Saturday, November 3, 2007

Passages to eLearning 2007

Marlowe Mager, Russ Virgo, AnneMarie Timmerman, Susan Roberts, Buddy Tignor, Ken Hipps, Wendy Hines, Jerry Stamm, Sharon Davis, and several others attended the 2007 Passages to eLearning held at Maggie Valley Country Club.

For the first time the event was co-hosted by Western Carolina University and Haywood Community. Over 50 faculty and staff attended. Special thanks to the large contingent from the Coulter faculty center at WCU, Marlowe Mager, and Ken Hipps for hosting assistance.

Friday evening opened with Drs. Dick Riedl and John Tashner (Appalachian State University) showcasing the 3D course environment they developed to enhance online learning. Think Second Life, but with the student advantages of restricted entrance (no griefers allowed) and reduced bandwidth enabling even those with dial-up connections to participate in the courses.

Participants then heard from students and what they liked and disliked about online learning. The 4 student panelists ranged from an 18-year-old traditional campus student to an individual working on her 3rd career that will conclude with a Master's in nursing much of which was completed totally online.

On Saturday conference participants had the option of choosing 2 of 6 one hour breakout sessions on a variety of topics. Two of these breakout sessions were delivered by DOL NR grant faculty Susan Roberts: They said it couldn't be done! Interactive assignments and lab work at a distance and Buddy Tignor: Thinking beyond BlackBoard's box.

If you are interested in online learning and didn't get to go this year, think about attending next year. Fantastic information was presented and it was a great time to meet with fellow faculty members from HCC and Western Carolina University.

Image Credit: Christie Fulcher, WCU History Graduate Student and Panelist

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