Navigate begins with a comparison of synchronous and asynchronous content. In a vibrant virtual learning environment, both are utilized to meet the diverse needs of learners. Asynchronous learning includes email, discussions, and blogs. Synchronous learning includes telephoning, Skype, instant messaging and virtual classrooms. We experienced conducting a“live session” that can be completely synchronous or recorded and viewed at a later time.
We investigated the similarities and differences between LMS’s and CMS’s. The LMS encompasses course management and is more robust. The CMS is more narrow in scope. Then we compared the basic differences in commercial services and open source services. As costs escalate for commercial systems like Blackboard and Desire2Learn, open sources like Moodle and Sakai become more attractive and viable alternatives.
The lecture capture is a beneficial tool for learners. The videos can be a short “chunk” of learning or longer. Students can forward, rewind, stop, replay…the learning is literally in their hands.
Tool categories describe the various resources one can use, such as content, news, checklists, discussions and dropboxes. Other tools include the gradebook, email, and portfolios. A full complement of tools enhances the learning environment for all stakeholders. We looked closely at an LMS reporting tool, the assessment part of an LMS.
Finally, I chose the Cloud as a trend that will strongly impact the future of virtual learning. This repository of highly accessible applications will only become increasingly significant across the lines of business and education. Forgive the pun, but we shall certainly have our heads in the clouds.