Chapter 7

In Real Time

This chapter looks at the role of synchronous (real-time) communication in supporting online learning communities. It relates real-time communication to the concept of social presence, encountered in earlier chapters of this book.

The chapter discusses different kinds of synchronous communication:

  • real-time chat
  • instant messaging
  • audio- and videoconferencing
  • virtual worlds.

It considers the benefits of these technologies, and the issues that need to be considered when using real-time communication for learning and teaching.

Chapter contents list:

  1. Synchronous Chat
  2. Instant Messaging
  3. Students’ Views on Instant Messaging
  4. Case Study – Real-Time Communication in a Mathematics Online Learning Community
  5. Audio- and Videoconferencing
  6. Case Study – Synchronous Conferencing for Language Learning
  7. Virtual Worlds
  8. Key Points for Practitioners
  9. Further Reading