Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Turning a near disaster into a learning experience
The symposium follow-up session on Eduserv Island went very well today, with about 34 people attending.
But it was very nearly a disaster...
I blogged earlier about the PanelPod software that I've been developing to automatically chair the session. Oh boy, how wrong was I!? I dunno how many hours I put into the PanelPod scripting, but I completely mis-read the effect that it would have on the discussion.
Not that the software crashed or anything... but by putting the chairing/queuing system in the way of people's discussion and by making people put up their hands before speaking I completely destroyed and kind of natural flow to the discussion in the room.
To be more positive, it was an interesting experiment. After about 10 minutes of very stifled discussion the talk turned to what was wrong - my queuing system! :-( I turned it off and very quickly the discussion flowed more naturally.
The result was a very interesting debate involving many of the people in the room and covering quite a wide range of topics including how to get learners engaged with SL, what makes it an exciting environment, how assessment might or might not work in SL and so on.
We'll do a longer blog entry on the eFoundations blog in due course. For now, just note that a transcript of the session is available if you want to see what went on.