Synchronous e-Learning


The people at the eLearning Guild have produced yet another great e-book, available free to guild members online, called a handbook on synchronous e-learning.

Anyone who is venturing into the fun-filled world of online teaching using synchronous technologies will find this book a mine of useful information. The main focus of the advice is aimed at users of systems such as Elluminate, WebEx, Centra, Acrobat Connect (formerly Breeze) etc., the advice given is equally applicable to users of traditional video conferencing set ups.

Reading the book took me back to the early days of audio-graphics and video conferencing in NZ when I ran workshops for teachers and we produced pages of notes etc – the contents of this book reflect the same sorts of advice, including;

  • designing for the virtual classroom,
  • preliminary planning
  • setting up
  • showtime!
  • wrap-up and follow-up

The advice itself is very practical, with useful lists of tips and suggestions that could easily be used in any context.

In addition, there’s a useful introduction to synchronous e-Learning that provides a comprehensive rationale for why you might choose to tech in this manner. One thing I was pleased to see was reference to the use of an LMS as an adjunct to the synchronous tool (some may argue it’s the other way round!) – which reinforces the notion that e-learning is often about choosing combinations of tools rather than focusing on a single modality. to this end there’s a useful table comparing the features of synchronous and asynchronous learning included in the introduction.

Overall, another excellent publication from the eLearning Guild containing ideas and advice that is applicable across all areas – business, tertiary, schools etc.

4 thoughts on “Synchronous e-Learning

  1. Thanks Derek – looks like a great organisation. I went to join up and gave up in despair 🙂 Their application form needs some work! They have such a hierarchical view of employment options I could not find much to fit and certainly when I was at Ultralab not much of it was applicable – perhaps now it’s more so at CORE. It may seem trivial but don’t you think application forms say a lot about an organisation?

    Anyway, thanks for highlighting the publication – I’ll enjoy looking through it when I’m done with this report I’m working on 🙂

  2. Hi Derek thanks for the link i have downloaded this & another about online teaching tips – i will be sharing this with the TaraNet eteachers 🙂 Gina you don’t need to apply for membership you just go straight to the ebooks page & hit the download button.

  3. Thank you for alerting me to this free download resource. It was so easy to do and is great reading. Thanks

  4. hi derek, thanx for your post

    within the Netherlands it is very common that traditional structures such as government and education are very slow adapting to new technology. However, due to Web2.0 and collaborative initiatives, it is possible for people to learn new skills by eLearning.

    I am hoping that a tool such a Mediawiki could foster continious improvement within education areas. Why reinventing the wheel if students could continue with educational development where others finished. A wiki is an excellent tool for this?

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