Students send attachments to the instructor via e-mail for grading and feedback. Can also be used by the instructor for general communication, announcements, reminders. 

Discussion Board/Discussion Forum/Bulletin Board/Group Discussion Area/Online Discussion/Panel Discussion/Large group discussion

Uses of a discussion forum:  Students post responses and/or attachments to the class discussion board or blog, to share work and invite peer critiques.  Post specific case-related scenarios and ask students to respond. Allows for asynchronous interaction and reflective thinking. Converted Q&A Sessions–Designate a topic on the discussion board for Q&A. Students can see responses and learn from and support … Read More


Blogs can enhance students’ writing, editing and research skills as well as encourage in-class and out-of-class discussion. An excellent tool for reflection and sharing. Rich in potential for collaborations and confrontations as well as for serving as a hub in communities of knowledge.

Audio & video chat/conference/webcam

Combination of audio conferencing with computer text and graphics, allowing both voice and data to be transmitted to remote sites. Provides two-way data exchange (limited to images & text only) and a synchronous interactive environment between the instructor and students at multiple sites.  Can be expensive (examples: Breeze, Elluminate, Netmeeting, Polycom).  Free Alternatives: Dimdim, and other screencasting tools.

Asynchronous group audio communication / Audio feedback

Using audio feedback to replace text-based feedback in asynchronous courses. Although participants in online courses can build effective learning communities through text based communication alone (blogging, etc.), the inclusion of an auditory element strengthens both the sense of community and the instructor’s ability to affect more personalized communication with students. Advantages: Audio feedback can convey nuance Audio feedback is associated … Read More

Asynchronous Audio/Video Feedback

According to research, faculty feedback to students plays a significant role in student satisfaction and learning in distance education courses. Several free (or nearly-free) Web 2.0 tools can be used to provide audio/video feedback to students.