Journal Jottings

From a new e-learner

 Sept – Oct 2002       

Date of entry                           Jottings

18 – 09 – 02

First time into the online learning module.

Overwhelmed going from screen to screen & site to site in introductory/ orientation & welcome class.

Felt isolated , lacking in skills, couldn’t seem to log in properly to some suggested sites. Opened an email address regarding e-learning info. Couldn’t find Webct Helpdesk.

Took a break, and came back to it.

Long session, first logged on at 12:00 finished 17:35

There do not seem to be many words in the Glossary. I wonder if I am using it correctly – I tried searching for help, then others cannot make letters light up. I want a Help or Glossary function that operates more like a fairy god mother!! – and can read my mind. May be it’s a bit like the search function on internet – you have to learn how to narrow your search down.

Couldn’t open multiple browser windows…..rang Keven. N/A

Rang other mentor Valda – she suggested using Netscape as well as explorer. Momentary panic replaced with acceptance that sometimes things don’t work! Opened navigator – much slower than explorer.

Printed copious notes …….. especially when I undertook stage one test. Made better progress – got to checkpoint 2 & 3. WOW!!!

 The quiz format in self test is very user friendly, and I like the instant feedback. One question v. hard, as I am not a teacher, nor likely to teach on line in the future.

19 - 09 –02

Sent mail today, responding to request for times for chat.

Feeling more familiar with the site, and more motivated to go in and out of Learnscope. Thank goodness for the intro to webct at our first Learnscope session – I’m sure the initial familiarity is helping with my confidence on this course.

Have received email seeking more info about address I opened during session 1– don’t understand enough to ask anyone nor to select option. So, deleted it anyway!

Sent a question to my lecturer regarding the confusing nature of the mail set up. There is no outbox like “Outlook” so not quite sure if my mail has gone. Checked the intro to Online CD to see if it explained it.  Still not sure. Don’t think there is one.

23 – 09 – 02

I am starting to feel excited when I come into work (T, W, half Th and extra time on M) and enthusiastically checking both web ct courses.

I am delighted how quickly the lecturer has responded to my email. She posted a response that night.

I am trialing the “Take Notes” function. In fact I am quite relieved because it’s a better way of making notes/ reminders than the mobs of hard copy which I am not sure how to file and is such a waste of paper. I have this fear that I am going to miss or forget the really important information – especially what will be tested at the end!

Today I introduced myself to the “others”. I also explained about Keven and my mini Learnscope project and requested feedback about the experiences of others on line.

25 – 09 – 02

Checked the mail – No mail!

Had a chat today with Anthea the course facilitator. Felt a lot less trepidation than the first chat in Learnscope. I can remember the confusion that first time trying to follow the different conversations between everyone at the same time!! And then getting multiples of myself in the chat room and not quitting properly. The on-line lesson I completed on “Using Chat” was helpful. It is relatively simple – and I have now mastered the chime. As well, I didn’t realise there was a chat room for any student studying webct.

I feel like I have “met” my lecturer now. This somehow makes it seem easier to mail or leave messages for her. Anthea has given me the names of two people I could contact for our project to research their experiences on line.

 I acknowledged the mail of two others on my course. Actually that tip came from Michael of Learnscope. It’s a bit disappointing I have started this so late as I do feel a lack of student contact compared with my experience of the Learnscope site.

I wish I had the net at home, I m having to come into work on my days off and dedicate blocks of time. It would suit to log on in the evenings at home after tea. This way is less flexible and, regardless of planning, the interruptions continue!

30 – 09 - 02

I still have not received any mail from any other students. I guess with the holidays and end of course I probably won’t now.

I tried to download an attachment to a disc and the whole system and explorer shut down. I telephoned Keven. Mondays are the days he’s going to be around. He was available and talked me thru the process, same as what I did but it worked second go. I guess I need to learn persistence….    …and try, try again when something doesn’t work, and not get in to  the fear and self doubt.  I think problem solving on my own is not my strength! – its so much easier to ask when you are in a class with a teacher! I do wish I had started this earlier so I could post questions to the other students  - like what I’ve read in Valda’s course on the discussion board. The more resources the better ……

02 – 10 – 02

I am reading and catching up on all the discussions. I found a transcript of the last chat the students had with Anthea, which I thought would be useful for mine and Kev’s project. However I couldn’t seem to open it without downloading and its saying its not in a format that’s compatible.  I tried the Help Button, and Keven, to no avail.

Last time I tried to download a discussion content to a disc the whole system and explorer shut down. Total panic – you know the secret fear if you press something on a computer you can lose the lot!!!

Well progress….. I have just about finished off all the sections today but at end of section five was unable to submit quiz. I have got no clues, unless the course is now closed but having come so close to the end the cynic in me is feeling a bit dumb right now thinking may be this is a TEST!  AND IM NOT GOING TO PASS! Just when I was starting to feel quite good at this!

03 – 10 - 02

Anthea has emailed and said she has adjusted the settings,so try again, or go onto final section.

Still not working!  Ughh!!

03 – 10 - 02

Video Conference with Keven Cocks -

Hour long discussion covering topics such as technical assistance, confidence, types of learner and learning style, immediacy of help, pre-course orientation , “learner” problem solving, access to IT, timing of facilitator contact such as chat & mail & phone during course, informal contacts with other students. 

by Fleur Collins
(Kangaroo Island Learning Centre Coordinator)