As a classroom educator having a guest speaker in the classroom was an arduous event which required weeks of pre-planning. Finding a common time when the expert could be in the classroom with the appropriate group of students, getting clearance from the office, sometimes having to re-schedule, preparing the students for the content and the decorum of being an audience member. Yikes! No wonder guest speakers were a rare occurrence.
As an online educator having a guest speaker is a much easier exercise and a best practice which should be used frequently. The expert can be sent the questions in advance and answer them asynchronously in a wiki or in an email; or synchronously in a live event which can then be recorded for students who are unable to attend.
Recently our University of Wisconsin-Stout Trends and Issues in Instructional Design course sections were privileged to have as guest speakers Cammy Bean and Christy Tucker. Their interviews have been saved and are available for everyone to read. Instructional Designer Interviews Additional experts in instructional design will be guest speakers for upcoming classes and their interviews will be showcased here as well. Students were thrilled to have their questions answered by real instructional designers, especially designers of this caliber! What a privilege for our Instructional Design certificate program students to be able to ask questions of Cammy Bean or Christy Tucker!
Experts who would not or could not visit a traditional classroom are often able and willing to be guest speakers at a distance. In fact there needs to be a new term for experts who visit online or traditional classrooms from a distance asynchronously or synchronously. What would it be, any suggestions?