Catching up with events!
Well so much for posting regularly on this blog! We have had a difficult few weeks. A colleague, also the member of the project team tasked with partner and student liaison is currently on sick leave (since mid-February). Consequently I have been trying to do more than half of his other work as well as my own teaching and the project commitments. Posting on this blog was thus not the highest priority! However I think we are now getting back on track.
Where are we now?
In the continuing absence of my colleague I now have a new team member on board (since mid-March). He is experienced in CGEA delivery, agency and student liaison as well as having e-learning expertise in virtual classroom (Elluminate/Blackboard/Collaborate), the Institute LMS and as a blogger.
We have experienced some delays and so we now have a start date of April 2nd for our first pilot run – this is a few weeks later than originally planned and will leave a very short interval before the second pilot . However delays were not entirely unexpected as in my experience they always happen so the original dates were arranged to allow a little leeway for this.
The current state of play is as follows:
- student enrolments are in progress
- an outline timetable (more detail still needed) is posted via a GoogleCalendar on a page on the course blog
- a short “about ELFADA” page is posted on the course blog
- about 75% of the “how to” and model course blog posts are completed in draft form ready to publish as required
- about 50% of the virtual class sessions have been fully prepared – most of the remainder will utiliise a high proportion of application sharing and/or will be student driven at need
- selective access to the necessary supporting resources, on the full CGEA course website (LMS), has been programmed in and additional pages created for ELFADA specific resources (virtual class recordings and other links)
- an issue caused by the local education dept. (which currently hosts the Institute email system) blocking all emails from facebook has been overcome by setting up a specific Gmail account for the Facebook presence enabling us to create an ELFADA group
The immediate challenge is to be ready to start delivering the program on April the second. To achieve this we have a number of activities to be completed next week:
- students and those helping them to get online for the first time will receive by email the link for the virtual classroom with the “getting started” procedure, they will also get the link for the ELFADA course blog timetable/calendar page and that for the PfP survey
- a post pack with be sent to students containing a student diary, their USB drive, other student “goodies” and the parental consent form for the PfP survey
- as enrolments are finalised students will be added to the course website and individual blogs will be created in readiness
- team delivery roles/virtual classroom availability will be finalised
- further “how to” and model course blog posts will be finalised as will virtual class sessions
- preliminary contact will be made with partners/other agencies re the second pilot
After the hiatus of the past few weeks it feels as though we are now “getting there” in terms of readiness to deliver our first pilot. We will probably have slightly fewer students than originally hoped for the first pilot. However this may well be to our advantage as there will be less pressure in terms of needing to comment on student blogs and otherwise feedback to them. This will enable us to have more time to review, reflect on and “tweak” the program during the pilot.