The Use of Whiteboards in Synchronous Online Drop-In Tutorials in Distance Delivered Courses
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Online whiteboard technology has seen limited application in the practice of distance education. This technology is particularly suited to disciplines that are communicated and taught visually and symbolically, which includes most of the natural sciences. In the classroom, for example, chemistry is taught with the extensive use of structural drawings and equations, which requires a blackboard or some other similar classroom technology. This talk will describe a 12 week pilot project of a synchronous, online tutorial that employed the whiteboard tool in Elluminate. For two hour sessions, three nights per week, student logged on to Elluminate and took turns interacting with the tutor, in many ways resembling a traditional classroom. The discussion will include participant feedback and the challenges of implementing this technology on an ongoing basis.