There are numerous reasons for contacts with participants
In order for an instructor/mentor to be successful both in traditional and e-education the following communication activities with the participants play a very important role: motivating the participants,; persuasion; explaining; giving instructions about the method of work; adapting the presentation of data to the interest and possibilities of the participants; asking questions and listening and understanding the participants’ answers; providing feedback about the learning methods of the student and their progress in knowledge and skills acquisition; accepting different questions, comments, observations and participants’ personal conclusions; encouraging and organizing group work among the participants; leading, monitoring and commenting on the work of different groups of participants in mastering a certain educational content; knowledge evaluation in front of the group and commenting and completing the participants’ answers etc.
In face-to-face communication instructors can apply these interaction types with the participants in a lot more adaptable and immediate manner. That is why, when using an online education system, appropriate communication skills should be used to compensate for the drawbacks of online education in communication with the participants, that are a consequence of the characteristics of the medium. In other words, e-education does not only consist of content presentation and knowledge check, but also of interaction with the participants by using appropriate communication tools which encourage the participants to greater motivation, acceptance and acquisition of educational systems and technologies, interest for the educational content, experience of the interpersonal contact with the instructor, as well as a feeling of social affiliation with a certain educational group.
As in traditional instruction, success in e-education takes a good appraisal of personal communication skills and planning of the communication with the participants in a way which encourages the transfer of knowledge, mutual relationship and motivation to master the content of the instruction.
Tips & tricks: Plan ahead the appropriate communication types with the participants in order to provide them with help in getting over difficulties with online system or problems they will have with understating/mastering the content. Also insure convenient methods and frequency of communication with the instructor/mentor to help the participants restore the feeling of personal contact and security in the case of possible difficulties. Finally, by enabling and facilitating the interaction between the participants, you will provide them with a feeling of social affiliation with a certain group, as well as mutually knowing, supporting, helping, advising, comparing and socializing with each other.