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The Nature of Interaction in Educational Videoconferencing

The Nature of Interaction in Educational Videoconferencing

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Published by Carol Skyring
This is my Master of Education thesis from 1999. The study investigated the nature of interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing and what adaptations (if any) to teaching and learning strategies are necessary. In particular it examines the following:
1. What impact does the technology have on the interactions?
2. Do lecturers have to make adaptations to teaching strategies?
3. Do students have to make adaptations to learning strategies?
4. Can a ‘dialogical’ approach be used effectively in videoconferencing?
This is my Master of Education thesis from 1999. The study investigated the nature of interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing and what adaptations (if any) to teaching and learning strategies are necessary. In particular it examines the following:
1. What impact does the technology have on the interactions?
2. Do lecturers have to make adaptations to teaching strategies?
3. Do students have to make adaptations to learning strategies?
4. Can a ‘dialogical’ approach be used effectively in videoconferencing?

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Carol Skyring on Jul 10, 2008
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07/20/2013

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Supporting Questions

Issues Related to the Supporting Questions

1. What impact does the technology have on the
interactions?

Technical performance
Room layout
User confidence and competence
Length of videoconference session

2. Do lecturers have to make adaptations to
teaching strategies?

Acceptance of technology by lecturers
Current teaching style
Accepted videoconferencing protocols

3. Do students have to make adaptations to
learning strategies?

Acceptance of technology by students
Perception of loss of ‘control’
Established group dynamics

4. Can a ‘dialogical’ approach be used
effectively in videoconferencing?

Role of interaction in promoting learning
Types and amount of interaction

The issues relating to the first three questions were identified and addressed during the cyclical
process of the action research stage which yielded rich qualitative data relating to the nature of
interaction. It was the fourth question that established that a quantitative measure of interaction

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was required, thus leading to the employment of the interaction analysis tool. Throughout the
research process, three key areas of investigation relating to the nature of interaction in
educational videoconferencing were identified. The research findings are reported in this chapter
according to these three key categories:

1. Impact of Videoconferencing - addresses Supporting Question 1: What impact does the
technology have on the interactions?
2.
Adaptations to Teaching and Learning - addresses Supporting Questions 2 and 3: Do
lecturers have to make adaptations to teaching strategies? and Do students have to make
adaptations to learning strategies?
3.
Nature of Interaction Achievable - addresses Supporting Question 4: Can a ‘dialogical’
approach be used effectively in videoconferencing?

Data was collected using three methods: observation, a written questionnaire and a debriefing
session with both students and lecturers. A written questionnaire was completed after each
workshop in order to collect a reflective response from students (see Appendix 4). It is to be noted
that not all students attended all sessions and some students did not answer all questions. The first
questionnaire asked students to comment on what changes could be made to improve future
workshops, while subsequent questionnaires asked ‘Were there differences between the last
workshop and this one? If so, what?’ The comments to these questions formed the basis for
modifications to the teaching approaches during the action research phase.

A debriefing session was held, via videoconference, immediately following the close of the
second videoconference session each workshop day. The first debriefing session was structured to
ensure the capture of relevant data with the following questions specifically put to students:

1. What techniques worked well?
2.
Did the dynamics of the group change? (How?)
3.
Were there any distractions?
4.
What were the limitations?

Subsequent debriefing sessions were more open-ended allowing students and lecturers to reflect
upon issues according to their own perceptions and priorities.

The findings of the study are outlined below. Sections 4.1-4.3 present findings according to each
of the key areas of the investigation, i.e. Impact of Videoconferencing (4.1), Adaptations to
Teaching and Learning (4.2), Nature of Interaction Achievable (4.3). Within each sub-section, the
issues tabulated in Table 4.1 will be analysed and discussed.

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