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Working with students in different locations using web-based conferencing tools

February 25, 2010

Web-based conferencing tools, such as Adobe Connect and Skype, can be used to conduct classes in which some or all of the students are located in different places.  In this session, three Hunter faculty members discussed how they have used these tools and elaborated on the benefits and challenges. 

Rosanne Silberman talked about how she uses Adobe Connect to extend her class to include students living outside the New York area, some as far away as Hawaii and Oregon. In this class, approximately 20 students meet in person on the Hunter campus, and an additional 5 or 6 students participate remotely.  Professor Silberman uses audio, video, and chat to enable off-campus students to participate in class discussions and give class presentations.  Professor Silberman was also able to use Adobe Connect to conduct class from home when Hunter was closed for a snow day.

Nancy Needle and Gina Riley talked about their fully online class, in which all the students and professors use Adobe Connect to participate from different locations.  Professors Needle and Riley use PowerPoint slides as the basis for each lecture, supplemented by audio and chat. They use additional Adobe Connect features, such as polling and small group breakout rooms, to encourage interaction.  Blackboard also plays an important role as a place to distribute lectures recorded on Adobe Connect and other course materials, as well as a place to communicate outside of class time via the discussion board and Voice Board.


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