Webster, N.Y.based Fusion Productions, which specializes in meeting communications skills, has teamed up with Elliott Masie, president of the Masie Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a think-tank that explores the intersection of technology and learning. Masie--who also works as a third-party planner for high-tech events at Fortune 500 companies--will share his research on user acceptance of online learning with Fusion in order to build teaching models for the meeting industry.

"We can do two very important things with online education," says co-founder of Fusion Productions Don Dea. "Meeting participation can be increased by allowing those who can't be physically present to attend online. And for those who can attend, participation can be enriched."

The partners have developed a prototype being tested this fall by 20 CEOs from the American Association of Medical Society Executives. "They will interact with instructors through chat forums. Once the course is completed, we will have a model to work from," says Dea.