Mixing face-to-face and online groups
Posted Juli 24, 2012on:
As the number of days until the start of the BEtreat diminishes I proceed with my preparations. Yesterday Bev Wenger and I successfully tamed technology (everything worked well in our tech check!). Today 12 participants and Etienne and Bev met online via Adobe connect.
It was nice to see the faces of the other participants, to discover someone already known from another online training, to chat privately in another language.
At the beginning we all typed in the Adobe chat that we cannot „speak“ – until Bev told us that she has muted as all! It would be nice to have this type of control in f2f meetings as well 🙂 In any case the sound didn’t work for the 12 participants, so we had to listen to Bev and Etienne and type our questions.
As I wrote before I’m a little bit concerned about the synchronous approach – video conferences are exhausting. I never attended one which lasted more than 2 hours!
Today we received a great time table for the week of the training – and the Wengers added all our time zones, how supporting! (all the time I’m preoccupied that I’m not online when something important is happening, so I’m really happy about this special service).
At the moment the training is planned in this way that I will start at 17:00 in the afternoon (8.00 in California!), and the training will last until 3:00. Fortunately I love to work in the evening but I’m not sure if I will be creative enough between 1:00 and 3:00 in the morning. The plan is that we „negotiate“ times, hmmm…. Bev said that there would be possibilities for asynchronous activities as well.
Jenny Mackness has already attended a BEtreat f2f and is now an online participant. Her reflexion about the integration of f2f and online participants in a BEtreat 2011 was enlightening.
She criticizes that „to some extent the learning of both groups is compromised“ because technology needs time and „the natural flow of discussion“ was affected. Furthermore the online participants didn’t participate in the informal part of the training as the lunch breaks or during the evenings.
Last year there were 4 online participants whereas this year 8 out of 16 are participating online. So it’s a challenge – and I’m thinking about possibilities how to create an informal room for the online participants as well (I will have time, every day until 17:00!).