Given my recent post about back-channel communication during presentations, this may seem an odd post. But, since I’m merely weighing the pros and cons of such communication, I’ll focus on a specific tool and an idea I have for its potential use.
Yesterday I participated in the Medical Library Association webcast on Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices. During that meeting, Britt Watwood used CoveritLive to record his notes. Beyond a mere text entry tool, CoveritLive allowed him to provide text notes with minute by minute updates which were forwarded to his blog. Essentially, he was able to microblog and anyone who was logged into his blog could both read his notes and send their thoughts and/or questions to him.
As part of this test, logged into his blog and sent several comments, but this unfortunately did not work as advertised. Since this was our first experiment with the product, we need to test this further to identify the problem.
If we can get ConveritLive to function as intended, I see the potential for student use during a class. One student could act as a moderator who takes notes which would be forwarded to their blog. The URL of moderator’s blog would be shared with other students in advance of class (posted in their Blackboard class or any other online location which would be listed in the course syllabus), so they could monitor the notes and send their own comments or questions. The moderator could then inform the instructor of any questions or need for clarification. This ability to collaboratively document the class and present questions in real-time could prompt relevant in-class discussion and provide later accessibility to notes for review by the students and the instructor.
I would be interested in seeing someone experiment with this and see if it may increase student engagement during and after class. Discussion could continue in a discussion board or other venues.
All in all, I find this an interesting tool which is re-framing my thoughts about back-channel communication.