New communications options: a renaissance in videoconference use

Caladine, Richard; Andrews, Trish; Tynan, Belinda; Smyth, Robyn and Vale, Deborah (2010). New communications options: a renaissance in videoconference use. In: Veletsianos, George ed. Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. Issues in Distance Education. Edmonton, AB, Canada: Athabasca University Press, pp. 249–266.



Distance education has changed over the decades from a largely isolated, paper-based learning experience to one where rich visual and aural interactions with peers and teachers are now possible. Mitigating the effects of distance has been at the forefront of many who manage, design, teach, or learn with distance education. Video communications can in many ways address these effects. Internet Protocol (IP) video communications have become more relevant than ever as students and their teachers seek to interact with one another as they go about their learning. Renewed interest in communication tools has predominantly arisen due to increased access to the Internet, and on one level represents a renaissance. Further, there are environmental, technological, and economic drivers that will increase the use of internal-based video communications. However, many who teach or manage distance education do not have access to the knowledge and skills that make for effective and efficient use of video communications. A starting point is the discussion of issues and factors key to the scalability, sustainability, and pedagogical considerations of video communication in distance education contexts.

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