Twenty-first century university students find it increasingly difficult to commit to regular face-to-face classes, yet real-time interaction and collaboration are often essential to achieving successful learning outcomes. This paper outlines the authors’ plans for a cross-institutional project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council aimed at identifying, characterising and evaluating technology-enhanced ways of bringing together on-campus and geographically dispersed students and engaging them in media-rich collaborative learning experiences. The project will focus on three synchronous technologies: desktop video conferencing, web conferencing and 3D virtual worlds. The paper first presents the rationale for the project, along with the main outcomes envisaged. The project’s focus and methodology are then described, before concluding with a call for expressions of interest from members of the ascilite community wishing to join a network of practitioners and/or participate in case-study implementations that will be supported, monitored and evaluated as part of the project.
Copyright 2011 Matt Bower, et al. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.