Malcolm is delivering the Diploma of VET Practice, a level 5 teaching qualification, to a group of teaching staff at GippsTAFE. He is using a blended delivery method which relies heavily on the use of the online classroom, Elluminate. Malcolm chose to use Elluminate because it met the needs of the learner group who are all busy teachers spread over several different campuses. He was also keen to build the e-learning skills of the group as excellence in flexible delivery is a major goal for his organisation.
At the beginning of the program many of the group were unfamiliar with the use of an online classroom so Malcolm ran a series of practice sessions and set up a "help desk" to get over the initial teething problems. Some of the challenges they faced were problems with firewalls, different plugs on headsets and a general lack of familiarity with online classrooms. Shalene had many problems when trying to log into Elluminate due to the firewall on her home computer but she found the various systems Malcolm had put in place eventually helped her overcome these issues. Peter reported that the practice sessions had made him fell much more confident with the use of the online classroom environment.
The Diploma in VET is now well under way and is proving to be very successful. Malcolm's learners are making good progress and are becoming very comfortable with their Elluminate sessions.
Some of Malcolm's tips for using Elluminate were:
- have some one in the session to support the main presenter; the extra person can help with any technical issues and keep an eye on the text area during the session
- use breakout rooms to trouble shoot technical problems so the whole group is not held up
- provide orientation for your learners
- start slowly and progress slowly; don't try to use all the functionality at first
- take time to play with all the tools
- convert lengthy elluminate urls to tiny urls so that links don't get broken
- name your slides to make it easier to move to the correct one during a session
- record your sessions so absentees can catch up easily
- know your learner group; what are their needs and experience
- use ice breaker activities to make your learners comfortable and also to introduce them to some of the tools such as the interactive whiteboard
Thank you to Malcolm, Shalene and Peter for sharing their experiences with us.
The session was recorded so if you would like the link please contact me by email at: