The course for this study was conducted through a number of text-based (WebCT chat and ICQ), audio-video conferencing (CU-Seeme & Netscape Cooltalk
), and enhanced virtual systems (The Palace & Active World).
In addition to WebCT, this course also used the following systems for synchronous learning: (a) text-based conferencing systems: ICQ & WebCT chat; (b) audio-video conferencing systems: Netscape CoolTalk & CU-SeeMe; (c) enhanced virtual systems: ActiveWorlds [less than]http://www.activeworlds.coml[greater than] and The Palace [less than]http://www.thepalace.com/[greater than].
Table 1 Activities for Synchronous CMC Systems Activities CMC systems Virtual office WebCT Chat (text-based conferencing system) Student lounges Web CT Chat in CMC cafe Page a pal ICQ (text-based conferencing and paging system) Weekly seminars WebCT Chat Guest speaker CU-Seeme (video- conferencing system) Guided tour ActiveWorlds (3D graphic- enhanced system) + CoolTalk (audio- conferencing) Role play The Palace (enhanced virtual system) Activities Purposes Virtual office In addition to the physical office, students can also find the instructor in the virtual office at regular hours.
Although [E.sup.3] lacks a built-in conferencing tool, it allows standard browser plug-ins, such as Netscape CoolTalk
, for audio conferencing and other stream techniques for video conferencing.
lets users speak to each other and share a collaborative tool called a whiteboard, which allows simultaneous viewing and editing of graphical images using drawing, zooming, and markup tools.
is not part of the standard version of Netscape 3.0, but it is noteworthy.
However, as Netscape packages Cooltalk
with the next release of its browser, and if Microsoft goes through with a similar plan, the installed base will skyrocket.
for distributed digital video, and CoolTalk
and CoolView for Internet audio, video, and data communications on Windows, Windows 95, and UNIX-based platforms.