Skills day 2008: Wimba

Bernard Aghedo – RSC London

RSC London have been using Wimba classroom and Bernard explained the benefits of using the tool and then gave a short demonstration.

Download Bernard’s presentation as a PDF:
Bernard Aghedo: Wimba

I’m speaking from a service delivery approach. We do events but our use of web conferencing tools is about much more than events. The drivers are to practice what we preach: e-learning is done online and to have hands on experience of these systems and technologies. We are very busy in London and so it offers a lightweight approach to service delivery. It reduces the number of face to face visits and reduces the associated costs. It gives us the opportunity for strategic engagement with SMT at providers – it becomes half an hour as part of their normal day. There is also an opportunity for institutional development.

The big one is the green agenda – shows the RSCs environmental policy in action and commitment to the university’s environmental policy. We no longer travel around lugging paper – we upload our stuff as PDFs to the Wimba classroom.

Wimba’s Classroom – why?
Cost-effective, user-friendly, RSC control, people know that it is a safe system – the room they enter is branded RSC London.

Each RSC adviser has a dedicated room where can send invites to meet at certain times of day or month. Could be a support meeting following a face-to-face rather than emails back and forth and takes an hour rather than a whole day, including travelling time.

Benefits for RSC include that it is an e-learning tool that emphasises the message – it is what we are talking about. Successful reduction in number of face-to-face events and associated costs – opens and effective channel of communication and service delivery. Every session is recorded so we have evidence and it can be archived. Every session can also be downloaded as an MP3 – so could be a component of a podcast, a resource to use and develop. Instigating internal dialogues.

Impact: louder and clearer e-learning message; smarter, lighter, greener; greater team confidence and more effective collaboration with partners. Greater reach for meetings both regionally and nationally.

Challenges: experience can be browser dependent – Firefox is the better option; bandwidth size can impede experience; installing Java updates, patches and other software required so may have issues with IT dept; firewall issues; some delegates are just not able to participate; risk of excluding some from the sector.

Moving forward: we are trialling Wimba Voice tools, hope to integrate Wimba with Moodle.

Bernard then gave a brief demonstration of Wimba.

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