The Seminar - Is there an alternative?

Seminars in which twenty students are present, but only ten participate, occur on a daily basis on-campus. How valuable are they? Is there not a better approach?

Why not make more use of online seminars or discussion forums? These could be asynchronous (preferably) or synchronous. There are tools available to deal with both situations and these tools incorporate text, audio and video options.

Asynchronous online discussions may provide a more time and learning effective model for achieving much of what can be undertaken in a seminar context. Learners can be more reflective and may contribute more usefully by having more time to formulate thoughts and responses.

Discussions can be embedded in the content to better match the flow of the topic.

Integrated with lecture alternatives a more cohesive and more effective learning system can be developed to match individual needs.