Luckily for me, my chosen partner and I agreed on what teaching technique we were going to investigate right at the beginning. We chose constructivism learning theory which we later revised to experiential learning theory at our second skype session. In researching this topic, Ken my partner came up with some excellent web links. During my research I discovered that I already employ some of these experiential learning theories in my lesson planning. Ken has used some of these theories previously as well.
Our first chat session went well. I had used skype before but wasn’t too sure on how to utilize it for collaborative work. We did have a small glitch with poor internet connection as the call kept dropping off but after some reconnecting we got through it just fine. After choosing a topic we did not connect over skype but continued to communicate over email exchanging ideas and websites.
After about 4 weeks we held another skype session where we picked another topic for our blog. The second session did not have any connections issues and went off without any difficulties. We both agreed that seeing the other person does hold some value in the learning partner and it does have some merits for collaborative work.
I realized that using web conferencing does add some value to online courses. I will use this method when communicating with future students that require some assistance after program completion. Some of our students are from overseas, seeing their gestures during a conversation will enhance the communication process. Unfortunately with the amount of hands on exercises involved in our programs this method of communication will have limited use but it is another method for academic delivery.