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Blended Learning - Audio-Conferencing As A Cost Effective Delivery Technique

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2008-07-29 07:10:26     
Article by Susan Bond

Many students have demands on their time that can dictate how or if they can further their education. Schools looking to serve these students should consider adopting blended learning techniques to provide flexible educational opportunities. Using a combination of online or face-to-face classes with audio-conferencing is one cost effective way to make this happen. This will allow students to avoid time costly travel time to class.

Audio-Conferencing as a Cost Effective Blended Learning Tactic

There are many tactics to use blended learning as a way to reach out to students. Videoconferencing is one way, but to be truly successful and limited technical pitfalls, it requires the set-up and operation of an expensive videoconferencing network. Audio-conferencing, on the other, can be delivered quite inexpensively in comparison. Since the recent drop in telecommunication charges, accessing and using a third-party audio-conferencing bridge can be quite easy and cost efficient. Some telephone bridging services can be as cheap a five cents per caller per minute.

Managing a Blended Learning Audio-conference Class Session

Offering and delivering an audio conferencing class requires a great deal of preparation. Visual materials must be organized and distributed to students in such a way as to avoid confusion. Materials could be distributed electronically or through snail mail and these items could be hard copy or electronic documents on a CD.

At the beginning of each session time should be taken for a roll call of who is present in the call. Late arriving students should be instructed, prior to the conference call, to identify themselves when they enter the call.

Instructors should consider creating a table of content and instructions that clearly state how and when to use the accompanying materials. Because audio is the primary way in which information will be conveyed, detailed instructions are crucial.

When managing the actual audio-conference session instructors should provide clear instructions for the session and provide protocols for interaction. A good instructor will clearly inform students which visual to refer to as each item is covered. An instructor might wish to present for several minutes before being interrupted with questions. This should be stated clearly up front. Also, a good rule for interaction is for students to identify themselves each time they speak since there are no visual cues to discern who is who.

By employing audio-conferencing, with online or face-to-face learning, educators can help students who may not be able to take a class, to further their education in a very cost effective manner. As you can tell, audio-conferencing can be one blended learning tactic that is a clear winner for both students and schools.

Susan Bond is a part of IQ-ity.com - provider of a top-rated Learning Management System for schools seeking to teach courses online. IQity's LMS includes an online study guide for the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). Ohio teachers can add a product review of OGT practice tools and help other teachers.

Specialized in: Blended Learning - Audio-conferencing
URL: http://www.iq-ity.net
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