Home > Distance-education-format-is-Synchronous, e-languages, e-learning > One-on-one virtual language tutoring using Wimba Classroom

One-on-one virtual language tutoring using Wimba Classroom

The most useful tools in Wimba Classroom for synchronous one-on-one online tutoring, apart from the basic text instant messaging, may be not the videoconferencing, but the audio tools combined with screen-sharing or application-sharing AKA desktop sharing (remote user can control the application – especially for reviewing online learning materials with automated feedback which the student may need additional help with.

A two-way audio connection is obviously useful for language learning, and incurs no phone costs. Videoconferencing is only available on the most advanced phones. And more than video even,
we thought that especially the application screen sharing in wimba would be useful, e.g. if tutor and student go through some of the online exercises together live and the tutor can answer additional questions of the student that the automated online correction has not answered).

To start application sharing, click in tab:content button:share, set the desired sharing options and click “begin sharing”

Recommended learning path:

  1. Both Wimba.com on their Wimba Classroom page and the CTL on their Wimba entry page have a wealth of learning resources on (notice that I Red heart loop inductions, learning by doing):
  2. First watch an archived session held using Wimba classroom: Both the vendor (TBA) and the CTL have archived sessions, including introductory sessions on the use of Wimba Classroom and components.
  3. Then take the student perspective:  You can anticipate student issues and learn from/with the teacher without full responsibility for the session, if you participate in a live session using Wimba Classroom., like the ones the CTL regularly offers (the next one:  http://teaching.uncc.edu/how-do-i-moodle-more-course-web-site-30-min-webinar). 
  4. Read the FAQ, to learn from colleagues with a similar background/context: Intricacies of the talk button (keep it pressed, or set the options so that you do not ; video/audio/text  out of sync may indicate slow internet connection, consider dropping video, the biggest bandwidth hog.
  5. Practice makes perfect: Once equipped with a computer, I plan to test out the Wimba Classroom instructor room, by using it for intra- and inter-office communications. There are competing platforms that I like, e.g. MS-Communicator with its strong presence and escalation features. But Wimba rooms which span students, teachers and staff – any staff member has one by default, any student can enter a room -, have the strongest network effect).
  6. Do one-on-one student support, like in tutoring or online office hours. This can serve you as a gentle introduction to doing more ambitious Wimba classroom projects:
  7. Meeting online with small student groups, e.g. when planning or reviewing student groups projects.
  8. Teaching large online classes.
  9. Before you do this and for your specialized features, you may want to review in–depth multimedia documentation: Wimba Classroom has in depth print manual for presenters and students. Screencast videos (Using Audio, Web Page Display, Application Sharing) are instructional, 1-page “cheat sheets” (Web Page Display, Application Sharing)  are perfect for putting up at your computer during your first session.
  10. Once you are experts, don’t forget that your studentsmay not have used Wimba classroom.

We can support such online tutoring

    1. in the LRC when open (not on weekends unfortunately);
  • Or in your office, with spare parts from the LRC hardware resources (headsets and webcams) which we can set up for you;
  1. Or – to gain maximum benefit from the flexibility synchronous online affords – from home: This however hinges on teachers’ (and students!) whether you are comfortable independently supporting this and if your setup can handle the requirements – – soundcard, headset  with microphone (fewer audio problems than with a microphone/speakers built-in/connected to your webcam/laptop), (webcam is possible, but not necessarily the most useful language learning feature , and but maybe contenting with more instructional screen-sharing or  application-sharing, capability of running the Java plugin in your browser, sufficiently fast computer  and internet connection

All participants must run the Wimba wizard well ahead of session, to be able to address any technical problems before entering a classroom. You can watch the Wizard at work in this  screencast video.

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