Virtual Classroom gets real at Macquarie

Psssst!  Have you heard about Collaborate?  No, not as in team work but as in Virtual Classroom.

Since February, Macquarie has been able to offer virtual classroom ability through iLearn.

Collaborate allows for real-time, synchronous engagement so there are many possibilities:

  • Collaboration space for group workScreen Shot 2014-02-03 at 2.34.58 pm
  • 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
  • Whiteboard
  • Desktop sharing
  • Engagement tools (emoticons, poll
    ing, hand raising to ask questions)
  • Communication tools (microphone, chat, application sharing)

The use of Collaborate for virtual classrooms was successfully trialled in two units in 2013 as part of LTC’s Faculty Partnership Program.  In an introductory Chinese language unit (read about the Biology unit here), the academic was able to run a live, virtual classroom 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 is a great tool but you do need to be prepared to practise to hone your skills.

So now you’re hooked and want to get into it?   Sign up for training!  Look out for iLearn Tools – Synchronous Virtual Classroom Basics with Collaborate on the LTC’s Workshops webpage.  Upcoming sessions are on the 23rd July and 11th August.