Using Technology to Engage the Distance Learner

By Tom LeNeau and Debra Bohlman.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This is a practice focused paper that examines
the use of VOIP technology in both residential
and online classes. The goal of the paper is to stimulate
thought and explore ways to use readily
available technology to make online education more
engaging. The paper initially discusses some of
the recent findings regarding hybrid classes and
specifically describes the use of synchronous and
asynchronous discussions to increase student participation
and learning. The paper then offers a practical guide to
actually using readily available VOIP technology to enhance
learning for both residential and online students.
Multiple methods are examined including the use of Skype™,
Wimba™ and, in some cases, a combination
of the two. The first case involves the use of Skype™ and
Wimba™ concurrently in a senior level seminar course that
included both residential and distance learners. The
methodology of using both tools simultaneously will be
examined as well as the benefits to both the residential
and distance students. The second case looks at using
Wimba™ in a residential Foundational Mathematics course,
while at the same time using Wimba™ to enhance the Distance
Learning experience for an identical Foundational
Mathematics course offered in an Online environment.
Methods for engaging the distance
learners and making them feel a part of the residential
class are examined. Additionally, the use of
the Wimba™ archive tool to enhance learning for both
residential and online students will be discussed.
Finally, student reactions to the VOIP usage will be
examined as well as thoughts on how to better
utilize this delivery method to enhance the learning of
both residential and distance students.

Keywords: VOIP, Voice Over Internet, Foundational Mathematics, Distance Learners, Online Education

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.55-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.578MB).

Tom LeNeau

Full-Time Faculty, School of Business, Rasmussen College, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, USA

Tom LeNeau; MA, MBA, CPA (inactive). Mr. LeNeau has been involved in education since the early 1970’s. He began his career as a Junior High Mathmatics teacher, and holds a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Minnesota. Mr. LeNeau left teaching in the 1980’s to pursue a career in business. He was the President-CEO of a Public Utility company in the Phoenix, Arizona area for a number of years, and holds an MBA from Arizona State University. After nearly 25 years in the business world, Mr. LeNeau returned to education. He is a full-time faculty member in the School of Business for Rasmussen College, and teaches a variety of Business, Accounting and Foundational Mathematics courses. He currently teaches in both the residential and online modalities for Rasmussen College.

Debra Bohlman

Full-Time Faculty, General Education Department, Rasmussen College, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, USA

Debra Bohlman: General Education Coordinator, Rasmussen College—St Cloud Campus. Ms. Bohlman holds a Master of Arts in English from St Cloud State University. She has been involved in diverse aspects of online education including devising curriculum and course content for various General Education online courses. Ms. Bohlman is an active member of the college Assessment Committee, and she is specifically involved in helping lead General Education Assessment tasks. Prior to her teaching career, Ms. Bohlman was a Vice President and part owner of a retail outlet in Colorado. She currently teaches English and General Education courses in both residential and online modalities at Rasmussen College.