Posted by tom mackey on 9th October 2010
On Thursday we launched a new online “Conversation with the Dean” using an enhanced version of Elluminate, which now includes a video component.
In advance of the session we surveyed students through a quick poll in the Student Community space in Angel and we received over 40 respones. The session went well overall and it was a great opportunity to connect with students. but we did learn a few things about how to do a session like this with video and audio (and not just text). When we set up the room we did so using one of our flat panel screens, camera, and microphone, but we could have done this with just a laptop, which is what we will be using next time.
The problem with the larger set up is that it was necessary to look up at the screen to advance slides, rather than into the camera. About halfway through the presentation I figured this out but it took a while to adjust. We also had a few problems with the audio; the sound is somewhat distorted and we had echo problems in a few places. But these kinds of adjustments are expected when doing something new. In terms of the content, it was very helpful to have the questions in advance so that we were able to organize by topic and address a greater number of questions in a shorter period of time. We will definitely continue this online “conversatin with the dean” next time, perhaps as soon as the next term, but we may change the time of the event to include more students (perhaps an evening session next time). Overall it was a great experience and the response from students was very positive. One of the students who attended the live session even said that it was “heartwarming” and was a good example of building community! Thank you! I look forward to using Elluminate again! Tom