Wednesday, May 26, 2010

'Facilitating Online' - free in 2010

'Facilitating Online' will be free this year for people who plan to be an informal student ie come along for the fun of it but not formally enrol.

If you think you will benefit from receiving focused and personalised learning support, assessment services, or formal credits for course competition, please consider enrolling as a formal participant (fees apply). For more details about formal enrolment, please contact our administrator, Catherine Lindsay.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How to add your details to the course wiki

As part of the orientation to the course, we would like you to add your details to the Course Wiki 'Participants' page. To do this, follow these instructions;

1. Create an account in Wikieducator

2. Once you have created an account, log in and go to the Participants page.

3. Click onto the button that says 'Edit' at the top of the page.

4. You will see details left by other participants that include their name and blog address. Some people have left other online contact details such as Skype, Twitter and Second Life. Copy and paste the contact details left by a participant and make the appropriate changes so we can see your contact details. For example, here are the contact details for Sarah Stewart:

#Blog: [ Sarah Stewart] Twitter: [ SarahStewart] SL: Petal Stransky Skype: sarah.m.stewart

Here are the details that have been changed to suit Jane Dow (made up person):

#Blog: [ Jane Dow] Skype: Jane.Dow

As you will see, Jane Dow does not have a Second Life name or Twitter account so she has not included them in her details.

Here is a video that walks you though this process.

If you have any queries about this, please have a look at the 'help' information about Wikieducator or contact Sarah Stewart. We will be spending more time in learning how to use wiki during the course.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to subscribe to a blog

Another way to make become part of a blogging network is to subscribe to blogs, so that you are notified every time a blog post is published. Many blogs will give you that option - if you look at this blog in the top right hand corner, you will see that you have several options to do this.

Using RSS
The other way to subscribe to a blog is to subscribe using RSS. Here is information about RSS and how to use it to subscribe to a blog:

How to write a blog post

As you know, part of the requirements of this course is to keep a blog which will be a tool for connecting with other participants, as well as reflecting on and processing your learning.

Mini essay or concise paragraph?
In previous courses, participants have been concerned about what to put in a blog post and have tended to write mini essays. Obviously, what you write is totally down to you, but we recommend you keep your posts short and sweet, containing a concise account of your learning, and connecting with your readers by using your own voice and take on things.

Tips on how to write a blog post

Setting up your blog

During the course you will be expected to keep a reflective blog for your personal learning and to meet the requirements of your assignments. There are a number of free blogging platforms available - this course recommends Blogger because it is very easy to use if you have never blogged before.

How to make a comment on another blog

One of the most effective ways to become part of a blogging network (before you can learn how to facilitate in that environment) is to comment on other people's blogs. Part of the requirement of this course is to regularly comment on the blogs of the course participants. By doing this we will get to know each other better, develop an understanding of how blogging 'works, be able to support each other, share information and resources, and discuss each other's ideas.

How to leave a comment
To comment on a post, go to the post and click the "comment" button which is either at the top of the post or just below it. Write your comment and follow the instructions on how to post the comment. Don't worry if you do not see your comment straight away - some people 'moderate' their blogs which means they do not publish the comment until they have checked it to make sure it is not spam. If this is the case, it may take a couple of days before the blogger gets around to publishing your comment.

Subscribe to 'comments'
The other really important thing to do is remember to 'follow' or 'subscribe' to the comments. If you do this, you will be notified by email when another comment is made, and you'll be able to follow and be part of the discussion.

Tips for leaving comments on blogs
Commenting on your blog
Don't forget to add details of your blog on the course 'Participants' page so we know where your blog can be found, and we can come and leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to use Elluminate for class meetings and webconferencing

Our first few meetings will using Elluminate, which is a propitiatory web conferencing tool.

To be able to use Elluminate you will need:
  • Internet connection - Eluminate should work with a dial-up connection.
  • Headphones, if you are in a room with other users
  • Microphone, if you wish to speak. Otherwise, you can communicate with instant text "chat" that is part of the Elluminate program
  • Speakers - if more than one person is watching and listening
  • Web browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.
Virtual classroom
The course virtual classroom is open now so that you can go in, set up your computer and meet others to practice online communication. To access the Elluminate virtual classroom, please click on this link.

Tips for using Elluminate
Problems accessing Elluminate
If you are having trouble accessing Elluminate, especially from an institution, organisation or business, it may be that your firewall or Internet policies is preventing you from downloading the software. So it is important that you check this out with your IT department. If you're having trouble accessing Elluminate in your business/institution with a firewall /proxy issue, ask your IT people to open traffic to

Elluminate support
If you are having problems with Elluminate, please feel free to contact the Otago Polytechnic Helpdesk: but be aware they will only respond to questions 8am - 5pm New Zealand time.

Also, try the Elluminate website:

You may also be able to get help from the Online Support Center for Elluminate:

Tool Free
North America 866-388-8674
UK 0808-101-1432
Australia 1-800-26-7338

Non Tool Free
International 1-606-274-2686