This morning as part of the UKOLN staff development series UKOLN staff (and others) were treated to an an introductory session on Elluminate entitled Running an Online Event using Elluminate Live! Usage Cases and Best Practices. Brian Kelly has written a blog post on the background to these sessions which we are opening up to external attendees when possible.
The session took place at a number of venues. It was presented by Julian Prior (E-Learning Development Officer) and Marie Salter (e-Developments Manager) from the University of Bath, from their office, using Elluminate. It was shown to a number of physical attendees in the UKOLN meeting room from where Brian Kelly moderated the session and assisted remote attendees. There were also a number of remote attendees attending from off site locations.
Elluminate itself is increasingly being used by JISC for meetings and for giving information about new calls so the presentation was very timely.
Julian kicked off with some interactive slides that gave everyone a feel for the software. For example he got remote participants to drag their names on to their location on a map and used the question facility to ask remote workers about the experiences they have had in the past with Elluminate. Julian then published the answers up for all to see.
After we’d all warmed up Julian facilitated some discussion of best practices for moderators and users which included testing audio, encourage lots of interaction (icebreakers, polls, quizzes), checking accessibility, using V room as a practice suite, and more. Elluminate offer some very useful user guides and JISC has recently released some guidance on Elluminate use.
At Bath University Elluminate is currently running as pilot project untill July 2011 at which point they will decide if a full licence should be purchased. Julian explained that they have had a primarlily positive expereice so far so hopefully they will be able to carry the work on. He then gave some examples of how the software has been used at Bath during the pilot. Some of the most successful instances include running an online Q&A/open day session for the clinical psychology departement when a course was over subscribed, chemistry postgrads giving remote seminars and using Elluminate used for job interviews and interviews of foreign students.
Elluminate has recently been bought out by Blackboard (along with Wimba) which has ruffled a few feathers as there may be changes on the cards. Alternatives out there include Instantpresenter, DimDim, Gotomeeting and Megameeting. There is also BigBlueButton (which I have blogged about in the past), which is an open source alternative and endorsed by the academic community.
The session was really interesting but unfortunately came to an ubrupt end when the fire alarm went off in the main University building!! Luckily all us remote participants got to stay inside in the comfort of our own homes!