|dc.description.abstract||Online conferences (OCs) offer a compelling set of economic and pedagogical
benefits for teaching, learning, personal, and professional development.
In this chapter, we provide examples and a model to guide development of
this professional development application of e-Iearning. The cost-effectiveness
of oes, coupled with the capacity to provide time-flexible participation
on a global scale, convinces us that OCs will continue to playa vital and
increasing role in quality professional development activities. Similar to faceto-
face conferences (F2FCs), effective oes must focus on relevant and timely
information dissemination, provide opportunities for interaction leading to
knowledge creation, and support the development of learning communities.
In their broadest sense, OCs and F2FCs have two major goals. The first is to
create knowledge through personal, organizational, and community learning.
The second is to develop social networks that can later be used to create
valued collegial relationships and extend learning beyond the conference.
The method used by OCs to achieve these goals is an intense network-mediated
interaction. The interaction takes place over a limited period of time
using a comhination of synchronous, asynchronous, and illlmersive technologies
on a global scale. OCs are economically and pedagogically attractive
because of their "anywhere and anytime" characteristics with low production
and participation costs. In this chapter, we review characteristics and qualities
of OCs, provide examples of successful OCs, and outline a model of relevant
qualities affecting OC learning outcomes. The unique and promising role of
this form of professional development in the current and emerging networked
society is explored.||en