Communication Tools and Collaboration Tools

Communication Tools and Collaboration Tools

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6.1.1 Communication Tools

Communication tools refer to three forms of electronic communication in distance education course e-mail, discussion groups, and chat rooms. These tools enable the interaction between members of the teamwork involved in the different stages of integrated products, processes or manufacturing systems development. The tools that allow learner to learn and interact with each other and the instructor. Communication is a dynamic culture and society-center process. With the upsurge in available means of persuasion with online marketing, marketers find it challenging to use the perfect blend of communication tools to promote and position their products that can build their loyalty in minds of customers and engage theme effectively for longer relationship building.

While traditional communication tools such as newspapers, advertisements and flyers are still used, new tools such as average have started creating their own niche in the market. Virtual work tools including e-mail, telephone, facsimile, and office productivity tools. Learn more in technologies and services in support of virtual workplaces as you are aware, modern technology provides us with a plethora of options for communicating. The most common communication tools used in e-learning include e-mail, instant messaging and blogging.


E-mail stands for electronic mail; e-mail is defined as the transmission of messages over communication networks. There are many e-mail services providers and the most famous ones are Yahoo mail and Gmail. Exchanging mail messages with a mentor or peer is an e-learning experience.

Instant Messaging

Instant messaging is the exchange of text message through a software application in real-time. Instant messaging allows learners to chat with one another through text messages. This has become very popular as here, everything is performed in a faster, more reliable and cohesive manner. Instant messaging helps teachers to create subject specific groups for exchange of information and sharing for resources. Instant messaging application like Whats-apps are extensively used by teaching community as reliable communication tools


Chat is synchronous communication tools facilitating online communication. This tool helps teacher and learners to schedule a discussion a particular question or theme and later save the chat discussion for later use. The chat tools is an integrated tool in all the LMS and there are many standalone chat application which can be used outside the LMS.


A blog is your own website that you are going update on an on-going base. A blog is a frequently update online personal journal or diary. It is a place to express yourself to the world and to share your thoughts and your passions. In blogs entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widget on the blogs and it is interactivity that distinguishes them from other static website. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blogs combine text, image and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format in an important part of many blogs. Most blogs re primarily textual although some focus on are (art blog), photograph (photo blog), videos (video blogging), music and audio.

6.1.2 Collaboration Tools

All around the globe we are witnessing the transition towards collaboration learning. The benefits of collaboration learning are immense. It lets the learners gain form the experience of their peers and help them acquire and retain information in a more involved and engaged way. Thus, we see most of the e-learning is also social. The learners learn through collaboration with peers in smaller or larger groups. The e-learning technology offers a number of collaboration tools to learn from one another, to work on assignments, projects in groups and the like. Some of the popular collaboration tools include Chat, forum, wiki, online groups, audio/video conferencing, social bookmarking and social networking. Collaborative learning forums promote learner interactive through message boards, where student can post question and answers; text chat or forums, where learners can communicate outside the main classroom; and threaded discussion, where facilitators and students can discuss a given topic and review each other’s responses.


A wiki is a collaborative web site that collects and organizes content, created and revised by its users. The most well-known example is Wikipedia. Wikis are a way to grow a knowledge base around a particular content area, be it best practices in a particular field or how to use a specific piece of software. There are many software which help to create online wiki and one of the most famous one among that is Word Press. Wiki is also a feature available in all the learner management system. In an e-learning context wiki permits teachers to give many kinds of task to the learners to collaborate and create content on any topic. Wiki platforms are used extensively to create and share open educational resources and in Karnataka the KORE initiative is developed on a wiki platform.

Social Bookmarking

A social bookmarking services is a centralized online service which enables users to add, annotate, edit and share bookmarks of web documents. Social bookmarking websites enhance and improve the learning experiences by encouraging group collaboration. They also help in organizing and saving web resources faster and easier for students. Social bookmarking services offer grater scope for research, integration and collaboration compared to the more traditional bookmarking application such as browsers, which offer limited functionality. There are many services which are available freely for creating and sharing social bookmarks and most famous among them are diigo, delicious, and stumble upon. Teachers can create social bookmarks of resources chapter wise and invite other teachers to contribute and annotate. The social bookmarks thus created can be shared with the learners and teachers can also give assignments to learners to collaboratively build social bookmarks related to a particular topic.

Social Networking Sites

Social networking site is the phrase used to describe any website that enables users to create public profiles within that website and form relationship with other user of the same website who access their profile. Social networking sites can be used to describe community-based websites, online discussions forums, chartrooms and other social space online. Example include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google etc.

Social networking can be used effectively for e-learning by creating specific interest groups. The leaners within this group can share information, photographs, videos, graphics related to a particular topic. This can also be used by teachers to collaborate in generating and sharing resources online with ease thereby facilitating learning.

Web Conferencing

Web conference ring is highly interactive, internet-based applications with a rich collaboration feature set (e.g. audio/video from presenters and learners, application sharing, while boarding and makeup tools, breakout rooms pooling, quizzing, hand raising and emoticon responses, slides and media, web site tours, public/private text chat.). It is capable for scaling from small groups to hundreds or thousands of simultaneous users. In “synchronous e-learning” we refer to web conferencing. Web conferencing technologies offer tremendous potential for robust interactively and collaboration through their versatility and rich feature options. There are many online tools for organizing video/web conferencing to facilitate collaborative learning. Application like Big Blue Button.

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