Posts Tagged virtual classroom

Lessons Learned: Implementation of a Virtual Classroom

Recently, at the 2009 Creating Futures Through Technology Conference me and one of my colleagues gave a presentation entitled, “Lessons Learned: Implementation of a Virtual Classroom.”      

In this presentation we discussed the implementation of Wimba Classroom at The University Southern Mississippi.  Southern Miss implemented the virtual classroom in phases, choosing to do a pilot before full implementation.  We discussed the lessons we learned throughout the implementation process.  We also included a discussion on the policy and procedures that were developed to effectively deal with any issues.

As illustrated in the presentation slides we are using Wimba Classroom in different ways out our institution, including academic and non-academic uses.   We developed a set of best practices to assist instructors as they are preparing to incorporate a virtual classroom into their course which are also discussed.  As a result of what was learned during the pilot and implementation, we also found that the training we offered needed to evolve in different ways to be of the greatest benefit to our institution.  To learn more about what we discussed, view the slides from our presentation below…

Lessons Learned: Implementation of a Virtual Classroom
View more presentations from ahornton.
Advertisements

Leave a Comment

A Research Study on the Use of Wimba Classroom

Recently at the 2009 Wimba Connect conference me and my colleagues gave a presentation on “A Research Study on the Use of Wimba Classroom.”  

The University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss) chose to implement a virtual classroom due to the increase of fully online courses being offered and the need to accommodate different types of courses through an online medium.  Many of the departments that were asked to put courses fully online were concerned about the lack of interaction and student engagement tools available.  Southern Miss decided to investigate the feasibility of adding a tool to our current Learning Management System, Blackboard, that would increase opportunities for student-to-instructor and student-to-student interaction.  After auditioning applications from several different companies, Southern Miss decided that Wimba Classroom was the best fit for the goals and objectives it had set out to achieve.

Southern Miss began implementation of Wimba Classroom in spring 2007 with a pilot group of 15 faculty across multiple disciplines.  The University entered full implementation in summer 2007.

To evaluate the implementation of Wimba Classroom, instructor and student perspectives, and the impact on student engagement and learning outcomes, two survey instruments were developed.  A survey instrument was created to administer to instructors and a separate survey instrument was created to administer to students.  The survey instruments were sent to the instructors who used Wimba Classroom for their courses.  The instructors were asked to distribute the student survey to the students in their course.  The surveys were collected and the data was analyzed.

Results to be discussed in the session include items such as: (1) all the instructors and more than half of the students had used collaboration software prior to using Wimba Classroom, (2) students reported that they found learning to use Wimba Classroom easier than did their instructors, and (3) instructors reported using application sharing more than twice as much as their students.

We are currently revising the instruments and preparing to administer the questionnaires to multiple institutions, which use Wimba classroom. Data collected will be compared to see if findings are consistent across multiple institutions and provide further evidence for the generalizability of these findings. The data collected in the evaluation of the pilot are outlined in the following presentation.

A Research Study on the Use of Wimba Classroom
View more presentations from ahornton.

Comments (2)

The Pilot Use of Wimba at USM

Recently, at the 2009 Creating Futures Through Technology Conference, me and two of my colleagues presented on “The Pilot Use of Wimba at USM.”  In this session we discussed why The University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss) chose to use Wimba classroom, the pilot implementation phase in spring 2007, and the evaluation of that implementation.   We discussed the methodology and the instruments used to conduct the research study as well as the results of the data analysis and the conclusions. Results discussed in the session included items such as: (1) all of the instructors and more than half of the students had used collaboration software prior to using Wimba Classroom, (2) students reported that they found learning to use Wimba Classroom easier than did their instructors, and (3) instructors reported using application sharing more than twice as much as their students.  We have revised the instruments and are preparing to administer the questionnaires to multiple institutions, which use Wimba classroom. Data collected will be compared to see if findings are consistent across multiple institutions and provide further evidence for the generalizability of these findings.  Below are the slides from our presentation…
Pilot Use Of Wimba At USM
View more presentations from ahornton.

Leave a Comment

WizIQ

I found a new Web 2.0 tool that is pretty cool.  It is a free virtual classroom called WizIQ.  You must create an account to be able to use the virtual classroom, but it is free.  You can create meeting times and invite other members to attend.  It allows you hold live meetings with audio and video.  It also has a text chat area.  It allows you upload content that will show up in the content area for everyone in the room to see.  It has a great eBoard toolbar with all kinds of visual tools to use to make annotations on top of your content (very impressed by the amount of options on the toolbar).  It has a tabbed content interface to allow you to have multiple content open at the same time.  It has a large set of math symbols to use as well.  When I tested it with a colleague the audio and video worked very well.

The meetings are archived, but I couldn’t figure out how long the archives would be available for me to view.  There are some other things that would be nice to have, such as application sharing, breakout rooms, and a call-in phone number for users that might not have a microphone.  With that said, for a free application, this is a very nice.  There is a premium membership that you can pay $49.95/year for additional features.

Comments (2)

Virtual Classrooms are a new way to improve distance education

Virtual classrooms are becoming more popular in distance education. A virtual classroom is a virtual meeting room space that is fully-featured with audio, video, text chatting, and application sharing. It also includes an electronic white board, and allows the instructor to upload their presentations and images to share with the class. The virtual classroom will also give the instructor the user management tools to control the classroom. Some examples of virtual classrooms on the market include Eluminate Live and Wimba Live Classroom.

The video and audio in virtual classrooms allows for the simulation of a face-to-face course. It makes it possible for courses that might not have been able to be online in the past because of the lack of interaction now possible. There are some hindrances to using virtual classrooms in courses. It is not always possible for students to have the technology that is needed to make it effective. For example, using a dial-up connection can often make the experience very difficult.

We use Wimba Classroom which has really helped enhance our distance learning programs. For courses that really needed a way to interact effectively it has helped tremendously to make that happen.

Comments (1)