A Picture or 1000 Words?


Kate HAND


ABSTRACT
Online learning has prompted an array of learning practices and techniques that have been transposed on to the Web. These techniques are now mixing more and more with multimedia such as video, sound and graphic enhancements. With the development of online courses, seminars, and virtual universities, moderators and trainers are now trying to make the experience more personable, so that we don’t all become anti-social extensions of the personal computer. Educators and designers of online courses have to use every tool available and try different methods to compensate for the social interaction of a face-to-face communication. I am not convinced that a photograph is actually an effective tool to add to this list. Rather than relying on old ideas, developers and educators need to address new solutions that meet the needs of the students. In a homogeneous small group, photographs may help the learners quickly feel comfortable. However, I would argue that this is not the best solution for every course. Educators and designers of online courses must be willing to adjust design and content for different learning styles, and use the Internet creatively to present a dynamic learning environment. And that’s MHO.

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