Chat Room to Classroom: Action Research on Using Synchronised Discussion to Support Open Learning

By:
Mrs Mriga Williams
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Lifelong learning has become a fundamental concept to the growth of society and educational institutions continuously develop innovative course deliveries to suit the varying needs of employers and the individuals. The courses developed are flexible and delivered partly (as blended learning) or entirely (as e-learning) online. This paper evaluates the use of chat room to provide a real time discussion forum for the students as an alternative to the asynchronous discussion boards. This approach enhances the depth of learning through increased student participation by providing in some ways a better learning environment. The importance of preparation by the facilitator for promoting this method of facilitation and supporting students to develop the skills needed is central to the success of this approach. The skills of facilitation include those from a face to face approach blended with IT skills to enable learning to take place and adding transparency to the process of facilitation.


Keywords: Synchronised discussion, Depth of Learning, Facilitation, Distance learning, Learning Environment, Support
Stream: Technology in Education
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Chat Room to Classroom


Mrs Mriga Williams

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Health and Social Care, APU
UK

I have many years of experience in education and hold a Master’s degree In Practice of Education. My interests in use of technology to widen the student access into programmes and provide quality experience has grown over the years and allowed me to develop programmes for Negotiated, Open and Blended Learning that can be delivered via the Internet using WebCT. Issues like student-tutor relationship, quality student experience and skills of facilitation using this medium of teaching and learning are crucial to supporting and empowering learners in the development of life long learning skills in the 21st century. I am passionate about student centred teaching and learning as well as assessments which allow integration of theory and practice.
My love for travel and knowledge of other cultures helps me to empathise and understand multi-cultural student community.

Ref: T06P0179