Question 26

26. How, if at all, did you use any of these tools to provide venues for students to engage on an informal level?


Again, students were encouraged to communicate with each other via Skype to collaborate on assignments, but that wasn’t tracked.

As mentioned before, students used their own initiative to engage on an informal level.  They did this through a variety of tools ranging from becoming friends on facebook to chatting in gmail.

Class groups were encouraged to use Skype for discussions.  Office hours were conducted over Skype.

Email and Skype in assigned teams across countries were encouraged although students were not very active here.

Other than the Facebook page we did not.

See above.

Students had access to skype and elluminate accounts.  They did use skype informally throughout the semester.

Students may have used Skype on their own, but we have no evidence of such interaction. In the fall quarter, most student interaction occurred through traditional email, particularly for the interview assignments.

Students were encouraged to use Skype outside the context of the course and to communicate with each other on an informal level. Because the modules are task-based, however, students primarily communicated when they needed to complete some objective.

The first class-to-class videoconference was designed for the collaborators to meet one another. Thus, it was mainly social in form and function. The following three class-to-class videoconferences involved student presentations. Therefore, they were centered on the course project. However, we did incorporate the opportunity for questions, feedback, and brief small talk in each conference. The required team videoconference was project-related in that students were to use this time to provide project-related feedback to one another. However, since it appears that students developed friendships with their teammates, we can assume that they also took some time to interact informally.

The impression was that personal interaction outside of the class project occurred naturally during student Skype sessions and Discussion Board postings. Certain personal details often came up when in the process of comparing ideas (personal tastes and preferences and personality quirks).

The main problems that we encountered related to unfamiliarity with the tools (particularly on the part of ESC students), and reluctance on the part of some students to engage in audio exchanges via telephone or skype. Because of a requirement to provide written documentation of their conversation, the students generally preferred text-based tools that allowed them to save scripts of their conversations.

The most effective thing we did was post our syllabus in Blackboard, and to finally set up a FaceBook group page. 

They get to know each other through skype and google hangout during class session at the beginning.

This is an area in which the course did not succeed as we wished.

Video conference: Because the video conferences required presence in a video conferencing facility, informal video chats among students were not possible outside the regular class meeting time./ Lore: Lore was our venue for the students to communicate with each other and with the faculty. Students had access to any other student or faculty member in the course at any time on Lore. Students could post a message for the entire course or to individual students/faculty at any time on Lore. I think we could have done a better job of encouraging the interactions or create assignments that required interactions outside the regular class time.

virtual rooms were created for students to meet / ULPGC : During our 2 training sessions we engaged our students to use the tool that best matched their needs and usual practices in order to connect with their US classmates.

We left this up to them.  Obviously, however, they needed to engage with one another in more than Facebook and email because they were preparing a team project together.  We will explain the details of the team project in the essay (below).

We provided a separate discussion board that was strictly informal where the students could discuss anything but class assignments.  They discussed movies, music, they asked each other questions about their respective locations, like how much is minimum wage and what do you do on weekends, …/ NING also allows students to create personal pages and many of them communicated informally in this venue.

While we did not monitor all of the informal communication, we heard stories of students chatting online or having casual conversations in addition to doing their work.

Yes. We used the tools and they did.