The Education Forum will allow CompuServe users who are also Oracle students to exchange messages with instructors, access class descriptions and schedules, and download course-related materials. The free forum was developed as an extension to the Oracle Channel, the company's interactive distance learning service.
In the last year, the Oracle Channel had 10,000 students. But that number could represent just the beginning of a technology training market expected to grow to $27 billion by the end of the decade, according to estimates by the International Data Corporation.
The Oracle Channel broadcasts live training sessions via satellite, which allows students to communicate with instructors during class, listen to other questions and answers, and take in-class exams using an interactive response keypad.