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Learning in Real Time: Synchronous Teaching and Learning Online

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7921-8
176 pages
July 2006, Jossey-Bass
Learning in Real Time: Synchronous Teaching and Learning Online (078797921X) cover image


Learning in Real Time is a concise and practical resource for education professionals teaching live and online or those wanting to humanize and improve interaction in their online courses by adding a synchronous learning component. The book offers keen insight into the world of synchronous learning tools, guides instructors in evaluating how and when to use them, and illustrates how educators can develop their own strategies and styles in implementing such tools to improve online learning.
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Table of Contents


About the Author.

1 Learning, Live Online.

Synchronous Interaction Across the Learning Continuum.

Needs Served by Synchronous Interaction.

The Synchronous Compact.

Indicators for Real-Time Online Learning.

Learner Skills Developed and Assessed Live Online.

2 Real-Time Learning as Good Practice.

Contact Between Students and Faculty.

Cooperation Among Students.

Active Learning.

Prompt Feedback.

Time on Task.

High Expectations.

Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning.

3 Tools for Learning in Real Time.

Text-Based Tools.

Live Audio and Video Tools.

Content, Display, and Other Interactive Tools.

4 Real-Time Learning Venues.

A Moving Target.

Chat Rooms.

Instant Messenger.

Multi-user Virtual Environments.

Virtual Reference, Tutoring, and Help Desks.

Virtual Offices and Virtual Meeting Rooms.

Virtual Classrooms.

Interactive Webcasting.

Webcasting or Broadcasting.

In-class Online Aids.

5 Facilitating Learning in Real Time.

Be a Good Host.

Inflate a Bubble of Concentration.

Be a Ringmaster.

Use Virtual Body Language.

Rely on Others: You Are Not Alone.

Use the Synchronous Dashboard.

Be Prepared and Manage Crises.

6 Real-Time Online Learning Activities.

Magnetic Brainstorms.

Stone Soup.

Solo Fishbowls.

Paired Partners or Dyads.

Cracker Barrels.

Guest Appearances and Co-hosts.

Live Blogging and Cclogging.

Expeditions and Virtual Training Labs.

Multiple Venue Productions or Presentations.

Additional Resources.

Further Reading and Related Web Sites.

Ten Common Misconceptions About Synchronous Instruction.

Scheduling Synchronous Interaction.

Buyer’s Guide: Questions to Ask When Considering a Synchronous Tool.



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Author Information

Jonathan Finkelstein is the founder and executive producer of LearningTimes and the president of the LearningTimes Network. As an educator, technologist, industry expert, and producer, he focuses on creating engaging Web-based programs and practices that help reinvent collaboration and community.
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"Finkelstein presents skills needed by online facilitators…" (PsycCritiques, April 11 2007)

"Good instruction is all about people. Learning in Real Time focuses on people, relationships, and the power of human dialog. Instructors, learning technologists, and administrators will benefit from Finkelstein's commentary and common sense."
—Diana G. Oblinger, vice president, EDUCAUSE

"Jam-packed with extremely practical strategies and well-crafted activity ideas, Learning in Real Time goes well beyond the tools and deftly focuses on the process of effective live online learning and collaboration. Anyone teaching, presenting, coaching, or collaborating online will end up with a marked-up, highlighted, and dog-eared copy of this book parked next to their computer."
—Alan Levine, The New Media Consortium (NMC)

"Finkelstein's real-world guidance on real-time learning advances the cause of quality instruction–online and offline. This book represents an important contribution to the field."
—Deborah L.G. Hutti, associate vice president for educational services, Lake Land College

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