We received this after an online instructor training workshop earlier this week, which reminded me that small differences for some people can be large ones for others:

Thanks for a great workshop the last two days… I wanted to share a separate positive comment that I should have included on the Etherpad: I’m profoundly/severely hard-of-hearing in both ears, and depend quite a bit on lip-reading when listening to people. As such, I have great difficulty with online material if the audio is bad, the speaker is not well lit, or the speaker is simply not on video.

This was the first online course I’ve taken where there were several sites participating, and there was the use of software (Etherpad) for collaborative interaction. I have to admit I was dubious at first at how well this would all work for me with you in one corner, the audience in another, and stuff happening on the etherpad.

In the end, I think it was fantastic. Having everybody collaboratively take notes worked out really well, because then if I didn’t quite get something, I could wait and see if somebody else typed up the information or I could ask about it in the chat window. I did have trouble hearing the audio from some of the other sites, but it wasn’t critical.

Thanks again for a great class.

This post originally appeared in the Software Carpentry blog.