Collaborate Ultra in Three Acts: Act 1 – Testing the system (Case Study)

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Tracey Means – College of Arts – Lincoln School of Film and Media – Staff Profile

Digital Education support has been invaluable however after the briefings comes that point of putting it into practice:

One to one practice with a colleague is highly recommended as it enables thorough exploration, with the often said refrain, along the lines of:  Can you see that? Hear that? Find that?  Where is it?  An activity that gives rise to a level of confidence.  As there was a timetabled listed lecture, although in the week when delivery was suspended, it seemed an opportunity not to be missed for some form of contact.

In this first session participants where invited by Blackboard announcement with a Guest link. Individuals arrived swiftly into a toe-dipping Q&A session.  Technical issues ensued – as host whilst practicing you can establish the strength of your own connectivity (wi-fi extension boost plugs are useful).  Preferences can need tweaking through both ISP (internet service provider) and OS (operating system).  Moving into a session with participants, these technical issues and how to use the software application takes up the first few moments.  All subject to enough connectivity between yourself, the internet and individual participants, to make interactive contact possible.

Participants need a little introduction to this way of working – connectivity issues, moderation vs participation, allowing audio, allowing video, raising a hand and chat.  Collaborate, once over the bump of how it works, is an exceptional tool.

Post the guest Q&A, further exploration with a colleague augmented a sense of viable ability to not just deliver power-point but also the content of pdfs, via Preview.  Seamless delivery can be achieved when content has been pre-loaded, the opportunity for achieving this requires a session to be ‘created’ and in my experience to date ‘live’ – that is a collaborate session open for use – 15 minutes or 30 or longer before the formal start of a session.  Asking participants to be online 15 mins before the start of a session to get through technical issues is very useful as you can then get to the content of a session on time.