Thursday, June 19, 2008

My little teaching dilemma

I am about to start developing a short online post-graduate course for registered midwives. It has to be delivered in a closed environment, probably Blackboard. The course only runs for 7 weeks. The course is about reflective practice and is focusing on the midwives developing and/or expanding their professional portfolios.

Introducing midwives to social networking
I am really keen to introduce learning by social networking ie not just deliver written lectures in PowerPoint to download, but to encourage active participation by using social networking tools.

So, being mindful of time constraints and the fact I probably have to stay in BlackBoard, how can I introduce social networking in a way that will not overwhelm the midwives, but give them a taste of what can be achieved? The other thing I have to remember is that some of the students will only have access to dial-up Internet.

Collecting resources in
One of the easy things I can do is collect online resources in with a tag specific to the course, instead of storing them in BlackBoard. By requiring the students to have their own accounts, at least I will be able to introduce them to the idea of sharing resources.

Any other ideas?
I'd be grateful for your thoughts and suggestions.

Image: 'Talking Girls-- Edit 2' Beppie K


Sarah Stewart said...

Suggestions from Leigh Blackall:

Guest speakers?
10 minute demos of the little things?
Only use social media in the course?

Sarah Stewart said...

Another thing I could do is use video. I could video a few midwives who can give their tips on how they develop/use their portfolios.

Sarah Stewart said...

Suggestions from my Twitter network:

use some of the Common Craft 'plain english' videos to explain things

group blog they share resources, anecdotes etc together.

Maybe a shared delicious account they all add resources to?

Angela said...

Hi Sarah
we've found the use of wikis in blackboard can be a really good way of both getting students to work together and to produce some robust and thorough shared information and as a social space to share info about each other, their views and thoughts etc. Not sure how the dial up only access may affect this though.
Good luck with it all

Sarah Stewart said...

Suggestion from David:

Has to be delivered entirely in a closed environment?

I presume students would be allowed to search the internet for relevant material.
What's the line here between what is acceptable, and what isn't?

Could you direct them through Blackboard, but give them exercises to take part in outside of the Blackboard shell (e.g. set up a FB profile, and find as many ways as you can to communicate with each other about X topic)?


Sarah Stewart said...

Kia ora Sarah

The Blackboard Discussion Board is quite usable and although it is within a tight structure, which suits novices, it is easy to discuss ideas (and share resources) It is also simple to put web links in for them. I think having to go somewhere else and logon using something different is likely to be more confusing than keeping it in Blackboard. I know that is not social networking in the Web 2.0 sense, but they will be interacting with each other and with you and isn’t that what you want. If they become familiar with this safe easily managed mode, then towards the end of the course you could offer alternatives for ongoing links when Blackboard is not available. They might be ready for that by then.