Last Thursday, Joann, Panisuan and I had a great opportunity to present Vialogues jointly with Dr. Laura Baecher
at the Hunter College's faculty development center ACERT Lunchtime Seminar
. Our presentation was the last lunchtime seminar for this semester (rescheduled due to a snow day in March), and we were a little bit worried about the attendance as we knew it was the crazy time for college faculty. We were happy that an enthusiastic group of about fifteen faculty members from various disciplines (psychology, counseling, school of nursing, English, center of assessment etc.) showed up and engaged in the presentation and follow-up conversations in this two-hour seminar (which usually gave to two technology presentation sessions).
Joann started with a great introduction of why we created Vialogues and shared every detail of how to create, use, participate and manage Vialogues. Audience members were passionate about Vialogues' unique time-stamped feature. Joann responded to all their questions about technical details and usage (they all wowed as Joann showed them the comment printing feature!) and we got a couple of good suggestions. The ideas from audience included nested commenting design (more layers instead of the current two-layer design for better recognition and conversation) and user dashboard (so instructors can quickly get a sense of individual student's participation). Panisuan took good notes for our future development and followed up with them later to collect feedback.
Building on Joann's introduction, I presented six use cases (see details in the comment below) from my own courses and Vialogues online communities. Similar to Joann's presentation, participants asked great questions: one participant asked about how to practically use Vialogues in a big class and facilitate meaningful conversations. Creating multiple group Vialogues was one solution I offered, and we also had a discussion about the dilemma of accountability and authenticity in online discussions. I pointed to one Vialogues as an example of a more authentic online conversation about conceptual topics; in response, Psychology Professor Dr. Browne Graves, the active senior associate dean of the school of education
, emphasized assessment (especially more measurable skills on and through Vialogues), not only exploratory dialogues, was equally important. We were happy that our use cases of online tutorial and reflective assessment later responded to her points in this regard.
Lastly, Dr. Baecher shared three wonderful and powerful Vialogues use cases in higher education, especially in professional schools. Essentially, she presented her use of Vialogues in three professional relationships: in her supervision with student teachers, in her support to student teacher supervisor, and with her faculty peers to collectively code model teaching practices in Vialogues, and later turn them into teaching and assessment resources. Dr. Baecher is an experienced educator and active researcher on using video in higher education, and I won't be surprised to see Vialogues on journal articles authored by her soon.
At the end, we had about ten minutes to get more comments, questions, and feedback from the audience. Dr. Fred Allred, English professor and co-director of ACERT
, expressed his strong interest in using Vialogues for his upcoming course next week about literature and film as the time-stamped feature is very useful for the film discussion activities in his class. Dr. Browne Graves was particularly excited to see that peer practioners in most professional fields will finally be able to see and learn from each other's practices through videos and time-stamped commenting on Vialogues. This seems an important and unique direction for using and promoting Vialogues in higher education.
Overall, we had a great time with this group of enthusiastic participants, and were exited that Dr. Shiao-Chuan Kung, the educational technologist at ACERT
, would like to invite the Edlab team back in 2015 fall/2016 spring for additional sessions.