1995: WebTeach, a web-based asynchronous communication system using chronological threads in the 'Confer' style originally developed in the mid 70s by Robert Parnes, was first used in 1995 in the Professional Development Centre at UNSW.
The Michigan Terminal System (MTS), a computer time-sharing operating system developed at the University of Michigan, included a program called CONFER developed by Robert Parnes that gave it the capabilities of computer conferencing.
In the early days collaboration between the MTS sites was accomplished through a combination of face-to-face site visits, phone calls, the exchange of documents and magnetic tapes by snail mail, and informal get-togethers at SHARE or other meetings. Later, e-mail, computer conferencing using Confer and Forum, network file transfer, and e-mail attachments supplemented and eventually largely replaced the earlier methods.
Programs developed for MTS: Confer II, one of the first computer conferencing systems. Confer was developed by Robert Parnes starting in 1975 while he was a graduate student and with support from the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT).