Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Second participation on ' Hands on Workshop'

On Sunday I attended my second workshop in Second Life. It was about 'texture' and how to play with the different options.

The workshop was recreated in a similar RL classroom with even a sign outside mentioning the word 'classroom'. According to the advertising of the event, none or little knowledge was required. Just to rezz and build a box.

There were 6-8 participants and the way it was developed was with the instructor sitting at the front communicating with the participants via 'chat'.

The instructor specifically mentioned that questions were going to be posted when she finished each module in where she divided the presentation about how to manage textures and that no IM was going to be answered while the teaching was shown.
This showed a little bit of toughness in the delivery of the instruction not letting participants clarify their doubts while instructions were given.

He/she made a good introduction of the topic so as to let people 'tun in' with the subject. He/she also divided into stages so as to go back to the process that was not understood in a better way.

I tried asking some questions and the instructor replied, though at a certain time of the workshop the instructor started speeding up as if just wanted to fullfil what was programme more than what participants understood about the process.

I personally could just follow half of the workshop,not being able to fullfil some of the tasks that were mentioned near the end.

At the end of it, the instructor handed me out her classplan so as to follow and revise it for any doubt. He/she also stayed for a while for further explanations or doubts that the participants wanted to ask.

This workshop was 'free' though a tip jar was at the stage where the instructor was and it was mentioned at the end that if we had enjoyed the presentation we were invited to tip on so as to help maitaining the place.

After the class finished, I asked the instructor the two questions requested based on : what did he/she consider important when giving workshops, and the instructor emphasized the best way to do a lesson plan is to do it on your own and then record the process to get there. He/she also suggested doing a video and then everybody tune into it.

I also asked about tips for effective workshops and he/she replied :The best way to go is have everyone partipate. Just a lecture is tough in SL even though all the notes can be logged and recorded so he/she uses note cards to keep the info organized.

So, from my point of view the positive aspect I saw from this workshop was the organization and preparation that the instructor had before the class, but I guess he/she should not be so demanding in terms of giving too much content to participants who have little of none experience in the subject they will teach.
I believe that part of this management might be since he/she was not a teacher who was trained to give classes and it was also the second time she/he did so in SL.

This place offers people to volunteer and teach what they feel comfortable with an ability they might have no matter if they are teachers or not.

Would I return to this place to learn more? I guess not. I would be afraid of leaving with the same impression of not being able to understand all till the end of the process.

Instructions in SL should be 'short' and clear' and a lot of reinforcement through different proceedures should be given when there are so demanding classes to be taught. That's my personal view.

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