April 6, 2011

Module #3: DQ #1 Top 5 Criteria to Evaluate Asynchronous Communication Software

Posted in MVCR Postings at 1:25 am by marylan2

DQ #1: Given what you have read in this week’s assignments and from your own personal experience, what are the top 5 criteria you would use to evaluate asynchronous communication software for online learning? Give a brief rationale for why you are suggesting these criteria.

My top five criteria to evaluate asynchronous communication software (mostly from the Half an Hour blog):

  1. Is the software reliable? Being a technology support person, that is the first criteria for any software usage. It is grossly frustrating to students if they are expected to use software and it is not running or available.
  2. Is it easy to use? If the software has a high learning curve, it can be a distraction from the course content. I can just hear some students saying, “I took an English course not a computer course.”
    1. Can there be more than text? Can students add images, links, and/or video to their postings?
  3. Is the software easy to access? If the students have to go through multiple steps to locate the software, post/express their ideas, and read other postings, then it will be a chore and another distraction from the purpose of the exercise.
  4. Can the students use this software anytime and anywhere? One of the reasons users take online courses is so they can select where and when they participate. If their access time is limited it would be a disservice to these students.
  5. Is there a way for students to view what they have done in the past and see what others have done, a logging feature? This could be invaluable for students to reference what they have previously submitted.
    1. Will this information be available after the course, semester, and/or graduation? The students may need to access their content later. Is there a repository available?
    2. Is there a way to develop a sharing/learning community and be collaborative? This would be a way for student to share their ideas and receive confirmation.

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