Synchronous And Aynchronous Methodology: Comparing Blackboard And Wimba

916 words - 4 pages

Synchronous and asynchronous methodology enhances course offerings in university teaching and promotes efficiency and effectiveness in today’s business practices. Society is surfing the web on television screens, and Internet – enabled mobile telephones, earning technical and terminal degrees online, thanks to the Internet and the World Wide Web, we attend meetings across the world never leaving home based offices. This is all possible, in the words of Pullen and Snow, 2007, because of simulteaching—a method of teaching and learning that uses both classroom and Internet technology. Today, technology such as teleconferencing and computer-based learning—using media such as text, graphics, audio and computer-based programs deliver learning management systems on platforms such as Blackboard, Wimba, WebEx, Moodle and many others. Where are we going with the integration of technology in teaching and learning in the 21st century – from the classroom to the boardroom, technology is keeping us in PJ’s working from home, or on vacation — or are we just lazy or is corporate America really doing business different.

Blackboard, developed by a group of business men, was to provide a learning management system that would expand the geographical recruitment area for colleges and universities, increasing their student-base not only locally, but globally— through digital technology. The second key feature is that students and teachers do not need to meet face-to-face. They meet virtually using media called learning management systems. (LMS). Blackboard is a LMS. It provides social interaction in a teaching and learning environment using virtual functionality with real-time collaboration through video and audio conferencing tools. Moore & Kearsley (2005) calls this economy of scale, because it provides a one-stop work and learning environment—thereby, more economically. Learning management systems stimulate student responses through technology since the teacher is not physically present. Wimba, also developed by a group of executives, is presentation software that uses text and graphics, displayed on a whiteboard or screen, to enhance learning. In addition, video and audio media and technology such as the World Wide Web are incorporated to make meetings more economical, eliminating the expense for travel because meetings are conducted virtually at home, yet face-to-face, on a computer monitor through the World Wide Web. Although both, Blackboard and Wimba allow groups to interact at a distance with the use of several types of technology, the technologies are similar in that they both have capacity to reach mass audiences. The following chart shows similarities in both platforms.

The technological aspects of the Blackboard 9.0 version incorporated several computer applets or applications to allow student communications between the teacher and other students. Blackboard has a hierarchical organization (Coopman 2009) as displayed below in Figure 1. The...

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