Meet Me Pronto!
July 12, 2011 2 Comments
Meet Me Pronto! Adoption and Deployment Strategies for Pronto
Kara Monroe, Assistant Vice Provost, Center for Instructional Technology, Ivy Tech Community College
One of the biggest questions for DLIT right now is how do we leverage Wimba Pronto and increase adoption across the college. The very first session I attended at Blackboard World was on this very topic! (Eric, by the way, you got a plug by Kara!) A fun facts I learned – Ivy Tech Community College is the largest Pronto user in the WORLD! I think that gives some definite credibility to Kara on this topic. Here are a few of the biggest takeaways for me from this session:
Firstly, Ivy Tech introduces their faculty to Pronto during their 6-week Online Faculty Certification course. GRCC has a similar course with our 5-week Online and Hybrid Certification Course, and this may be a great opportunity to embed Pronto more into the course to give faculty the student experience of being able to connect instantaneously with their instructor. I know that we are really trying in increase the Help Desk use of Pronto and there is also a Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies Assistance account already created, and if we can also direct faculty to these resources, the exposure to the product should in turn help increase adoption.
Secondly, Ivy Tech has a self-paced student orientation that takes about 30 minutes, and students are introduced to Pronto, including what it is, and how they can use it to chat with their instructor and their classmates. One great idea for using Pronto with students include group chats where the instructor can begin the chat, but then leaves the students to discuss on their own, study for a test, discuss the current homework. A win-win situation where we can increase student-to-student interaction with little extra energy on the part of the faculty member.
My biggest takeaway is that we have to educate our users with very tangible ways to use Pronto. The uses for fully online courses are tremendous! Faculty can use the application sharing feature in Pronto to walk through a student’s exam with them one-on-one virtually. Instead of trying to type useful feedback to students in a math class, you could actually verbally walk through with an individual student where they went wrong on a problem. Plus, there is a whiteboard feature in Pronto which saves every whiteboard you use. So, if you walk student A through Exam 1 Problem 4 and then later need to walk student B through the same Problem, you do not have to recreate the slide, you can just bring up the whiteboard you used earlier.
Another very powerful tool in Pronto are the queued chats. You can allow students to virtually line up so you can focus on one chat/one question at a time. There are a variety of sessions for these queued rooms including the waiting room chat which lets students in the queue chat together while waiting. The potential here is for students to help each other and get their question answered and then they can leave the queue. Plus, you can require a reason for entering which will let you know if multiple students are coming to you for the same reason, and you can add them all to the room at the same time and explain the problem or answer the question once!
If you are at Grand Rapids Community College and you want to join the Pronto bandwagon, then log into bb.grcc.edu and click on the Instant Messaging – Pronto link in the Tools area in the left hand corner.
Hope to see you Pronto!