This Friday, January 27, 2006, Maricopa is welcoming Alice Bedard-Vorhees (Colorado Community Colleges Online) for a workshop on Bringing Guests to your Courses with a Virtual Speaker Bureau. This is a concept she developed at CCCOnline and has been nicely expanded as a service offfered in MERLOT.
Simply, it means creating a directory of people and their subject matter expertise who are willing to participate as virtual guess “discussants” for classes with online discussion boards. It’s a great way to bring expertise into a class, w/o much effort and no travel needed. I’ve done this a handful of times, and with good up front structure, it can be a very valuable activity.
Alice will be leading a hands-on session here with about 40 Maricopa faculty and staff, and she is bringing in two more remote colleagues so our participants can see how these are set up and carried out.
It is sort of like a semi-syncronous event using asynchronous discussion tools.
I do have an interest in increasing some more virtual participation, so if someone is interested in logging in to our discussion boards between 1:30-3:30 PM (MST) on January 27 (see World Time Clock for your local time), please contact me and I will provide the coordinates. It would ante up the interesting faculty to have some comments shared by participants from afar.
Spammers need not apply.
If this goes well, we may be piloting our own Maricopa Virtual Speakers Bureau and/or increasing our presence in the MERLOT version.