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Paige Cuffe: Design template/tools for Elluminate/Blackboard and similar environments.

Looking to develop ways of presenting session plans so the 'movement' through the session is visualised before implementation

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Paige Cuffe
13 January 2013

I work for the Open University, UK primarily as an Associate Lecturer.  I have worked on a variety of modules, using blended and online-only learning.  Much of my additional work is on online student forums, both module and faculty wide.  I am increasingly working with others in designing sessions for Elluminate tutorials which is the online classroom software we currently use.  The environment is essentially the same as Blackboard.  These sessions are intended for use by tutors with Level 1 students in pscyhology, though some work for Level 1 science has been undertaken.

Finding tools to plan and illustrate the planning for this unique environment is something I would like to be exploring.   I think that better visual representation suited to this environment will aid design and communication between those working on the session design.

The sense of physical presence, and the experience of that, is easily neglected as the online classroom is usually treated as a flat environment.  The positive and negative effect of leaving the main whiteboard area to go into a virtual breakout room and undertake small group work, or presenting students with external links (such as by linking to other sites on the main whiteboard) needs to be considered in design.  The flow of a session is difficult to visualise with the tools readily available at present. 

I have done some preliminary work on this and would love to work with others familiar with this environment.

I have loyalty cards for all the major supermarkets in my wallet ;-)  I am equally unrestricted in pedagogical approach, believing there is more than one way of doing things because more than one way is needed.  However, I do favour designing more for group work and discovery so lean towards constructivist.

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