A major drawback of distance education is the isolation that students practice. In traditional education, it is easy to seek guidance from teachers and students. Students often form informal student groups and can only be present in the academic field.
E-learning technology can help to increase loneliness isolation by interacting with teachers and peers.
Such technology may be asynchronous, ie. mainly a forum where users send messages to others to view and respond to at the time; or synchronized, ie communication takes place in real time.
The synchronized session of the applications originally consists of text-based chat systems. Since the bandwidth of the Alliance has increased significantly, these systems can now support audiovisual policy. In the choice of delivery mode, consider: i) students in developing countries may not have the technical ability to support audiovisual media; ii) those who learn in another language may find it easier to follow the caption that appears on the screen.
General Software Software, such as Windows Live Messenger, Skype, and Yahoo! Messenger can all be used for education. In many cases, students can already use this service. Alternatively, you can use a product specifically designed for e-learning like Elluminate.
Synchronized software can promote e-learning in a variety of ways, for example:
* Teachers deliver pre-organized seminars on specific topics, reflect lectures or courses in the campus. In such cases, it is important to prevent monitors and allow a lot of opportunities to participate in real-time collaboration.
* Supervisors and support staff have an "office hours" period where students can raise issues that concern.
* An expert guest speaker can be invited to present presentations (from their own location) and answer questions.
* Facilities may be accessible for student engagement to students, either in specific projects or general peers through the course.
As the student body is internationally based on the timing of the meeting, should be chased to give everyone at least some chance to participate in a suitable local time. Different meetings may start at different times or (permissions allowed). The same parliament could be invited twice (or more) to maximize opportunity for participation.
Many choose open or distance learning for the flexibility it offers. It is important not to make this flexible by participating in synchronization.
The main synchronized meetings should be recorded and accessible after the event. This reduces problems for those who can not meet, as well as benefiting from the participants by giving the opportunity to review issues.