Tuesday, 8 February 2011

First session - Getting started with Wolsey

Yesterday was the first of the Elevate Teams staff development workshops.

Around ten attendees arrived and after a brief introduction we got stuck into the first activity, a quick ten minute discussion about what people thought a VLE was and what tasks they would expect it to do. The usual elements cropped up, collaboration, resources, distance learning etc.. The one thing that wasn't mentioned was the word portal so I spent a couple of minutes describing what a portal did and how UCS has used it's VLE as a portal encapsulating both student/staff intranets, institution wide discussion boards and learning elements into one relevant point of interest.

The next activity on the agenda was a more in-depth overview of how UCS uses a VLE (Wolsey). References were made to the list drawn up from the first discussion we had.

This is where things drifted slightly from the original plan, a large percentage of the attendees had already covered the practical elements we were going to cover, the bulk of this time was instead used as a Q&A session where attendees asked more precise questions such as creating folders and structuring content. We did expand on the use of the 'Send Mail' function within Wolsey.

One surprising element which cropped up in the next activity (What is stopping you using it tomorrow?) was the fact no-one mentioned IT Skills, this has always been a caveat of previous training sessions we gave a few years ago, the main items that did rear their heads were

  • Confidence performing specific tasks

  • Trusting the system

  • Knowing 'The processes'

All of which can certainly be rectified by providing more step-by-step guides and expanding our staff development programme, all of which are already well on their way.

It seems most people were happy going in and having a play :)

The session ended giving attendees a little time to fill in a quick post workshop form, something really for attendees to quickly note what they have learnt, take away and use as they will.

After showing the attendees the support elements and where to go for the support a couple of attendees stayed behind to run through a couple of things, but overall I think most attendees left knowing something new.. which is of course the aim!

We will adjust the session plan slightly to allow us to be more dynamic with the middle practical session.

Check out the session plan - Getting started with Wolsey in your teaching and learning

That's all for now, Aaron will be presenting the next workshop on the 14th and will be covering the collaborative side of Wolsey including groups, Wikis and Blogs.


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