students can become frustrated or distracted. Development of strong learning and multimedia skills is essential for success. podcasts. Common multimedia programs include web conferencing. Some schools use innovative technologies to provide instruction and to communicate with students. message boards. email and chat rooms. however. . etc. Without proper understanding of and access to these tools.

Email Podcasts Web Conferencing .

lack of materials present and potential delay in communication. chat rooms can be difficult to manage effectively in the distance learning environment.  . The difficulty in using chat rooms lies in the lack of visual reference (students only see type). For a successful chat room session. While useful tools for e-learners. chat rooms can be strong tools for the distance learner. students should prepare as if for a face-to-face discussion group. With proper preparation and direction. Students should have materials present and questions or thoughts formulated prior to the session. Instructors and elearners should strive to keep the discussion on-topic and respectful. Chat rooms provide real-time access to an instructor. the opportunity to ask questions or clarify material and the opportunity to interact with fellow students. Instructors will have a clear outline and plan for the discussion.

collaborative learning appears to increase a sense of community.  Further. knowledge is shared or transmitted among learners as they work towards common learning goals.  . which has been shown to be closely linked to learner satisfaction and retention.Collaborative Projects New web applications make it easy for multiple students to work together on an online project such as an essay or a visual. a shared understanding of the subject at hand or a solution to a problem. for example.  In a collaborative learning environment.

 Learners are not passive receptacles but are active in their process of knowledge acquisition as they participate in discussions. not owned by one particular learner after obtaining it from the course materials or instructor. search for information. and exchange opinions with their peers. . Knowledge is co-created and shared among peers. The learning process creates a bond between and among learners as their knowledge construction depends on each other’s contribution to the discussion.

Email  Accessible almost anywhere including on phones and other multimedia players. Students should give professors time to respond. Instructors work with many students and genuinely want to meet their needs. students can attach outlines or drafts of papers to email which can be useful in acquiring instructor feedback. In addition. such as "u" for "you". Keeping this in mind. wellwritten and informational emails are appreciated. and should plan their email accordingly. email keeps students in constant contact with their professors and classmates. Respectful. . students should use care when writing an email to a professor or classmate. Writers should remember not to include language used for texting.

As message boards are typically saved for the duration of a course. As opposed to real-time tools.Message Boards  Online classes often require postings and discussions on message boards. message boards allow thought and preparation before a response is written. If they are maintained properly. Students using this tool should be challenged to respond directly to a thought or question and post new directions on a subject in an entirely new thread. they can be extremely helpful in studying for comprehensive tests and finding useful resources. . they are useful collaborative tools for online learners. such as web conferencing. Message boards are constantly monitored for safe and appropriate language use.

rather than at a set time. yet not in real-time. flexibility and repeated usage opportunities. Podcasts provide the user with the ability to see and hear the instructor. they should contact their instructor as soon as possible. Podcasts are valuable for their ease of use. This is especially useful for students.Podcasts  Podcasts offer a variety of important features for online students. In fact. as they can listen to the podcast repeatedly to ensure understanding. Should students have questions after viewing a podcast. They can also use the podcast whenever they have their own study time. . many large companies are using podcasts instead of expensive all-staff company meetings. podcasts are the fastest growing multimedia communication tool.

Unlike podcasts. as though you were attending a lecture in real life.Videos  Watching a video lecture makes it possible to see and hear your professor. . video lectures allow students to view demonstrations and pick up on visual cues.

Students should treat these conferences as they would traditional class times.Web Conferencing  Instead of traditional face-to-face classroom time. students should be on time and come as prepared as possible. . A student can see and speak with their instructor through microphone and/or camera capabilities in real-time. online instructors use web conferencing to meet with students.

Having thoughts formulated ahead of time keeps students organized and prepared. and can help shy learners feel comfortable posing questions.A web conference is a chance to ask questions. so students should take notes during the conference itself. . Web conferences are not typically saved for later use. make valuable comments and have difficult information explained or expanded upon. Students also can hear questions or comments made by their classmates.

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