Did I reach my objectives in the BEtreat?
Posted August 2, 2012on:
It’s Thursday – the last whole day in the BEtreat and I want to reflect upon my objectives, expectations and the „real“ thing.
What I wanted and what I got:
to experience a training provided by experts in the field of „social theory of learning“ and to deepen my understanding
To satisfy my expectations with respect to this objective there were five theory sessions – one at Monday, three at Tuesday and one at Wednesday. Depending of technology I made it to follow the discussions or I failed. As English is not my mother tongue I’m lost if sound is swallowing half words. So my understanding sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t work. As my interest lies in the application of theories and not in theories itself I was sometimes lost when different theories, names, ideas where dropped without further detailed explication.
Nevertheless that the learning room wasn’t ideal I believe that I learned a lot. My head is full of sentences, half ideas, my nights are full of dreams about the BEtreat – how much I will finally get out of it will depend of my time I can invest into debriefing.
to experience how the integration of f2f and online learners could work mainly using synchronous learning
The training design is very challenging for online participants (I don’t know how it is for f2f participants). When I wake up in the morning I open my computer, check what was going on during (my) night, plan my BEtreat day, write in my personal booth, reflect in my blog. Additionally there is to do some „normal“ work, at least check e-mails.
So when the BEtreat starts at about 16:30 I already did a lot of work. During the evening I’m participating, writing notes, trying to understand, sometimes make a comment, ask a question. And as I’m getting more tired when midnight approaches my competences of English and of understanding complex discussions diminish!
Yesterday technology worked well – there were the online participants with frozen pictures in adobe, a video of the group in California and skype for audio. It was possible for me to understand a little bit how the f2f participants are doing.
So, yes, I did experience a synchronous training with f2f and online participants – and got an understanding about it.
to get new ideas for my online training design – being at the edge to open up closed training scenarios
Starting with theory the most important aspects for me are Etienne’s „axes“ – every aspect has to be negotiated, f.e. structure – action, identity – praxis, or the axes: vertical and horizontal power (maybe transverse power as well). And I want to integrate some of it in my trainings (I’m curios how I will do it).
With regard to the training design I’m happy to participate in this training but I would never adopt such a design. I feel that the training design imposes f2 schedules on online learners and does not give room for the potential of online learning, e.g for asynchronous processes or to support smaller groups of f2f and online learners.
When there is group work during the training f2f and online participants are separated. In my perception the f2f participants prefer discussions without online persons (probably is is much easier for them and there is the flow of discussing without anybody dropping in and out because of technology). (My perception is influenced by Jenny’s post where she described her experience as f2f participant in a BEtreat and how happy the f2f group was without online participants).
to build a group of learners (f2f and online) and to do work together
In my perception the building process for the whole group is at a very early stage. I have a good cooperation with the „onliners“ – and yesterday the informal part at the start of the BEtreat session helped a little bit to get to know the f2f persons. But then I looked at the photos and couldn’t produce names to them.
There is not much contact between the f2f group and the online group. Etienne and Bev are eager to handle technology to bring us onliners in – but in this way the f2f participants don’t have responsibility for us. So the buddy system of one online and one f2f participant doesn’t work and it is not necessary that it works.
At the beginning my leadership group of „social reporters“ had some contact between f2f and online persons (which was very nice!) – but in the next days the group separated into f2f and online persons. The group wiki is filled with much more information of the onliners.
Furthermore I was in a mixed reading group and am now in a mixed thematic group. But as group building needs time – which we do not have because of an overfull calendar – no groups are building. In the thematic group we have 3 hours for presentations, discussions, activities – but as we couldn’t find a common topic yesterday evening we will do single presentations (and we have reserved some time for a joint enterprise, which we will discuss today).
So I’m very happy about the online group and a little bit disappointed about the performance of the BEtreaters group as a whole.