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What Are You Up to Alja?

The past week has been quite busy for me, because we were working on the final details for the E-business Management course (for postgraduate students) that has just started today with a pleasant, well attended face to face meeting and a short introductory lecture. The rest of the course will mostly be delivered online, through our e-classroom (based on Moodle), with the constant support of online tutors (ahem, that would be me ;-) ). I am really looking forward to this experience, because I really enjoy online tutoring, although it is a lot of work. And I’m also very excited because we’ve added some new tools and different teaching/learning methods to the course this year. Let me mention just a few of them.

One thing I’m excited about is the use of blogs during the course. The students will be keeping a research journal on their blogs, and will be invited to respond to current news related to the topic they’ll be covering in their research paper. Also, they’ll be reading, commenting, and responding to each other’s blog. I hope this activity will be well accepted and that students will learn a lot from the experience. I am also very happy about the fact that we won’t be using Moodle’s blog module for this activity, but dear old (well, actually New :-) ) Blogger. I think that’s great because Blogger is a real world tool the students can use any time, and not part of a LMS, which is only used for their studies. So this is is also a small step outside the walled garden of traditional LMS. The students’ blogs will be private, and visible to selected readers (the teacher, tutors and other students of the course), but the students will be free to make their blogs public and enter the real world of blogosphere.

We’ll also be offering new channels of communication and interaction. They’ll have the opportunity to contact their tutors through Skype and Google Talk, and we’ll also have meetings in Second Life. This will not be a compulsory activity, but we want to offer them the opportunity to discover different technologies. For this purpose I created a new Second Life group for my faculty (the group is called Fakulteta za management Koper), and even made a faculty T-shirt that all our students will get for free when they visit Second Life (if you want one too just IM me - iAlja Writer ;-) ). I used The Robin (Sojourner) Wood T-Shirt Template to make our T-shirt, because it provides simple and step by step instruction on how to make a plain T-shirt with a logo.
FM Koper T-shirt
It’s hard to tell whether we’ll get any students involved in Second Life, but I hope we can get at least a few of them in-world. If we manage that I hope you’ll come by to some of our meetings - business/management students, teacher and professionals are especially welcome :-)

So, lots of interesting stuff going on for me (and hopefully for our students) right now, and we already got some extremely positive feedback from our students about the course format. I hope this trend will continue, and I’ll of course be posting any interesting findings and experiences from our virtual classroom.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve already got some interesting blog posts to comment on ;-)

Originally published at http://ialja.blogspot.com/2007/04/what-are-you-up-to-alja.html