At the Weingarten Learning Resources Center, we offer workshops (and private appointments) on study skills and strategies, but recently we decided to try a new medium: online workshops using Adobe Connect.
When my supervisor first asked if I was interested in giving an online workshop on math and science strategies, I was skeptical: as a teacher, I want a very interactive classroom. I want constant feedback from students – questions and comments of course, but also body language, tone of voice, etc – so I can adapt my presentation and facilitate discussion accordingly. I want students to be able to interact with each other, not just listen to me.
As it turns out, nearly all of this is possible with the Adobe Connect web conferencing software. With the help of the amazing and ever-patient Weigle staff, my Weingarten colleagues and I were able to learn how to use the program to present powerpoint slides and images with audio, while at the same time allowing the audience to participate by voting or “chatting” their responses and ideas about certain questions. At any time, participants could post comments in a chat box for all to see, or, if they had more personal questions, they could initiate a private chat with a Weingarten staff member or with a fellow student. We were also able to record the workshop to post as a video on our website.
We at Weingarten were thrilled with the outcome: the workshop attracted a larger number of students than we’d expected, some of whom were able to join us despite being away from campus. Participants reported that they really liked the online format for its convenience, flexibility, and the anonymity it allowed. We’re looking forward to offering more workshops in this format. Thanks to everyone at Weigle for teaching us how!
This post is authored by Amanda Kniepkamp, Learning Instructor, Weingarten Learning Resources Center (VPUL).