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Evaluating the use of synchronous communication in two blended courses


Correspondance: Glenda Cox, Multimedia Education Group, Centre for Higher Education Development, University of Cape Town, South Africa.


Abstract Residential universities are increasingly integrating online interaction within courses in the form of synchronous online chats, asynchronous online discussions and access to interactive resources. This article evaluates the educational effectiveness of online chats within a Humanities postgraduate course and a final year Commerce course. We consider the roles of course design, group dynamics, and facilitation style in the successful use of online collaboration within primarily face-to-face courses, as well as the potential for online collaboration within a blended course design to facilitate more inclusive learning conversations than are possible with exclusively face-to-face interaction.