After I posted on the stress of talking about podcasting – Zemina Hasham (Senior Director, Client Services for Elluminate) contacted me and “offered to meet up with me to better understand my presentation and share some ideas on how best to include these and minimize my stress!” So yesterday morning we meet up in her Elluminate virtual office, which was very nice of her since she had just flown from Calgary to USA, and was sitting in a hotel room at 8pm at night.
The main concern I had was playing the audio and video podcasts within Elluminate. She explained which option you choose depends on the file size:
- Up to 10MB works well with the Media library (keep a close eye on the indicator so you have an idea of if there is any delays with any of the participants)
- Over 10MB then you may be better off using the Web Tour – take them to the website and ask them to click play
She also showed me how the timer feature of Elluminate V8 can be used with Breakout rooms (i.e. put the participants in separate rooms, tell them they have 5 minutes to do the task and turn on the timer – this way they can clearly see how long they had to do their task).
We also discussed that it is more important to be an effective teacher in a virtual classroom as the student can literally step away from his / her computer without disturbing the teacher whereas in a f2f classroom, the teacher can see whether the student is engaged and paying attention. She even suggested some recorded Elluminate presentations that are worth watching to get ideas on being more effective. I think it would be really good if Elluminate had a series of how to be an effective teacher in a virtual classroom on their Training page (as I only found the Elluminate presentations she mentioned by Googling them).
I personally believe that having access to a virtual classroom for remote e-learning students is essential to ensure engagement and interaction. A virtual classroom lets you talk to your students, encourages interaction between both you and your students, direct message your students, take them on web tours, share their desktop, display PowerPoints, do brainstorming activities etc. If your organisation does not have access to a virtual classroom you can always get yourself an Elluminate vRoom.
- Free – absolutely no cost
- Available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
- Handy to have your own room that you can access whenever you have a need – when VOIP is not enough
- Only difference from standard Elluminate is you can not record the session and max. of 4 people can participate
Thanks Zemina for your assistance. I am definitely impressed by the customer service supplied by your company.