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FAQ: What is the virtual classroom like?

CDLI's virtual classrooms are delivered in two formats: synchronous (sometimes referred to as 'online') and asynchronous (sometimes referred to as 'offline'). During the synchronous classes, students and teachers interact in real time. One way this is done is through web conferencing. Blackboard Collaborate™ (sometimes abbreviated as eLive) is the web conferencing tool used by CDLI. Depending upon the course, students can expect to spend anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of their class time using this tool.

When it is time for class, CDLI students go to the CDLI room at the school and sit at the computer provided for them and put on their headset microphones. Once they join the session they interact with their classmates and teacher just as they would in a face to face classroom. This system enables everyone to speak and to listen to others online. They participate in real-time learning activities using the online whiteboard. The participants can even collaborate in real time using learning software that the teacher can display on the whiteboard.

Videoconferencing is also used, as needed. Some courses, applied music for example, require better quality audio and video for the real-time interaction. Students participating in a videoconference session need only dial their instructor or wait for the class to begin automatically. Once the session starts students from one or many sites can interact with one another. Videoconference technology creates windows that join classrooms from locations all around the province. It enables students to see and interact with one another on the large-screen TV monitor.