As part of the iLearn upgrade in February, one of the new features is an online collaboration space, aptly called Collaborate!
The use of Collaborate for virtual classrooms was successfully trialled in 2013 as part of LTC’s Faculty Partnership Program in an introductory Chinese language unit. The academic was able to hold a web conference to introduce the objectives and activity for the session, send students in pairs to ‘break out rooms’ to undertake the learning activity, then regroup for a debrief of the activity. These sessions were also recorded and available to students after the live event.
Collaborate allows for real-time, synchronous engagement so there are many possibilities:
- Collaboration space for group work
- Language studies
- Virtual lab experiments
- Guest expert lecture or interview
- Authentic role play
- Student presentations
- Tutoring for external students
- Virtual meeting spaces
- Virtual consultation hours
- Meeting space for academics and their tutors, meeting space for departments, etc
Collaborate tools include:
- Session recordings
- Desktop sharing
- Engagement tools (emoticons, polling, hand raising to ask questions)
- Communication tools (microphone, chat, application sharing)
So now you’re hooked and want to know more? Sit tight and stay tuned, more details will be posted when available for use but if you’re as keen as mustard, lodge a OneHelp ticket expressing your interest in using Collaborate.
What do you do at the LTC?
I am a Systems Administrator and my main focus is supporting the Echo360 platform. A lot of time is spent looking after server and data storage infrastructure and also the 100 odd Echo360 capture devices that create classroom recordings.
What is the most interesting part of your job?
I’ve found interest in the ways that technologies, which may have originated say as a business tool or for entertainment, can be adapted to support education. I enjoy technical challenges and being able to work creatively to find solutions. I’ve always been interested in gadgets with lots of flahing lights, and our learning systems infrastructure has lots of those. I’m situated within a very supportive and adept team which makes the job seem less like work, and more like shared goals.
What did you do before you joined us?
Having studied to be an audio engineer, I worked at a music studio for several years. A lot of what I did at the studio, such as working with analogue audio systems, troubleshooting faults and pacifying drunken rock stars was surprisingly relevant when I started work at Macquarie in 2003.
How did you come to be working with us?
Through a contact I knew working at Macquarie. My first position at the University was a technical support role within the AV department. Back then, I don’t recall there being a formal interview, but there were a lot of questions asked about the potential value and technical aspects of using the internet to deliver lecture recordings.
By far my greatest challenge in that role was correctly inserting 35mm slides into the slide carousel. Each slide had a 75% chance of being back-to-front, upside-down… or both.
What do you do when you’re not working at the LTC?
I can still be found hanging around music studios and playing in bands.
What’s the most adventurous or dangerous thing you have ever done?
Some years ago a friend and I decided to start a rally racing team. Armed with a 1970’s Mini Clubman, we honed our rally driving skills by weaving amongst the trees in a paddock at my mate’s family property at Kenthurst. Despite what you might think, the actual danger came in the form of several engine modifications, which apparently made the car go faster, but also caused the engine to catch fire.