Hi Elaine and Katherine, thanks very much for your thoughts on my inventory. If I may I will respond to you both in this message.
The inventory items I set down were a mix of the theories from this course, reflections on my own experience and some helpful points made in the TOOC discussion forums. In choosing a starting point, I found it easiest to work in chronological order through a module or item of learning. That might not have made for the best inventory grouping!
My own personal preference of medium is synchronous webinar. Once you have become familiarised with the technology, I feel it is one of the better platforms for building initial social contact and presence (as we did on TOOC too). If find it is also useful as a follow up activity to subject matter which by its nature has to be rather dry – such as a study paper on the effects of a particular piece of legislation. A webinar following such a study paper can be very useful as a means of ‘bringing the topic to life’ is a more expressive way. My choice here is a bit of a personal one, as I feel I teach more effectively through real time voice than some other media. I also find it a good medium for addressing more difficult points technical points, where several different angles for explaining a point can be given quite quickly, to help students ‘get the point’. As to barriers to access, we have to take account of a number of students we have from Hong Kong, who are 8 hours ahead and this has to be considered when setting webinar times. Bandwidth variation around the world is also a consideration, as is the need to avoid UK centric figures of speech!
The webinars are reasonably popular in Hong Kong, mainly for the ability to playback, than for the live, synchronous time.
Katherine, your analogy of the seals made me laugh! I suppose what I meant more accurately, was that the tutor needs to try and re-create the social presence if for whatever reason it has flagged (if that isn’t a UK centric figure of speech!). I wasn't quite sure about your reference to having two sections on assessment - have I overlooked a duplication?