of their course online during the Coronavirus shutdown which might be for an extended time. The page is being updated regularly so refresh or reload your page to ensure that you see the latest version.

Obviously a main ingredi­ents of U3A is face-to ‑face contact between tutors and members, but in the absence this in the current health emergency it would be great shame if the ideas held within U3A could not be commu­nic­ated an audience.

There are some quite powerful and flexible ways of getting a course message across using online resources of this website. I am happy to work with inter­ested tutors by phone and email to work out ways of achieving some course outcomes with online tools. You don’t need any special computer skills. I can do that part. Contact me to discuss some options.

John Travers, Web manager

Contact: jtravers@gmail.com ph 0427282748

Contents

  • Web pages
  • Voice recording
  • Comments
  • Skype/Zoom, video meetings
  • Blogging
  • Images, diagrams, charts

Web pages with text and images already exist for many courses on the Class Notes page. At present this is usually simple hand-out material. These pages can provide full course content in text, images, diagrams. Tutor can send me text and images in Word or Pages and I can post these as often as needed. Each course can have a page which can be a long as you like. It can include links to other online resources. Web links are of course very easy to add to web pages. The Shakespeare Reading page is a very good example of this, with many links to web sites and high quality YouTube video.

Voice record­ings are very easy these days. A mobile phone has good quality recording facility as does an iPad. If this suits you I would suggest making a series of about 2 minute record­ings, maybe in conjunc­tion with text and images. Audio can be much more expressive than text and can relate to on the screen images. Play the example below.

Some intro­ductory comments about recording

Comments can be allowed on your page so students can react to what is being presented. With some practice this can be very lively and allows a back and forth responses and discus­sion to take place. There are a couple of comments at the bottom of this page.

Video Conference software is idea for online learning. Skype is a long­standing player and Zoom is quickly growing compet­itor. Group video discus­sions take place outside this website. This medium is under huge use by business, families and education during the coronavirus shutdown. Many members are familiar with this commu­nic­a­tion which is very natural and allows some good use of visual inform­a­tion. These video classes can be supported by resources provided on this website.

The two providers are highly rated. Zoom is said to be more suited to online instruc­tion offering break-out groups and other features. However it limits session time to 40 min and is more expen­sieve i

Blogging is a serious engage­ment with online learning. A blog is a dedicated website that is perfect for online learning. Once set up an blog is easy to run, but is for those with reas­on­able confid­ence in using a computer. I have just intro­duced a fully online course through U3A called How to set up a travel blog. It is listed among U3A courses. While a travel blog is a common purpose, you can set-up any sort of blog. It takes a number of hours to work through the tutorial and may be of interest to anyone who would really like to dive into the use of the internet.

Email is obviously a powerful medium for commu­nic­ating with a group, and between indi­viduals. It is not just for the teacher to tell the class but allows feedback and comment. Tutors have access to email addresses of students and can set up a mailing list for the group. Again, this can refer to the course web page where images, diagrams, text and more can be posted.

Diagrams, charts, etc can readily be included. First draw a colourful diagram then photo­graph it, and email it to me. Modern mobile phones have excellent cameras and images can easily be cropped and enhanced if necessary.

Want to discuss some options? Contact John Travers at 0427282748 or jtravers@gmail.com

3 thoughts on “Online Supplement

  1. Thank you for your invit­a­tion for a virtual Circle Dancing lesson(s). I’d like to think that students would be dancing along with me at home unjoined exper­i­en­cing the body, mind & spirit benefits of a virtual Circle Dancing class room. I’d imagine this kind of concept would require a venue where the teacher could be filmed/video explaining, demon­strating & dancing & student access provided through Youtube link /FB tech­no­logy. Feedback by students via FB posts or emails would be good to build up group connectivity & provide feedback for teacher. Is the “what” and “how” possible for a virtual Circle Dancing classroom?

  2. Comments can be controlled quite tightly and given the right build up can produce lively discus­sion if a topic is inter­esting and a group of people parti­cipate. To post comments one needs to be logged in to WordPress, but this is easy, free, and ensures account­ab­ility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *