Communicating in Online Classrooms

My focus remains online studying.

Brick and mortar classrooms and online classrooms differ in how everyone communicates. The trick is getting used to online communication. The difficulty is often the lack of seeing a face and the nuances one can gather when seeing faces. One just has to work out how to get the most out of an online environment.

So what could online studying include?

  • Online classes could be through chat rooms and forums.
  • Typing, audio, and video can all come into play.
  • Online platforms, like the Blackboard classroom, are very popular.
  • Classes could be synchronous or asynchronous or a combination.
  • Asynchronous is harder to get a feel of the people, but allows anyone the freedom to log on at any time and work.
  • In addition to live audio and video, often classes can be downloaded and listened to at your convenience.
  • Study material is from an online library, and downloadable ebooks, audio and video.
  • Email, voip programs, and the trusted phone (for emergencies) also help keep the human element going.

But like a traditional classroom, there will still be a teacher and fellow students. Be sure to interact to gain the full learning experience. There are ways to get to know each other:

  • Sometimes faces
  • Sometimes voices
  • Definitely writing styles

It all feels very strange at first. Getting to grips with the technology is the first hurdle. But once that is done, it becomes like sending a text message on a mobile phone: old hat and what was there to be concerned about.

I’d love to hear both professors and students (young and old) share their online experiences; both good and bad. Important to realize that online education is not for everyone. And that applies to both the student and teacher.