Orientation week for the Authentic eDesign course is over and we have commenced week 1. Feedback from previous versions of the course indicated that people who considered themselves to be “not very technology savvy” struggled to complete the getting started activities. Therefore, for this iteration of the course I included the option for participants to attend a face-to-face (F2F) orientation workshop. About half of the participants attended the F2F workshop and the other half elected to do the orientation activities online.
One of the difficulties of running a F2F workshop is that participants have a diverse range of technology skills. How do I ensure people who are comfortable with technology are not bored whilst providing a basic introduction for people who find technology challenging? The solution I choose in this instance was to provide an overview of the course (which participants could follow along with on their own computers) followed by a hands-on session where participants could complete some of the orientation activities. This gave participants control over which activities they completed and they could work at their own pace. At the beginning of the seminar I explained that after the hands-on session, I would provide a short 15 minute overview of the Introduction section and that participants who felt comfortable in the online environment and their progress were welcome to depart whenever it suited them. And people who had difficulties or questions could stay on and continue working.
About half of the participants opted to depart after the hands-on session and the rest stayed for the introduction overview and continued working through the orientation activities. Overall, I think the orientation workshop went well. Feedback from two participants (that stayed until the end) indicates they were happy with the workshop. However, I wonder if the people who left early were bored, or satisfied with what they had achieved and happy to continue online?
Overall, I think the course is off to a good start and I am pleased with the progress participants are making at this early stage of the course.