Tonight, the for-credit students of #eci831 met tonight for the first time in Blackboard Collaborate. This was my first time using this tool since its former incarnation, Elluminate, was purchased by Blackboard. From a technical standpoint, the session ran relatively error-free, and I was actually quite impressed by the user-interface changes in the latest version. That being said, I’m still hoping that a FOSS web-conferencing tool (e.g., Big Blue Button) matures enough to be a viable option for (open) courses like this.
Tonight’s meeting was with credit students only (non-credit students are invited started September 20/11). In past semesters, I have made the mistake of inviting everyone at once (credit, non-credit) and that has resulted in some anxiety for the credit students. An initial private/closed session seems to be appropriate for describing the format of the course, going over assessment details, allowing for student introductions, and encouraging the voicing of questions and concerns.
Tonight’s introductory class included a welcome & introductions, a quick overview of Blackboard Collaborate, and a longer overview of the course (i.e., format, assignments & expectations, key communication tools, and the overall philosophy). I’ve created a Google Doc with more detailed notes & recommended readings – this document will be updated after each session, and participants are free to add details I may have missed.
The recording of tonight’s session is available here. I made a bit of an error starting the recording so the first minute or so is garbage, but if you let it play for about a minute or so, it will jump to the start of the session (somewhere around 1:41).
Those who were part of this session, did I miss something important? Feel free to add to the Google Doc or comment below.
See you all next week.