The Virtual Conference: Extending Professional Education in Cyberspace
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This paper describes the use of Internet based tools to support professional interaction and education in a format known as the virtual conference. The paper discusses characteristics of the virtual conference and presents data from a case study in which 550 distance educators from 36 countries participated in a three week virtual conference. Results from a participant survey and their comments illustrate that the virtual conference can provide high quality, interactive professional education. The asynchronous and distributed format of most virtual conference activities allows busy professionals to participate anytime/anyplace. However, the virtual conference does not ameliorate the need for participants to expend scarce resources of time on their professional education.