Last week, I had the rare opportunity to facilitate a webinar on learning space design with Joan Lippincott, Henry Myerberg and Jeanne Narum. After the live WebEx webinar, I recorded my comments with a PowerPoint voiceover.
A wonderful side-effect was the chance to reconnect with colleagues. Marjorie Hassen, Director of the Bowdoin College Library, shared her insights with me about the planning for the Weigle Information Commons, the Education Commons and the Collaborative Classroom. Jeff Douthett at Classroom Technology Services reflected on space renovations around Penn and gave me a great sound bite for a future webinar when describing the disconnect between reality and hype: “You can’t strap a motor on a tricycle and call it a Harley.”
John MacDermott from SAS Computing and I talked about the active learning classrooms sprouting around campus this year. John recorded audio clips in response to my questions:
How did you explore user needs? (3 min)
What technology and furniture choices did you consider during planning? (1.5 min)
What factors affected your decisions? (1 min)
Any surprises along the way? (2 min)
Any suggestions for colleagues? (2 min)
In a live teaching situation, I gauge engagement by head gestures, smiles and eye contact. In a webinar, I end up wondering how it felt to be in the audience.
As in past experience, I found presenting this webinar unsettling. At one point, there were 100 locations that joined us. The concept that so many could hear my voice and see my slides while invisible to me did not feel natural. Fortunately, Jeanne, John and Henry kept the conversation light, helping break my sense of isolation.
When I teach in person, I rarely write a script or time myself. For this webinar, I edited and timed my script so many times!
Do you share my reactions to teaching online? Do let me know in your comments.