Action Research Project Stage 2:
Implementation and delivery


OUR PROJECT RESEARCH QUESTION:
What are the positives and negatives of converting current face to face Safe Food Handling (SFH) materials to enable delivery of SFH as an online course?


Actions: Preparation (List actions as you identify them)

Our first class will include participants from the community engagement project from Benambra 150kms away and Bendoc 100kms away.
Most have satellite broadband and one is using solar power
Training Sessions were ran at cceg for all neighbourhood houses and resource center co-ordinators on the use of Wimba liveclassroom
Jan travelled to the wilderness area to ensure the co-ordinators were equiped to accomodate Wimba live classroom
Communication was established via email on dates,times and length of class
All powerpoints, polls, Assessments and Ice breakers uploaded into live classroom by Junita
Work books are emailed out to students with an explanation about how assessments will be handled

Achievements (List them as they happen and when)
  • The students were sent their first assessment by email before the first session (research activity)
  • During the session I sent out a variety of PowerPoint presentations to the students and we discussed Food Poisoning
  • Ice breakers that I searched dilligently for, making sure all were freeware, were used
  • Online polls that I felt relevant to the subject and the area we live in were used
  • Included in the session was an assessment that used a poll about bacteria, responses saved to a Word document
  • The second online class had a few problems and was postponed due to an audio problem at Benambra
  • The third was also plagued with audio problems. Benambra again suffering. We went ahead with the class and the students used text and the whiteboard to communicate. The emoticons hand raising and yes/ no became invaluable
  • During the session I used a variety of PowerPoint presentations, ice breakers and Polls
  • I was able to complete a second assessment via poll
  • Time was spent over the next few days working with Benambra to ensure audio could be achieved ,emails of encoragement and ideas were sent
  • Thanks to Joe from e-Works who helped Sue and Rosemary from Benambra audio was established.
  • The final class was extended and went ahead without a problem
  • The day before the final class I emailed to all students their final assessment task
  • During the final class I used a series of PowerPoints, polls and icebreakers
  • Delivered the four sessions - in three - because of considerable technical difficulties (audio) during session 2
  • Within 3 days I had most assessment tasks returned

Reflections
  • I feel I didn't give my students enough time to talk me at first, it took a while to adjust
  • I found myself filling in the gaps of silence when I should have let the students interact with me more, using emoticons and text chat more.
  • By the last class I felt and hope we achieved what we set out to do
  • Ultimately our class was very small - this was because we limited the offer of places to two communities because we had been told they would provide up to 5 participants each - had we opened up the offer to other communities there would have been more students. Small numbers were not due to any constraints of the delivery method (LiveClasroom)

Evidence / Data Collection

  • Students enrolled at Community College East Gippsland from Bendoc, Benambra
  • Workbooks sent to students via email
  • Research Activities with live links to web site sent as Assessment
  • Polls created as one form of assessment and saved as evidence in a Word document
  • Work book assessments emailed the last week of class
  • Online training now advertised in Community College East Gippsland brochure



THE LAST THOUGHT: Resolutions

  • There are definitely Positives in converting Safe Food Handling to an online format.
  • The fact that the class now has a compliance certificate enabling them to work in the outreaches of Victoria is empowering for them.
  • Creating a presentation using local photos of food service was an enjoyable project.
  • Wimba LiveClassroom is user friendly and offered creativity for the students and myself. Being live adds a personal touch.
  • There were not any major negatives over the whole process - it took time to create and ensure the content was correct, but this is to be expected when attempting anything new.
  • We had a problem with audio that also took time and patience for us all, we still communicated with support by Email
  • Even with our problems a sense of community existed - the audio problems actually helped create this.
  • Overall I feel it certainly was a positive experience converting Safe Food Handling to an online format.
  • It is essential to maintain contact with students before / during / after!