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Online learning has changed considerably over the years, offering much more dynamic and interactive opportunities for students. The best course designs utilize a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities to facilitate learning.
More and more, companies, colleges and universities are using live multimedia interfacing to conduct their classes. Using this technology, universities or colleges book sessions for the class, and then communicate the date and times for the students to log onto the webpage. At that time, students are asked to turn on their microphone and speaker controls. Using only a headset, students can listen to the instructor, listen to feedback from other students, and can participate in a wide variety of other interactive learning tools.
This tool utilizes a whiteboard that the facilitator has control over. S/he can post instructional materials including web pages, graphs, charts, Word documents, etc. By opening up the whiteboard to the other students in the class, everyone can have an opportunity to edit or revise documents while the rest of the class benefits from the learning experience.
In addition, students are able to communicate with each other behind-the-scenes, posing questions through the messenger, “raising” their virtual hand to get the attention of the facilitator, and indicating that they've had to “step away” for a few minutes during class. It's this kind of innovation that makes online learning exciting.