When you replace the traditional classroom with the Internet, it’s easy to lose the vital face-to-face connection between instructors and students. That makes it imperative for distance-education instructors to find new, effective ways to interact with the diverse group of people taking their courses.
And thanks to the magic of the Internet, there are a host of innovative resources that can replicate the physical classroom. One of the newest and best tools is Google Hangouts, a video chat program that allows for face-to-face discussions with up to 10 people.
Oregon State University Ecampus this week put together an easy-to-digest tutorial that shows online instructors how to use Google Hangouts. Developed by Ecampus’ Program Development and Training (PDT) team, the how-to guide weighs the pros and cons of the free program and provides links to other related resources.
The Ecampus PDT team works with faculty members from departments across campus to deliver Oregon State University classes worldwide. PDT offers services in instructional design, multimedia production, and copyright permissions, as well as faculty development in Blackboard, pedagogy and emerging technologies.