With the modern business environment becoming increasingly dependent on technology, management teaching in higher education faces the challenging task of effectively leveraging technology in diverse learning environments. This chapter discusses the use of virtual classrooms, namely collaborative, information technology-mediated teaching endeavours in management education at universities. The overall aim of this chapter is to provide insights for those who are responsible for the development of management curricula and to give specific guidelines to management educators interested in integrating IT-based teaching to increase teaching effectiveness when designing virtual classrooms.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Computer Simulation: Training situation in which a real experiment is conducted in form of a computer-supported case study. In business, education simulations are seen as an extension to business case studies.
Computer-Supported Cooperative Learning (CSCL): Any kind of learning process, where cooperation and communication between two dispersed learning sites and their participants are supported by the use of computer-mediated information and communication systems.
Virtual Classroom: A virtual classroom connects geographically dispersed instructors and students, for example via a video conference system. Information and communication technology (ICT) is used to facilitate communication between students and instructors.
Video Conferencing: Video Conferencing Technology provides means for audio and visual communication over telephone lines (ISDN-based) or Internet technology (IP-based). Nowadays, video-conferencing technology is already available at the desktop, provided by Instant Messaging Tools such as Skype, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live TM Messenger.
Educational Mediator: An educational mediator is a service that supports the sharing of learning resources. Examples of educational mediators are Educanext, Merlot or Ariadne. These portals support the exchange of learning resources under open content licenses (e.g., the Creative Commons Licenses). Recent developments in interoperability research have led to a federation of these portals via a protocol referred to as Simple Query Interface (SQI).
E-Learning: Any kind of learning process, which is supported by digital media for presenting and distributing teaching materials or improving or allowing communication between instructor(s) and learner(s), such as simulating a certain situation or allowing access to information which would not be accessible without technology.