This paper discusses the application of computer-based communication technologies to teaching and learning. It describes different forms of computer-mediated communication and then focuses on computer conferencing - which is considered within the context of higher education and open learning. Key points for the successful use of this technique in an educational setting are then discussed - including the importance of planning and closely integrating the use of conferencing within courses. Various teaching strategies and techniques for use with computer conferencing systems are described. This is followed by a section on conference organization, with suggestions for conference layout and reference to the roles that conference moderators are likely to adopt. Finally, in order to demonstrate the range of software that is available, three different conferencing packages are briefly reviewed.