Choice of medium

At first, it is not so simple to choose the proper medium or interaction tool for attaining each of the targeted objectives of the distance course.

For example, if an activity requires team work in a classroom situation, once it is online will it require the same kind of discussion forum or a sub-group chat room? Even if the principle of trial and error is often a good way of measuring the effectiveness of a tool, consulting colleagues who have already tested various options can be useful.

Finally, just because an online activity fails to work on the first attempt is no reason to abandon it. At times, it is but a simple matter of changing a medium, a tool, or support method.

Here are some mediums that can facilitate the transfer of an in-class activity to a distance activity:

  • Synchronous: online survey, whiteboard, large group or sub-group chat rooms, webcam, sound files, video, etc.
  • Asynchronous: document sharing, discussion forums, blogs, wikis, etc.