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

It was Thursday that I was due to go live with a Lecture to 106 students with a colleague on hand to handle chat and converse if needed.  This time working in a Created Session so that participants arrive using their own names.  Forty minutes before kick-off a ‘test’ of all this online connectivity went well.  Time to prepare the actual site and in this moment Collaborate and Blackboard went down.

Action in the heat of the moment:  I went on MS Teams to contact my colleagues to seek assistance and whilst waiting went immediately to the online timetable to get the student email addresses from the Module Timetable.  A holding email was sent with the suggestion of going live an hour later if possible, whilst looking for a Plan B or was that C.

Alternate options ranged from: postponing the session, to using OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) to record it for later upload to Blackboard.  Five minutes before the new start time in discussion with my colleague Sam we agreed to postpone, 90 seconds later Blackboard was available and with a swift shuffle and urgent call to Sam, we went Live.

The uptake to this live session was limited, was this the revised time slot, the pressing urgency of the looming dissertation deadline or the outside influence of travel plans on Thursday.  Other sessions have been bursting full with higher turnouts, where a colleague supporting chat is invaluable.  The materials for the planned session were not pre-loaded, this is one of those factors that it is impossible to avoid when software goes down, however all participants showed great patience with the technology and the time it took to upload whilst Live.  The session was delivered and recorded.  The recording is now available under Collaborate and sits alongside ‘standard lecture notes’ posted as notes would have been previously under Learning Materials within the module.