Methodology & protocols:

Methodology and protocols for WhatsApp learning groups: 

Fresh cohorts for monthlong , weeklong or weekend WhatsApp courses will begin on the first Monday of every month, the Monday of the week, or the Saturday of the weekend. 

Prospective learners can convey their interest in pursuing the course at any time earlier, by sending a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724. 

The group will be created shortly before the start of the course and all those included in the group will receive a corresponding notification. This notification will also inform about the time of the day every day that I will be making my post comprising the course content. 

Every day, at about 10 minutes before the scheduled time of my post, I will make a post to the group to the effect that the session would be beginning in about 10 minutes. 

At this scheduled time, all members of this group are requested to open their WhatsApp and visit this group to view my posts. 

The posts may be text, images of PowerPoint slides, my audio messages or an occasional external link to a short video. Those who cannot join in time to see the posts in real time, can view or hear them later, as they will remain with you until you deliberately and consciously delete them. This is one of the features of a-synchronous learning.

Participants may make their comments and observations as they occur to them. Depending upon the volume and nature of such queries, I will make a quick and brief response where possible, and all other queries or observations will be responded to in a consolidated document sometime later. 

I will stop making my  posts and close the day’s session with a message to the effect that the session of the day is now over.

Since the messages will remain with the members of the group until they deliberately delete them, they may now go ahead and do anything else. They can always return to the group to have another look at the posts. The group will remain active for a week more, after the month is over,after which it will be closed.

Protocols for our course WhatsApp group:

 1. The specific course group will be formed shortly before the start of the course.

2. Every WhatsApp course group can technically have a maximum of 500 persons, each of whose time is valuable, and we must respect this.

 3. So if a distraction is posted on the group site of even about one

 minute for any person, it may mean a collective waste of perhaps more than eight hours. So by all means share your thoughts, experiences and resources, on the main theme of this group but briefly with links given for further details.

 4. You may send direct messages to other members on their

 WhatsApp one at a time, or you may even form your own group on

 the side, with their consent.

 5. If you have messages for me (Administrator), which do not

 concern the whole group, please send them as direct WhatsApp

 messages to me, rather than as a post on the whole group.

 6. The need for this protocol arises because most of us are used to

 WhatsApp as an informal medium of communication in our circles,

 as a means of recreation and relaxation. In our context we

 are exploring what should be the ‘etiquette’ and protocol to make

 this most effective, for genuine and useful social learning.

 7. These thoughts are not cast in stone, and we are happy to know

 of  better ideas to develop such a framework.

 8. So please, no just ‘good morning’, except if you must to begin your post. We will be quite happy if you omit such phrases, and get straight to the ideas/ thoughts. 

 9. You may post long self-contained messages to save the effort of

 going to another link if it adds to the reader’s convenience.

 Although normally WhatsApp posts should be brief. Another good

 point to ponder would be ‘what is the right length of a WhatsApp

 post ?’ beyond which a reader may want to respond with ‘tl;dr’.

 And long posts may be split into a number of shorter posts.

 10. Please keep suggesting guidelines that we may add in the future to make this protocol even more effective, for us as a learning community.

To seek further clarification on anything, please send a WhatsApp message to Prof. MM Pant at + 919810073724