With the emergence and fast-paced evolution of distance learning, educators are challenged by, and seeking ways to offer effective online classes that are innovative and imaginative. Elements of collaboration include voice, social presence, chat, share (sharing applications with students and peers), video, and content. During this presentation Jason Rhode, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at Northern Illinois University, will share how NIU piloted Wimba Classroom as well as how they are using the tools to conduct online faculty development sessions. Drawing on this experience, the common instructional and social challenges encountered and the valuable lessons learned that can be implemented into your own distance learning program will be shared.
I am excited about the possibilities offered by this new feature in Blackboard. The Wimba Classroom adds new dimensions to online teaching affording the instructor a variety of presentational strategies. One of its best features is the opportunity to transmit live video adding a more personal feel to text-based on-line instruction. The ability to gain immediate support is also a big plus. Adding the Wimba Classroom will enhance and strengthen on-line education. – Laura Vazquez, Department of Communication
I'm very interested in using it (Wimba Classroom) and will probably try to use it with my master's seminar later this semester as it is a smaller class and I have already substituted several online sessions for face-to-face sessions. I should try to devote one of these to Wimba. – Richard Orem, Department of Literacy Education
I used Wimba Classroom in my summer section of Educational Statistics to provide an alternative lecture format for students who were unable to attend a face-to-face session, and also to facilitate archiving of the lectures. Wimba worked very nicely for these purposes. Although I didn't use it as a replacement for regular lectures, students who used Wimba to access the lecture remarked positively on their experience. Wimba was quite easy to learn, both for myself and my students. – Thomas Smith, Department of Educational Technology, Research & Assessment
The overall experience is definitely positive in terms of productivity, flexibility, and overall feedback from students. The majority of the students showed great interest, using the words "fun" and "cool" to describe Wimba Classroom.
I am planning a partnership between my students here and students in China--Wimba classroom may become a meeting place where they can converse synchronously. I can also invite speakers an ocean away to our Wimba Classroom. Students can also meet me at Wimba practicing Chinese langauge skills during winter and summer break. The possibilities are many!
I will like to explore more advanced features of Wimba classroom; it is integral to my teaching. I recommend it with high enthusiasm!! – Lan Hui Ryder, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Wimba Classroom has become an invaluable tool for my online courses. It greatly facilitates collaborative endeavors, whether that be for faculty/student presentations, virtual office hours, or providing a venue for group activities to take place. A remarkable feature is the ability to record/archive each Wimba session, so that one can review what took place immediately following a session or many months later. With limited training, my students have been able to successfully navigate the Wimba interface. I can't imagine being without this versatile tool for online instruction. - Daniel Cabrera, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, College of Health and Human Sciences
Rhode, J. F., & Constant, S. (2008, Oct. 10). Trends in education and technology: Best practices in online instruction. Presented at the 2008 SLATE Conference, Chicago, IL