eLearning World 2021: Supporting Instructors to use Adobe Connect to Teach Effectively - Ontario
via Adobe Connect
Many of the issues that arose during the pandemic - low bandwidth, privacy issues, keeping learners’ attention – Contact North has been assisting instructors overcome for over a decade. As a shared service, Contact North has provided web conference virtual classrooms to Ontario’s colleges, universities, school boards, indigenous institutes and training providers for over 15 years, originally Saba Centra and Adobe Connect since 2018. At the onset of the pandemic, Contact North shifted from supporting a maximum of 400 concurrent users and 50-60 instructors to over 3,000 concurrent users and 500 faculty, overnight. The service we provide Ontario educational institutions includes: scheduling and enrolling students into their sessions, technical support for instructors and students and, perhaps most importantly, instructor training, support and resources by our team of eLearning specialists.
In the shift to more online education, many educational practitioners are struggling to engage their students. Good teachers use visual cues, body language and eye contact to gage whether they are reaching their audience. While webcams can help for smaller classes, many describe the transition to teaching online as going into a classroom with a blindfold on. The advantage of the face-to-face classroom isn’t really about physical proximity, it’s about a controlled environment and sensory feedback.
So how do you create an engaging experience without the tools you have learned to rely upon your whole professional life? Just as someone who loses their sight compensates by exploiting other senses, you discover other techniques that are just as effective as those you lost. Joni Sharkey, Contact North’s e-Learning Specialist, and Charmaine Kissmann, Director of IT at Contact North, will outline Contact North’s approach to training and supporting faculty, instructors and teachers across Ontario to leverage the tools and functionality of Adobe Connect to create truly engaging experiences – with or without the webcam. While Adobe Connect is a powerful platform, the transition from the traditional F2F classroom to teaching online is akin to learning a new language or learning to function after losing one of our five senses. Learning to teach online is more than just learning a new technology, it’s about creating a new paradigm and frame of reference which requires time, training, mentoring and support.
In this workshop we will outline Contact North’s model of web conferencing as a shared service, how we quickly ramped up during the pandemic, the keys to success and some of the challenges, with a particular focus on the support provided to faculty. This session is particularly suited to influencers and thought leaders who are passionate about supporting faculty, instructors and teachers to embrace Adobe Connect as their undiscovered sixth sense to create a truly powerful and engaging learning experience for their students.