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When to Use Virtual Communication

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Virtual office hours

Virtual office hours can be conducted through online audio and video, allowing greater convenience and flexibility for both instructors and students. Desktop sharing technologies make it possible for them to review submitted assignments together. With additional support, instructors can meet online with a few students at a time to discuss projects and other group work.           

Virtual presentations

Virtual presentations allow students to hear from experts around the country and around the world, even if time and expense prevent bringing them to campus. The use of video can allow a greater sense of connection with the speaker than audio alone, and in many circumstances the speaker can also see the students and respond to their questions directly. These exchanges might be recorded for students (and even other groups of students) to reference later.  

Virtual instruction

Virtual instruction, by the same token, can take place even when a faculty member is absent to attend to another obligation such as a conference. With the assistance of a TA or other classroom intermediary, the instructor can address the class and ensure the continuity of learning from week to week. Presenting from a distant setting can sometimes open an opportunity to introduce students to other colleagues and sites important to a discipline.