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What other products are available for online course delivery? Essay

According to Skiba (2006) the Net-generation have particular characteristics as they are digital natives who are connected to many, use various forms of communication and like interactive connectivity platforms. This is probably the reason that they are comfortable with collaborative learning and socially and inherently interested in peer to peer collaboration. This is the characteristics of the online learners. Online learners use interactive platforms and share variety of information base on the learning objectives similar to the groupware platforms.

The social and geographical backgrounds of online learners can be very different from each other as it is for the teams working on groupware. On the other hand, Chang & Li (2008) discussed the following definition of groupware technology. “Technology that communicates and organizes unpredictable information, [thereby] allowing dynamic groups to interact across time and space” (Cameron et al. 1995 as cited by Chang and Li, 2008). The groupware systems are designed with respect to the needs of supporting the cooperative work situation or group of work situations.

These work situations may vary in different aspects like tasks, units of tasks, group, organizational context, culture and many others. Chang and Li (2008) list four situations of groupware 1) Same time (synchronous) and same

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place (co-located); 2) Different time (asynchronous) and same place; 3) Different time and different place (distributed); and 4) Same time and different place. (Chang & Li, 2008) These are the possible situations for online learning as well. Groupware and Online learning are based on similar collaboration concepts.

However online learning is an individual approach as single learner focuses on his learning and his learning does not affects others who are learning online. In the case of groupware people work together on similar projects and tasks and overall aim is to achieve single, common group goals and aims. The relevance of project management tools, knowledge management tools and workflow system is less in the case of online learning environment. References Chang, Z. , & Li, S. (2008). Architecture Design and Prototyping of a Web-Based, Synchronous Collaborative 3d GIS. Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 35(2), 117+.

Retrieved June 2, 2010, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5027034200 Skiba, D. J. (2006). Collaborative Tools for the Net Generation. Nursing Education Perspectives, 27(3), 162+. Retrieved June 2, 2010, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5037615728 Spicer, D. E. , & Dede, C. (2006). Collaborative Design of Online Professional Development: Building the Milwaukee Professional Support Portal. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14(4), 679+. Retrieved June 2, 2010, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=5017258323

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