What was good
The actual lesson went well. We had no technical problems. Everybody who wanted was able to use voice and all students (except one at the beginning) could hear me. Sound quality was good. All students with one exception (the one who couldn‘t hear us) participated very actively in the lesson. The female students could hear me and participate in local chat and work together in pairs using private IM/Call. I managed to write part of what I said into local chat for those who could not hear me.
I enjoyed myself and had a good feeling during the lesson. We had one unexpected furry visitor who suddenly flew in and sat down among the students. I said hello and welcomed ”it” but it didn‘t talk 🙂
The main aim was for students to introduce themselves and get acquainted with each other, the teacher and the SL course and start using voice.
The sub-aims: Greetings and introductions; review of question words, question formation and short answers; practising small talk
What students thought
According to the survey, students liked all activities and the lesson in general. They stated that they only learned a few new words but vocabulary was not the main teaching aim of this lesson. I wanted the students to have an easy start. Nevertheless, even at pre-intermediate level students often do not know how to properly introduce themselves and say ”Nice to meet you(,too)” and have a small talk.
Needs working on:
What didn‘t work out well was mingling activities. I had thought that walking away a bit would help but voice and text chat reaches quite far. So muting the others or IM/Call are the best ways to communicate in pairs or groups, but not easy, especially with a group of SL newbies and larger groups. It‘s OK with one partner but in a mingling activity where everybody moves from one person to the next it‘s difficult even for those who have the skills. Some obviously didn‘t know how.
I will have to think of alternative ways of doing mingling activities. It is also definitely worth having one session prior to the actual lessons to go through the necessary SL skills and practise them.