Monday, October 29, 2007

How to Create On-line University Courses in Electronic Archiving: Part 13 - How it Went

In Part 12 I looked at the first day of the course on Electronic Document Management course. Most of the problems with room setup were fixed for day two and day three went well.

The computer lab used had no dedicated instructor's workstation. On day one I had used my own laptop, but found that the different setup of software on it caused some confusion when demonstrating to the students. On day two I found that I could plug the video projector into one of the front row student workstations and (after lowering the screen resolution) use that as the instructors system. To allow me the freedom to move, I used a wireless keyboard and mouse, plugging the USB transceiver into the workstation (no problems with Linux).

This could be a very good arrangement to use for rooms which are only occasionally used for presentations. Instead of having one workstation dedicated full time to the instructor and thus unusable for students most of the time, one of the student machines could be used.

What could also be of use is a mobile lectern. This need not be as sophisticated as RSISE's triple boot lectern. The main point would be that the lectern could be placed where the instructor wants it and then moved out of the way when not needed. A wireless keyboard and mouse could be fixed to the podium and the USB transmitter and video plug attached to an available workstation. By not relying on a workstation in the podium, this would increase flexibility and ensure compatibility with the student machines.

Problems with Moodle on the first day were resolved on day two. The Moodle system provided very effective at administering an open book examination. The examination questions were supplied as a Moodle "assignment". The system was set to provide the examination and accept submissions during a set period. The examination was carried out in the room under supervision (not remotely). The students were instructed to copy the question sheet into the answer window and modify it to add their answers. This was done in preference to using Moodle's "quiz" facility as the student had no used that during the course and so would not be familiar with its use.

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