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: email@example.com ph 0427282748
- Web pages
- Voice recording
- Skype/Zoom, video meetings
- 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org