Desktop multimedia environments to support collaborative distance learning

Betty Collis, Carmel Smith

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    Desktop multimedia conferencing, when two or more persons can communicate among themselves via personal computers with the opportunity to see and hear one another as well as communicate via text messages while working with commonly available stored resources, appears to have important applications to the support of collaborative learning. In this paper we explore this potential in three ways: (a) through an analysis of particular learner needs when learning and working collaboratively with others outside of face-to-face situations; (b) through an analysis of different forms of conferencing environments, including desktop multimedia environments, relative to their effectiveness in terms of meeting learner needs for distributed collaboration; and (c) through reporting the results of a formative evaluation of a prototype desktop multimedia conferencing system developed especially for the support of collaborative learning. Via these analyses, suggestions are offered relating to the functionalities of desktop multimedia conferencing systems for the support of collaborative learning, reflecting new developments in both the technologies available for such systems and in our awareness of learner needs when working collaboratively with one other outside of face-to-face situations.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)433-462
    JournalInstructional science
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


    • METIS-135091
    • IR-26440

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