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Online formal course meetings. Dr Jon Dron ( ) Dr Judith Masthoff ( University of Brighton. Pause. Sigh here. About the course. eSystems Foundation Degree Taught mainly online

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Online formal course meetings

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online formal course meetings

Online formal course meetings

Dr Jon Dron


Dr Judith Masthoff


University of Brighton



Sigh here

about the course
About the course
  • eSystems Foundation Degree
  • Taught mainly online
  • Work-based/work-related learning: all students work, mostly full time
  • Distributed cohorts, teaching divided among FE colleges
  • Very difficult to arrange meetings that suit everyone!
the online environment
The online environment
  • Custom-built MLE combining Lotus Domino, ASP, PHP and plain HTML components
  • Most learning through asynchronous forums (AKA teamrooms)
  • All staff and students very familiar with online communication
course board constraints
Course board constraints
  • Simple and quick to implement
  • Fitting the regulations
  • Asynchronous and asyntopic
courseboard implementation
Courseboard implementation
  • Asynchronous threaded forum (teamroom)
  • Lasts for a week
  • Agenda items=categories
  • Moderated and summarised by courseleader
  • All students can view, only reps can post
  • Votes taken as simple message postings
  • Messages posted affirming attendance
courseboard in progress

Search and navigation options

Courseboard in progress…

Alternative views – by date, poster, threaded, by category

Agenda items (categories)

good news
Good news
  • Issues discussed in depth
  • Whole process visible to all (reps can’t pursue own agendas)
  • Unequivocal record of proceedings
  • Free from time and place restrictions
  • Greater student involvement: levelling of the field
the bad news
The bad news
  • Non-linear, parallel discussions
  • Limitations of hierarchies
  • Time-consuming to catch up
  • Unequal investment of time
  • Hard to reach consensus
  • Points made near the end discussed less
  • Discussion hogs
  • Misclassifications
  • No tacit cues
new directions
New directions
  • Social navigation
  • Weightings by frequency of reading, novelty, importance of sender
  • Ratings to reduce prominence of over-talkative/under-rated participants
  • Content filtering
  • Decision support – simplified voting
thank you
Thank you
  • Jon Dron

  • Judith Masthoff