I will summarise here my conversation with Protomas Ludwig, the instructor of the NCI basic scripts workshop I attended.
My first question was wether this course was still Beta or was already fully tested.
Protomas Ludwig: this is a long running class. I’ve made LOTS of changes over the months.
I have to add here that from the learner point of view it was clear that this was not a Beta course, the teacher had all the material well prepared in advance, know it very well, and one could feel that she was not nervous nor did any of our question come as “new” to her.
anna Begonia: can i ask when was the first time you gave this same class (in its 1st version, I mean)? Because what you said about changes made me think..
Protomas Ludwig: hmmm, about a year and a half ago now.
(you see? I was right ;o) )
anna Begonia: wow, that’s a long time!
Protomas Ludwig: I’ve had to update it as things change, and I’ve changed HOW I say things several times
Following the scheme we were given, I asked then what were the most important aspects of delivering a class in SL?
Protomas Ludwig: clarity of the text. by that I mean that you have to say things in text in such a way that ALL the people in the class can understand
anna Begonia: and are you taking into consideration that may be not everybody is native english speaker?
Protomas Ludwig: yes, I do try to take language barriers into account. I don’t speak anything but English, but I try to speek as unambigously as possible, and I try to use short sentences and simple words where possible.
(I confirm: as a not native speaker I had no problem at all to follow the instructions)
anna Begonia: I think that one of the worst thing in giving classes in SL is that you do not have a clue of whether your students are listening, understanding, liking it or not. I personally find it very frustrating
Protomas Ludwig: yes, I actually have to ASK sometimes, “Are you still here?” 🙂
anna Begonia: I would like to thank you because you are giving the text in a good pace. some instructors in SL just run…, but in your case it is possible to read at one’s pace.
Protomas Ludwig: I had pacing trouble at first. then I started reading my own lecture -slowly- as I gave it, and it turns out that keeps the pace about right.
anna Begonia: does it means that you are reading it every time you are giving this class?
Protomas Ludwig: pretty much. I mean some days I am tired…
anna Begonia: yes, I can immagine
Protomas Ludwig: but most of the time I am reading it, and even when I don’t, I know the right pacing because I’ve read it so many times. I still go over my alloted time a lot, but I figure better to err in that direction. In addition I try to vary the classes in small ways to keep it interesting, which is why I put in jokes.
anna Begonia: I see that in most of “tecnical” class in SL people use chat, not voice. We language teachers are strange in SL , we always use voice, does the text election have a reason?
Protomas Ludwig: ack! voice is hard! For me, it is MUCH easier to understand a text question than a voice one. Also the voice chat has NO record of the question, so if I miss it, I can’t go back and re-read it and of course its easier for the student if they don’t have to figure out MY accent
anna Begonia: lol
Protomas Ludwig: also, I’ve had voice be abused in class several times.
anna Begonia: I can immagine it! I thought that the main reason was possible griefers attacks. Is it common to have griefers in clases?
Protomas Ludwig: well, I do have some. But since I realized I coudn’t spend much time on them and started banning people withing about 2 minutes of them starting, I don’t have that many now. Which is one reason I try to only teach in locations I have ban rights in.
anna Begonia: yes, that’s very wise. And my last question: any advice for new people who want to try to give some classes here?
Protomas Ludwig: yes, be patient
anna Begonia: :o) That works in RL as well
Protomas Ludwig: its VERY hard for people to get their heads around concepts in SL, so you have to go slow (time permitting) and be clear, and not get upset if people have problems. I’m always amazed at how many ways people find to do something wrong.
anna Begonia: lol
Protomas Ludwig: but I just laugh to myself and explain it again
anna Begonia: thank you very much
Protomas Ludwig: you are very welcome. I hope it helps you
anna Begonia: I’m sure i will get a good grade thanks to you
anna Begonia: see you and thanks again!
Protomas Ludwig: have a good day!