'Take Your Phone Off The Hook' covered a pilot project that was launched by a team of 13 librarians to address the learning needs of new undergraduate students and compare which teaching platform was more successful. To adequately compare online vs. in-class, one of each was offered at the same time. The librarians utilized Blackboard Collaborate to deliver the online orientation sessions which focused on top ten tips that first year students need to know (similar I am guessing to the U of S' FYIT group and library guide http://libguides.usask.ca/NeedToKnow). Two librarians were present for online webinars, so that one librarian could monitor the chat. They recorded all online sessions to personally evaluate the effective of using the tool.
- test software and hardware in advance
- use chat instead of microphones for students
- have 2 moderators for webinars
- Collaborate has more limited functionality for smartphones and tablets
- don't forget to take your phone off the hook
- presenters emphasized this point by having a phone ring several times in the background. You could tell that the audience was very uncomfortable by the phone ringing and were becoming irritated. Very effective illustration of the importance of being completely focused on the webinar, and not external distractions.
- students were less likely to attend online sessions even if they had registered. In other words, if they registered for an in-person session they would show up!
- students chose in-person over online even when offered at the same time. In other words, there was higher registration in in-person classes.