Re: WWW Conferencing

Philip Adams (pka%DMU.AC.UK@vm.ucs.UAlberta.CA)
Thu, 8 Jun 1995 17:48:41 +0100

There seem to be some possibilities for making Conferencing easier and
perhaps friendlier by using the WWW. My impression of conferencing after
following a course on a COSY system is that there are some negative
features including:

1. Lack of structure to the postings, which follow in chronological order.
2. Lack of visual clues about the other participants.
3. Lack of feedback from people who have read a message, agree or
disagree, but don't want to commit to an actual reply.

Different WWW conferencing programs offer solutions to each of these

1. HyperNews structures the threads
2. WebChat will display a small .GIF of yourself or alterego
3. WIT (Web Interactive Talk) has a structure of proposals and responses,
and an "Agree/Disagree" button to select for a 'virtual nod'

Can they be combined into a single WWW solution?
There is an advantage too in using the WWW since it is relatively easy to
grasp. Students will need less induction training, and find they are
using a format in which they already feel more or less 'at home'.

The disadvantages would seem to be the high standard of hardware needed
by participants.

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