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Wired Seminars: building a learning community

With the emergence of increasingly powerful applications such as virtual workspaces (like Groove and eRooms), Instant Messaging, and weblogs, we find ourselves doing more work in what is known as computer-mediated course development. Whereas CBT programs involve trainees interacting with a computer and carrying out specific off-terminal assignments, a computer-mediated course expects there will be a high degree of interaction among participants in a seminar. Some discussions may be by teleconference, but most will be asynchronous discussions and collaborative work, via e-mail, chat, and other web-based technologies. The emphasis is on doing rather than learning about, and the role of the instructor is modest (once the course has been designed)—really that of a moderator who, ideally, acts as a group member, contributing to the learning process.
     We have prepared a separate website to provide more information about our wired seminars, and our role in assisting others to transform their traditional lecture-based seminars into virtual learning communities—sort of a cross between an apprenticeship program and a community of practice.


  
 


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