Out of the Body Experiences (OBE) and Online Learning

Teaching Online

Learning in a Live Online Class
Learning in a live online class or a Virtual Classroom may involve a lot more than we realize. In fact, our brains may need some adjustments to understand what is happening to us. As I write this, I hear Marshall McLuhan‘s famous words “the medium is the message.

Virtual or Real?
Reality is based on what our brain tells us. If this is true, what is our brain telling us when we participate in a live online or synchronous class? The sync refers to the fact that the class is in real time. What is reality and how real is the experience in a live online class to our brain or is our brain fooling us?

Reality Takes Time
Apparently, our brain may fool us because it may not be as fast as reality. According to an article published by Alex Stone of the New York Times Sunday Review “our perception of reality lags behind reality by about one one-hundredth of a second”. This is one reason that magicians are successful at fooling people.

Out of Sync
Technology is powerful and may go beyond our perception of reality. What happens when the lag between what the brain is able to process and reality is for the duration of a whole live online class? The recording of the the live online class , conducted on WizIQ, validates Marshall McLuhan’s statement that “the medium is the message”. The live online class was given on WizIQ on August 5, 2012 as part of a course called Learn English Online (LEO) on WizIQ courses.

The recording of the live online class looks normal enough. You can see the participants writing in the chatbox and the teacher is moderating the class, but there is something different about this class because reality is not what it seems. The teacher and class attendees do not see one another. We can see that both the teacher and students are there, but they do not know what we can see in the recordings.

Technology has put the attendees and teacher out of sync. How can that be? Is this an illusion? Does our brain play tricks on us? Well, that may be true when it comes to virtual reality. To find out more about virtual reality and reality, read the following blog post by Dr. Nellie Deutsch on “Out of the Body Experiences (OBE) and Online Learning”: https://blog.wiziq.com/out-of-the-body-experiences-and-online-learning

What happened? Why were the participants and teacher out of sync? Why did they not see one another when they were in fact in there in the same space? Watch the video recording of the class and see how the teacher and the attendees are certain of the other’s absence when in reality, they are both in class.

Feedback on the Teacher’s Absence
Are these comments based on reality? If so, whose reality? Is reality subjective?

Sunday, August 5 2012

“Unfortunately we spend all the time without teacher, Dr. Nellie was absent. We don’t understand anything…”

“The moderator wasn’t able to join the class.”

“In today’s class Dr. Nellie was not there.”

Bodies in an Online Class
Does an online class have bodies? We know we are there, but we don’t see our bodies or other people’s bodies in the classroom. We only see our names and videos if we turn them on during the session. We know we are there, when we hear our voices and see the messages we add to the chatbox. But what happens when we don’t see each other’s chat messages or the video of the teacher? Is our perception of the online class limited to what we see during class? What happened in the virtual classroom on August 5, 2012? Were the participants and the teacher experiencing out of the body phenomena?

Out of Body Experience (OBE)
What does it mean to be out of your body or what is termed out of body experience (OBE)? Many people report on the sensation of being out of their bodies and watching their bodies from above, but some researchers believe it’s the brain playing tricks. Watch and read what Dr Graham Philips learned about the illusion when he met with scientists in Switzerland who have examined the phenomenon. Everyone has the ability to go into the out of the body experience when in danger or for other reasons. The scientist were able to find OBE’s actual location in the brain.

Virtual Reality Avatars
What does it mean to learn in a live virtual classroom and how is virtual reality connected to out of the body experiences? According to a report by the Guardian from 2011, researchers are now using virtual-reality avatars to create OBE experience in people.

Learning & Teaching Online
The technology that was used to create, manage, and record the live online class is the message that Marshall McLuhan referred to when he said “the medium is the message”. The recording of the live class is reality. No one who watches the recording would think otherwise. Yet, the participants and the teacher were out of sync.
Did my students and I experience an out of the body phenomenon in the live online class?

Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Dr. Nellie Deutsch is an education technology and curriculum consultant, faculty at Atlantic University in the MA transpersonal and leadership studies, teacher trainer, researcher, and writer. She organizes Moodle MOOCs and online conferences. She earned her doctorate in education and educational leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix Her dissertation research (available on ProQuest & Amazon) focused on instructor experiences with integrating technology in blended learning contexts in higher education around the world. Nellie offers free teacher training courses on teaching with technology, action research and Moodle for teacher courses to new, veteran, and future teachers who wish to teach online, face-to-face or in blended learning formats. She also provides online courses to teachers and ICT people on how to be administrators of Moodle websites. She integrates Moodle and WizIQ live virtual classes in all her courses.


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