Internet Lectures Research:
Broadening the Audience for Live Slide Show Presentations
The audio component of a Web lecture can convey a lecturer's personality, vocal tone nuances and mood that cannot be gained by reading alone. For the benefit of persons with hearing disabilities, however, Web lectures can show captions for each image/voice segment and complete printed text of the audio narration.
The self-paced format and replay capability of Web lectures will improve comprehension and retention on the part of many viewers. If allowed in live lectures, audience members have the opportunity to ask questions during the lectures. Requests to repeat prior statements are not unusual. Those who have information repeated to them are benefited while those who absorbed the information the first time must wait for a lecture to continue. Some people do not want to disrupt the flow of a lecture and do not ask questions. They lack absorption as a result.
Requests for additional information during or after a live lecture are a common practice. Not only are questions directed to the lecturer, members of the audience may be invited to comment and share their knowledge. Web lectures lack this spontaneity. Mitigation of this disadvantage can be achieved through use of email correspondence or bulletin boards. Lecturers and institutions who wish to allow for interaction with viewers but maintain email address privacy will elect the bulletin board approach. Bulletin boards are also called message boards or forums. Bulletin boards build community and help strengthen relationships between the institution and its constituents. They also can aggregate a useful body of knowledge. Since public boards can be abused, they are often moderated. Monitoring creates additional workload for the institutional staff. Bulletin boards which are password protected and available only to museum members are a way to alleviate the monitoring issue.
To facilitate the training of docents the Web lecture concept may be adapted to the creation of virtual docent presentations. Virtual docent tours can then be used for teaching of best practices to docents.
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