Module 4: Communicating in Real Time

Texting as a tool for online courses:

I participated in a text chat with two students.  Although the experience was positive and I able to have good conversations, I would not use this tool in my online chemistry course for a variety of reasons.  First, I would not feel comfortable giving my cell number to students.  I would be concerned about privacy issues, and I would not want students potentially texting me at all hours of the day.  In addition, if students realize they now had an opportunity to reach me anytime, they may constantly rely on me and not think for themselves.  

In regards to being used as a synchronous communication tool, texting can only be effective if both parties immediately respond to each other.  Many times, I do not respond to my texts right away.  Therefore, I do not understand how this would be different than e-mail.  As I have said throughout this module, I still think asynchronous technology tools are much more appropriate for online learning, and I plan to continue using them in my online course.

Synchronous vs. asynchronous communication tools:

I learned (and experienced) that I do not prefer using synchronous communication tools in online courses.  First, I feel that it is difficult to get students together at the same time.  In regards to the synchronous communication exercise, it took at least five days before I was able to organize a chat session with my classmates.  Furthermore, communication tools, like texting, are only effective if both parties can respond to each other right away.  I will continue to focus on ways to enhance my online course using asynchronous tools.

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