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Christopher Lamb (not verified) December 02, 2016

Thanks for this posting, dear Ginger. I agree wholeheartedly with you. One thing some people say is that unless their English is strong and unless they are tech-savvy it is hard to keep up with the sheer volume of entries in a text chatroom. I understand this, but believe it is better to have difficulty than to have no possibility of exchange. We tell our people that they can go to the transcript after the hour and add comments or raise questions then, and many of them do. So, the hour is an extendable feast. You also made an important point about participants with low bandwith. We have many such cases in our Humanitarian Diplomacy course. Another point is that we the faculty have taxing schedules, sometimes requiring the conduct of classes from unexpected locations. I've done one from the departure lounge of Phnom Penh airport, another from the back seat of a car during a trip and quite a lot of strange places. This is only possible (I'd say) with a text-based classroom.
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Katharina Hone December 05, 2016

I am very much convinced about the great value of the text-based chat. So, thank you for sharing your reflections, Ginger. There is a push for using video and all kinds of snazzy new ways of engaging. But, as you say, these should not come at the expense of exclusion. Video lectures and chat can only ever be a supplement in the kind of teaching environment (given the locations and occupations of our participants) that Diplo is operating in. One aspect that has recently come to my mind is the question of asynchronus versus synchronus interaction. I would like to hear reflections on the value of meeting at the same time for a chat discussion. Is this indispensable for online learning? What are the educational / pedagogical benefits? Perhaps this is material for the next blog post ;-)
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Ginger Paque January 25, 2017

Thanks for the feedback, Chris and Kat. I think asynchronous communication is indispensable for online work, because of the wide range of time zones and responsibilities among students and participants. I do think the synchronous meeting is an advantage, especially for brainstorming and stimulating new thought patterns and ideas. What have you found?

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