Ok, as always, some of us are comfy and moving along with this course, others are confused and wondering what to do. This message is an attempt to catch everyone up and contains information on the following:
- The course blog
- the Email forum
- Blackboard content
- Your blog
- Meetings and guest lectures
- Old timers are here to lead the way and help
- So what are you doing now?
The course blog
For up to date information on what you need to know and what you need to be doing is announced on the course weblog:
This is the most important link to remember as it will links out to and announce everything else that we will explore in this course. On the course weblog you will find:
This announcement, and all previous announcements
Links to the Blackboard content, course calendar, email forum website, and our regular online meeting space.
You will also see in the right hand column a range of up to the minute information such as what is being discussed in the email forum, links that have been referred to, up coming calendar events, and we will soon include up to the minute info from each participant's blog.
So yeah, the course weblog is 'city central'.
By now, everyone should be in the email forum and be receiving email loosely relating to this course. This email forum is informal, and intended as a place where we can discuss topics and share links and resources. If you prefer not to have these messages arrive in your email, you can adjust your personal preferences at the forum website.
Those of you who have worked out what the course blog is, will have seen a post (message) made by Bronwyn called Week 2. That post has in it instructions for what you should be focusing on in the Blackboard content. To repeat, it is the Persona exercises in module 2. Unfortunately I can't link you directly to those exercises so you'll just have to click that link to Blackboard and navigate your way into the modules :(
The welcome post in this blog mentioned that you should aim to have set up your own personal weblog by mid August. That's now - we've received a couple of web addresses to participant blogs, looking forward to receiving more. The Blackboard exercise also requires you to have a blog created.
Meetings and guest lectures
We have regular online meetings to talk to each other live and cover a range of questions and information quickly as a group. To join these meetings you will need to refer to the course calendar and be sure that your computer is set up and ready. Please re read the Welcome post in the course blog to find advice on how prepare your computer for participating in these meetings.
If you refer to the course calendar you will notice that there are a number of named guests on at different dates who will each be giving us a 10 minute lecture and joining us for a 20 minute question and answer session afterwards. These people are all international experts in the area of facilitating online learning communities and are based in many different countries, so the timing of these lectures is inflexible I'm afraid. If you cannot make these lectures, they will be recorded and made available via a public podcast with links TBA.
Old timers are here to lead the way and help
We are lucky to have a number of people with us who participated in the course before this one. They are all very familiar with the Blackboard content so can assist people with that. They are also quite experienced with using computers and the Internet generally. They are with us in the email forum so if you have any questions please send an email to the forum: firstname.lastname@example.org
and someone will pick you up.
So what are you doing now?
- Make sure that you have the course weblog address saved and be referring to it at least 3 times a week: http://online-learning-communities.blogspot.com
- Refer to the course calendar and get ready for meetings and guest lectures.
- Set up your blog and send the link into the email forum
- Do Module 2 - Personas in the Blackboard content and post your efforts on your blog
- Make sure your computer is set up for the online meetings and lectures