very useful meeting

We had the opportunity to have a chat on Skype, the 2 PBL tutors who participate in the trial and myself. I should have done this before the trial started… communication is so much more effective when you actually talk to the other person… and can clarify things faster. It somehow feels less complicated. In a written message it is easy to loose track and mis-understand or not understand at all. I am happy that we managed to find the time to have that skype chat today. Issues were identified and some of them resolved. Collectively, we came up with some solutions. I think one of the most significant one is the use of categories when posting. Introducing the ones below, will make things easier for everybody.

For me as well, since I am most of all interested in how participants experience this trial and their reflective accounts. This new system, will help me identify their reflections with a mouse click. Super… if, of course, the categories are used. Somebody will have to monitor in the background if that is the case and this will be me.

We decided to introduce the use of categories

    Reflections
    Welcome
    Questions
    PBL

for now to make it easier to access what is posted. All existing posts have now been categorised. We need to let participants know to select one of the above categories when they post something new.

Also, it would be good to untick the ‘allow pings’ button before publishing something new that we don’t get everybody else’s posts within the trial space. Not excactly sure how pinging works but outside posts seem to be linked to ours. COuld I maybe change the default settings? Will have to check that one out as well.

It was also suggested that PBL tutors could subscribe to receive email notifications of any new posts, which would save a lot of time and energy checking the trial space and keeping on top about what is happening. We need to let participants know about that as well because it will make things easier for them as well.

How I feel at the moment? I think PBL tutors have now a better understanding of the trial and what is planned to happen and their involvement. Already PBL tutors have taken a more active approach and are establishing an online presence among the participants and have started engaging in a dialogue.

The weekend has started but I can’t stop thinking about this trial.

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2 thoughts on “very useful meeting

  1. Hi Chrissi,

    Thought I’d check in here.

    From my perspective, categories are vital and it’d be useful to be able to create them as well as just choose them. Any chance of having the “core” categories that you’ve listed plus additional ones that participants can create? That way we can use multiple categories, which makes searching a lot easier, especially when there’s a lot of posts.

    WRT to the tutors getting email notifications, another option could be subscribing to the RSS feeds either in Googlereader or another RSS aggregator. I use Net News Wire to track around 200 sites and am automatically notified every time there’s a new post and/or comments.

    Skype is indeed a great thing and will be vital, I think. Other online collaborative spaces could also be useful – things like Googledocs, for example, or screen sharing (https://join.me/). I notice that the questions board hasn’t yet been used – something I’ll write about another time in relation to the problems of WP as a task-specifc platform rather than using a full VLE (much though I dislike WebCT) or a system like Pebblepad. Anyhow, thoughts for the future – and I will incorporate my comments here into my reflections.

    Have a good weekend.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for your thoughts. As mentioned in my original post, I fully understand the importance of categories and please feel free to create additional ones when adding posts. You should be able to do that before or after publishing any post. Please let me know if that is not the case.

    Regarding notifications, I have changed a default setting and you should now all receive notifications of new/edited posts. This is how I saw your last post ‘reflections on reflections’ to which I posted a comment ;o)

    Thanks also for your suggestions about other tools that could be used.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend and speak again soon,
    Chrissi

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