Day 2

Training day 2, May the 31st, Thursday

Be humans in ON-line reality as well

The 2nd day starts, after an amazing breakfast surrounded by mountains, with everybody in the training room doing an energizer game. Enough to be focus on working for the next 2 hours. Alla, one of the facilitators, uses some colorful papers and draws to explain to the group some theory concepts: The ocean of e-learning (image 1). To start “swimming” on it, we share some personal experiences to understand the different “islands” from this ocean:

  1. Internet supporter learning
  2. Fully online learning
  3. Blended (mixed) learning
  4. Game-based learning

On these islands, after a participatory debate, we stuck with post-it the platforms that the group –training participants- know, with some ideas from the trainers. A lot of green in the first island – blog, prezi, web, wiki’s, google forms, google drive-, some on the second – Youtube, Coursera, Webinar, Mooc…-, the third one completely empty –which shows where there is a luck of resources, knowledge or exploration of it- and the forth with two funny games -“Kahoot” and “Action bound”, used during the first day as a ice breaking game.

After this introductory session, Miki and Alla –both from the trainers and facilitators team- explain own experiences with online training and MOOC platform. Some questions launched to the public to think about on-line education:

– What do I like?

– What I´d like to improve?

– How I can use these tools in my local context

“Let’s get on with it”, facilitators say. It is time for the training participants to start with some practice. However, before getting stuck in the work, Vera shows us some criteria from the “experience design” that are in need to take into account:

  1. Navigation: how to subscribe to the course and enter to the platform? And when I am in, how to don’t get lost?
  2. Engagement time: how many hours I have to dedicate on it?
  3. Certification: which are the rules?
  4. Communication and collaboration: are we going to be in touch with course teachers? And, there is any interaction between participants?  
  5. Structure and content: how are the sections (and how many)? There is any logic in the programme structure? There is an introduction and a conclusion? How many different materials do I have (video, text, infographics…)? It is possible to download educational materials?
  6. Assessment: which are the evaluation rules? There are any tools for self-evaluation? Which are the evaluation tasks?

With this checklist on mind, from the “easiest” to the most difficult program/application, participants make a line to choose one of the next options:

  1. Kahoot
  2. Google forms
  3. Big Blue Button
  4. Padlet
  5. Edmodo
  6. Google Classroom

In my case, I start the practice dealing with Edmodo. Andrea is my “partner in crime”, who have some experience doing online trainings. We stay inside the screen more than one hour, sometimes celebrating the platform options –and friendly layout, similar to Facebook- and others being lost in the virtual space. With a big cup of coffee helping us, we prepare a very fast trial for our mattes.

Show must go ON! Every team present the work done during the last hour: we do a game (kahoot) about cultural –and curious!- traditions from the different countries that are represented in the room, a Google form about sexual education; we know what’s Parkour with Padlet; we do a Spanish-polish course with big-blue button; our Edmodo dynamic tour, with some participants interaction, inside virtual Hollökó village; and finally, a computers code lesson in Google Classroom. Few time, intensive, with amazing results. Time to do lunch break and some “brain” rest.

Afternoon starts with renewed energy. Is time to talk about “managing group dynamics”: which are the stages of teamwork offline and online? To experiment it, Alla put some Lego pieces in the middle of the room; she says that we have to build a boat using all the blocs without speaking. To make it trickier, she gives us a paper with our personal goal related to Lego pieces –for e.g. “Green brick goes between blue”. After a “one, two, three” countdown, everybody goes to the middle of the room. Then teamwork difficulties appear, and everyone’s role –according to personalities and paper goal- make a job to finish with a Lego boat.  

We have seen – feeling it from our own skin- how teamwork dynamics work analyzing how we were behaving during the boat building. There are the following stages, which appear in every teamwork: 1) Forming, 2) Storming, 3) Norming, 4) Performing. First two stages can be the longest, with a little “powers fight”, before arrive to an agreement. For that reason, next activity is, working on the proposals for online reality, to answer how we can help participants to go through forming and storming.

In my team is composed by 5 participants – and two computers. We decide to have a goal: build a presentation about Mammals, as an exercise for a online training. The decision of the topic is because we feel that there is the need to put in concrete that many abstract ideas. However, we get stacked in the first point: how to engage the group members? How to make them participate and have some interaction with each other and with the trainer? What happen with this person that is completely “Out”? What’s the role of the facilitator? How to create “the sense of a group”? How to build a confident feeling, a safe space, in this online group?

Then, the conclusion of the day –rounded with a red pen in a corner of my notebook-: “Be humans in On-line reality as well”.

Marianna Espinos (Projuven, Spain)