- When real-time collaboration amongst a group is needed outside of class time
- In a distance learning environment where students must demonstrate their mastery of the material, preferably with a "live" delivery method
- In classroom settings where real-time interaction with experts in the field are needed, and it is not feasible to have them visit campus
- In a distance environment where a course-specific application of software is best learned through real-time demonstration by the professor
- To combine a distance learning section of students with a campus section for synchronous lecture
- In situations where you would like to record your lecture for students to refer back to at a later date
When should I use Adobe Connect?
- Determine the Activity.
Before deciding to use Connect Meeting for a particular learning activity, remember to examine the objectives of your course. You may find that certain objectives are more effectively carried out using another method of instruction (e.g., asynchronous discussion). Connect Meeting does require you to dedicate time in designing your activity, learning the features, preparing your students, and gaining a certain comfort level with multi-tasking in a live, online environment. It is always important to put your course strategies first and the course tool to help carry out those strategies second.
- Ask Yourself Some Questions.
Once you have determined the learning activity for which you want to use Connect, you will then need to determine what Connect features you will use in order to effectively carry out this activity. Consider some of these questions:
- Is the activity appropriate for the size of the group?
- Will students need to do any pre-work before attending the session?
- Will interaction occur with audio or chat?
- Will these interactions work for students who have special access needs?
- What materials will be presented or used (files that need to be uploaded, whiteboards, applications, etc.)?
- Consider the Size of Your Class.
In her article, “Designing for the Virtual Interactive Classroom: Campus Technology”, Judith V. Boettcher (2005) suggests these design scenarios for a synchronous event:
- Smaller groups of 2-6 people (but no more than 10) usually support a more interactive synchronous experience, since it is easier to manage participant contributions such as comments and questions related to the subject matter. Examples of small-group activities are faculty office hours, test and/or homework review sessions, team meetings, and study groups (para. 6).
- Larger groups of 10-30 (but under 100) support a more instructor-led or “one-to-many” format where the instructor is leading a discussion, providing demonstrations, or hosting a guest speaker. Although it is more of a challenge given the size of the group, interaction with the participants is still very important in order to establish and maintain the “feature of presence” with all involved. With the help of certain communication strategies (see Student Engagement Strategies), the instructor can encourage and support participant engagement and identify signals for when participants become “lost” or have stopped paying attention (para. 7).
Boettcher, J. V. (2006). Designing for the Virtual Interactive Classroom. Syllabus Media Group. Retrieved December 9th, 2006, from http://www.campus-technology.com/mag.asp