Synchronous Vs Asynchronous Communications – What Works Best in an Online Environment? Lessons Learnt
Thursday, June 25 11:15 AM-12:15 PM Location: Niihau
Presider: Tony Hirst, The Open University, United Kingdom
Abstract: Communication plays a critical role in student perception of their online experience and fosters learner-learner interaction that provides a rich, interactive online classroom environment (Mabrito, 2006). Learning is more effective in an online course if there is interaction among learners (Bull, Kimball, and Stansberry 1998).In an online course, communication usually takes place in a synchronous or asynchronous mode. Though both modes foster interaction, each has its own distinct features, from the immediacy of interaction in a synchronous mode to the time allowed for reflection in the asynchronous mode. A case study examines student perception of these two modes of communication over a period of three academic terms in an introductory computer concepts course delivered online. We present a list of best practices for the optimum blend of real time and non-real time communications in an online environment based on the case study.