Using Safari Live Web‐conferencing Technology in Technical Writing Courses: Can Nonhuman Software Rehumanize Online Learning Spaces?
by David S. Hogsette, PhD
A lecture and roundtable discussion delivered at the Society for Literature, Science, and Arts national conference
Over the past six years the New York Institute of Technology (NYiT) has radically revised its core curriculum. This new Discovery Core seeks, among other things, to enhance all the core courses with various types of oral presentation assignments. NYiT also has a well-established online campus that has been operating for over two decades. The new Discover Core presents unique challenges to the online program, because the core seminars, writing courses, and various major courses offered online must meet the new core curriculum pedagogical requirements. An intriguing curriculum design challenge is how to implement good oral presentation projects in online courses. My talk addresses this question in the context of my online technical writing course by suggesting the following:
- Some online learning spaces can seem impersonal and alienating to some learners.
- Web-conferencing tools like Safari Live can rehumanize learning spaces by opening up synchronous, nonhuman meeting spaces through which human contact is electronically mediated.
- These mediated meeting spaces can provide a sense of human contact in an online course and thus approach the rehumanization of online courses.
In a brief PowerPoint presentation, I introduce the Safari Live web-conferencing software, discuss the technical writing oral presentation assignment, explain student experiences, discuss effective ways of setting up the assignment, and discuss various challenges, failures, and successes of this assignment.