We're at the end of the discussion week, and it's been an interesting experience.
It took up more time than I had anticipated, especially as a lot of the time was spent trying to get people who had signed up for it to engage. A lot of people seemed to be lurking and not posting. I guess that lurking is a valuable experience, but I would have liked to have seen more postings from people. Around about 1/5th of the people signed up posted, and what they had to say was very interesting. A lot of the discussion came from people who were already keen using it; maybe that was because I asked questions that only those people could answer.
I spent a lot of time emailing the participants trying to persuade them to join in. Interesting, our VLE supplier has just provided a new set of tools for the VLE and one of them is the abliity to subscribe to a thread so you get emails when a new message has been added. That would have been useful this week! I'm not sure whether my emails just irritated people, or whether it made them at least look at the boards.
I have designed a survey to try and get people to let me know why they didn't post. Maybe it was the wrong time (the first week of term), or maybe the topic wasn't interesting enough. Maybe I just need to learn a few skills for dragging lurkers in!
I have alternated between feeling positive and negative about the experience. However, overall I figure I now know what it's like being a tutor when students don't join in.
The other thing that made me feel a bit low this week was that no-one turned up for a lunchtime session I had organised. I did have a couple of apologies and some interest in any future ones. But I did feel a bit of an idiot sitting on my own waiting for people to come along! Maybe the topic wasn't interesting. I have some plans for the next one ...
That seems a pretty big post. Oh, and the Steering Group I service has agreed that we can take a blog project forward.
But it's Bank Holiday weekend, the sun is shining and we're off to see my mum and dad at the weekend. My little bro will be there too, so pipsqueak will be happy! I'm finishing early this afternoon to have some mummy and pipsqueak time - I think we'll go shopping!
[Hope this post won't get lost this time ... one I tried to publish during the beginning of the week got lost!]