I've been holding weekly chats for my online cataloging course for about two years now and my students are more than willing to make the time to attend and to participate. Sunday nights are the best time--around 9pm. Its a bit hard on my East coasters but West coasters love it, of course.
Chat logs are essential for those who can't make the chats due to other committments. I make the chat logs available immediately following. I also use extensive discussion areas in my website--one discussion area for each assignment, plus "Crying Room" for venting purposes. Students also work in groups so each group get a private discussion area to meet and compile assignment submissions.
It was interesting to read Heidi's experiences for teaching AACR online because it pretty much mirrors my own exactly. We use Cataloger's Desktop which really helps--I've started to include some searching strategies for CD in my online textbook.
Shawne D. Miksa, Ph.D.
School of Library and Information Sciences
University of North Texas
>>> [log in to unmask] 10/1/2004 12:08:54 PM >>>
I'd be interested to find out how this turns out. If you build it,
will they come? While I get a kick out of the geographical span of my
teaching--from Hong Kong to Amsterdam!--the key factor is really that
everyone works full-time. What's the incentive to spend a particular
hour chatting about cataloging rather than fitting it in as study
time in odd hours off? Is this the best online way to reach the most
I'll be polling my students next week to see about times and
whether that will actually work for them, but I'd love to hear more
experiences from the list.