The Effectiveness of Virtual Classroom Software

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An Experimental Inquiry
Into The Effectiveness of Virtual Classroom Software
In The College Classroom (i.e. This Stuff Really Works)
Presented by: Robert Griffin, Director of Distance Education,
Saint Francis University / CERMUSA
Date: October 16, 2008  
Time: 3:00pm to 4:00pm ET (USA)  
  8:00pm to 9:00pm BST (UK)  
Place: Online – Register Here  
In 2004 Saint Francis University, a small university in Central Pennsylvania, began a multiple year study designed to identify and evaluate available virtual classroom software (VCS).

By conducting a comprehensive review of VCS technology, the team hoped to select the best tool for its own synchronous distance learning program and develop a framework that could be used by other distance educators to evaluate future entries into the VCS marketplace. This presentation provides a ranking of currently available VCS tools, offers guidelines for selecting a VCS tool, and provides evidence that VCS tools work in the classroom.


Creative Uses of Online Technologies
for Campus Communication & Disaster Recovery
Presented by: Raquel Moncado, Instructional Technology Specialist / CMS Administrator, Our Lady of the Lake University  
Date: Oct 7 Time: 2pm ET Place: Online – Register Here
A fire broke out in the main campus building of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX on May 6th at 7:30 p.m. and burned into the early morning hours of May 7. No one was injured at this small, close-knit college. More than 100 firefighters fought the flames, which were started accidentally by something electrical in the attic.

Rebuilding will take three years or longer. This presentation will explain how OLLU used technologies such as Wimba Pronto to communicate among faculty and staff, thereby facilitating a successful end to the Spring 2008 semester. Moncado will explain how the school creatively used technology to cope with the damage to its classrooms, computer labs, faculty and administrative offices, conference rooms and more.


Enhancing Cognitive Engagement
in the Online Classroom: Tips, Tricks & Techniques
Presented by: Jean Mandernach, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology and Online Learning, Park University  
Date: Nov 11 Time: 2pm ET Place: Online – Register Here
Cognitive engagement is rooted in a combination of personality, affective, motivational and persistence factors applied to the learning process; it goes beyond simple emphasis on learning to highlight students’ active role in the educational processes.

While these attributes are important in all learning environments, cognitive engagement becomes imperative in the virtual classroom where students are learning in an independent, physically isolated environment. Presentation will examine unique considerations of student engagement in the virtual classroom and will introduce instructional and assessment strategies to enhance online students’ cognitive engagement.

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