Hands on practice is an important component of a technology-based courses. It is necessary to provide some hands on demonstrations for students before they can start their hands-on practice using the online computer lab. Hands on demonstrations can be done in two ways, synchronous and asynchronous. This post provides a description of these two online demonstration methods.
Types of Hands On Demonstration Methods
Synchronous demonstration: A synchronous demonstration is a real-time or live demonstration. All the students are required to attend the online demonstration session. During the demonstration, the instructor’s computer screen is captured and posted online. The instructor gives live explanations on the hands-on activities and asks students for feedback. On the other hand, students can ask questions in real-time to clear up the ambiguous steps in the hands-on practice. There are some advantages and disadvantages about this method.
The greatest advantage is that the students can directly talk to their instructor. They can get answers for their questions from the instructor immediately. Based on the feedback from the students, the instructor can decide if the students understand the course content. The instructor can slow down the demonstration process if some of the students have difficulty understanding the content. The disadvantage is that the students have to attend the presentation at a specific time.
Asynchronous demonstration: An asynchronous demonstration can be viewed by students whenever and wherever they want. This is what a true online course is supposed to be. Also, the students can view the demonstration as many times as they want. However, it is not a real live demonstration. A student cannot directly have a live conversation with the instructor or with other students. Without immediate live feedback from the students, the instructor cannot adjust the progress of the presentation.
A combination of synchronous and asynchronous demonstrations is a better solution. During a synchronous presentation, record the presentation and make it available to those students who cannot make it to the live presentation. Even though these students cannot directly communicate with the instructor in a live demonstration, they can still watch the recorded demonstration at a time that is convenient to them.
A hands on demonstration can be created in different formats. The best presentation format for hands on demonstrations is to use multimedia. Many of the Web conferencing software packages such as Macromedia Breeze and Microsoft Live Meeting can be used to carry out multimedia demonstrations.
Usually, a Web conferencing software package needs a support team for daily management and training. It also requires more computing resources. Some of the small campuses may not be able to afford it.
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