The Nature of Interaction in Educational Videoconferencing

A thesis presented to the

Queensland University of Technology
in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Education

by
Dip Teach BEd Grad Dip Dist Ed (Kedron Park Teachers’ College) (South Australian College of Advanced Education) (South Australian College of Advanced Education)

Carol Daunt

The Centre for Professional Practice in Education and Training School of Professional Studies Faculty of Education

August 1999

Abstract
This study investigates 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? During the latter half of 1994, two lecturing staff at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) used videoconferencing for tutorials, in conjunction with distance education materials, to deliver one subject of a Master of Education course (Organisational Culture and Education Leadership) and assess the adequacy of this mode of delivery for quality teaching and learning in a higher education program. The lecturers were highly experienced university personnel who had delivered this subject faceto-face using a dialogical approach in their lectures. The student group comprised eight matureage students all located at a provincial centre approximately three hours’ drive from Brisbane. All of the participants were educational practitioners: two school principals, one deputy principal, one subject master, three education officers at School Support Centres and one Pre-school teacher (seven females, one male). A review of the literature showed interaction is an important element in learning, but that very few studies on the use of videoconferencing for education have focused on the nature of interaction that can be achieved through the medium. Therefore, this study will make a significant addition to the body of knowledge about how this relatively new communications technology can be employed for educational purposes. This study is based on a mixed-method evaluation design that included an action research process coupled with an interaction analysis. The two research methods form two distinct stages of the study, i.e. action research throughout the planning and delivery of the videoconference sessions, combined with an interaction analysis of videotapes of the videoconference sessions. This mixedmethod design was appropriate for this study in order to maximise the data that had been collected, allowing a deeper investigation of the nature of interaction. This study found that videoconferencing allowed the lecturers to replicate the on-campus interaction that is often lacking in distance education programs. Of significance was the fact that
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the technology did permit the full engagement of these students as adult learners, and experienced professionals, in an approach based on critical reflection, deep learning and metacognition. The study showed that a very high level of interaction comparable in effect to the face-to-face situation, can be achieved and students at this level are able to maintain that interaction for long periods of time. Major findings of the study include: • • • • • • • • • High quality voice and vision contributed to the ability to interact. Room layout has an effect on interaction. User confidence and competence contributed positively to the ability to interact. Sessions in which dynamic interaction and engagement occurred were successfully conducted for periods of 90 minutes. Lecturers were able to replicate their current teaching style that relied heavily on a dialogical approach. Students resented the loss of control in structured videoconferences and expressed higher levels of satisfaction when they were active in setting the agenda. The established group and consequent group dynamics had a positive effect on the interaction. Interaction was valued by the students as a teaching/learning strategy. It appears that the nature of interaction is more important than the amount.

This study supports the literature in several areas, but challenges it in others. It confirms research which found that the technology was conducive to highly interactive sessions and hence of benefit in the delivery of educational programs, but challenges the assumptions and recommendations that effective videoconference sessions need to employ different teaching strategies and be structured and focused, including pre-prepared agendas and controlled question and answer procedures. However, due to the size and nature of this particular group of students and lecturers, these notions are not rejected completely, and the conclusions and findings of the study must be recognised as specific to this group under given conditions. While the research offers insights into a particular context, it is not proposed that these results would be replicable in all instances of educational videoconferencing. The study offers significant insights into the nature of interaction that can be achieved if lecturers desire to employ a dialogical approach in their educational videoconferencing.

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Acknowledgments
I would like to acknowledge the following people for their contribution to this study: • • • • • • • Dr Erica McWilliam, course coordinator, whose understanding and encouragement allowed me to complete this study. The numerous friends and colleagues who have provided support and advice at key times. The group of students who willingly embraced this new technology and my intrusions into their learning environment. Associate Professor Clarrie Burke and Dr John Cawte for their willingness to experiment and excellent teaching style which supported the study so well. Dr Ian Macpherson for his key comments in the final stages, which resulted in a more refined document. Dr Tania Aspland, my associate supervisor, for her valuable advice, assistance, encouragement and sense of humour. Dr Roy Lundin, my principal supervisor, for his unending support, advice and encouragement. His belief in me and my ability to complete the study through some very difficult times has shown him to be a true friend, colleague and mentor.

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STATEMENT OF ORIGINAL AUTHORSHIP

The work contained in this thesis has not been previously submitted for a degree or diploma at any other higher education institution. To the best of my knowledge and belief, the thesis contains no material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made.

Signed: Date:

................................................. (Carol Ann Daunt) .................................................

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Table of Contents
Abstract ......................................................................................................................i Acknowledgments ...................................................................................................iii Table of Contents......................................................................................................v List of Tables ...........................................................................................................vii List of Figures ........................................................................................................viii Chapter 1 Introduction .............................................................................................1
1.0 Introduction ..............................................................................................................................................1 1.1 The Research Problem ...........................................................................................................................2 1.2 Context of the Study ................................................................................................................................3 1.2.1 Flexible Delivery .............................................................................................................................................. 4 1.2.2 Technology in Education ................................................................................................................................. 4 1.3 Focus of the Research ............................................................................................................................6 1.3.1 Technology of the Learning Environment ...................................................................................................... 8 1.4 Research Design .....................................................................................................................................9 1.5 Significance of the Research ..................................................................................................................9 1.6 Limitations of the Research ..................................................................................................................12 1.7 Structure of the Thesis ..........................................................................................................................13 1.8 Summary ................................................................................................................................................14

Chapter 2 Review of Literature..............................................................................15
2.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................15 2.1 Videoconferencing and Its Application in Education ...........................................................................16 2.1.1 Defining Videoconferencing ..........................................................................................................................16 2.1.2 Videoconferencing in Education ...................................................................................................................17 2.1.3 The Videoconference Teaching Environment...............................................................................................19 2.2 Interaction and Learning .......................................................................................................................26 2.2.1 Defining Interaction .......................................................................................................................................28 2.2.2 Interaction in Videoconferencing..................................................................................................................30 2.2.3 Interaction Analysis .......................................................................................................................................34 2.3 Adult Learning........................................................................................................................................35 2.3.1 Adult Learning Principles .............................................................................................................................35 2.3.2 The Dialogical Approach ..............................................................................................................................37 2.4 Summary ................................................................................................................................................39

Chapter 3

Research Methodology .....................................................................41

3.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................41 3.1 Overview of Methodologies ..................................................................................................................42 3.1.1 Action Research..............................................................................................................................................42 3.1.2 Interaction Analysis .......................................................................................................................................45 3.2 Context of the Study ..............................................................................................................................48 3.2.1 The Setting ......................................................................................................................................................48 3.2.2 Participants ....................................................................................................................................................50 3.2.3 Equipment .......................................................................................................................................................51 3.3 Data Collection ......................................................................................................................................52 3.3.1 Stage 1 - Action Research..............................................................................................................................52 3.3.2 Stage 2 - Interaction Analysis .......................................................................................................................56 3.4 Data Analysis .........................................................................................................................................58 3.4.1 The Action Research Spiral ...........................................................................................................................59 3.4.2 Interaction Analysis .......................................................................................................................................60 3.5 Summary ................................................................................................................................................60

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Chapter 4 Research Findings ................................................................................62
4.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................62 4.1 Impact of Videoconferencing ................................................................................................................64 4.1.1 Technical Performance..................................................................................................................................64 4.1.2 Room Layout...................................................................................................................................................65 4.1.3 User Confidence and Competence ................................................................................................................67 4.1.4 Length of Videoconference Sessions .............................................................................................................68 4.2 Adaptations to Teaching and Learning ................................................................................................69 4.2.1 Acceptance of Technology by Lecturers .......................................................................................................69 4.2.2 Current Teaching Style ..................................................................................................................................70 4.2.3 Accepted Videoconferencing Protocols ........................................................................................................70 4.2.4 Acceptance of Technology by Students.........................................................................................................71 4.2.5 Loss of ‘Control’ ............................................................................................................................................73 4.2.6 Group Dynamics ............................................................................................................................................75 4.3 Nature of Interaction Achievable ..........................................................................................................76 4.3.1 Role of Interaction in Promoting Learning ..................................................................................................76 4.3.2 Amount and of Type of Interaction ...............................................................................................................78 4.4 Summary ................................................................................................................................................82

Chapter 5 Discussion and Conclusions ...............................................................84
5.0 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................84 5.1 Principal Findings ..................................................................................................................................85 5.1.1 Impact of Videoconferencing.........................................................................................................................85 5.1.2 Adaptations to Teaching and Learning ........................................................................................................87 5.1.3 Nature of Interaction Achievable ..................................................................................................................89 5.2 Limitations of the Research ..................................................................................................................90 5.3 Implications for Practice ........................................................................................................................91 5.3.1 Planning for Interaction ................................................................................................................................91 5.3.2 Teaching Style ................................................................................................................................................91 5.3.3 Student Control ..............................................................................................................................................92 5.3.4 Combining Groups.........................................................................................................................................92 5.3.5 In General.......................................................................................................................................................92 5.4 Further Research...................................................................................................................................93

Appendix 1 Glossary .............................................................................................94 Appendix 2 Teleconferencing Technologies................................................................97 Appendix 3 Defining Videoconferencing .............................................................98 Appendix 4 Evaluation Questionnaires .............................................................103
A.4.1 Questionnaire Workshop 1..............................................................................................................103 A.4.2 Questionnaire Workshops 2 - 4 ......................................................................................................105

Appendix 5 Interaction Analysis Tabulation Sheet..........................................107 Bibliography ..........................................................................................................108

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List of Tables
Table 2.1: Differences Between Face-to-face & Videoconference Teaching........................ 22 Table 3.1: Flanders’ Interaction Analysis Categories* (FIAC) .............................................. 46 Table 3.2: Workshop Structure ............................................................................................ 49 Table 3.3: Structure of Videoconference Sessions .............................................................. 50 Table 3.4: Lecturer Evaluation Process ............................................................................... 55 Table 3.5: Student Evaluation Process................................................................................ 56 Table 3.6: Interaction Analysis Tabulation System .............................................................. 57 Table 4.1: Issues Generated During Action Research ......................................................... 62 Table 4.2: Student Ratings of Vision and Sound Quality ..................................................... 64 Table 4.3: Student Satisfaction with Videoconference Sessions Workshop 1 ...................... 72 Table 4.4: Student Satisfaction with Videoconference Sessions Workshops 1 & 2 .............. 74 Table 4.5: Comparison of Interactions in all Videoconferences* .......................................... 79 Table 4.6: Breakdown of Student Interactions ..................................................................... 79 Table 4.7: Comparison of Initiated Responses to Satisfaction Levels .................................. 80 Table 4.8: Type of Interaction .............................................................................................. 81 Table 4.9: Summary of Interactions ..................................................................................... 82 Table 4.10: Summary of Research Findings........................................................................ 83

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List of Figures
Figure 1.1: Supporting Research Questions .......................................................................... 8 Figure 1.2: Learning Environment ISDN Link......................................................................... 8 Figure 3.1: The ‘Moments’ of Action Research .................................................................... 43 Figure 3.2: The Action Research Spiral ............................................................................... 44 Figure 3.3: Videoconference Room Layout ......................................................................... 52 Figure 3.4: Research Process ............................................................................................. 54 Figure 3.5: Data Analysis Process....................................................................................... 58 Figure 4.1: Comparison of Most and Least Interaction in Videoconferences........................ 78 Figure A3.1: Room-based Videoconference System ........................................................... 98 Figure A3.2: Compact Videoconferencing System .............................................................. 98 Figure A3.3: Desktop Videoconferencing System................................................................ 99 Figure A3.4: Videoconference System Components ..........................................................100 Figure A3.5: Document Camera .........................................................................................102

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Chapter 1
1.0 Introduction

Introduction

Historically, a correspondence model based on the distribution of print materials has been used to deliver education to students who are at a distance from their lecturer. This model involves students working alone with little, if any, interaction with a lecturer and other students. According to Baylen & Sorensen (1998), the literature reveals that technology is changing practice and distance education is moving toward more interactive environments where the isolated individual taking a correspondence course is no longer the essence of distance education, but instead, groups of students, using new technologies, interact in real time with the lecturer and with other students. This reflects a demand for greater interaction in distance education, for example:
One of the most important instructional elements of contemporary distance education is interaction. It is widely held that a high level of interaction is desirable and positively affects the effectiveness of any distance education course. (Kearsley, 1995, p. 366)

Hillman, Willis & Gunawardena (1994) believe that the importance of interaction in education is practically a ‘given’ (p. 31). Shale & Garrison (1990) agree and believe that in its most fundamental form education is an interaction among teacher, student, and subject content and that interactions between instructor and learner and interactions among learners provide opportunities for an educational transaction and that, without interaction, teaching becomes simply ‘passing on content as if it were dogmatic truth,’ and the cycle of knowledge acquisition-critical evaluationknowledge validation is non-existent (p. 29). Anderson (1987) and Keegan (1990) believe that interaction is the key to effective learning and information exchange in a distance education context. This is supported by Moore (1989) who considers interaction ‘a defining characteristic of education,’ (p. 2) and regards it as ‘vitally important’ (p. 6) in the design of distance education. In their study, Booher & Seiler (1982) show that learners' avoidance of learner-instructor interaction harms academic achievement, while Thompson (1990) identifies interaction as a significant component in promoting positive learner attitudes toward distance education. Although interaction in distance education does not have to be instantaneous, in relation to the use of technology to deliver education, Shale (1988, p. 30) proposes that ‘the most effective technologies will be those that offer relatively unconstrained two-way, real-time communication’. Videoconferencing is one such technology that provides the opportunity for interactive teaching and learning to take place, however little research has been undertaken to explore how interaction can be employed through this medium. Bates (1997) suggests that the technology promises
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‘greater learning effectiveness, more learner-centered approaches, and better quality of interaction’ (p. 93), but warns that this promise does not guarantee that the technology will be used in this way. Holt & Thompson (1995), in their paper examining the impact that technology is having on transforming organisations and the subsequent effect of this on tertiary institutions, advise that:
Rethinking practices, particularly in cross-campus and on-campus teaching settings, requires appropriate periods of critical self-reflection and planned experimentation. (p. 58)

It was the intent of this study to provide an opportunity for critical self-reflection by lecturers, through an action research process, and to experiment with the use of videoconferencing as an interactive medium for the delivery of education to post-graduate students.

1.1 The Research Problem
This study challenges the prevailing assumptions and extends our understanding about the use of videoconferencing in the delivery of educational programs. In particular, it investigates the extent to which interaction, particularly a dialogical approach, i.e. full, spontaneous, transactional interaction, can be employed in educational videoconferencing. The research evolved from practical work with lecturers using videoconferencing as a tool to flexibly deliver courses. The most often cited advantages for videoconferencing, in general, are the reduction in travel and therefore time and expense with Mason (1994, p. 80) citing the advantages for education as being those of equal opportunity, i.e. ‘extending course choice...making scarce expertise available to more people, diverting effort from merely replicating courses at different sites.’ With this justifiable argument for improving access to educational programs, videoconferencing, since its introduction into Australia in 1990, has been used in a variety of educational situations to deliver programs. Much anecdotal evidence exists about the successes and failures of the medium but, as Mitchell (1993) and Towers (1997) found, little research has been undertaken and reported on the effectiveness of videoconferencing as a delivery tool for education, especially into its interactive capabilities. For example:
...a start has been made on research into the interactive nature of video-conferencing, however, continuing research is needed in the field to enhance the effectiveness of the medium (Mitchell, 1993, p. 73).

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This study investigates, through an action research process with university lecturers and students who had no previous experience with videoconferencing, the nature of interaction achievable in educational videoconferencing. The results of this action research were coupled with, and extended by, further research using interaction analysis of all verbal interactions that occurred among lecturers and students during the videoconference sessions. The specific objectives were: • • • • To investigate the impact the technology has on the interactions. To examine lecturer responses to videoconferencing as a teaching medium and if adaptations needed to be made to teaching strategies. To examine student responses to videoconferencing as a learning medium and if adaptations needed to be made to learning strategies. To investigate whether a dialogical approach (i.e. full, spontaneous, transactional interaction) can be used effectively in videoconferencing. In addressing the nature of interaction through these objectives, the study challenges existing assumptions about the structuring of interactive sessions and the nature of interaction in videoconferencing for education.

1.2 Context of the Study
Students are now demanding education be delivered as, when and where they need it, e.g. in the workplace, at home, in community centres, at times which suit their lifestyle. They require learning that is flexible, adaptable, portable and interactive (Mason, 1995). This change in expectations has presented education providers with the challenge to discover and apply new and innovative ways to deliver and manage learning. Open learning and flexible delivery approaches have replaced the traditional notion of distance education and assumed greater significance in the provision of education that is responsive to the changing needs of learners. Governments and education providers consider technology to be a means to facilitate this new approach to education (Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) National Flexible Delivery Taskforce, 1996; Broadband Services Expert Group, 1994; Educational Broadband Reference Group, 1996). The evolution of these concepts and practices represents major developments in tertiary education during the past fifteen to twenty years.

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1.2.1 Flexible Delivery
In this study, videoconferencing is being used in a ‘flexible delivery’ mode. It is, therefore, necessary to briefly examine flexible delivery, its history and definition. There has been an evolution from ‘external studies’ through ‘distance education' and ‘open learning’ to the currently favoured terminology of ‘flexible delivery’. This type of education is not a new phenomenon. Distance education has been a mode of teaching and learning for countless individuals for at least the past one hundred years (Moore & Kearsley, 1996). Before the widespread use of electronic communications for teaching and learning, educators used print technology, and the postal service for what became known as correspondence education. The term ‘flexible delivery’ has been assigned a variety of meanings that give rise to confusion. For the purposes of clarity, the definition of flexible delivery as endorsed by the National TAFE Chief Executives' Committee will be adopted in this study:
Flexible delivery is an approach...which allows for the adoption of a range of learning strategies in a variety of learning environments to cater for differences in learning styles, learning interests and needs, and variations in learning opportunities. (Flexible Delivery Working Party, 1992, p. 47)

This definition captures the essence of flexible delivery as: • • • • • • • flexibility in terms of entry, course components, modes of learning and points of exit learner control and choice regarding the content, sequence, time, place and method of learning appropriate learner support systems the application of learning technologies where appropriate access to information on courses and services access to appropriate learning resources flexible assessment procedures.

1.2.2 Technology in Education
The theories and models currently used in flexible delivery are generally based on distance education (off-campus) models in which there is a concept of distance education as generically different from face-to-face education. Garrison (1989) argues that these theories are not suitable as a ‘framework for the future’, as new technologies make distance education more similar to face-to-face, on-campus education. Thus, the theories of distance education based on the assumption of students’ individual learning from pre-produced learning material and through restricted interaction between students and lecturers, has to be replaced by theories closer to
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traditional, on-campus education. The application of telecommunications technologies provides new possibilities for intensive communication among students and lecturers and new possibilities for group based learning, with the focus shifting from individualised instruction to small group interaction as an integral component of learning (Barker, Frisbie & Patrick, 1989). The National Board of Employment, Education and Training (NBEET) (1992) also noted that advances in technology are rapidly eroding any theoretical distinction between distance and faceto-face education. They foresee all learning, regardless of where it is undertaken, being enhanced by the application of technologies and associated teaching and learning strategies. Videoconferencing has been advocated as one technology that has considerable potential for education and training, and is portrayed as the equivalent of face-to-face in effectiveness. Mason (1994) stresses the importance of real-time visual interaction in providing a high level of psychosocial support to many types of learners and thus lends support to the argument for the use of videoconferencing to deliver educational programs. She argues:
...one important aspect of visual communication lies in the creation of social presence and a comfortable environment for learning . For many learners, a satisfactory level of comfort is only possible with visual contact with the teacher. (p. 80)

The first wave of videoconferencing technologies, i.e. two-way television, in the 1960s and 1970s did not penetrate the marketplace, let alone education, to any degree, but the 1990s have brought a second wave of interest in video communication technologies. The reasons for failure in the 1960s and 1970s were a combination of social, economic, psychological and technological factors (Egido, 1988). Overly simplistic assumptions about the cost saving advantages of the technology and the focus on video as a means to replace face-to-face communication led to disappointment among early adopters. In the 1990s, technical capabilities and capacities are expanded and enhanced, but success is unlikely to reside in solutions that are purely technical. Instead, a more complete understanding of the process of human interaction and a respect for the cognitive and social skills of the users will help to facilitate successful adoption. Mason (1994) contended that Australia is the world leader in the use of videoconferencing for higher and further education. This is reflected in current practice as over 30 of the 38 universities in Australia have videoconferencing facilities, as do most of the State TAFE systems and a number of training organisations. However, usage rates and quality of use vary greatly between these different organisations (Mitchell, 1997) and little research has been undertaken to determine the most effective use of the medium as a teaching tool.

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Literature and training manuals (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Daunt & Stone, 1993; GAO, 1995; Mitchell, 1993; Ostendorf, 1994; Parker, 1984) indicate that structured protocols and procedures need to be adopted when using videoconferencing to ensure control of the interaction and thereby ensure effectiveness of the learning outcomes. Much of the current thinking about videoconferencing is based on experiences with audioconferencing, audio graphics and interactive satellite television. Carey’s study (1981) quoted in Rice (1984, p. 221) of interaction patterns and information flows in audioconferences reinforces the notion that this ‘... is a distinct mode of communication with its own properties and associated codes of behaviour’. Supporting this view, Johansen (1984) suggested that many false premises about videoconferencing arise because the medium is being viewed as a direct substitute for face-to-face interaction with contiguous transference of communication strategies. Johansen (1984), Rice (1984) and Rogers (1986) encourage the notion that interactive communications media, including videoconferencing, should be viewed as different, so that a new communication paradigm can emerge. It is this challenge that determines the focus of this study.

1.3 Focus of the Research
This study was designed to investigate the research question: • What is the nature of interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing and what adaptations (if any) to teaching and learning strategies are necessary? The research focused on the work of two lecturing staff at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) who used videoconferencing for tutorials, in conjunction with distance education materials, to deliver one subject of a Master of Education course (Organisational Culture and Education Leadership) and assess the adequacy of this mode of delivery for quality teaching and learning in a higher education program. The lecturers were highly experienced university personnel who had delivered this subject faceto-face using a dialogical approach in their lectures. The student group comprised eight matureage students all located at a provincial centre approximately three hours’ drive from Brisbane. All of the participants were educational practitioners: two school principals, one deputy principal, one subject master, three education officers at School Support Centres and one Pre-school teacher (seven females, one male). In particular, the study focused on the use of the dialogical approach currently used by the lecturers in this study for highly interactive face-to-face teaching and whether this could
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successfully be replicated in a videoconference setting. (These concepts are more fully defined in Chapter 2.) In the face-to-face delivery of their subject, the lecturers adopted principles of both adult learning (Brundage & Mackeracher, 1980) and critical pedagogy (Darder, 1991). For example, they used searching open-ended questions to evoke critically reflective thought and dialogical approaches, in contrast with the more common didactic approaches traditionally employed in distance education. They recognised the fact that the students were both mature professionals and postgraduate students who do not want to be talked at and consider themselves able to take part in collegial interactive processes. These interactive-reflective processes are consistent with the content and philosophy of the particular post-graduate subject. It was precisely this teaching/learning approach that was expected to challenge and test the assumptions traditionally held about required videoconferencing processes and protocols. For example, one accepted protocol for videoconferencing is that there should be no 'open-ended' questions asked over the heads of the students; rather each question should be specifically addressed to a student or in some way relatively specifically directed. Another is that students need to be presented with a pre-prepared, structured agenda to ensure that learning objectives and outcomes are achieved for each session. The major research question focuses on the nature of interaction that can be achieved in this teaching/learning context and this generates a number of supporting questions that were refined and modified during the study (Figure 1.1, below).

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Figure 1.1: Supporting Research Questions

Can a ‘dialogical’ approach be used effectively in videoconferencing? What is the nature of interaction that can be used effectively for educational videoconferencing and what adaptations (if any) to teaching strategies are necessary? Do lecturers have to make adaptations to teaching strategies?

What impact does the technology have on the interactions?

Do students have to make adaptations to learning strategies?

The supporting questions address critical issues involved in any examination of the application of technology to teaching and learning. They examine the effect (if any) that the technology has on the teaching/learning process and what adaptations need to be made by lecturers and students.

1.3.1 Technology of the Learning Environment
The learning environment was created through the use of room-based videoconferencing systems that allow real-time vision and sound to be broadcast between sites. In this study, two rooms were connected through a ‘two channel’ ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) link (Figure 1.2).
Figure 1.2: Learning Environment ISDN Link

ISDN LINK

Each site was equipped with a room-based videoconference system, microphones, extra video camera and document camera. (These are outlined in further detail in Chapters 2 & 3.) Lecturers and students could see and hear each other at all times, and were able to engage in open
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communication as microphones were not used in a ‘push to talk’ mode, but remained ‘live’ at all times. The audio system was duplex, which allowed for numerous people to talk simultaneously without ‘clipping’ any of the words, thus further facilitating open communication and extended dialogue.

1.4 Research Design
As an applied professional field, distance education needs both basic research which tests and develops knowledge to guide practice, and it needs research to solve practical problems (Moore 1985). Moore also argues that it is important to base practical research on theory, as a firm basis in theory will increase the value of practical research. The research design was developed on the basis of this premise. The research had two distinct stages: 1. Action Research - to examine teaching strategies and student responses in an on-going process. 2. Interaction Analysis - to determine the amount and type of interaction that was achieved. The first stage followed the established cyclical phases of action research, i.e. planning, acting, observing and reflecting (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1982). Students, lecturers and the researcher were all involved in the evaluation on a cyclical basis. Teaching strategies and student responses were analysed after each videoconference and changes made for the next session. The process combined the use of written questionnaires with post-videoconference debriefing sessions that were conducted using the technology. In the second stage, the videotaped recordings of the videoconference sessions were analysed using a modified version of Flanders’ Interaction Analysis (Flanders, 1970). This analysis was used to reveal the extent to which interaction of the desired nature was achieved and to what extent this paralleled face-to-face teaching. Each of these stages will be more fully elaborated in Chapter 3.

1.5 Significance of the Research
Despite a history of almost two decades and claims of the value of videoconferencing as an educational delivery tool, there has been relatively little research concerning the teaching strategies and processes that are required to ensure effective learning. Most research has concentrated on the comparison of videoconferencing to other teleconferencing media, usually
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considering face-to-face as a de facto standard (see for example, Champness, 1973; Radford, Morganstern, McMickle & Lehr, 1994; Simpson, Pugh & Parchman, 1992, 1993). In his summary report on The ‘No Significant Difference’ Phenomenon, Russell (1997) cites thirty-two studies that evaluated the effectiveness of teaching via two-way television or videoconferencing. Each study found no significant difference in learning outcomes and that students achieved as well as those in a face-to-face situation, however, all of these studies were concerned with the results of the teaching and not the processes involved in teaching via the medium. Schiller & Mitchell, in their report (1993), explored staff and student perceptions of interacting at a distance via videoconferencing and reached the conclusion that teaching via videoconference is different and, as such, requires a different teaching methodology from any that lecturers have used previously. They argue that the technology itself necessitates different ways of interacting, moving, presenting information and of judging the meaning of the messages being exchanged. Conclusions of their paper suggest that major modification of teaching strategies is essential so that focus is on interaction (p. 51). In the Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) report of 1992 Videoconferencing in Higher Education in Australia - An evaluation of the use and potential of videoconferencing facilities in the higher education sector in Australia, it is stated that:
Coupled with these management issues are complex educational requirements such as developing appropriate instructional design for this new medium, understanding how the medium mediates interaction, managing the educational program effectively and inducting and supporting staff and students. (p. 4)

The report concludes that much more research is needed to clearly identify the ingredients of an effective teaching/learning videoconferencing environment. Thus the call for research of this type is placed on the educational agenda as universities strive to diversify the location and nature of their teaching. The report recommends:
What really matters in video-conferencing is the quality of the instructional message, not so much the inherent characteristics of the technology. A significant gap in the literature on the evaluation of educational video-conferencing relates to the teaching and learning processes that occur during a session. It is recommended that extensive research be conducted into the instructional design aspects of video-conferencing, focusing in particular on how learning occurs during a video-conferencing session. (p. 7)

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Since the publication of this report relatively little research has been undertaken, most being internal, ad hoc evaluation of specific applications. As recently as 1999, Evans, Stacey & Tregenza noted in their report that, although Australia is at the forefront of delivery via interactive television (a form of videoconferencing), there has been little research on this type of delivery, especially as a means of developing and sustaining forms of interaction which foster learning. However, of interest, are three recent thesis studies by Australian students which investigate components relevant to the current study, i.e. McLoughlin (1997), Skippington (1998), Towers (1997) and a fourth by an American student, Murphy (1995). McLoughlin (1997) investigated the conditions for higher order thinking in telematics environments. Although this study worked with school teachers, it provides support for the use of interaction for effective teaching in an interactive telecommunications environment. Several reports relating to this study (Oliver & McLoughlin, 1996, 1997 [1] & [2]; McLoughlin & Oliver, 1998) confirm the findings of the current study into the nature of interaction in a videoconferencing environment. Skippington (1998) investigated the outcomes of assessment and learning when adult students and their assessors used desktop, computer-based videoconferencing to conduct assessment of workplace skills. This study supplied evidence that meaningful relationships could be developed between lecturers and students via videoconferencing and that assessment via videoconferencing proved to be as reliable and valid as face-to-face assessment techniques. Towers (1997) investigated the adoption and implementation of videoconferencing in government organisations. Towers’ comprehensive review of the literature associated with videoconferencing revealed that the use of videoconferencing as a communication medium had not always met expectations. His study provides insights into the adoption of the technology as well as the adaptations necessary for successful implementation. A recent dissertation by Murphy (1995) sought to establish a quantitative baseline analysis and description of the verbal interaction between instructors and students in a videoconferencing environment. The nature of the interactions of students and instructors based upon their physical location in this distance learning environment was investigated. Although the setting was more complex than this study, Murphy’s findings were of significance, with a recommendation from him that techniques and methods that encourage student interaction and student-centred responsibility for mastery should be investigated in videoconference settings. He noted that communication technologies such as videoconferencing constitute new learning environments and the analysis of educational efficacy in these environments has been slow and insufficient. He
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found that the verbal interactions between learners and instructors had not been sufficiently identified or described in distance education settings. The recommendations and conclusions of the reports and studies cited above validate the significance of this present study which builds on and extends the body of knowledge about the potential of videoconferencing for the delivery of educational programs and, in the process, informs practice in the field.

1.6 Limitations of the Research
While this study extends the knowledge base in this field, there are limitations of the research and characteristics of the research group that must be recognised. The research is limited to one small group of learners (eight) and lecturers (two) who had specific styles of learning and teaching that proved to be particularly appropriate for videoconferencing. They were aware that the study was specifically investigating the nature of interaction that could be achieved in a videoconferencing environment. The situation was unique, consisting of sessions with a well–established group linking with lecturers already known to them. Also, the process was directly enhanced by the content of the tutorials, in that discussion revolved around issues of humanity, empowerment, critical analysis, and political assertion. All eight videoconference sessions (except two) were point-to-point involving the lecturers at one site and the students at another. On only one occasion was another small group of students present on-site with the lecturers, and on a further occasion a multipoint session was conducted to include a guest lecturer from a third site. An organisational limitation was that the two rooms had to be 'booked' in advance and used for a defined time period for billing purposes. To some extent, this may be considered similar to the booking of a lecture room and the need to finish on time for the next occupant. However, it was fortunate in this study that there were no other bookings of the two sites on these days so that the length and timing of the videoconferences could be varied according to the needs of the moment and the nature of the interaction and discussion. After the first workshop, the length of each videoconference was determined by the nature of the discussion and not closed because of time and cost factors. This is a luxury not usually afforded videoconference users, but in this case led to important findings.

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While research of this nature offers insights into a particular context, it is not the purpose of the study to develop propositions that are universally acceptable to all educational videoconferencing. Research of this type is generative rather than generalisable (Stake, 1994) and the focus was on the nature of the interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing and what adaptations (if any) to teaching and learning strategies are necessary.

1.7 Structure of the Thesis
This first chapter serves as an introduction to the study into the use of videoconferencing as an educational delivery tool and argues the need for further research in this area. It presents the problem to be addressed and outlines the research design. The major research question is presented along with four supporting questions which address critical issues involved in the examination of the application of technology to teaching and learning. Chapter 2 reviews the literature relevant to the study. A comprehensive literature review found a shortage of research into the nature of interaction in videoconferencing. In general, research into the use and effectiveness of videoconferencing is sparse, and the majority of information is to be gleaned from training manuals written by experienced practitioners. In the absence of rigorous research into this field, the following three areas were identified as significant for this study: 1. Videoconferencing and its application in education 2. Interaction and learning 3. Adult learning principles Chapter 3 presents detailed information about the research methodologies chosen and their appropriateness to this study. It outlines the mixed-method evaluation design which includes a qualitative and quantitative research method, i.e. action research and interaction analysis. It gives an overview of the action research spiral and how this was utilised to involve both lecturers and students in an on-going process of self-reflective enquiry resulting in modifications to teaching strategies. To more fully explore the rich data that had been collected, a quantitative measure of interaction was required. This chapter outlines the interaction analysis process adopted and presents the method of coding used in order to derive quantitative data on both the amount and type of interaction. Chapter 4 articulates the results of the two stages of the research, i.e. action research and interaction analysis, and highlights findings of both a qualitative and quantitative nature. It addresses the major research question through the supporting questions and reports and discusses findings under three key categories:
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1. Impact of videoconferencing (Section 4.1) 2. Adaptations to teaching and learning (Section 4.2) 3. Nature of interaction achievable (Section 4.3) This chapter also presents a summary of key findings in relation to each of these categories. Chapter 5 discusses the findings including implications for practice, limitations of the study and suggestions for further research.

1.8 Summary
The study sought to address an issue that has its basis in analysing practice, i.e. what is the nature of interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing. It was designed to challenge existing assumptions about the use of videoconferencing for the delivery of educational programs and to investigate what amount and type of interaction could be achieved. An action research approach was employed because of the investigative and developmental nature of the research question. A quantitative measure of the interactions was then employed to ascertain both the amount and type of interaction that was achieved. The research is considered to have practical and theoretical significance for videoconferencing as a technology that can enhance the quality of teaching/learning interactions in distance education.

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Chapter 2
2.0 Introduction

Review of Literature

In addressing the nature of interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing and what adaptations (if any) to teaching and learning strategies are necessary, it is important to examine the nature of the technology and how this, in turn, affects lecturers and students. In particular, it is essential to examine the theories currently underpinning educational practice and how these inform the use of interaction as central to the learning process. The nature of interaction itself must be examined in detail to determine the amount and type that is considered desirable and therefore replicable in the videoconferencing environment. Of equal importance is an examination of teaching strategies as they relate to adult learning principles. These, in turn, can be extrapolated into the videoconference teaching environment in order to determine whether a transference of skills and practices is possible. This chapter addresses these issues through an examination of three domains of literature that inform the research question: 1. Videoconferencing and its application in education 2. Interaction and learning 3. Adult learning principles The first section defines videoconferencing and provides an understanding of the equipment and its placement in the teaching and learning environments. It examines both the physical and psychological aspects of videoconferencing and how these can affect the teaching/learning process. It reviews current practice and thinking about educational videoconferencing, the benefits it offers and how the teaching and learning environment differs from the face-to-face classroom. The second section reviews the general nature and type of interactivity considered desirable to effect learning and examines a particular form of interaction, the dialogical approach, and how this might be replicated via videoconferencing. It examines definitions of interaction and how these can be translated to the videoconference environment, one which is capable of supporting high levels of interaction but which is not, inherently, interactive. The third section examines the literature concerned with adult learning principles and how these underpinned the design of the educational practice employed by the lecturers in this study. It

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analyses the importance of the lecturer as ‘co-learner’ with the adult learner and outlines the dialogical approach and how this translates to the videoconferencing environment. Although this study was based around the work by two university lecturers, reference has been made in this chapter to several studies and papers which refer to 'teachers' and 'instructors'. These have been included for their relevance to the videoconference teaching/learning environment, and it is not suggested that these terms, and roles, are synonymous.

2.1 Videoconferencing and Its Application in Education
The understanding and use of terms associated with videoconferencing is often confusing and misleading. (A Glossary of Terms is provided in Appendix 1.) Videoconferencing is a subset within the field of teleconferencing (refer to Appendix 2), however, common usage of the term ‘teleconferencing’ has been for the use of telephones for conferencing purposes, i.e. audioconferencing. This is an erroneous use of the term which actually refers to the overall process of connecting people via communication technology. Teleconferencing is defined by the European Teleconferencing Federation (in its 1998 information kit for members) as:
The act of working with others interactively and in real time over a distance by means of Communication and Information Technologies. Teleconferencing includes: • • • • • Full motion compressed digital videoconferencing including Desk Top conferencing Satellite based analogue & digital videoconferencing & Business Television Satellite based data conferencing Audio teleconferencing including bridging Interactive medium & high resolution graphics teleconferencing.

The International Teleconferencing Association and the Australasian Teleconferencing Association, in their promotional material, use the term teleconferencing as a generic term for all forms of conferencing via electronic means.

2.1.1 Defining Videoconferencing
The concept of videoconferencing is not new. Picturephone, a type of desktop videoconferencing system, has been under discussion at Bell Labs since the 1920s and videoconferencing rooms have been in existence at AT&T since the 1960s where they were used to support large corporate meetings such as the annual shareholders’ meeting (Egido, 1988, p. 14).

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Videoconferencing is a communication tool that allows live face-to-face communication between people in separate locations. The most common from of videoconferencing (and the one used in this study) is known as compressed digital videoconferencing. It allows people to see and hear each other as well as play videos, connect a computer or use a document camera to display pictures, text, objects and diagrams. The current technology allows this to occur through digital telephone lines - offering a very cost-effective means of interaction. However, the compression technique results in a somewhat ‘jerky’ picture and this impacts upon the type of movement and interaction that can be used. Numbers of systems can be connected in what is known as multipoint videoconferencing. In this mode an extra piece of equipment known as a multipoint control unit (commonly called a ‘bridge’) is required to connect the sites. Multipoint videoconferencing brings its own specific set of procedures and protocols which were not the focus of this study. A more detailed explanation of videoconferencing is provided in Appendix 3.

2.1.2 Videoconferencing in Education
One of the major reasons for using videoconferencing for flexible teaching and learning is that it provides access to courses for many students who are unable to attend face-to-face sessions. It also provides valuable interaction for students studying at a distance and reduces their sense of isolation. Mitchell (1997) contends that there are numerous demonstrated benefits of videoconferencing: it allows institutions to provide more courses; it enables small numbers of students at distributed campuses to be joined together to form viable classes; it enables institutions to provide specialist educational services to the wider community; it is an instrument for achieving access and equity goals; it increases opportunities to develop relationships with industry; and it provides opportunities to develop national and international networks. He further maintains that in the teaching and learning context, videoconferencing enables outstanding lecturers to demonstrate best practice; it adds a visual impact to distance teaching; the medium provides for real time interaction; if thoroughly inducted and well supported, students are generally supportive of the medium; and it often leads to lecturers reflecting on their teaching methods. The relative advantages and disadvantages of videoconferencing for educational use are summarised below (Adapted from Franklin, Yoakam & Warren, 1995, pp. 3-17):
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Advantages • Allows immediate, real-time interaction. • Allows all participants to see and hear each other. • Can display pictures, graphs, maps, small objects etc or play a video tape. • Can demonstrate a piece of equipment or technique. • Works particularly well with small groups at each site. • Camera and monitor control able to be managed locally or remotely. • With desktop systems you can share computer files and work collaboratively. • Facilitates student interaction. Disadvantages • Specialist equipment needed. • Needs high level of instructor planning. • Costly if a large number of sites are involved. • Restricts room layout, instructor movement and student seating. • Requires instructor to manage video and audio inputs from several sites. • Behaviour has to be modified for large multipoint conferences. Obviously, the advantages of videoconferencing as a teaching tool have been accepted by the Australian tertiary education sector as most universities and TAFE colleges now deliver educational programs via the medium (Mitchell, 1997). Others who have undertaken recent studies allied to this study (McLoughlin, 1995; Murphy, 1995; Oliver & McLoughlin, 1996; Skippington, 1998) found that the technology was conducive to highly interactive sessions and hence of benefit in the delivery of educational programs. McLoughlin (1995), in her study of live interactive television, found that the medium ‘can enhance students’ sense of involvement, promote dialogue and interaction and foster collaboration between students in remote locations’ (p. 236). She found that the majority (70%) of students in her study regarded the opportunity to interact important and perceived the medium to be interactive, while only 28% of students actually participated in dialogue, questioned or responded. There were some limitations on the possible interactions because of the nature of the medium which is only one-way video, i.e. the lecturer cannot see the students, and interactions can only occur by a student telephoning during the session. In a parallel study Oliver & McLoughlin (1996) investigated the nature of the communications between teachers and students and the impact of the technology. They concluded (1997[2]) that few teachers are able to fully exploit and use the potential offered by various technologies and
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that achieving high levels of interaction is a teaching skill that must be acquired and that interactive elements need to be incorporated in a planned and deliberate fashion. Murphy (1995) in his study of the verbal interaction between instructors and university students in a multipoint videoconference setting, found that the levels of interaction were not fundamentally different from those found in traditional classroom settings. Of interest was the finding that the interaction between the instructor and the location of the student was significant in determining the total amount of student interaction as instructors were differentially able to facilitate student interaction at local and remote sites. (This aspect of videoconferencing was not investigated by this study as most sessions were point-to-point and did not include students at the local site.) Skippington (1998), in his study of the use of videoconferencing for workplace assessment of childcare students, found that desktop videoconferencing was reliable, convenient and easy to use for both teachers and learners. In the context in which it was being used, i.e. workplace assessment, he found that videoconferencing facilitated the development of meaningful relationships between teachers and learners and was, therefore, effective as a teaching/ learning medium. This study accepts the benefits of videoconferencing for educational purposes, but aims to investigate further just how it can be used effectively as a delivery medium and proposes to challenge the assumptions about the way in which interaction can be achieved.

2.1.3 The Videoconference Teaching Environment
One of the aims of this study was to discover if face-to-face teaching techniques could be replicated via videoconferencing and what adjustments, if any, had to be made when adapting teaching delivery to videoconferencing. It is acknowledged in the literature that there are differences, for example:
Instructors cannot be led to assume that success is guaranteed if they simply transfer their face-to-face instructional materials and techniques to a distance learning environment. (Franklin et al, 1995, p. 6.2)

Towers (in Daunt & Towers, 1997, p. 3) found that to assume videoconferencing could be substituted for face-to-face communication without changing behaviours was an error that often led to unsatisfactory results:
Videoconferencing can be regarded as offering some similar features as face-to-face communication (that is, participants can see and hear each other), but it is not the same form of communication. Furthermore, it is not necessarily a lower form of communication and needs to be considered on its own terms – many of which will be discovered during implementation and will depend on the organisational Page 19

context. Organisations should consider videoconferencing as offering potentially different communication and identify the benefits and mitigate potential problems.

The failure of early videoconferencing systems was not primarily technological in nature, but a failure to understand and to take into account the sociological and psychological factors involved in the deployment and diffusion of this technology. The pioneers in the field had conceptualised videoconferencing as a direct replacement for face-to-face meetings or encounters (Egido, 1988, p. 16). In the 1990s the incorporation of sociological and psychological perspectives in the development and deployment of new technologies is still limited. In their paper on developing new pedagogical skills for the new learning environments, Bivens & Chute (1996) state that presenting a learning program via two-way videoconferencing requires a modified approach to generate learning success, and warn that it is often assumed that since lecturers are still in ‘real-time’ with the students that their face-to-face skills will be sufficient. They assert that excellent face-to-face presentation skills are necessary, but the lecturer must go beyond these skills and incorporate new ones which can be summarised into two main areas audience attention and learning strategies. Others (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; GAO, 1995; Hoffman & Mackin, 1996; Ostendorf, 1989, 1994; Schiller & Mitchell, 1993; Schlosser & Anderson, 1994) confirm this view and reinforce the notion that there are identifiable differences between videoconference teaching and face-to-face teaching and therefore a need for different strategies. Following is a summary of current thinking by these authors and others. Differences One of the major differences between videoconference teaching and face-to-face teaching is that lecturers are moving into a flexible delivery mode and this brings with it a new way of planning and structuring the course. It is unlikely that videoconference sessions will be undertaken for the same number of hours as the course takes in a face-to-face situation. Lecturers need to develop support materials (most likely self-directed learning guides) that students work through between their videoconferencing sessions. For some lecturers this involves learning a new set of skills. Schlosser and Anderson (1994, pp. 32-37) identify the following as new skills that must be learnt in assuming the role of distance educators:
understanding the nature and philosophy of distance education identifying learner characteristics at distant sites designing and developing interactive courseware to suit each new technology adapting teaching strategies to deliver instruction at a distance Page 20

• • • •

• • • • •

organizing instructional resources in a format suitable for independent study training and practice in the use of telecommunications systems becoming involved in organization, collaborative planning, and decision-making evaluating student achievement, attitudes, and perceptions at distant sites dealing with copyright issues

All of the above skills are generic to using technology to deliver educational programs and recognise the vast differences in the educational process when students are not physically on campus. However, for contact teaching time with students, i.e. videoconference sessions, the biggest difference relates to the lecturer’s working space. In a face-to-face situation lecturers are free to wander around the room, look at students’ work, participate in numerous small group discussions, distribute materials, have students gather around, work on a one-to-one basis and change the direction of the lesson depending upon students’ interest and motivation (or lack thereof). All this is undertaken in a defined space where lecturers can see and hear all students at all times. In videoconferencing some, or all, of the students will not be physically located with the lecturer. If the lecturer wanders around the room the students at other sites will not be able to see him/her, and private conversations are difficult depending upon the microphone situation. These differences are further highlighted in Table 2.1 which presents a summary comparison between face-to-face teaching and videoconference teaching based on work by a team of educators working for the USA Government Accounting Office.

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Table 2.1: Differences Between Face-to-face & Videoconference Teaching (Adapted from GAO, 1995, p. 89) FACE-TO-FACE Equipment Whiteboard, OHP, VCR, computer. Student location In the room with you. VIDEOCONFERENCE TEACHING Camera/s, monitor/s, microphone/s, document camera, control panel, VCR, computer. Some students may be with you, others will be at one or more sites that may be hundreds of kilometres away. Depending on the operating system, probably only one site at any given time i.e. a number of students are unseen. The teacher OR any visuals shown OR students at other sites. (This can vary depending on the system.) Microphones must be used. If these are ‘press to talk’ models, students will not be heard if they do not press the button to activate the microphone. Participants view a monitor and can easily become passive viewers. You must design strategies for maintaining student participation and interest. Somewhere in the background will be a raft of specialists who manage and maintain the equipment you will be using. They become most important if you experience technical difficulties! A well designed course will need course developers and some input from experienced videoconference teachers. You may also need to redesign graphic material. It may involve instructional designers and graphic artists. It is not appropriate to have students ‘screen watching’ for more than an hour. They may be in the learning environment for a number of hours, but the time ‘on-screen’ should be broken into smaller segments.

What teacher sees All students at all times.

What students see The teacher AND any visuals shown. Ability to speak and hear Teacher and students can hear and speak to each other at any time. Interaction The dynamics and energy of the room encourage participation and interest. Operational support Usually not required.

Preparation You are responsible for preparing your own teaching program and materials. This is usually done alone, but you may include some colleagues in the process.

Teaching session length This is usually in a 2 -3 hour block.

Hoffman and Mackin (1996) alert those teaching via videoconference that their students are likely to have less of an emotional connection and commitment to them - especially when lecturers and students have not met face-to-face. Franklin et al (1995) support this view and list the following instructional considerations:
• Because of less spontaneity than face-to-face instruction, participants will likely feel a greater sense of distance and may be less comfortable volunteering information.... • The downside of having audio and video capability at each site is that participants may distract (inadvertently or consciously) from the instruction by saying or doing things at inappropriate times that are picked up by microphones and cameras....

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The successful instructor will need to focus on ways to reach out to students so that they will have a sense of personalized contact with the instructor... (p. 3.16)

In their study of the nature of videoconferencing and the evolving characteristics of teaching/learning methodologies for videoconferencing, Schiller & Mitchell (1993) found that videoconferencing requires a different teaching methodology from any that lecturers have used previously. The technology itself necessitates different ways of interacting, moving, presenting information and of judging the meaning of the messages going in both directions (p. 50). This study aims to challenge this assumption and examine the nature of interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing. In proposing to replicate the dialogical approach, it is necessary to examine what the literature informs us about the similarities between face-to-face teaching and teaching via videoconference. Similarities Despite the long list of differences above, there are many similarities between teaching via videoconference and face-to-face teaching. The most important of these is that good teaching is just that, i.e.:
Good teaching, to my mind, is provided by teachers who are conversant with their subject(s), informed about their students' characteristics and problems, understand their institution and the methodology they serve (such as distance education, open learning or behaviouristic learning), but very important, teachers should be able to impart the subject knowledge to their particular students in a meaningful, interesting and motivating way, guiding them towards greater understanding of their subject and in general life in order to be better prepared to function as citizens in their environment. (Wilson, 1997, online)

The learning theory currently driving education is ‘constructivism’ where the learner actively constructs an internal representation of knowledge by interacting with the material to be learned (Savery & Duffy, 1995; Streibel, 1991). According to this viewpoint, both social and physical interaction enter into the definition of a problem and the construction of its solution. It is advocated (Prawat & Floden, 1994) that, to implement constructivism in a lesson, one must shift one's focus away from the traditional transmission model to one that is much more complex, interactive, and evolving. (The implications of this theory are discussed in more detail in Section 2.2.) Franklin et al (1995) maintain that many teaching strategies adapt to videoconferencing, but that ‘one that emphasizes participant interaction works especially well’ (p. 3.15). For most lecturers the transition from face-to-face teaching is not overly difficult. It offers the opportunity for lecturers to reflect upon their teaching methods which lead to improved practice (Mitchell, 1997).
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Ellis (1994), in referring to the use of teletraining through Video Teletraining (VTT) in the United States Navy, noted that the instructor’s delivery technique may require modification to ensure the best results in their teleteaching facility. She reports that ‘All prospective instructors are required to complete an instructor indoctrination that includes complete hands on training prior to teaching on the network.’ This ‘indoctrination’ includes:
• • • • • • Hands on training and complete familiarisation of all VTT classroom equipment. Modification of graphics for optimal presentation on the network. Possible modification of the course testing procedure to enable a site facilitator to grade the tests. Observing other VTT instructors teach. Trial teaching to other sites during the lunchtime break. Advance coordination with the remote sites for course materials and publications used during the course. (p. 3)

Despite what would seem to be quite large adjustments, Ellis points out that courses are taught in much the same manner as in the traditional classroom and the curriculum is not modified. Laurillard (1993) believes that videoconferencing invites the delivery of lectures because ‘it is definitely a presentational medium as well as being a discursive one’ (p. 167) and that this attribute is employed by lecturers, with the potential for interaction rarely being exploited. She believes that the student has very little control over the communication and there is little opportunity for social negotiation. There are strategies that a lecturer teaching via videoconference can adopt to make their role more effective and fulfilling for both themselves and their students and thus enhance the quality of the teaching/learning interactions. The following strategies, which have an impact on this study, have been gleaned from the literature (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Ellis, 1994; GAO, 1995; Herrington & Rehn, 1993; Ostendorf, 1989, 1994; Sherry, 1996): 1. Feeling at ease It is essential for lecturers to feel at ease with the videoconference equipment and environment so that the technology becomes transparent. The US Navy network assists their instructors by providing a checklist with tasks that need to be accomplished and emphasis the importance of having a positive attitude to teaching via videoconference.
We make sure he is comfortable in front of the camera and he knows how to operate all VTT equipment. Lack of enthusiasm for teaching on VTT, or the fear of new technology can negatively impact the instructor’s presentation delivery, and will consequently affect his students. (Ellis, 1994, p. 4)

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2. Feedback Herrington & Rehn (1993, p. 77) found that the most difficult aspect of teaching via videoconference for those new to it is the difficulty in recognising the usual non-verbal cues from students. Without the non-verbal cues, lecturers need to communicate with students to check their attention and progress. They advise interacting with direct questions about understanding as well as encouraging dialogue from all sites helps overcome the lack of non-verbals. 3. Student expectations From years of watching commercial television, students come with expectations of how information should be presented. With videoconference teaching, the lecturer is coming to them via a television monitor, they expect to be ‘entertained’ with all of the advanced theatricals available to the television producer. Students will also have to make adaptations to their behaviour, e.g. use microphones, be seen on screen. They need instruction and practice with the technology to feel at ease. Even after this, they may not be psychologically adjusted to using the technology and it may be necessary to plan ways to continually put students at ease - throughout the entire course. 4. Interaction Training manuals (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Daunt & Stone, 1993; GAO, 1995; Ostendorf, 1994; Parker, 1984) emphasise that interaction is an important element in teaching via videoconference as it is the only element that distinguishes videoconferencing from a video tape. Interactivity takes many forms; it is not just limited to audio and video, or just teacher-student interactions, but represents the connectivity the students feel with the teacher, the local tutors and their peers. Sherry (1996) believes that successful videoconference teaching involves interactivity between teacher and students, between students and the learning environment, and among students themselves, as well as active learning in the classroom. This does not just happen when the technical connection is made - interaction must be planned and encouraged. These ideas formed the basis for determining the structure of this present study.

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2.2 Interaction and Learning
In order to investigate interaction in the videoconferencing environment, it is first necessary to explore current learning theories and the nature of interaction in the teaching/learning process. The importance of interpersonal interaction in learning is well documented (Fulford & Zhang, 1993) and current thinking is that interaction is a vital component for effective learning (Brundage & MacKeracher, 1980; Marton, Dall’Alba & Beaty, 1993; Mason, 1994; Ramsden, 1992). When students have the opportunity to interact with one another and their instructors about the content, they have the opportunity to build within themselves and to communicate a shared meaning to ‘make sense’ of what they are learning. Mason (1994, p. 26) contends that interaction has been shown to benefit learners at the affective level and increases motivation and interest in the subject. She further contends that opportunities for learners to express their own points of view, explain the issues in their own words and to formulate opposing or different arguments, have always been related to deep-level learning and the development of critical thinking. A well designed interaction about content can move learning from lower cognitive levels, such as recognition and comprehension, to the higher levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation (Bloom, 1956; Howard, 1987; Moore, 1993). Brundage & MacKeracher (1980, p. 2) reinforce the importance of interaction, particularly in adult learning:
We believe, furthermore, that learning occurs not only as a result of the learner's activities but also as a result of the interactivity between teacher and learner, between teaching and learning. The most appropriate behaviour in such interactions is interdependence, with teacher and learner learning from and teaching each other.

Two major conceptions have permeated thinking about learning in higher education for the past two decades, one being quantitative in nature, the other qualitative (Biggs, 1989). The quantitative conception centres about a view of learning that is outcomes based, the outcomes predetermined so as to clearly define the body of knowledge that is to be learned by a student whose role is predominantly passive, focussing on the process of intellectual recall as opposed to discrimination. A more active role by the learner is demanded when considering a qualitative conception of learning. Here, learning is perceived as a way of interpreting the world, the facilitation of learning ensuring conceptual growth that promotes student understanding. This type of learning, enacted as a search for meaning, places demands on ‘higher level’ learning processes such as understanding,
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seeing something in a different way and changing as a person (Marton, Dall’Alba & Beaty, 1993). This deep orientation to learning is connected to ‘qualitatively superior outcomes: the making of an argument, the novel application of a concept, the elegant solution to a design problem, an interplay between basic science and professional application, mastery of relevant detail (and) relating evidence correctly to conclusions’ (Ramsden, 1992, p. 61). In recent years there has been a move towards ‘constructivism’ as the learning theory driving education and has been found to underpin the decision making process for the adoption of technology in educational organisations:
...when respondents responsible for an Exemplar of Change were questioned about the learning theories/principles underpinning their use of the information/communications technologies, the consistent answer related the approach to constructivism or a constructivist method. Similarly with those selected as ‘leading edge individuals’, constructivism was accepted as a pedagogical principle that should inform/shape the use of technologies applied to learning. (Tinkler, Lepani & Mitchell, 1996, p. 84)

According to constructivist principles the learner actively constructs an internal representation of knowledge by interacting with the material to be learned. This is the basis for both situated cognition (Streibel, 1991) and problem-based learning (Savery & Duffy, 1995). According to this viewpoint, both social and physical interaction enter into the definition of a problem and the construction of its solution. Neither the information to be learned, nor its symbolic description, is specified outside the process of inquiry and the conclusions that emerge from that process. Three primary constructivist principles, according to Savery and Duffy (1995), are that understanding comes from our interactions with our environment; cognitive conflict stimulates learning; and knowledge evolves through social negotiation and evaluation of the viability of individual understandings. Constructivism assumes that ‘knowledge’ is not an absolute, but is ‘constructed’ by the learner based on previous knowledge and overall views of the world. Thus, the opportunity to find knowledge for oneself, contrast one's understanding of that knowledge with others' understanding, and refine or restructure knowledge as more relevant experience is gained, seems to harness the reality of learning. Prawat & Floden (1994) state that, to implement constructivism in a lesson, one must shift one's focus away from the traditional transmission model to one that is much more complex, interactive, and evolving, thus requiring high degrees of learner involvement.

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2.2.1 Defining Interaction
For the purposes of this study, the following understanding of interaction was held:
The word ‘interactivity’ is currently used in a wide variety of ways. The obvious meaning communication between two or more people - is by no means the only one....Much of what passes for interactivity should really be called ‘feedback’....It would be useful if the word ‘interactivity’ were reserved for educational situations in which human responses - either vocal or written - referred to previous human responses. (Mason, 1994, pp. 25-26)

The study not only values the place of interaction in learning, but recognises that there are different levels of interaction. Bates (1991) outlines two different types of interactivity in learning - social and individual. Social interaction refers to that which takes place between people, i.e. between lecturers and students and between students and students. Individual interaction refers to that that takes place between a student and their learning materials, e.g. text books, study guides, audio tapes. Moore (1989) however, distinguishes three types of interaction: learner-content, learner-instructor and learner-learner. He notes that learner-instructor interaction is regarded as essential by many educators, and as highly desirable by many learners, but that it is learner-learner interaction that will challenge our thinking and practice in the 1990s. This is a new dimension of learning at a distance and has been enhanced through the availability of interactive communications technologies. Learner-learner interaction may occur when students are alone or in group settings, with or without the real-time presence of an instructor. Lundin (1989) identified six levels of interaction that can be built into all forms of communications:
Level 1: 'reaction' as a form of interaction with pre-pared audio (radio) and video (television) broadcast. This is a voluntary, usually passive and, therefore, and ineffective and often unproductive kind of interaction. Level 2: 'parallel participation' in which the program shows activities and asks listeners or viewers to carry out the same activities. For example, 'Play School' and yoga lessons on television involve people in this way.

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Level 3: 'limited interaction' in which the participant has choices regarding the exploration of a fixed data base. For example, viewdata (e.g. Viatel) is claimed to be interactive in this way, as are most data bases and programmed learning. Level 4: 'responses' requested as a form of interaction built into the program software. For example, a 30 minute audio or video-tape can be produced in such a way as to keep a student involved for up to a week or two of study by requesting certain activities and investigations to be carried out, then returning to the tape, and so on. Level 5: 'stimulated' interaction in which the program acts as a catalyst for local, real, live interaction among participants. Level 6: 'live' transactional interaction at a distance - i.e. 'real' interaction through which participants can by comments and questions contribute to the creation of the unique content or data base which becomes the product of the 'program' or event. This interaction can be both synchronous, e.g. audio and video Teleconferencing, or asynchronous as in forms of computer conferencing. (pp. 3-4)

It is Lundin’s sixth level - 'live' transactional interaction at a distance - which is of interest in this study. He states:
Live interaction at a distance is a unique attribute of teleconferencing and it is the power of this attribute that can be exploited by careful design of programs and use of creative strategies. (p. 4)

Of particular interest in fostering live, transactional interaction via videoconference was the concept of a dialogical approach. This approach employs high levels of spontaneous, transactional interaction to enhance learning through critical reflection (Schon, 1987) and thereby provides the best possible test for videoconferencing as a delivery tool. The dialogical approach to teaching and learning seeks to facilitate critical and liberating dialogue as a means to the development of reflective self-awareness and responsible self-direction. It provides opportunities for the views and experiences of both students and lecturers to be brought forward and makes provision for students to take considerable responsibility for the development of their own educational experience. (The dialogical approach is discussed in more detail in Section 2.3.2.)

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2.2.2 Interaction in Videoconferencing
With the capacity for interaction as one of its major strengths, videoconferencing offers lecturers a medium through which they can facilitate more active ways of learning with students not situated in the same location as them. Shale & Garrison (1990) argued that interaction was even more critical in distance settings.
In distance education we are seldom afforded the luxury of direct face-to-face communication; communication usually must be mediated technologically. Because of the importance of communication in distance education it is necessary to understand the impact of mediated forms of communication on the educational process. (p. 33)

A study of audioconferencing in distance learning programs by Anderson & Garrison (1995) revealed the importance of human interaction and concluded that merely acquiring and using the technology, without offering the opportunity for regular and sustained interaction between and among lecturer and students, provided no guarantee that a critical community of learners would result. The authors emphasised that learning activities that capitalise on the interactive potential of the medium must be planned and developed if critical thinking is the desired outcome. Two way communication systems which entice high levels of interactivity and user control have been found to best suit instructional needs of distant students (Ellis & Mathis, 1985; Hackman & Walker, 1990). Interactive systems where students are encouraged to comment during class have a positive impact on learning and learners' satisfaction and, according to Hackman & Walker (1990), this type of interactivity allows distant learners to engage in a form of personal involvement that is essential to effective learning. Although videoconferencing is a two way communication system which allows for high levels of interaction, these are not automatically achieved by virtue of the use of the medium:
The mention of video these days is usually accompanied by the attribute of 'interactive' as though it was an intrinsic and natural feature of the technology. This is grossly misleading. The technology of video-conferencing is no more interactive than that of audio-conferencing or computer conferencing. Interactivity is achieved through deliberate design and operation of control by the presenter with the voluntary contribution of the participants. (Castro, 1989 quoted in Mitchell, 1993, p. 75)

Bramble & Martin (1995) concur with this in their study of the use of videoconferencing to deliver training to military personnel. They emphasise that the technical capabilities of videoconferencing can provide a high level of interaction, but that effective protocols are necessary to realise the interactive potential of the technology.

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Students are not accustomed to having a two-way conversation with a television set and experience has shown that the likelihood of a student talking is dependent on how long has elapsed from the beginning of the videoconference session (Ostendorf, 1994). Current training manuals on effective teaching strategies for videoconferencing (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Daunt & Stone, 1993; GAO, 1995; Ostendorf, 1994; Parker, 1984) indicate that interaction needs to be structured and strategically designed. Bates (1990 cited in Mitchell, 1993, p. 76) concurs with this:
It is even more important then that the interactive technologies are organised for relatively small groups, and that careful attention is given to structuring and moderating the interaction that takes place.

Barker (1995) contends that distance learning forces instructors to find new ways to structure student-teacher interaction and requires ‘forced’ interaction and more effort to involve remote students and make them feel part of the class. Barker recommends planning for interaction because of the tendency for distance students to be passive. The challenge for the present study was to determine whether a level of interaction adequate for a dialogical approach is possible through videoconferencing - particularly in light of this literature indicating the need for structured processes. In support of the case for a dialogical approach, Tang & Isaacs (1992, p. 24) found that videoconferencing creates an increased social presence and is an information 'rich' media and a valuable resource in mediating interpersonal interaction. The video provides eye contact, the ability to exchange gestures, and other visual cues which provide feedback on the communication, e.g. whether it has been understood, whether there is agreement, etc. A lecturer can see and hear remote learners in real time and use conversation and body language to enhance communication, thus increasing the opportunity for interactive teaching strategies such as questioning and discussion. Simonson (1994) also claims that the level of interaction in a face-to-face classroom can be replicated and that students’ experiences in the distance environment are similar to experiences in a regular classroom. Schiller (1992) acknowledged the potential for high levels of interactivity to be achieved when teaching via videoconference:
At first impression video-conferencing appears to be a virtual replacement for regular classroom interaction and is, therefore, appealing as a teaching medium as it promises face-to-face experiences for teaching at a distance. The aim is for the technology to be transparent so that interaction takes place as it would if the individuals were in the same room. When video-conferencing is used effectively, comments from both lecturers and students indicate that this is achievable and high level interaction occurs between people who may be separated by many kilometres. (p. 28) Page 31

However, Oliver & McLoughlin (1997 [2]) found that school teachers underutilise the opportunities afforded by the medium to support cognitive interactions. They contend that supporting cognitive exchanges with live interactive television requires a degree of skill and experience on the part of the lecturer and is one which must be developed and acquired. They support the notion that a lecturer needs to incorporate interactive elements into the instructional program in a planned and deliberate fashion. Their study demonstrated shortcomings in the didactic teaching practices which, in turn, limited the opportunity for students to interact and engage in the dialogue. In a parallel study of the nature of interactions in a live interactive television classroom, Oliver & McLoughlin (1996) found that lecturers used the interactive elements of the technology to create a supportive and stimulating learning environment. The lecturer - student dialogue was found to be of an informative and expository nature where both parties gave information to the other in relatively short exchanges. Bramble & Martin (1995) in their research into the use of videoconferencing for delivery of training courses to military personnel, asked students to rate the interactive capabilities of the system. The ratings were specifically to establish student satisfaction with the level of interactivity afforded with the course instructor and with their ability to ask the instructor questions. On both counts, the ratings averaged slightly over 4 on a 5-point scale. This led Bramble & Martin to conclude that the ratings verified both the capabilities of videoconferencing for high levels of interaction and the course design strategies which incorporated interactivity as instructionally appropriate. From this study, they recommend that care is taken to design activities that allow students to interact with the instructor and each other. In their study of courses delivered via audioconference, a related technology, Anderson & Garrison (1995) also found that students’ perception of the quality and value of their learning was significantly enhanced when meaningful opportunities for mediated interaction were provided. They found that students perceived that interaction with other students at their site is important and can help them successfully complete the course. Fulford & Zhang (1993) studied interaction and satisfaction in an interactive television course for K-6 teachers and found that a critical predictor of satisfaction with distance education is the students’ perception of overall interaction in the class. Their study also revealed that learner perceptions of interaction decrease over time, perhaps due to an increase in interaction expectations on the part of students as they become more confident and comfortable in the distance education environment. In a later article, Zhang & Fulford (1994) report that according to their research, how students feel about interaction in the classroom may not be directly related to
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the amount of time actually spent on interaction, but rather on the nature of the interaction as perceived by the students. Miller, McKenna & Ramsey (1993) concluded in their study of interaction in distance education that students’ psychological perceptions may have more effect than the capability of the technology to simulate an environment that allows approximately the same level of interaction as a traditional classroom. Burnham (1995) found in observations of remote sites that students interacted with the instructor, but interacted more often and longer with other students at their local site. Wilkes & Burnham (1991) found a relationship between satisfaction and student involvement and found that on-site students rated both areas significantly higher than distant students. These authors conclude that instructors have substantial influence on the amount of student involvement in the classroom and that instructor training may improve ratings. Dillon & Walsh (1992) found that instructor immediacy behaviours (feedback in class, expressive vocal quality, inviting student contact, etc.) were associated with student satisfaction in distance education courses. Ritchie & Newby (1989) and Silvernail & Johnson (1992) found a significant correlation between student ratings of the effectiveness of an interactive television class and ratings of student involvement in the class. The latter found that classes where the instructor was not physically present had significantly lower ratings on involvement and overall satisfaction than either the traditional class or the television class with the instructor present in the room. It could be argued that students in television classes where the instructor is physically present (origination) are likely to have a learning experience more similar to that of a traditional classroom than to that of their remote counterparts. The literature indicates the importance of interaction to students studying at a distance and reveals that differing levels of interaction have been achieved by the use of various technologies. The challenge for videoconferencing, and for this study in particular, was to maximise this interaction to meet the needs of both students and lecturers.

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2.2.3 Interaction Analysis
Although universally accepted as critically important, interaction in distance education settings was poorly described in the literature. The studies cited throughout this document have employed a variety of qualitative and quantitative measures to determine the nature of interaction in the environments being studied. The few studies that have sought to quantify the interactions have employed some form of interaction analysis. In a study of the University of Wyoming's microwave based interactive television system, Farr & Muscarella (1991) measured verbal interactions in three different distance education settings, and found that the presence of the instructor increased the amount of interaction. This was determined by employing a simultaneous coding scheme based upon Flanders’ Interaction Analysis (1970). Murphy (1995), in his study of the verbal interaction between instructors and students in videoconferencing, used an expanded version of G. R. Johnson's Cognitive Interaction Analysis System which, itself, had been based on Flanders’ Interaction Analysis. This allowed Murphy to determine that the levels of classroom interaction found in videoconferencing were not fundamentally different from those found in traditional classroom settings. In a study of teaching and learning in an audiographics environment, Oliver & McLoughlin (1997 [1]) used a form of dialogue analysis to examine the nature and forms of interactions in that learning environment. They found that the interactive technologies played a critical role in the lesson delivery, but that there was little evidence of negotiation where the students and teacher communicated on equal terms to pursue meaning or construct personal ideas and models. Their instrument for analysis of data (McLoughlin & Oliver, 1998, pp. 251-253) was based on discourse analysis of communicative interactions and included seven categories of interaction and discourse which were used to code the teacher-student ‘talk’. This study accepted the importance of interaction in an educational program delivered via videoconference and concluded that the most effective method of determining the amount and type of interaction was to undertake an interaction analysis.

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2.3 Adult Learning
The lecturers in this study recognised the fact that the students were both mature professionals and post-graduate students who were able to take part in collegial interactive processes. Their teaching style was based on the belief that students should be able to negotiate the development of their own educational experience and that opportunities should be provided for the diverse views and experiences of students to be presented and considered.

2.3.1 Adult Learning Principles
Underpinning this study was the need to employ adult learning principles in the design, production and delivery of the videoconference sessions. This aspect, along with the interactive attributes of emerging technologies have led to what Moore (1992) calls the 'transactional theory of distance education' in which new media, such as videoconferencing, affect the structure of course design, the dialogue between learner and instructor and the autonomy of the distant learner. Lindeman (1926) was one of the earliest writers on adult education and his ideas have influenced the thinking of many theorists on the field of adult learning principles. He stressed that learning for adults was a lifelong process; focused on situations rather than subject matter and that learners’ experiences were important. Lindeman’s theories combine humanistic philosophy and progressive education and he maintained that method was far more important than content. Malcolm Knowles, one of the most prolific modern writers in the field of adult learning theory, was greatly influenced by the work of Lindeman (Jarvis, 1987, p. 169). Knowles expanded and built on the work of Lindeman to formulate the concept of andragogy in an attempt to construct a comprehensive theory of adult education. According to Knowles (1987) there is evidence that adults learn differently from children and have different needs and motivating factors in learning situations. Knowles' theory of andragogy emphasises that adults are self-directed and expect to take responsibility for decisions. Andragogy makes the following assumptions about the design of learning: • • • • Adults need to know why they need to learn something. Adults need to learn experientially. Adults approach learning as problem-solving. Adults learn best when the topic is of immediate value.

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In practical terms, andragogy means that instruction for adults needs to focus more on the process and less on the content being taught. Knowles (1980, pp. 57-58) proposed that appropriate conditions for adults to learn effectively include the following: a learning environment characterised by physical comfort, mutual trust and respect, mutual helpfulness, freedom of expression, accepting of differences, where learners perceive the goals of the learning experience to be their own goals, where learners accept a share of responsibility for planning and operating the learning experience and therefore have a commitment to it, where learners participate actively, and sense progress toward their own goals. Adults feel a need to learn when the learning process relates to and uses their own experiences. Knowles’ thinking was also influenced by the work of Carl Rogers (Jarvis, 1987, p. 170). Rogers (1969) distinguished two types of learning: cognitive (meaningless) and experiential (significant). The key to the distinction is that experiential learning addresses the needs and wants of the learner. Rogers lists the qualities of experiential learning as personal involvement, self-initiated, evaluated by the learner, and having pervasive effects on the learner. Rogers believes that experiential learning is equivalent to personal change and growth, and feels that all human beings have a natural propensity to learn; the role of the teacher being to facilitate such learning. This includes setting a positive climate for learning, clarifying the purposes of the learner(s), organising and making available learning resources, balancing intellectual and emotional components of learning, and sharing feelings and thoughts with learners but not dominating. According to Rogers, learning is facilitated when the student participates completely in the learning process and has control over its nature and direction; it is primarily based upon direct confrontation with practical, social, personal or research problems, self-evaluation is the principal method of assessing progress or success. He also emphasises the importance of learning to learn and an openness to change. In contrast, Brookfield (1995) asserts that despite the plethora of journals, books and research conferences devoted to adult learning, we are yet to develop a universal understanding of adult learning. He argues that the attempt to construct an exclusive theory of adult learning - one that is distinguished wholly by its standing in contradiction to what we know about learning at other stages in the lifespan - is a grave error and that as we examine learning across the lifespan, the variables of culture, ethnicity, personality and political ethos assume far greater significance in explaining how learning occurs and is experienced than does the variable of chronological age.

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There are four areas which have been the post-war focus for adult learning researchers: • Self-directed learning - the process by which adults take control of their own learning, in particular how they set their own learning goals, locate appropriate resources, decide on which learning methods to use and evaluate their progress. • Critical reflection - focuses on three interrelated processes; (1) the process by which adults question and then replace or reframe an assumption that up to that point has been uncritically accepted as representing commonsense wisdom, (2) the process through which adults take alternative perspective on previously taken for granted ideas, actions, forms of reasoning and ideologies, and (3) the process by which adults come to recognise the hegemonic aspects of dominant cultural values and to understand how self-evident renderings of the 'natural' state of the world actually bolster the power and self-interest of unrepresentative minorities. • • Experiential learning - the belief that adult teaching should be grounded in adults' experiences, and that these experiences represent a valuable resource. Learning to learn - the ability of adults to learn how to learn, i.e. to become skilled at learning in a range of different situations and through a range of different styles. Based on current theory on adult learning, the following set of principles underpinned the teaching/learning approach adopted for this study: • • • • • both lecturers and students co-constitute the learning situation students are mature professionals searching open-ended questions should be used to evoke critically reflective thought students should be able to negotiate the development of their own educational experience opportunities are provided for the diverse views and experiences of students to be presented and considered. These underpinnings are consonant with the dialogical approach used by these lecturers in their face-to-face classes.

2.3.2 The Dialogical Approach
The dialogical approach is not yet a dominant paradigm in research, theory and practice in distance education, educational technology and open learning but it is becoming very influential (Buckley, 1992; Lockwood, 1992; Morgan, 1990; Paul, 1990) and more widely used in Higher Education. Moore (1991) describes dialogue as the interaction between the teacher and learner when one gives instruction and the other responds and that the extent and nature of this dialogue is
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determined by the educational philosophy of the individual or group responsible for the design of the course, by the personalities of teacher and learner, by the subject matter of the course, and by environmental factors. He maintains that what determines the success of distance teaching is the extent to which the institution and the individual instructor are able to provide the appropriate opportunity for, and quality of, dialogue between teacher and learner, as well as appropriately structured learning materials. The dialogical approach reflects the principles of both adult learning (Brundage & Mackeracher 1980) and critical pedagogy (Darder 1991). The teaching and learning strategy seeks to facilitate critical and liberating dialogue as a means to the development of reflective self-awareness and responsible self-direction. As Smyth (1984, p. 63) asserts:
When teachers themselves adopt a reflective attitude toward their teaching, actually questioning their own practices, then they engage in a process of rendering problematic or questionable those aspects of teaching generally taken for granted.

Opportunities are provided for the diverse views and experiences of both students and lecturers to be brought forward in a problematic way, for deliberation and potential transformation, rather than simply to pose one view of the world of education, and invalidate another. The approach makes provision for students to take considerable responsibility for, and to negotiate the development of their own educational experience. This reflects Aronowitz and Giroux's characterisation of the 'transformative intellectual':
... transformative intellectuals help to critically analyse various interests and contradictions within [education and] society and collaborate with others in articulating emancipatory possibilities and working toward their realisation (Ginsburg, 1988, p. 202).

In this way both lecturers and students are cast as inquirers, critically reflecting on their experiences amid the exchanges and challenges of others in the group. The goal is an understanding of the responsibility for knowledge jointly produced (Wexler, 1987), rather than to knowledge as a predetermined commodity to be handed down from the 'knowing' to the 'unknowing'. It reflects Leader's assertion (cited in Spender 1995, p. 10) that 'instructionist' teaching models are giving way to 'constructivist' approaches, 'built by the learner, not supplied by the teacher'. Or as Stransberry (cited in Spender 1995, p. 117) notes, the approach is 'a system of enquiry in which the student is immersed in hands-on, real world situations and asked to provide the solutions'.

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Inherent in the substantive content and outcomes of the face-to-face delivery of this unit of study was an enabling process of negotiated curriculum consistent with what Biggs refers to as 'deep achieving' learning:
In order to cope adequately with the [educational and social] context, students' [learning] needs to be strategic rather than tactical: to decide what they want to get out of the [learning] situation, what is likely to be demanded of them if they do not get it, whether or not they can meet those demands, to be prepared to change strategy when their initial attack is not working (Biggs, 1988, p. 128).

The approach recognises that both lecturers and students co-constitute the learning situation. The lecturers in this study recognised the fact that the students are both mature professionals and postgraduate students who do not want to be talked at, and consider themselves able to take part in collegial interactive processes. From this perspective the lecturers facilitate critically reflective, meaning-making activity; using searching open-ended questions; within a dialogical process. The open-endedness of the interaction means that students are not given simple, direct answers. Instead they are encouraged to think critically about their own views and to search for their own meanings and positions and be able to support and defend these in constructive argument with colleagues in the group. This approach contrasts with the more common didactic approaches employed in distance education. The interactive-reflective processes are consistent with the content and philosophy of this particular post-graduate subject and, therefore, more appropriate for the purpose of this subject. It is precisely this teaching/learning approach that challenges the assumptions traditionally held about required videoconferencing processes and protocols and the way in which interaction can occur. Such an approach adopts interaction as central to the learning process and encourages students to actively participate in the debate.

2.4 Summary
A study of the literature revealed that interaction is considered an important ingredient for effective adult learning and that new technologies, such as videoconferencing, provide a mechanism to provide interaction to students studying at a distance. However videoconferencing can only provide the opportunity for interaction, it is not an intrinsic feature of the medium. The successful realisation of an interactive videoconference classroom is dependent upon effective design and execution by the lecturer.

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The lecturers in this study had the desire to include high level discussion and interaction as a dominant teaching strategy within their dialogical approach in videoconference sessions. If this could be achieved, then videoconferencing would prove itself to be a very effective medium for use in flexible delivery of higher education. The study was designed to investigate the nature of interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing and whether the lecturers would have to make adaptations to their teaching style to achieve the type of interaction as described above. A review of the literature revealed there has been little research in this field, and this study will make a significant addition to the body of knowledge about how this relatively new communications technology can be employed for educational purposes.

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Chapter 3
3.0 Introduction

Research Methodology

This study is based on a mixed-method evaluation design. Caracelli & Greene (1993) cite numerous studies that acknowledge the increasing practice of using multiple methods in evaluation and applied research. The mixed-method design typically includes at least one qualitative method (in this case, action research) and one quantitative method (in this case, interaction analysis). In this study, the purpose of the mixed-mode evaluation embraced a ‘development’ design (Greene, Caracelli & Graham, 1989) in which the method types are used sequentially. (Refer to Section 3.3 for further detail.) The choice of a mixed-method design was appropriate for this study in order to maximise the data that had been collected, allowing a deeper investigation of the nature of interaction. The original research design proposal advocated the use of action research alone. This qualitative method revealed a rich source of data and involved evaluation of processes and outcomes, but did not reveal the precise nature of the interaction. A quantitative method was required to determine the amount and type of interaction occurring, which led to the inclusion of an interaction analysis of the videotaped videoconference sessions. The two research methods form two distinct stages of the study, i.e. action research throughout the planning and delivery of the videoconference sessions, combined with an interaction analysis of the videotaped videoconference sessions. The action research stage of the study involved a selfreflective spiral of planning, acting, observing, reflecting and re-planning (Kember & Kelly, 1992; Kemmis & McTaggart, 1982; Wilkinson, 1996), while the second stage utilised a modified version of Flanders’ Interaction Analysis Categories (FIAC) (Flanders, 1970). In Stage 1, action research was employed to determine the most appropriate teaching and learning strategies for the use of videoconferencing to deliver a subject at post-graduate level. The mainstream of the action research process involved the researcher working with the lecturers and the students through a developmental cycle over the period of the semester. Before, during and after each of the four workshop days, the researcher and lecturers were involved in training, reflection, debriefing, modification and planning sessions, i.e. the cycles of action research were implemented as a basis for improvement. This meant that over the period of the research there was a constant development of how videoconferencing was used based on what was learned on each occasion.
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The sessions were videotaped with the permission of those involved. These tapes were analysed through interaction analysis in Stage 2 to determine developmental differences, particularly in terms of the amount and type of interaction among all participants. A modified version of Flanders’ ‘Ten Category’ system was used to give a quantitative measure of the amount of interaction that was employed, the nature of the interaction and whether this interaction was student or lecturer initiated. The results of this analysis were then compared to the responses of lecturers and students, gathered during the action research cycle, to gauge the perceived satisfaction with the interaction in the teaching/learning process.

3.1 Overview of Methodologies
3.1.1 Action Research
The term ‘action research’ has been interpreted in many ways, but the most widely accepted definition is that provided by Carr & Kemmis:
Action research is a form of self-reflective enquiry undertaken by participants (teachers, students or principals, for example) in social (including educational) situations in order to improve the rationality and justice of (a) their own social or educational practices, (b) their understanding of these practices, and (c) the situations (and institutions) in which these practices are carried out. (McNiff, 1988, p. 2)

The main focus of action research is to encourage educators to become involved in their own practice and to be part of the research process. As Wilkinson (1996) points out:
Action research is not done on someone or some group; it is done with people who can benefit from the actions, the findings and the changes that result. (p. 17)

and:
... ‘educational action research’ means two things: (a) (b) a way of individual, professional ‘enlightenment’, of individual development, and a way to get the job done collaboratively, in a systematic and academically more rigorous manner than what is the usual way in a busy workplace. (p. 16)

The study was predicated on this premise, where researcher, lecturers and students worked collaboratively to improve their own understanding and practice. The involvement of all three parties enabled professional development of all concerned, coupled with the collection of valuable information about best practice which could be shared with the education sector in general. Grundy (1995) claims that action research has two principal aims - improvement and involvement. She lists three areas that ‘improvement’ targets:
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• • •

improvement in practices improvement in the situation in which the practice is occurring improvement in understanding both the practice and the situation. (p. 9)

Kemmis & McTaggart (1982) emphasise the four fundamental aspects of the action research process and the dynamic complementarity which links them into a cycle:
To do action research one undertakes• • • • to develop a plan of action to improve what is already happening, to act to implement the plan, to observe the effects of action in the context in which it occurs, and to reflect on these effects as a basis for further planning, subsequent action and so on, through a succession of cycles. (p. 7)

These four ‘moments’ of action research can be represented diagrammatically as in Figure 3.1.
Figure 3.1: The ‘Moments’ of Action Research (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1982, p. 10)

Reconstructive Discourse (among participants) 4 Reflect Retrospective on observation (Reconnaissance and evaluation)

Constructive 1 Plan Prospective to action (constructed action)

Practice (in the social context)

3 Observe Prospective for reflection (documentation)

2 Act Retrospective guidance from planning (deliberate and controlled strategic action)

As a dynamic process, the planning, acting, observing and reflecting are ongoing activities that form a spiral or cycle of events. This is best illustrated by Figure 3.2.

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Figure 3.2: The Action Research Spiral (Kemmis & McTaggart, 1982, p. 8)

In terms of this study, the four aspects included (refer to Figure 3.4 for further detail): 1. Plan: discussing teaching strategies and planning videoconference sessions with lecturers. 2. Act: lecturers presenting videoconference sessions. 3. Observe: researcher observing during the sessions and observing video tapes of sessions. 4. Reflect: Researcher and lecturers analysing student and lecturer responses.

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3.1.2 Interaction Analysis
The second stage of the study focused on an analysis of the interactions that took place in the action research cycle. An interaction analysis tool was used.
Interaction analysis is a label that refers to any technique for studying the chain of classroom events in such a fashion that each event is taken into consideration. An observer...keeps a record of the flow of events on an observation form. (Flanders, 1970, p. 5)

An interaction analysis allows an observer to objectively code every interaction between and amongst lecturers and students in a given time span. The most common technique is to observe, by sitting in a classroom or by viewing a video tape, and record events on an observation form. It is a system for coding spontaneous, verbal communication; arranging the data into a meaningful display; and then analysing the results in order to study patterns of teaching and learning. Depending on the data collection technique, measures of both amount and type of interaction can be collected. The interaction analysis system developed by Flanders (1970) was a result of his drive to develop more objective techniques for analysing interaction and has been widely used in educational research. It comprises ten categories that are non-judgemental and allow the researcher to determine the level of student involvement as well as the lecturers’ questioning and feedback strategies. Flanders’ Interaction Analysis Categories (FIAC) and codes are well defined and include seven categories that indicate whether the lecturer was responding or initiating interaction, two categories that indicate whether the students were responding or initiating interaction and a tenth category to indicate silence or confusion. Table 3.1 provides an overview of Flanders’ categories. (Flanders, 1970, p. 34)

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Table 3.1: Flanders’ Interaction Analysis Categories* (FIAC)

1. Accepts feeling. Accepts and clarifies an attitude or the feeling tone of a pupil in a nonthreatening manner. Feelings may be positive or negative. Predicting and recalling feelings are included. 2. Praises or encourages. Praises or encourages pupil action or behaviour. Jokes that release tension, but not at the expense of another individual; nodding head, or saying “Um hm?” or “go on” are included. 3. Accepts or uses ideas of pupils. Clarifying, building, or developing ideas suggested by a pupil. Teacher extensions of pupil ideas are included but as the teacher brings more of his own ideas into play, shift to category five.

Response

Teacher Talk

4. Asks questions. Asking a question about content or procedure, based on teacher ideas, with the intent that a pupil will answer.

5. Lecturing. Giving facts or opinion about content or procedures; expressing his own ideas, giving his own explanation, or citing an authority other than a pupil. 6. Giving directions. Directions, commands, or orders to which a pupil is expected to comply. 7. Criticizing or justifying authority. Statements intended to change pupil behaviour from nonacceptable to acceptable pattern; bawling someone out; stating why the teacher is doing what he is doing; extreme self-reference.

Initiation

Response Pupil Talk

8. Pupil-talk - response. Talk by pupils in response to teacher. Teach initiates the contact or solicits pupil statement or structures the situation. Freedom to express own ideas is limited.

Initiation

9. Pupil-talk - Initiation. Talk by pupils which they initiate. Expressing own ideas; initiating a new topic; freedom to develop opinions and a line of thought, like asking thoughtful questions; going beyond the existing structure.

Silence

10. Silence or confusion. Pauses, short periods of silence and periods of confusion in which communication cannot be understood by the observer.

* There is no scale implied by these numbers. Each number is classifactory; it designates a particular kind of communication event. To write these numbers down during observation is to enumerate, not to judge a position on a scale.

Using this coding system, the researcher observes all interactions and decides which category best represents the communication event. Observation continues, with a steady tempo, at a rate of 20 to 25 tallies per minute - approximately one tally every 3 seconds. Maintaining a regular tempo is important because most conclusions depend on rate consistency not speed. With this ten-category system, an estimate of the balance between initiative and response can be inferred from the per cent time of ‘teacher talk’, ‘pupil talk’ and ‘silence’ or ‘confusion’. These per cents alone are not a good indication of the nature of the interaction because they measure only the quantity and not the quality of the interactions.
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For this study, a two-tier tabulation system was employed that catalogued the type and sequence of interactions. This allowed the researcher to capture the quality as well as the quantity of the interactions. (The system of data collection is outlined in detail in Section 3.3.2.) Major theoretical and methodological debates have characterised classroom research (Hammersley, 1993) and systematic observation has been frequently criticised as having some major flaws (Walker & Adelman, 1975). For example, using pre-determined categories may prevent insight into unpredicted complex behaviours. At the same time, arbitrary time-sampling neglects and may distort ‘natural’ classroom interaction patterns and restriction to classroom settings ignores the contexts of teacher and student cultures, assumptions and intentions which envelop them. However, this research method has been ably defended by McIntyre & Macleod (1978) who contend that FIAC is particularly appropriate for coding talk in a ‘transmission’ type classroom but produces difficulties in coping with talk in small-group contexts where pupils talk to each other. An elaboration of the Flanders’ system has often been used to identify effective classroom teaching processes (Stallings & Mohlman, 1988), with some researchers increasing the number of categories and modifying the procedures. However, the ‘Ten Category’ system developed by Flanders served as a satisfactory basis for this analysis with a small group in which interactions were not characterised by frequent smaller group discussions. Farr & Muscarella (1991) measured verbal interactions in three different distance education settings using a simultaneous coding scheme based upon Flanders’ Interaction Analysis. Murphy (1995) used an expanded version of G. R. Johnson's Cognitive Interaction Analysis System which, itself, had been based on Flanders’ Interaction Analysis, to investigate the verbal interaction between instructors and students in videoconferencing. Interaction analysis was also used successfully in a recent study to investigate higher order thinking in a telelearning environment (McLoughlin & Oliver, 1998) which parallels this study on interaction in educational videoconferencing. McLoughlin and Oliver conducted an in-depth investigation of audiographics in schools and how this medium could be used to foster higher order thinking. The audiographic environment is similar to the videoconferencing environment in that it involves synchronous communication with sound and vision, the difference being that only still motion is relayed in audiographics. For the present study, an additional category (10A) was included to distinguish silence/ confusion over technical issues from silences due to communication breakdown. The ‘initiative’ and ‘response’ characteristics of FIAC satisfactorily allowed a comparison of the videoconference
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teaching/learning experience with the established patterns in face-to-face sessions. Please note that the categories 'teacher talk' and 'pupil talk', as used by Flanders, have been retained for this study.

3.2 Context of the Study
3.2.1 The Setting
During the latter half of 1994, two lecturing staff at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) used videoconferencing for tutorials, in conjunction with distance education materials, to deliver one subject of a Master of Education course (Organisational Culture and Education Leadership) and assess the adequacy of this mode of delivery for quality teaching and learning in a higher education program. The tutorial group received video tapes and printed materials and came together four times during the semester for a whole day in which they watched the video tapes, discussed selected readings and linked via videoconference with their lecturers for two, 60 minute videoconferences. There were four workshop days (Saturdays approximately one month apart) that contained two contact sessions, i.e. eight videoconference sessions in total. A number of the videoconference sessions were designed differently in order to explore the possibilities of the medium. Prior to the videoconference sessions, students were required to undertake specified readings. The general structure for each workshop day is shown in Table 3.2, with the videoconference sessions highlighted.

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Table 3.2: Workshop Structure

8:30am 9:00am

Students met to discuss readings, general concerns and issues. Students viewed a one hour video of the lectures given to on-campus students during previous weeks. Students discussed ideas and issues from the videotaped lecture and the readings, and identified questions and issues they wished to discuss with the lecturers. Coffee break. Videoconference link to lecturers in Brisbane. Lunch. Students viewed a second videotape of lectures given to on-campus students. Students discussed ideas from the first videoconference, the second videotape and readings and identified further items for discussion with each other and lecturers. Videoconference link to lecturers for further discussion, debriefing and evaluation of the day, including the use of videoconferencing. End.

10:00am

10:30am 11:00am 12 noon 1:00pm 2:00pm

3:00pm

4:00pm

Within this general structure, however, the four workshops had certain variations which influenced the students' reactions. Workshop 1 One of the lecturers attended the remote site with the students on this first occasion to assist them with familiarisation of the subject, plans for the semester, use of the videoconference equipment, protocols and procedures. (The other lecturer, who remained in Brisbane, had already met with this cohort of students when teaching another subject in an earlier semester.) In an attempt to bridge the on-campus with the off-campus groups, three of the on-campus students agreed voluntarily to attend the Brisbane site. These students had already participated in the lectures and discussions with the lecturers during the previous week. It was expected that the interaction between the two sets of students would facilitate discussion and sharing. Workshop 2 Both lecturers were in Brisbane with students at the remote site only.
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Workshop 3 A guest lecturer presented from a third site to a small group of students in Brisbane as well as the group at the remote site. A number of other QUT personnel also attended in Brisbane to observe the use of videoconferencing. Workshop 4 Both lecturers were in Brisbane with students at the remote site only. Table 3.3 outlines the structure of each of the sessions.
Table 3.3: Structure of Videoconference Sessions

WORKSHOP 1 Videoconference Session 1 1 lecturer in Brisbane with students on-site & 1 lecturer with students at remote site. WORKSHOP 2 Videoconference Session 1 Both lecturers in Brisbane with students at remote site. WORKSHOP 3 Videoconference Session 1 Both lecturers in Brisbane with students on-site & at remote site plus lecturer videoconferenced in from a third site & other QUT personnel present in Brisbane to observe. WORKSHOP 4 Videoconference Session 1 Both lecturers in Brisbane with students at remote site. Videoconference Session 2 Both lecturers in Brisbane with students at remote site. Videoconference Session 2 Both lecturers in Brisbane with students at remote site. Videoconference Session 2 Both lecturers in Brisbane with students at remote site. Videoconference Session 2 1 lecturer in Brisbane & 1 lecturer with students at remote site.

This study was concerned with the videoconferencing component of the program and sought to challenge and extend existing assumptions about the use of the medium for delivery of education.

3.2.2 Participants
The lecturers were highly experienced university personnel who had delivered this subject faceto-face using a dialogical approach in their lectures. They were eager to examine how this approach could be approximated in the videoconference environment. One of the lecturers had worked with these students previously and the other travelled to the remote site to work with them on the first workshop day.
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The student group comprised eight mature-age students all located at a provincial centre approximately three hours’ drive from Brisbane. All of the participants were educational practitioners: two school principals, one deputy principal, one subject master, three education officers at School Support Centres and one Pre-school teacher (seven females, one male). This group was somewhat unique in that it was already functioning as a tightly knit group; this was the fourth semester that they had studied MEd subjects together. Neither the lecturers nor the students had had any previous experience with videoconferencing. However both groups, as experienced professionals wishing to engage in critical pedagogy in practice, were keen to explore the degrees of freedom in terms of interaction that videoconferencing might allow. The students became co-participants in the research. This is a characteristic of the action research process as noted by Grundy (1995).

3.2.3 Equipment
Each site was custom designed for videoconference teaching and contained the following equipment: • • • • • Standard room-based videoconference system Extra camera and monitor at rear of room Lectern with built-in monitors Press to talk microphones (although these were operated in ‘open’ mode) Document camera

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Figure 3.3 illustrates the room layout.
Figure 3.3: Videoconference Room Layout
Lecturer site (NB: Students not present for most sessions) Student site

3.3 Data Collection
Greene et al (1989) identified five purposes for mixed-mode evaluations, grounded in the theoretical literature and in evaluation practice. It is the third of these, ‘development’, on which this methodology is validated. In ‘development’ designs, the different method types are used sequentially with the results of one method helping to develop or inform the other method. In this study, the action research process provided a rich source of data, but further analysis was needed for a greater understanding of the nature of interaction that was achieved. The issues relating to the impact of the technology and the adaptations to teaching and learning strategies were identified and addressed during the cyclical process of the action research stage. It was the investigation of the amount and type of interaction that established that a quantitative measure of interaction was required, thus leading to the employment of the interaction analysis.

3.3.1 Stage 1 - Action Research
Action research was chosen as the methodology for Stage 1 as the process of self-reflective enquiry allows lecturers and students to be involved in the process in order to achieve educational improvement. Action research is ‘a vehicle for enhancing the teaching-learning situation’
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(McNiff, 1988, p. 5) which encourages self-critical awareness, thus leading to a process of change and improvement of practice. Based on Kemmis & McTaggart’s Action Research Spiral (Figure 3.2, p. 44), Figure 3.4 presents the process used in this study. There were four workshop days in which different structures were used for the videoconference sessions. An overall analysis that was taking place during this stage was used to inform and modify practice for the next session. The figure also incorporates the interaction analysis that formed the basis for Stage 2 of the research. (This stage of the research process is detailed in section 3.3.2)

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Figure 3.4: Research Process STAGE 1
4. REFLECT Researcher & lecturers analyse student & lecturer responses. Workshop 1 (2 videoconference sessions) 1 lecturer with students & 1 in Brisbane (with students on-site for 1st videoconference). 2. ACT Present videoconference teaching session.

ON-GOING ANALYSIS
1. PLAN Discuss teaching strategies & plan videoconference sessions.

3. OBSERVE Researcher observe during session. Lecturers to observe video tape.

4. REFLECT Researcher & lecturers analyse student & lecturer responses. 3. OBSERVE Researcher observe during session. Lecturers to observe video tape. Workshop 2 (2 videoconference sessions) 2 lecturers in Brisbane with students off-site. 2. ACT Present videoconference teaching session. 1. REVISED PLAN Discuss teaching strategies & plan videoconference sessions.

4. REFLECT Researcher & lecturers analyse student & lecturer responses. 3. OBSERVE Researcher observe during session. Lecturers to observe video tape. Workshop 3 (2 videoconference sessions) 2 lecturers in Brisbane with guest lecturer from interstate for 1st videoconference. 2. ACT Present videoconference teaching session. 1. REVISED PLAN Discuss teaching strategies & plan videoconference sessions.

4. REFLECT Researcher & lecturers analyse student & lecturer responses. 3. OBSERVE Researcher observe during session. Lecturers to observe video tape. 1. REVISED PLAN Discuss teaching strategies & plan videoconference sessions.

Workshop 4 (2 videoconference sessions) 2 lecturers in Brisbane with students off-site.

2. ACT Present videoconference teaching session.

STAGE 2

INTERACTION ANALYSIS

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In the action research stage of the study, several different processes and tools were used, with both lecturers and students, to collect data and inform the on-going reflective process. A written questionnaire was completed after each workshop in order to collect a reflective response from students (see Appendix 4). 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?’ A debriefing session was held, via videoconference, immediately following the close of the second videoconference session on each workshop day, to capture immediate responses from both lecturers and students. Table 3.4 outlines the evaluative process and purpose employed with the lecturers during the action research stage.
Table 3.4: Lecturer Evaluation Process Evaluation Discuss teaching strategies in lead up to VC Debrief after first workshop Purpose Clarify expected effective strategies Immediate response from lecturers on which strategies were successful. Critical analysis of teaching strategies To extend/trial strategies Immediate response from lecturers on which strategies were successful Critical analysis of teaching strategies To extend/trial strategies Immediate response from lecturers on which strategies were successful Critical analysis of teaching strategies To extend/trial strategies Immediate response from lecturers on which strategies were successful Critical analysis of teaching strategies

View video tape Modify and/or enhance teaching strategies Debrief after second workshop

View video tape Modify and/or enhance teaching strategies Debrief after third workshop

View video tape Modify and/or enhance teaching strategies Debrief after fourth workshop

View video tape

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Table 3.5 outlines the evaluative process and purpose employed with the students during the action research stage.
Table 3.5: Student Evaluation Process Evaluation On-line feedback from students at the end of the day Purpose Immediate response from students

Questionnaire to be completed and returned during the following week Telephone interviews as necessary

Reflective response from students

To clarify issues

Although the action research provided a rich source of data about the reaction of lecturers and students to the use of videoconferencing and showed that high levels of interaction could be achieved, it was the interaction analysis that provided measurable data about the nature of this interaction.

3.3.2 Stage 2 - Interaction Analysis
The videoconference sessions were recorded onto videotape and analysed through interaction analysis after the conclusion of all teaching and learning episodes. Unfortunately, due to technical problems, the second videoconference session in Workshop 3 was not recorded, and observation notes were the only source of data for this session. It should be noted that this data is missing from all tables and figures related to the interaction analysis. For the interaction analysis, a two-tier tabulation system was employed which catalogued the type and sequence of interactions. This method has the advantage over the simple tallying method of providing a record of the sequence of interactions in conjunction with the timings on each. Analysis of these sequences and timings provided a much richer source of data by giving an insight into the nature of the interaction that was occurring.

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Table 3.6 shows a small section of a completed data collection sheet (see Appendix 5 for the entire sheet).
Table 3.6: Interaction Analysis Tabulation System No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Co de No 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 Co de No 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 Co de

4 4 4 8 8 8 8 8 8

9 9 9 9 9 9 9 2 2

5 5 5 5 5 8 8 8 8

The researcher was required to record the category of interaction sequentially as per the ‘Code’ column in Table 3.6. Analysis of this data was then undertaken on two levels: 1. the amount of interaction could be calculated on a percentage basis 2. the sequence of categories could be further analysed to discover the nature of the interaction occurring. For example, in the small sample in Table 3.6, it is evidenced that the lecturer asked a question (13) that elicited a response from students (4-9). However, later in the session (34-40), students initiated interaction that was encouraged by the lecturer (41-42). In the knowledge that a recording is made approximately every 3 seconds, it is possible to calculate that the lecturer question (1-3) was posed for 9 seconds and the response from students (4-9) covered at least 18 seconds (longer in reality as this is a small sample of a coding sheet). This type of tabulation also allowed the researcher to determine the level of intervention by lecturers as opposed to how much of the student initiated interaction arose from questions and comments posed within the student group. Through this type of analysis, many significant insights were gained into the amount and type of interaction occurring. (These are more fully discussed in Chapter 4.)

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3.4 Data Analysis
Utilising a mixed-method approach, the research was conducted using action research and interaction analysis. The methods were developmental in that they occurred sequentially with the qualitative method of Stage 1 (action research) being developed by the quantitative method of Stage 2 (interaction analysis) by providing a precise measure of amount and type of interaction. The analysis of data commenced with the initial collection during the action research phase, i.e. after the first workshop day. Teaching and learning strategies were generated and trialled and then tested for effectiveness through questionnaires and debriefing sessions. The interaction analysis was undertaken after all teaching/learning episodes had been completed. This analysis process is represented in Figure 3.5 below. The cyclical phase of the action research is represented by the shaded area. More detail of the analysis which was undertaken in each stage follows in Sections 3.4.1 and 3.4.2.
Figure 3.5: Data Analysis Process

Collection of raw data - observation notes, questionnaires, debriefing sessions

Analysis of observation notes, questionnaires, debriefing sessions

Drawing conclusions and making adaptations for next videoconference session

Developing appropriate interaction analysis tool

Coding video tapes

Analysing interaction analysis data

Drawing conclusions from all data sources

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3.4.1 The Action Research Spiral
The videoconference sessions were evaluated, using an action research approach, with students, lecturers and the researcher all involved in the evaluation on a cyclical basis. Teaching strategies and student responses were analysed after each videoconference and changes made for the next session. The action research spiral extended over a period of one semester. This stage of the study comprised four ‘episodes’ which each reflected the four phases of action research: 1. Planning 2. Acting 3. Observing 4. Reflecting Planning Planning occurred before the study itself and between each of the four workshops. Initial planning focused on: • • • determining appropriate teaching strategies upskilling lecturers in equipment operation clarifying expected outcomes of the videoconference session

Planning between each workshop comprised: • • • determining lecturers’ response to the previous videoconference session reviewing student responses to the previous videoconference session critically analysing teaching strategies

Acting Through this planning and replanning process, teaching strategies were modified and enhanced in order to trial different approaches. The lecturers were prepared to extend their teaching strategies to accommodate the feedback from students. Observing The role of observer was assumed by the researcher who: • • • • took notes during the videoconference sessions conducted debriefing sessions with both lecturers and students analysed evaluation questionnaires between workshops analysed video tapes with the lecturers (who became observers of their own teaching)
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NB: An external observer (another faculty lecturer) was also involved to ensure validation of the observations. Reflecting The researcher and lecturers conducted reflective sessions between each workshop that initiated replanning and modification of approaches for the next session, i.e. the start of another cycle.

3.4.2 Interaction Analysis
This interaction analysis was based on Flanders’ Interaction Analysis Categories (Table 3.1 p. 46) with an extra category (10A) added to the ten category system to distinguish silence/confusion over technical issues from other silences. It involved coding the verbal communication, arranging the data and then analysing the results to study patterns of teaching and learning. The major feature of the system lies in the analysis of initiative and response which Flanders maintains is characteristic of interaction between individuals. This analysis was carried out by the researcher who reviewed video tapes of all sessions to establish the type of interaction that took place and how this was initiated. A tabulated coding system (outlined in detail in Section 3.3.2) was used to obtain this data. The video tapes were also independently analysed by another researcher to establish communication patterns. These observations were considered during this study. The coded data contained 9 404 interaction events. Frequencies and proportions were calculated for each of the categories of interaction. Through the summation of the events in categories 1-7 the level of lecturer interaction was established and analysed. Likewise, through summation of the events in categories 8 and 9 the level of student interaction was established and analysed, with these categories being further analysed to reveal the amount of initiated interaction in comparison to responsive interaction. Strategies adopted for drawing conclusions included noting patterns of communication and specifically identifying interactive episodes that were distinctive.

3.5 Summary
This chapter has described the use of a mixed-method evaluation design and the particular research methodologies and approaches that were used in this study. The mixed-method approach provided three main benefits over the use of a single research methodology. First, the use of
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action research allowed lecturers and students to become involved in critically analysing the teaching/learning strategies employed, and have influence over their development. This research provided a rich source of qualitative data about the way in which videoconferencing could be used to deliver an educational program. Second, the interaction analysis provided a quantitative measure which determined the amount of interaction that occurred between lecturers and students. Through the two-tier tabulation system which was employed, the nature of that interaction was also revealed. Third, the combination of data from both methodologies provided a basis from which conclusions could be drawn about the amount and type of interaction and its effect on student satisfaction. Chapter 4 provides a detailed analysis of this data and reveals a number of significant findings about the importance of the nature of interaction and the empowerment of students in the interactive process that was central to the teaching/learning strategies employed in this study.

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Chapter 4
4.0 Introduction

Research Findings

This study investigated the nature of interaction that can be achieved in educational videoconferencing and what adaptations (if any) to teaching and learning strategies were necessary. It focused on investigating the type and amount of interaction that could be achieved. Four key, supporting questions (Figure 1.1 p. 8) provided the framework for the analysis of the effect of videoconferencing on interaction: 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? During the action research stage of the study, several issues relating to these questions were identified. As part of the reflecting phase of the action research cycle, these issues were addressed and replanning occurred so that adaptations could be made in the subsequent action phase. These issues, and their relation to the supporting questions, are presented in Table 4.1.
Table 4.1: Issues Generated During Action Research

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

Issues Related to the Supporting Questions Technical performance Room layout User confidence and competence Length of videoconference session Acceptance of technology by lecturers Current teaching style Accepted videoconferencing protocols Acceptance of technology by students Perception of loss of ‘control’ Established group dynamics Role of interaction in promoting learning Types and amount of interaction

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?

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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4.1 Impact of Videoconferencing
There were four workshop days that contained two contact sessions, i.e. eight videoconference sessions in total. A number of the videoconference sessions were designed differently in order to explore the possibilities of the medium. (Refer Figure 3.3, p. 52). It has been outlined earlier that as part of the action research component of the study, videoconference sessions were modified in an ongoing manner so as to respond to student and lecturer feedback.

4.1.1 Technical Performance
The technical performance of compressed digital videoconferencing is well established as it has been in use as a technology for over ten years in Australia. It is not the intention of this study to examine the technical performance of the equipment, however some brief comments are necessary to pre-empt the discussion following. The room-based systems were very reliable with no technical problems for the duration of the project. The systems provided high quality voice and vision, enabling students and lecturers to clearly see and hear each other, which contributed to the high levels of interaction achieved. Following the first workshop (two videoconferences), students rated the quality of picture and sound and their ability to see and hear from ‘Fair’ to ‘Very Good’. These ratings rose in the second workshop, i.e. after the fourth videoconference, to ratings ranging from ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’. The students’ responses from Workshop 1 and Workshop 2 are compared in Table 4.2.
Table 4.2: Student Ratings of Vision and Sound Quality

(Workshop 1 highlighted) Excellent V. Good Good Fair Poor

Quality of the picture:

W’shop 1 W’shop 2 2

2 3 3 2 3 4 2 4

3 1 2 1 1

1

Quality of the sound:

W’shop 1 W’shop 2

1

Your ability to see & hear:

W’shop 1 W’shop 2

1

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It is of interest to note that technical quality, i.e. picture and sound did not vary between the videoconferences. One can only speculate that it was the student’s familiarity with the technology which produced a perceived benefit in picture and sound quality. The quality of vision and sound and its enhancement of the teaching/learning environment was evidenced by two specific instances. The first instance illustrated the power of the visual aspect of videoconferencing. One of the lecturers was distracted by something else happening in the room in Brisbane. This evoked a light-hearted rebuke from the student who was speaking: ‘I'm looking right at you!’ This quickly brought the lecturer back to task and focused his attention on the student’s discussion. The second instance illustrated the power of good microphones and sound. At one stage, the students were engaging in several side discussions and, because of the live microphone situation, all of these comments could be heard in equal volume at the Brisbane site. Preliminary advice given to the students had been to be wary of the microphones picking up asides (all microphones were always 'live') and, although reminded, students seemed to ignore this advice, with the group talking behind their hands, over their shoulders, or in other ways attempting to cover their comments as they would in a face-to-face lecture. Therefore, it was evident that a face-to-face interactive environment was being replicated in videoconferencing, where asides were being used as a way of making a comment without waiting for a turn. In their study into audioconferencing, Anderson & Garrison (1995) found that the use of 'sidetalk' allowed students to affirm or dispute information provided by others without interrupting the rest of the class and was rated as an important element in enhancing learning in that environment.

4.1.2 Room Layout
Videoconferencing room systems were set up at both sites in dedicated rooms. The rooms used were set up as videoconference teaching rooms with a lectern at the front of each room and extra cameras so that students could be taught on-site as well as at the remote site (refer to Figure 3.3 p. 52). All microphones were 'live' at all times. For the duration of the first videoconference session on the first day, the lecturers taught exclusively from the lectern. This was because of: • • • • the layout of the room, the presence of students at both sites, the use of graphics from the document camera located beside the lectern, and the approach of the initial training which had used the lectern as a teaching base.
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However, after the first workshop day, the lecturers abandoned the use of the lectern and worked from a table which was a more informal approach. The reasons for this change were: • • • no students were present at the Brisbane site after the first videoconference session, student and observer feedback indicated that the lectern imposed a more formal atmosphere, and while seated side-by-side, both lecturers could more easily engage in discussion with the students. In subsequent sessions, the two lecturers played mutually complementary roles by alternating their positions between the lectern and the table. This allowed greater flexibility as one could operate the document camera while the other worked from the table in the middle of the room. This more informal approach allowed for greater exploitation of learning resources and, most importantly, promoted higher levels of interaction. Students expressed dissatisfaction with their seating in the room and as part of the process of assertion they altered the room layout. This involved variously trying to ensure that none of the group had their back to others - by spreading into a ‘U’ shape, to grouping tightly to ensure cohesion - regardless of backs to others. They eventually settled on the tighter group and twisted and turned as they would in a face-to-face classroom, thus interacting freely amongst themselves as well as with the lecturers. The major implication of these changes were that the physical arrangement/layout of a room and the presence of a lectern located at the front of the room almost begged the lecturer to fall into a traditional lecturing mode and, furthermore, the students fell into the expected reactive formal pattern of listeners. This room layout, therefore, can become an inhibitor of effective interaction unless the participants are all aware that they can have control/power over these physical elements. This realisation was rather dramatically evidenced on the first workshop day when the lecturer at the remote site, after the first videoconference, took the control panel from its seemingly fixed location at the front of the room on the lectern and tugged it to reveal the possibility of extending its connecting cord. This enabled him to move from the lectern to the audience position and become part of the group for the second videoconference. This new physical arrangement permanently changed the nature of the interaction between the two sites for all subsequent videoconference sessions because the students and lecturers adopted this less formal arrangement.

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4.1.3 User Confidence and Competence
Neither the lecturers nor the students had experienced videoconferencing in any setting before the commencement of the study. However, both groups were keen to explore the degrees of freedom, in terms of interaction, that videoconferencing might allow, and to participate in the action research process which would examine and shape the teaching/learning process. To begin, their level of competence was low but their confidence was high, however competence of both lecturers and students increased as they used the technology throughout the study. A month prior to the first workshop, the lecturers were provided with a half day training session in the operation of the system and in the teaching strategies, processes and protocols which were believed to be the most effective for this technology, according to reported experience and training manuals (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Daunt & Stone, 1993; GAO, 1995; Ostendorf, 1994; Parker, 1984) In addition, the lecturers had one practice session with a student on-site and another student at a videoconference site elsewhere. This session involved the presentation of a mini-lesson in which they practised techniques for displaying graphics and various teaching strategies. The lecturers became quite comfortable in using the technology and operated the keypad themselves from the first videoconference session. Silence due to technical confusion constituted 2.5 minutes or less in all sessions, an indication that they were quite proficient with operation of the equipment. The students received a short induction program at the beginning of their first videoconference session. At this induction, the components and general operation of the system were explained, with particular attention to microphones. The students were given limited training in the operation of the system, e.g. moving cameras, setting pre-sets, as it had been decided to operate the remote videoconference system using the 'far end control' function so that students did not need to concern themselves about the technology. However, before the first videoconference ended, they had become familiar with, and wanted to take control of, the technology and resented that control being taken away. For example, they used their keypad to operate and change the camera shots themselves rather than have the lecturer operate the equipment from the Brisbane site. When the lecturers, in turn, changed these camera shots, the students displayed dissatisfaction with comments such as ‘Didn’t you like our shot?’. This resentment was reinforced during the debriefing session, when discussion centred on the fact that camera shots could be controlled from the lecturers’ site. This met with the retort ‘We HAD noticed!’.
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Despite embracing ownership of the technology and the process, some students still felt unsure of the technology after the first videoconference. This was expressed by comments including:
Still learning the technology - this should improve next time. Has great potential - need to develop - we spent a lot of time ‘fiddling’. We’ll get used to it!!!

However, this was not reflected in the amount of interaction achieved as the two videoconference sessions in the first workshop attained 48% and 56% student interaction respectively.

4.1.4 Length of Videoconference Sessions
For the first workshop, the videoconferences had been strictly limited to two 60-minute periods for two reasons: 1. It was considered that 60 minute periods were the optimum for effective videoconferencing this was reinforced by the training literature (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Daunt & Stone, 1993; GAO, 1995; Ostendorf, 1994; Parker, 1984) 2. Having made this decision, the lecturers were locked into these time slots because of booking arrangements, i.e. restricted bookings. It is of interest to note that Workshop 2 comprised two videoconference sessions with both lecturers in Brisbane and the students at the remote site. This workshop was quite remarkable in that, because of the continuing dynamic interaction and engagement, the videoconference sessions were allowed to run their course and not terminated at 60 minutes as they had been in the previous workshop. This resulted in both videoconference sessions extending to 90 minutes in which participants had no break and maintained a high level interaction throughout. For example, there were periods within the videoconference sessions where students interacted spontaneously within their own group for 5 to 10 minutes, making reference to the lecturers only as they felt the need arose. This indicated that the technology had become transparent and that they were able to replicate the amount and type of interaction that they would have engaged in face-to-face. However it was observed that, towards the end of the session, students were tiring which was evidenced by body language such as running hands through hair, rubbing faces and frequently slouching in their chairs.

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4.2 Adaptations to Teaching and Learning
The lecturers originally adapted their teaching style according to accepted procedures for videoconferencing, i.e. a more structured approach. They set the agenda before the first videoconference session, notified the students of the structure for the session and asked directed questions to nominated individuals. This was not in accordance with their usual, face-to-face teaching style and, because of both student and lecturer dissatisfaction, this was modified for subsequent videoconference sessions. The lecturers wanted to achieve the same level of interaction that they were accustomed to in their face-to-face teaching, i.e. a dialogical approach which facilitated critical and liberating dialogue as a means to the development of reflective self-awareness and responsible self-direction. They adopted this more open style after the first videoconference and found that it generated more initiated interaction from students and consequently increased student satisfaction. This was evidenced by the interaction analysis which revealed that 83% and 61% of student interaction on the first workshop day was student initiated, with this rising to 97% and 94% in the videoconferences on the second workshop day. These lecturers had to make few adjustments to their particular interactive style of teaching and found that the technology did not impede the teaching/learning process.

4.2.1 Acceptance of Technology by Lecturers
Although the lecturers had previous experience in audioconferencing, they came as novices to using compressed digital videoconferencing as a means of conducting tutorials with a group of graduate students at a remote site. Because of this lack of experience, they were initially apprehensive and diffident of the technology itself. However, because of the structured introduction to, and training in, the necessary skills to manipulate control of the key pad, these initial fears were allayed and the lecturers approached the first interactive session in a reasonably confident and competent manner. Prior to this, lecturers were required to travel the three hours to the remote site on the Friday night, and return to Brisbane on the Saturday evening. During these visits the lecturers would repeat the lectures and tutorials which they had given to the on-campus students during the previous weeks. Not only did videoconferencing save on such time and travel, it allowed students access to two lecturers simultaneously, thus providing a richer learning environment. The lecturers involved in the study demonstrated considerable enthusiasm towards using
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videoconferencing to meet their need of working with students in a remote site. They were eager to learn all that they could about the technology and take advice about teaching strategies while also being prepared to think divergently and trial a variety of techniques.

4.2.2 Current Teaching Style
In their face-to-face delivery of this subject, these lecturers utilised an approach which recognised that both lecturers and students co-constitute the learning situation. The lecturers recognised the fact that the students were both mature professionals and post-graduate students who did not want to be talked at, and considered themselves able to take part in collegial interactive processes. From this perspective the lecturers used searching open-ended questions to evoke critically reflective thought, and dialogical approaches which facilitated critical and liberating dialogue as a means to the development of reflective self-awareness and responsible self-direction. The approach made provision for students to take considerable responsibility for, and to negotiate the development of, their own educational experience. The lecturers did not give students simple, direct answers, but encouraged them to search for their own meanings and positions and to support and defend these. These interactive-reflective processes were consistent with the content and philosophy of the particular post-graduate subjects they taught. Opportunities were provided for the diverse views and experiences of both students and lecturers to be brought forward in a problematic way, for deliberation and potential transformation, rather than simply to pose one view of the world of education, and invalidate another. In this way both lecturers and students were cast as inquirers, critically reflecting on their experiences amid the exchanges and challenges of others in the group. The goal was an understanding of the responsibility for knowledge jointly produced, rather than to knowledge as a predetermined commodity to be handed down from the 'knowing' to the 'unknowing'. It was this teaching style that the lecturers were able to replicate in the videoconferencing environment. Interaction analysis of the taped videoconference sessions revealed that student interaction reached levels up to 63%. This is discussed in more detail in Section 4.3.

4.2.3 Accepted Videoconferencing Protocols
Previous experience of others in the field, and documentation such as training manuals (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Daunt & Stone, 1993; GAO, 1995; Ostendorf, 1994; Parker, 1984) indicated that effective videoconference sessions need to be structured and focused, including preprepared agendas and controlled question and answer procedures. It was suggested that the most
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beneficial and productive use of videoconferencing occurred when presenters informed the students in advance about the agenda and structure for each session. Consequently the lecturers decided to communicate the timetable to the group for the first day and also the structure for the videoconference sessions. This advanced structuring was also apparent in detailed lesson plans and the procedure adopted of nominating specific students to respond to particular questions. In the first videoconference session it became evident that almost all initiative for interaction emanated from the lecturers which was quite contrary to their preferred style. Students reacted negatively to the structured nature of the session and the directing of questions to particular individuals and felt that their needs were not met as they had specific issues, arising from pre-videoconference work, that they wished to discuss. During the debriefing session on the first day it became apparent that these strategies were resented when students made two revealing comments:
After watching the videotapes we already had our own agenda...a series of issues and questions we wanted discussed, but didn’t get a chance to address. We are not used to being called by name to answer a question.

Although the interactions were almost equally shared between lecturers (47%) and the students (48% ), it was obvious from their comments that the nature of the interaction was unsatisfactory from the student perspective e.g.:
There was ample opportunity [for discussion] but not what we wanted.

This led to the conclusion that the structured processes that were considered to be appropriate in other videoconference contexts were not completely suitable in this context, nor with this cohort of mature students, to achieve the types of objectives consonant with this MEd subject. Furthermore, neither of the lecturers felt comfortable with this structured approach because it was contrary to their usual style of teaching in face-to-face situations. Following a change of style to a more dialogical approach students expressed greater satisfaction in subsequent sessions through comments such as:
Felt much happier - more in the style we are used to.

4.2.4 Acceptance of Technology by Students
As quoted earlier (Section 4.1.3), after the first videoconference, students expressed some reservations about videoconferencing as a teaching/learning medium. However, despite this initial
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reticence with the technology, in the long term, students embraced it enthusiastically and fully capitalised on the immediate interactional capabilities of videoconferencing. Their acceptance and enthusiasm is captured in comments such as:
Once you get used to it there were no problems. Great potential - I think the technology is a brilliant way for isolated/rural students’ access.

The written evaluation of Workshop 1 (Appendix 4.1) revealed that the videoconferencing ‘partly’ met students’ expectations. They stated inhibitors as being the time it took to become familiar with new processes and that they didn’t have the opportunity to discuss and clarify issues enough. They felt that they did not have enough freedom to ask ‘what they wanted to know’ and that they did not have enough interaction with the lecturers for the clarification and discussion they desired. Their comments included:
It took time to familiarise with new processes. Some key organising focussing questions prior to the event would have been useful. Really didn’t have the opportunity to discuss, clarify enough.

As shown in the comparative Table 4.3, students reported increased satisfaction with the second videoconference session in Workshop 1 which did not include an on-site group.
Table 4.3: Student Satisfaction with Videoconference Sessions Workshop 1

(VC = videoconference) Excellent V. Good Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: Good Fair Poor

VC1 VC2 2

1 2 2 2 2 1

4 1 2 1 2 2

The lecturer paced the session suitably:

VC1 VC2

Graphics were used effectively:

VC1 VC2

I felt I was able to speak to other students and the lecturer as required:

VC1 VC2

1 2 1 2 2 2

3 1 3 1

1

My general level of satisfaction with this session was:

VC1 VC2

Students’ comments indicated dissatisfaction with the inclusion of an on-site group because they had no rapport with them and it was felt that the on-site group did not contribute to the learning experience. For example:
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Felt uncomfortable with the new group. Didn’t have time to interact. Working with the other tutorial group was a waste of time. We don’t need to feel ‘a part of’ a tutorial group in Brisbane - we have quite a strong network up here.

This has major implications for the structuring of videoconference sessions which include both remote and on-site students. This will be discussed further in Chapter 5, but a piece of advice given by one if the students indicates the intricacies of integrating videoconference groups:
Perhaps with new groups, leave the addition of extra people until the second videoconference so we do not have to become used to a new situation AND a new group.

The results of implementing changes to the structure and openness of the videoconferencing sessions in subsequent workshops were evident in students’ higher ratings of these sessions. In written evaluations, all students indicated that the subsequent videoconference sessions met their expectations. For example, in response the question Did the videoconference meet your expectations? all students responded ‘Partly’ after the first workshop whereas they all responded ‘Yes’ after the second workshop. Students noted more interaction and the fact that they were able to discuss issues about which they had questions. Their comments about the videoconference sessions in Workshop 2 included:
More focussed to our needs. Much better than last one! Our points and agendas met thoroughly. Much better. We were able to discuss issues that we wanted/had questions about.

These adaptations to the structure also resulted in the students becoming more at ease with the videoconferencing and engaging in their own initiated interaction with the lecturers. They had already built up a relationship with the lecturers through the visit by one on the first day and previous face-to-face interaction with the other, and this enhanced the quality of the interaction.

4.2.5 Loss of ‘Control’
On the first morning, the group followed the structured, programmed activities as planned. They watched the videos in a linear fashion and were reactive rather than proactive in the videoconference sessions. During 'off-air' discussions between the morning and afternoon videoconference sessions (with the lecturer present at the remote site) they expressed some frustration at not being able to participate in the agenda setting. They were not at ease with this existing restriction and, after a discussion with the lecturer present at their site, learned how to be

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proactive in influencing the agenda to account more for their needs. Consequently, the group reviewed the structure of the day and varied the format for future workshops. In subsequent videoconference sessions the lecturers adopted a far less structured, but more complex, dialogical strategy which was their usual style in face-to-face delivery. After discussion during the debriefing session, the students also realised they could negotiate the agenda and raise issues of concern to them, i.e. to share control of the agenda. It was jointly decided that the agenda for future sessions would be decided by the group and discussed with the lecturers at the beginning of each videoconference session. It was this more open approach that enhanced the amount and type of interaction that subsequently occurred. Students commented that the videoconference sessions in Workshops 2 - 4 were of much greater benefit as they were able to address questions and issues and they didn’t have to share the time and space with another group. Table 4.4 shows a comparison of student satisfaction between the videoconferences on the first two workshop days, i.e. two videoconferences each workshop, where the greatest increase in satisfaction occurred.
Table 4.4: Student Satisfaction with Videoconference Sessions Workshops 1 & 2

Workshop 1 responses appear in italics, Workshop 2 responses appear in bold. (W = workshop, VC = videoconference) Excellent V. Good W1 W2 W1 W2 Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: VC1 VC2 Lecturer paced the session suitably: VC1 VC2 Graphics were used effectively: VC1 6 6 3 3 2 2 3 3 4 4 2 3 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 4 5 1 2 2 Good W1 W2 1 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 Fair W1 W2 4 1 2 1 2 2 3 1 3 1 1 1 Poor W1 W2

VC2 I felt I was able to speak to other students and the lecturer as required: VC1 VC2 My general level of satisfaction with this session was: VC1 VC2

It is evident from this table that satisfaction increased greatly for all issues under consideration. Of particular significance was the increase in satisfaction for the first issue, Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments where ratings increased from being mostly ‘Fair’ in the first videoconference (W1, VC1) to being all ‘Excellent’ in the fourth videoconference (W2, VC2). It
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was further reflected in the responses to the issue My general level of satisfaction with this session was where ratings increased from Fair and Good in the first videoconference (W1, VC1) to Very Good and Excellent in the fourth videoconference (W2, VC2).

4.2.6 Group Dynamics
As noted earlier, this situation was unique, consisting of sessions with a well–established group of students linking with lecturers, one of whom was already well known to them. Also, the process was directly enhanced by the content of the sessions, which required discussion that revolved around issues of humanity, empowerment, critical analysis, and political assertion related to the students’ own professional roles. The students themselves felt that their strongly developed group skills (from working together for two years) had a positive effect on the situation and considered that they would not have been able to ‘cope with videoconferencing’ if this had been their first subject. Analysis of the videotapes of the videoconferencing sessions revealed the videoconference tutorials as sessions where people worked together as a team achieving a high level of ownership, comfort and productivity because of skills that promoted robust but mutually respectful exchange. The participants at the remote site all focused heavily on relationships, describing the tutorial positively in terms of ‘chatting’, but negatively in terms of not knowing the people ‘down there’ (i.e. Brisbane students) and that this inhibited them because they had to allow the other group to speak. Generally, feedback from various sources indicated that the remote site students found extra people at the Brisbane site to be interfering and inhibiting to their learning and interaction with the lecturers. This was considered to be as a direct result of the highly developed group skills already present amongst this particular group of students. Because the students questioned the value of having a group of students at the Brisbane site for the first videoconference, and as no interaction of value occurred between the two groups, it was decided that future sessions would include students at the remote site only. In addition to the change in teaching/learning strategies and the relocation of the locus of control between the first and second workshops, there were no students at the Brisbane site on the second occasion. That is, the students at the remote location had the lecturers 'all to themselves' without intruders. This kind of phenomenon has been found elsewhere (Lundin, Simpson, Hansford & Skippington, 1995) where it was determined that a group that had developed a previous relationship with each other and the lecturers were upset when another group was brought in by videoconference.

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4.3 Nature of Interaction Achievable
From the first videoconference, students commented on the amount and type of interaction. When asked for general comments about how well the videoconference met their needs, they gave comments which revealed their dissatisfaction about the amount of interaction such as:
More interaction with the lecturer required. Need interaction with lecturer for clarification and discussion during first videoconference.

However, other comments were much more revealing, indicating their need for a different type of interaction, for example:
Questions in videoconference didn’t have enough freedom for us to ask what we wanted to know. Ample opportunity given for discussion but not geared to meet our needs.

These comments indicated that they had issues of their own to explore, but were not given the opportunity to do so. They revealed a certain amount of frustration at having a technology which would allow them the interaction they so greatly desired, but which was not used to meet their specific needs. The students were accustomed to a more interactive, dialogical approach in their face-to-face lectures and expected this type of interaction from the videoconferences to ensure their needs were met. A comment by another student was also revealing:
Too regimented/determined by lecturer. More input by students needed in determining the agenda for the day.

This encapsulates their desire to have some control in the learning situation. Once the students were given the opportunity to negotiate the agenda and raise issues of concern to them, i.e. to share control of the agenda, the amount and nature of the interaction was enhanced. The significance of this type of interaction was central to this study and will be more fully discussed, in the following section, in relation to the role of interaction in promoting learning.

4.3.1 Role of Interaction in Promoting Learning
The experiences and expectations of this group of students was in line with current thinking that interaction is a vital component for effective learning (Brundage & MacKeracher, 1980; Marton, Dall’Alba & Beaty, 1993; Mason, 1994; Ramsden, 1992).

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After adaptations were made to the structured approach of the first videoconference, students expressed much higher levels of satisfaction with a more interactive approach. One student commented that there was:
More opportunity for us to challenge ideas/clarify with lecturer and scope for setting agenda by students

which implied that the shift of the locus of control was advantageous. This was affirmed by other students who stated:
Yes, more relaxed, feel the interaction was better

and they felt
More freedom in discussion. Less unsure about talking via video[conference] link-up

which indicated a growing confidence in the technology and the restructured approach. This contrasted starkly with the first videoconference in the third workshop, where a guest lecturer from another university, presented live via videoconference, i.e. it was a three point multipoint videoconference. A major journal article by this academic was provided to the students in advance and they were asked to read it in preparation for a live, interactive session with him on the topic. He was advised to give only a five to ten minute introduction because of this arrangement. Because of the action learning experienced from the first two workshops the students were prepared for assuming their new feeling of control. However, the guest lecturer continued to speak for almost 30 minutes until one of the local lecturers interrupted him to introduce the question and answer period. It was apparent that the students had slipped into their previous, 'polite' role and did not want to interrupt the guest lecturer. This was in line with the belief of Laurillard (1993) that, because it is a presentational medium, videoconferencing invites the delivery of lectures. In the debriefing session this loss of control was stated as a source of dissatisfaction by the students, thus confirming our earlier finding that the amount as well as the type of interaction is crucial to success in educational videoconferencing. Figure 4.1 presents a comparison of the interaction between this particular session (Workshop 3, Videoconference 1) and that where the highest levels of interaction were achieved (Workshop 4, Videoconference 2) and reveals that student interaction was only 13% compared to 63%.

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Figure 4.1: Comparison of Most and Least Interaction in Videoconferences

Workshop 3, Videoconference 1
Pupil 13% Silence 4%

Workshop 4, Videoconference 2
Silence 7%

Pupil 63%
Teacher 83%

Teacher 30%

The student dissatisfaction to the decreased level of interaction was evidenced in a number of their comments:
I would have liked to ask more questions - starting from the concrete and working to the abstract. I had a lot of other questions I wanted to ask. His explanation clarified for me understanding, which then took me to another level - but there was more to be done.

This indicated that students were interested in the topic and the concepts being presented, but felt frustrated and excluded from the teaching/learning process. In the debriefing for this session, the students remarked upon their loss of control and compared this to their feelings during the first videoconference where there was a more structured approach imposed by the lecturers. They also explored reasons for the different style of this lecturer and offered comments about the nature of the content not lending itself to a dialogical approach and the fact that they had no chance to build up a rapport with this guest lecturer. These findings are significant in arguing that more student interaction leads to a higher quality learning environment in which students freely explore and expand their thinking and ideas. The interaction provides them with high levels of satisfaction with their learning and overcomes any barriers of distance and of the technology.

4.3.2 Amount and of Type of Interaction
The amount of interaction generated by students varied from 13% in the videoconference with the guest lecturer, to 63% in Workshop 4, Videoconference 2 - the highest rate achieved. Table 4.5 provides an overview of the amount of interaction achieved in all videoconferences. Please note that the categories 'teacher talk' and 'pupil talk', as used by Flanders, have been retained for discussion of findings obtained from the interaction analysis.
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Table 4.5: Comparison of Interactions in all Videoconferences*

Teacher Talk
Workshop 1 Videoconference 1 Workshop 1 Videoconference 2 Workshop 2 Videoconference 1 Workshop 2 Videoconference 2 Wee Workshop 3 Videoconference 1 Workshop 4 Videoconference 1 Workshop 4 Videoconference 2

Pupil Talk 48% 56% 44% 38% 13% 35% 63%

Silence 5% 8% 4% 4% 4% 12% 7%

47% 36% 52% 58% 83% 53% 30%

*Note: In this and subsequent tables Workshop 3 Videoconference 2 is not included due to loss of data as outlined.

Although this gives a clear view of the amount of interaction, researcher observations and debriefing sessions indicated that a rich source of data existed and an analysis of the type of interaction that was taking place was required. In order to more fully appreciate the type of interaction experienced, one had to examine the interchanges through the second tier of the interaction analysis. Table 4.6 presents a breakdown of student interactions. In all cases, the majority of ‘pupil talk’ was initiated by students and not merely responses to lecturers’ questions. Where the interactions were responses, they quickly turned to initiation as students expanded upon the concepts being presented and discussed them amongst the group. The nature of the interaction varied with the topics under discussion and students’ knowledge, experience and skills with the concepts being explored.
Table 4.6: Breakdown of Student Interactions

W1/ VC1 Category 8 - Response Category 9 - Initiation 17% 83%

W1/ VC2 39% 61%

W2/ VC1 3% 97%

W2/ VC2 6% 94%

W3/ VC1 0% 100%

W4/ VC1 46% 54%

W4/ VC2 14% 86%

(It should be noted that in the session with the guest lecturer (W 3, VC1), where students were most dissatisfied, all interactions were student initiated. This gives a false impression due to the way in which this session was handled. After the one-way lecturing had continued for almost 30 minutes, the lecturers in Brisbane interjected and handed the session to the students for discussion and questions. In this way, the students assumed control of the session and all of their interactions were initiated for 15 minutes.)

Table 4.6 supports the proposition that their own initiated interaction was viewed as being of greater value by students than that which was merely response to lecturer directed questioning or comment. This is portrayed by a comparison of the videoconferences in the first two workshops which reveals the following:
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Table 4.7: Comparison of Initiated Responses to Satisfaction Levels

Student initiated response

Issue

Excellent V. Good

Good

Fair

Poor

83%

Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: My general level of satisfaction with this session was: Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: My general level of satisfaction with this session was: Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: My general level of satisfaction with this session was: Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: My general level of satisfaction with this session was: 6 2 6 1 5 4 2 2

1 2 2 2

4 3 1 1

W1, VC1

61%

W1, VC2

97%

W2, VC1

94%

W2, VC2

From Table 4.7 it can be seen that the highest levels of satisfaction were recorded when student interaction was at its highest, i.e. 97%. In many instances, lecturers allowed the students to grapple with ideas, not interceding until referred to by the students themselves. In the most remarkable of these instances (in Workshop 2, Videoconference 1) the following was revealed from the interaction analysis: 1. One lecturer presented an idea in an expository manner (Category 5) for 1 minute 45 seconds. 2. There was silence (Category 10) for 3 seconds as the lecturer visually ‘handed’ the concept to the students. 3. One student responded briefly (Category 8) for 24 seconds. 4. There was silence (Category 10) for 9 seconds during which the lecturer visually provided encouragement through nodding of his head. 5. The group initiated discussion about the concept amongst themselves (Category 9) for 7 minutes before spontaneously drawing the lecturer back into the discussion and asking for his opinion.

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During the student discussion the following occurred: • The lecturer maintained visual contact with the group and provided encouragement by looks of interest and nodding of the head, but did not interject. • The discussion was lively with no periods of silence. • Most of the group participated verbally in the discussion while all were involved which was evidenced through listening, nodding and shaking of the head and murmurings. This series of interactions was a clear indication that, by the third videoconference, the technology had become transparent and students treated the lecturers as if they were in the same room as the group. A more detailed analysis of the interactions from Table 4.5 revealed that the majority of ‘Teacher Talk’ fell into Category 5 (Lecturing) while ‘Pupil Talk’ was mostly Category 9 (Initiation). (See Tables 4.8 and 4.9.) It is notable that in the first videoconference where students expressed dissatisfaction with the interaction, there was, in fact, more student initiated interaction than in a number of other sessions where they rated their satisfaction as considerably higher. This would seem to indicate that it is not just the amount of interaction, but the nature of that interaction that is important. In this case, structured interaction, imposed by the lecturer left questions and comments unaddressed and lead to dissatisfaction.
Table 4.8: Type of Interaction
(VC = Videoconference)

Teacher Talk
1 2
5% .4% .9% 1% 0% 1.8 % 1%

Pupil Talk
6
3% .3% 0% 0% 0% 2% 0%

Silence
10
5% 3% 2.6 % 2.4 % 1% 12% 3.7 %

3
0% 18% 10.7 % 9% .3% 10% 3%

4
5% 3% .1% .6% 0% 13.7 % 7.5 %

5
34% 14% 40% 48% 83% 25.5 17%

7
0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%

8
8% 22% 1.4 % 2.3 % 0% 16% 8.8 %

9
40% 34% 43% 35% 13% 19% 55%

10A
0% 5% 1.3 % 1.7 % 2.7 % 0% 3%

Workshop 1 VC 1 Workshop 1 VC 2 Workshop 2 VC 1 Workshop 2 VC 2 Workshop 3 VC 1 Wee Workshop 4 VC 1 Workshop 4 VC 2

0% .3% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1%

An overall summary of all videoconference sessions (Table 4.9, below) indicates that, on average, 37.7% of interactions were student initiated. Although no analysis of the face-to-face classes of these two lecturers was undertaken, the literature reveals (Mason, 1994) that studies of classroom interaction indicate a pattern whereby the teacher asks a question, a student responds and the
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teacher evaluates the response. In this scenario, Mason estimates that the ratio of teacher to student dialogue may be as high as 80% teacher, 20% student. In this study it was possible to exceed these levels of student interaction using videoconferencing as a delivery medium.
Table 4.9: Summary of Interactions

Teacher Talk 1 TOTAL
.2%

Pupil Talk 5 6
.9%

Silence 10
4.8%

2
1.7%

3
8.4%

4
5%

7
0%

8
9.7%

9
37.7%

10A
1.8%

29.8%

NB: Week 3 Videoconference Session 1 has been removed from the figures in Table 4.9 as this was conducted by the guest lecturer and not indicative of the style of the usual lecturers.

4.4 Summary
In summary, it is worth noting some particular trends and comments from the written evaluations which confirm the general pattern of student response to the variations across the workshops, particularly in terms of their sense of power and degrees of freedom for interaction. In the first workshop, most students were cautionary ('fair') in their evaluation of the first videoconference, although a proportion regarded the experience as 'good'. This was due to their unfamiliarity with the equipment and, as was revealed later in the debriefing session, their dissatisfaction with the opportunity to explore their own issues. For the second workshop, both videoconferences were rated as: 'Excellent' and 'Very Good'. This increased satisfaction reflected their greater control over the agenda setting and the increased levels of student initiated interaction which were achieved in these and subsequent sessions. The interaction analysis revealed the preponderance of interactions in Category 9, i.e. 'pupil initiated talk' in which they expressed their own ideas, initiated new topics, developed opinions and a line of thought, asked thoughtful questions and went beyond the existing structure. This indicated that very high levels of interaction could be achieved in videoconferencing. Without the benefit of the interaction analysis figures, both lecturers felt that they were achieving the level of interaction that they would normally achieve in their face-to-face sessions. Although no analysis was carried out on their face-to-face sessions, the interaction analysis figures would support their feelings and perhaps even show that a higher level of interaction was achieved in the videoconference sessions.

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Table 4.10 presents a summary of the research findings.
Table 4.10: Summary of Research Findings

Key Category Impact of Videoconferencing - relates to Supporting Question 1: What impact does the technology have on the interactions?

Key Findings • High quality voice and vision contributed to the ability to interact. • Room layout has an effect on interaction. • User confidence and competence contributed positively to the ability to interact. • Sessions in which dynamic interaction and engagement occurred were successfully conducted for periods of 90 minutes.

Adaptations to Teaching and Learning relates to Supporting Questions 2 and 3: Do lecturers have to make adaptations to teaching strategies? and Do students have to make adaptations to learning strategies?

• Lecturers were able to replicate their current teaching style which relied heavily on a dialogical approach. • Students resented the loss of control in structured videoconferences and expressed higher levels of satisfaction when they were active in setting the agenda. • The established group and consequent group dynamics had a positive effect on the interaction.

Nature of Interaction Achievable - relates to Supporting Question 4: Can a ‘dialogical’ approach be used effectively in videoconferencing?

• Interaction was valued by the students as a teaching/learning strategy. • It appears that the nature of interaction is more important than the amount.

The above findings will form the basis for further discussion in Chapter 5 in which the implications for practice and further research are discussed. These important findings will inform lecturers about the way in which they can approach teaching via videoconference and promise to fulfil some of the expectations espoused about the technology but not yet realised.

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Chapter 5
5.0 Introduction

Discussion and Conclusions

The findings from this study support the literature in several areas, but challenge it in others. It found that lecturers were able to achieve live, transactional interaction through the medium of videoconferencing, which thus suited their dialogical approach. High levels of student initiated interaction were regularly achieved with spontaneity being a feature of the interchanges among students and lecturers. These findings confirm research which found that the technology was conducive to highly interactive sessions and hence of benefit in the delivery of educational programs (McLoughlin, 1995; Murphy, 1995; Oliver & McLoughlin, 1996; Skippington, 1998). It challenges the assumptions and recommendations that effective videoconference sessions need to employ different teaching strategies and be structured and focused, including pre-prepared agendas and controlled question and answer procedures (Bivens & Chute, 1996; Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; GAO, 1995; Hoffman & Mackin, 1996; Mitchell, 1993; Ostendorf, 1989, 1994; Schiller & Mitchell, 1993; Schlosser & Anderson, 1994). However, due to the size and nature of this particular group of students and lecturers, these notions are not rejected completely, and will be further discussed in Sections 5.1.2 and 5.3. This chapter presents and discusses the principal findings from the analysis and how they reflect upon the supporting research questions and associated issues as outlined in Table 4.1 (p. 62). It addresses the questions according to the three key categories outlined in Chapter 4, i.e.: 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?

The key findings as listed in Table 4.10 (p. 83) are discussed, as are implications for practice, limitations of the study and suggestions for further research.

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5.1 Principal Findings
5.1.1 Impact of Videoconferencing
Key Finding: High quality voice and vision contributed to the ability to interact. While an evaluation of technical quality of videoconference systems was not the aim of this study, it is important to note that the videoconference systems used provided high quality voice and vision, enabling students and lecturers to clearly see and hear each other. This contributed positively to the ability to achieve high levels of interaction. Skippington (1998) also found that high quality voice, vision and data, from the desktop videoconferencing systems used in his study, enabled teachers and students to interact comfortably with each other, i.e. the technology became invisible and did not intrude on the communication process. Had there been any technical failures, the environment would not have been conducive for the live, transactional interaction which was sought by the lecturers in this study. This is supported by an evaluation by Lundin (1991) that established the importance of dependable technical performance for effective educational programs. It is concluded that high quality voice and vision are essential for live, transactional interaction. Key Finding: Room layout has an effect on interaction. Murphy (1995) found that the primary difference between videoconference classes and traditional classes is the placement of technology between the lecturer and the students at the remote sites. He found that the placement of the technology into the educational environment significantly increased the amount of non-cognitive student talk from the students required to use it. This study also found that not just the technology, but its placement had an effect on the interaction. The more informal placement of furniture in relation to the videoconference system allowed for greater exploitation of learning resources and promoted higher levels of interaction. Desks not only keep participants apart but may also act as a physical barrier to communication. The presence of a lectern located at the front of the room almost begs the lecturer to fall into a traditional lecturing mode and, furthermore, the students fall into the expected reactive formal pattern of listeners. It is recognised that some form of lectern is necessary to minimise movement by lecturers and to give them an area to place their teaching materials. However, this room layout

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could result in the type of teaching which Laurillard (1993) criticises from the videoconference environment, i.e. one-way lectures. It is concluded that videoconference rooms should have furniture which can be moved to suit differing educational requirements and that lecturers should be encouraged not to ‘lecture’ from a fixed lectern - if it is present. Key Finding: User confidence and competence contributed positively to the ability to interact. Although the lecturers and students had no prior experience of videoconferencing, they quickly became familiar with the equipment and procedures and were keen to explore the degrees of freedom, in terms of interaction, that videoconferencing might allow. Although their level of competence was low initially, their confidence was high, and competence quickly increased as they used the technology. It is believed that this confidence and competence enhanced the opportunities for interaction as there was no awkwardness with equipment to impede the process. In Skippington’s study (1998) teachers and students reported that they found videoconferencing convenient and easy to use, thus making it effective in providing two-way visual communication between the learning institution and the workplace. It is concluded that a high level of confidence and competence with videoconference equipment is desirable for effective interaction and that this can be quickly acquired. Key Finding: Sessions in which dynamic interaction and engagement occurred were successfully conducted for periods of 90 minutes. Two videoconferences, comprising dynamic interaction and engagement, were conducted for 90 minutes each, indicating that the technology had become transparent and that it was possible to replicate the amount and type of interaction usual in face-to-face sessions. This is contrary to advice given in training manuals (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Daunt & Stone, 1993; GAO, 1995; Ostendorf, 1994; Parker, 1984) which advocate sessions of no more than 60 minutes. However, as it was observed that students were tiring towards the end of the session, this length of time would not be recommended as the norm. It is concluded that videoconference sessions which include dynamic interaction and engagement can be conducted for periods of 90 minutes, but, due to student fatigue and loss of concentration, this is not recommended for all teaching/learning situations.
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5.1.2 Adaptations to Teaching and Learning
Key Finding: Lecturers were able to replicate their current teaching style which relied heavily on a dialogical approach. In this particular videoconference setting, the lecturers were able to replicate their face-to-face teaching style of using searching open-ended questions and dialogical approaches to facilitate critical and liberating dialogue. This supports the finding by Simonson (1994) that the level of interaction in a face-to-face classroom can be replicated and that students’ experiences in the distance environment are similar to experiences in a regular classroom. The study does not support the conclusion of Schiller & Mitchell (1993) that teaching via videoconferencing is different and, as such, requires a different teaching methodology from any that lecturers have used previously. However, it does support their conclusion that modification of teaching strategies is essential so that focus is on interaction - although it would be argued that this is a requirement of teaching in general, and not just teaching via videoconference. Student interaction in this study reached levels up to 63% and, of this, up to 97% was student initiated interaction. These levels are far in excess of those found in face-to-face teaching; Mason (1994) estimating that most classrooms average 20% student interaction. They are also far in excess of those reported by Murphy (1995) who found that videoconferenced courses are not significantly different than traditional face-to-face courses in most respects. He found that lecturers in both educational settings talk a great deal of the time (85.97%) and that students speak very little (9.6% ). Of this student talk, only 27% lasted for more than three seconds before being terminated. This is in stark contrast to this study where periods of 5-7 minutes of student talk were common, such interaction being of a live, transactional nature (Lundin, 1989). The levels of interaction achieved via videoconference in this study support Lundin's assertion that the power of live interaction at a distance can be exploited by careful design of programs and use of creative strategies. (p. 4) However, the findings support those of Bramble & Martin (1995) who established the capabilities of videoconferencing for high levels of interaction and that course design strategies which incorporated interactivity were instructionally appropriate for the medium. Murphy (1995) also found that the placement of videoconferencing into a setting explains the total amount of student verbal interaction and the amount of cognitive student interaction only within a lecturer. He found that the location of the student in these settings, or the placement of the technology by itself, does not explain the amounts of total student interaction or the amount of
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cognitive student interaction. In his group of five lecturers, some increased the amount of student interaction through the use of the technology while others decreased it. This notion of interactivity not residing within the equipment has also been noted by Bates (1997) and Mitchell (1993). This study was able to achieve high levels of interaction through the involvement of lecturers who valued interaction and used a dialogical approach in their face-toface classes, i.e. interactivity was their preferred style. They found the initial structured session inhibiting and, although able to achieve high levels of student interaction (48%) with this structuring, sought more open, discursive interchanges. The amount and type of interaction was in stark contrast to that referred to by Laurillard (1993) and did not support her conclusion that the current technology makes it uncomfortable to negotiate a shared conception. It is concluded that videoconferencing is conducive to high levels of interaction in an educational setting, but that the level to which this can be achieved is dependent upon the teaching style of individual lecturers. Key Finding: Students resented the loss of control in structured videoconferences and expressed higher levels of satisfaction when they were active in setting the agenda. Previous experience of others in the field, and documentation such as training manuals (Cyrs, 1997; Cyrs & Smith, 1990; Daunt & Stone, 1993; GAO, 1995; Ostendorf, 1994; Parker, 1984) indicated that effective videoconference sessions needed to be structured and focused, including pre-prepared agendas and controlled question and answer procedures. This approach was adopted for the first videoconference, with advanced structuring apparent in detailed lesson plans and the procedure of nominating specific students to respond to particular questions, i.e. almost all initiative for interaction emanated from the lecturers. The students were not at ease with this structuring and wanted to be proactive in influencing the agenda to account more for their needs. Their desire for control was also evidenced with the operation of the equipment whereby they quickly became familiar with, and wanted to take control of, the technology. They resented that control being taken away and wanted to operate the keypad and change the camera shots themselves rather than have the lecturer operate the equipment from the Brisbane site. In subsequent workshops, where the lecturers adopted a far less structured, but more complex, dialogical strategy, students became more at ease with the videoconferencing and engaged in their own initiated interaction with the lecturers. Power sharing with the students in charge of the
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technology at the remote site, rather than through 'far end control', also seemed essential to success. It is concluded that the structured processes considered to be appropriate in other contexts were not completely suitable in this context nor with this cohort of mature students to achieve the types of objectives consonant with this subject. Key Finding: The established group and consequent group dynamics had a positive effect on the interaction. As noted previously, the situation was unique, consisting of sessions with a well–established group of students linking with lecturers who were known to them. Analysis of the videotapes of the videoconferencing sessions reveal the videoconference tutorials as sessions where people worked together as a team achieving a high level of ownership, comfort and productivity because of skills that promoted robust but mutually respectful exchange. The group dynamics were similar to those reported by Burnham (1995) who found in observations of remote sites that students interacted with the instructor, but interacted more often and longer with other students at their local site. Of particular interest was that attempts to bring other students into the Brisbane site was seen as an intrusion by students at the remote site. This was considered to be as a direct result of the highly developed group skills already present amongst this particular group of students and their existing relationship with the lecturers. It is concluded that working with an established group enhanced interaction and that if it is planned to introduce other students to the group, they need to be carefully integrated into the existing structure

5.1.3 Nature of Interaction Achievable
Key Finding: Interaction was valued by the students as a teaching/learning strategy. Student satisfaction levels were found to be highest where high levels of student initiated interaction were recorded. This supports findings by Fulford & Zhang (1993) that a critical predictor of satisfaction with distance education is the students’ perception of overall interaction in the class. It also supports the findings of Ritchie & Newby (1989) and Silvernail & Johnson (1992) that there is a significant correlation between student ratings of the effectiveness of a television class and ratings of student involvement in the class.
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The importance of the interaction was evidenced by the students’ dissatisfaction with the videoconference which was mostly a one-way lecture. They revealed a certain amount of frustration at having a technology which would allow them high levels of interaction but which was not used in this way. This may, in part, support the conclusion of Miller, McKenna & Ramsey (1993) that students’ psychological perceptions may have more effect than the capability of the technology to simulate an environment that allows approximately the same level of interaction as a traditional classroom. However, this needs further investigation. It is concluded that interaction was valued by students and that videoconferencing was able to deliver levels of interaction to their satisfaction. However, while the technology is of an interactive nature, the ability to employ that interactivity is resident in the teaching style of lecturers. Key Finding: It appears that the nature of interaction is more important than the amount. It is notable that in the first videoconference where students expressed dissatisfaction with the interaction, there was, in fact, more student initiated interaction than in a number of other sessions where they rated their satisfaction as considerably higher. This would seem to indicate that it is not just the amount of interaction, but the nature of that interaction that is important. In this case, structured interaction, imposed by the lecturer left questions and comments unaddressed and lead to dissatisfaction. This supports the findings of Zhang & Fulford (1994) that students’ feelings about interaction in the classroom may not be directly related to the amount of time actually spent on interaction, but rather on the nature of the interaction as perceived by the students. After adopting a more open approach that allowed students greater control over the agenda, the nature of the interaction changed and, with it, the levels of satisfaction. It is concluded that the nature of interaction is more important than the amount and, where students have more control over the interactive process, they report higher levels of satisfaction.

5.2 Limitations of the Research
As noted previously (Section 1.6), there are limitations of the research and characteristics of the research group that must be recognised. The research was limited to a small number of learners (eight) and lecturers (two) who had specific styles of teaching and learning that proved to be particularly appropriate for videoconferencing. The situation was unique, consisting of sessions with a well–established group linking with lecturers already known to them, all of the eight
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videoconference sessions (except two) were point-to-point involving lecturers at one site and students at another. It must be stressed that the nature of the interaction achieved was enhanced by the teaching style of the lecturers and the learning styles and group dynamics of these mature-age students. The positive outcomes are directly related to the fact that the videoconferencing application was appropriate for the content and delivery of this particular subject. While the research offers insights into a particular context, it is not proposed that these results would be replicable in all instances of educational videoconferencing.

5.3 Implications for Practice
5.3.1 Planning for Interaction
The study showed that a dialogical approach can be used successfully in videoconferencing. However, it is acknowledged that the openness of the communication was greatly enhanced by the small number of mature-age students involved. While the view of Barker (1995) that lecturers are required to ‘force’ interaction is not supported, it is conceded that lecturers should put more effort into involving remote students and, as Barker recommends, plan for interaction because of the tendency for distance students to be passive. If lecturers adopt a more interactive teaching style, the caution of Laurillard (1993) that videoconferencing invites the delivery of lectures with the potential for interaction rarely being exploited, will be avoided. Participation and interaction are important elements of the teaching/learning process and as Lundin & Brown (1997) point out, if technologies are exploited properly, they can enhance both of these elements and thereby improve the quality of education - both internally and at a distance. Participation and interaction need to be built into the design of educational programs in such a way that learning is assured.

5.3.2 Teaching Style
Moore(1988) warns that presentations are not in themselves teaching, and that the secret to good teaching is activity. He maintains that teaching by teleconference does not have to be one-way, authoritarian, and dull; it can be open-ended, exploratory, and active with students acting as
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significant resources for each other’s learning. This study concurs with this and found that interaction was valued by both lecturers and students. The key to improving the quality for distance education is to ensure the active participation of learners in their own instruction. The one-way transmissive model used on one occasion in this study proved most unsatisfactory for videoconferencing and demonstrated how an interactive medium could be underutilised and demonstrated that the power for interactivity resides within each lecturer. Murphy (1995) recommended that prior to teaching classes via videoconference, faculty undergo instruction in both the operation of equipment and in techniques for increasing student interaction. This view is strongly supported.

5.3.3 Student Control
The students in this study reacted favourably to increased control over their learning program. This is supported by Moore (1988) who believes that adults are more likely to learn if they play an active role in deciding what presentations will be given and that enhanced learning can almost be guaranteed if presentation responsibilities are devolved to, or at least shared with them.

5.3.4 Combining Groups
Students’ comments indicated dissatisfaction with the inclusion of an on-site group because they had no rapport with them and it was felt that the on-site group did not contribute to the learning experience. This was also found by Lundin et al (1995) and Murphy (1995) who recommends that techniques to improve the classroom climate between local and remote sites be included as part of faculty development. Lecturers must be aware of this phenomenon and ensure that care is taken to assimilate students into a cohesive group if they are not all attending the same site.

5.3.5 In General
As with any teaching environment, it is the quality of the teaching that is of paramount importance. Moore (1991) advises that care should be given to determine both the structure of the program and the nature of the dialogue that is sufficient and appropriate for each set of learners, and warns that there are no ready-made answers to the question of how much dialogue or structure is needed and desirable for effective learning, but that addressing this question is likely to provide a better basis for making decisions about when and how to use media.

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5.4 Further Research
This study found that that high levels of interaction can be successfully achieved in videoconferencing given a particular setting and with only two locations in point-to-point links. The use of this dialogical approach has challenged existing assumptions and conventions espoused in the literature and opens up areas for further research. Several questions remain to be investigated - particularly given the recent rise in ‘virtual’ educational institutions and the move of most universities into education delivered via technological means. For example: • • • • • What happens to the relationship between students and lecturers who have never met face-toface? What happens to the relationship between students who meet only through videoconferencing? Can group rapport and spontaneity be developed in a multipoint videoconferencing arrangement where there is no face-to-face contact? What are the components of the use of videoconferencing (numbers of students, numbers of sites and numbers of sessions) that provide the optimum educational outcomes? What kinds of teaching and learning models can be developed to enhance the effectiveness of the use of videoconferencing?

The rapid developments in media and communication technologies give birth to new types of organisations, systems and programs, and broaden the field of research. There is a large need for research on how different students learn with different kinds of technology in different types of programs. Future research in this area should be driven by educational theory rather than by the general enthusiasm of working with new technology. It is hoped that the challenge of further research into the effectiveness of videoconferencing in education will be taken up by others working in this field. Videoconferencing provides another delivery medium for education, but the key to effective learning is the interactivity among students and lecturers. Moore (1993) points out that regardless of the media used, it is the responsibility of the institution and instructor to provide a learning environment in which the learner has the opportunity for appropriate interactionwith content and with others. There is a clear shift in the educator's role, away from the traditional one-way communication model to a multidimensional communication situation where the student may interact with the subject material or with other students or with the environment or community. This study found that videoconferencing is a technology that can support and enhance the lecturer in this revised teaching and learning environment and has built on recent research to inform current practice.
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Appendix 1
algorithm

Glossary
Advanced mathematical techniques, which, in videoconferencing, are used to compress signals to be transmitted. (See codec & compressed video). A measure of spectrum (frequency) use or capacity. Bits per second. The measurement of speed at which the signal is transmitted. High bandwidth videoconferencing means that the picture and sound will be of a better quality. The bridge is a piece of hardware and software that contains all the technology to allow more than two videoconference sites to connect. The ‘main camera’ on the videoconference system can be set to move (by the simple push of a button) to pre-defined camera shots. Coder-Decoder. This is a device that codes outgoing signals and decodes incoming signals. It also compresses the audio and video signals so they can be transmitted along relatively few ISDN lines. This mode allows you to see four sites on-screen at once. The screen is divided into four and one site appears in each rectangle. Common Intermediate Format, an international standard for video display formats. Quarter CIF (QCIF) employs half the CIF spatial resolution in both horizontal and vertical directions. When large amounts of video and audio information are squeezed into a fraction of their former size. Videoconferencing on a personal computer. A 'miniature' version of the room systems and are designed for people to work one-toone. It is possible to document share while videoconferencing with another desktop system. The document camera is an add-on piece of equipment that will allow you to display text, diagrams, illustrations, photographs or small objects to all videoconference participants. Allows participants at both ends of a videoconference to view and work on the same computer document. The echo cancelling system allows microphone/s to work at peak performance by eliminating echo in a videoconferencing room. The term given to the distant videoconference site.

bandwidth bps

bridge (MCU)

camera presets codec

continuous presence CIF (full & quarter)

compressed video desktop videoconferencing

document camera

document sharing echo canceller far end

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frame rate

Frequency in which video frames are displayed on a monitor. Higher frame rates improve the appearance of video motion. Broadcast TV is 30 frames-per-second. Two-way audio simultaneously transmitted and received that delivers a clear sound with no ‘clipping.’ Any document, illustration, diagram etc that is to be displayed via the document camera. See room-based system. Integrated Services Digital Network. A digital network that is used to transmit voice, video, and text between videoconferencing systems. Kilobits per second. Refers to transmission speed of 1 000 bits per second. The keypad (called the tablet on some systems) is used to operate the equipment. Included on the keypad are the call set-up buttons, video-control buttons, audio-control buttons and camera-control buttons. Keypads vary with different videoconference systems, but their basic function remains the same. The main camera is usually positioned on or above the monitor. It can be controlled remotely to focus on participants and capture the images sent to other sites. There will be a microphone built into the system. The positioning of this varies with different videoconference systems. The monitor is a television screen on which you can see the people at the other site/s. Some systems use two monitors - one to display the people you are talking to and the other to display still images that may be sent from either site. Techniques that allow a number of simultaneous transmissions over a single circuit. Videoconferencing with more than two sites. The sites connect via a bridge.

full duplex audio graphics group system ISDN

Kbps keypad

main camera

microphone monitor

multiplexing multipoint

multipoint control unit (MCU) See bridge. mute By ‘muting’ your microphones you stop all sound from being transmitted to other sites. You can ‘mute’ and ‘unmute’ your microphones by the push of a button on the keypad. The term given to your videoconference site. Picture-In-Picture. The small ‘window that can be seen on the monitor.
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near end PIP

point-to-point room-based system roll about scan converter

Videoconferencing between two sites. Large videoconference system designed to be used in a room with several people. Also called group systems. A videoconference system built into a custom designed cabinet that can be wheeled between locations. A device that converts a computer signal into one which can be displayed from your computer screen onto a videoconference monitor. Allows you to store frequently called videoconference numbers and dial them by the press of a button. A group of technical specifications that allow different brand videoconference systems to connect with each other. The speed at which the signal is transmitted. (See Kbps) In this mode of operating in a multipoint videoconference, any site that speaks will be automatically seen on the screen. The current speaker is seen by all sites and the current speaker sees the previous speaker. See PIP.

speed dial standards transmission rate voice activated

window

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Appendix 2 Teleconferencing Technologies

Technology

Definition

Audioconferencing

Commonly called 'teleconferencing' in reference to the practice of linking several sites via 'tele'phone. Also referred to as a telephone hook-up.

Audiographics

Involves a computer link coupled with an audio link through telephone. Learners can interact via computer, draw 'graphics' and exchange still images e.g. drawings, photographs as well as conduct a discussion through the audio link.

Videoconferencing

Allows learners to see and hear each other and the teacher, as well as being able to play videos, connect a computer or use a document camera to display pictures, text, objects and diagrams. Most videoconferencing today uses digital compression technology transmitted via ISDN telephone lines.

Interactive satellite television or Business Television

Similar to talk-back television. Learners can see and hear the teacher through the television and can interact by telephone and/or fax with the teacher in the originating studio.

Computer conferencing

Specialised software that enables participants to work asynchronously through computer networks; now subsumed under the functions available through the Internet.

Although these are listed above as separate and definable technologies, these boundaries are being blurred and we are seeing a convergence of all onto the one platform. It is now possible to have desktop videoconferencing that allows collaborative work on computer files while being able to see and hear each other.

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Appendix 3 Defining Videoconferencing
The following is a brief overview of videoconferencing for those not familiar with the technology. Videoconferencing systems are available in three basic forms: • room or group systems • compact systems • desktop systems
Room/group systems These are large systems designed to be used in a room with several people, ideally 6 - 10 people, seated around a table facing the system. However, these numbers are often extended to large groups of more than 20. It is also possible to use data projection to increase the size of the viewing area and have large groups seated in an auditorium setting. Room systems are the most expensive of the systems available, but they also give the bets quality and most capabilities. Figure A3.1: Room-based Videoconference System

Compact systems Cheaper and more portable room systems are now available. These are designed for easy installation with all of the components built into a module that plugs into and sits on top of a standard television monitor.

Figure A3.2: Compact Videoconferencing System

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Desktop systems These are designed to integrate with a computer. They are a 'miniature' version of the room systems and are designed for people to work one-to-one. It is possible to share computer files while videoconferencing with another desktop system, working collaboratively on a shared file - word processing, database, spreadsheet etc while videoconferencing. Although desktop systems are designed for working one-to-one, it is possible to seat 2 or 3 people around a desktop and work together.

Figure A3.3: Desktop Videoconferencing System

A number of desktop systems can be connected together and a desktop system can be connected to a room system or a number of room systems. However, in these modes it is not possible to share computer files and work on them collaboratively. At the present time this function is only available when two desktop systems of the same brand connect together. Internet based video, that will allow individuals sitting at computers to send visual and audio signals over the Internet, is an emerging technology but one that this study has not investigated.

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Components Any videoconferencing system consists of the following major components (Figure A3.4). • monitor/s • main camera • CODEC • some device for operating the system, e.g. keypad, keyboard or tablet • microphone(s)
CODEC Figure A3.4: Videoconference System Components main camera monitor keypad & mic.

Each of these components has a specific function, as described below, all having some impact on the nature of interaction between participants. (See Appendix 1, Glossary for more detailed information.) Monitor/s The monitor is a television screen that shows the participants at the other (remote) site/s. It can also display a window that shows the picture being sent to the other site/s. Some systems use two monitors - one to display the remote site and the other to display still images that may be sent from either site. The system used for this study was a single monitor system. People are not accustomed to having a two-way conversation with a television set, so this has an immediate impact on the interactive process between lecturer and student. Main Camera The main camera is usually positioned on or above the monitor. It can be controlled remotely to focus on participants and capture the images sent to other sites. It is unnatural for students to look into a camera when responding to lecturers. The positioning of the camera above the monitor is designed so that students can look at the image of the lecturer on screen while they speak to him/her, thus simulating a more natural interaction.
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CODEC The CODEC (coder-decoder) is a device that is responsible for compressing the television signal down to a size whereby it can be transmitted by the digital telephone lines. It is this device which causes the loss of picture quality which may, in turn, affect the nature of the interaction between lecturers and students. Keypad/Tablet/Remote The keypad (called the tablet on some systems) is used to operate the equipment. Newer systems have a small hand held remote control that operates in the same way. Included on the keypad are the call set-up buttons, video-control buttons, audio-control buttons and camera-control buttons. Keypads vary with different videoconference systems, but their basic function remains the same. One of the major changes in teaching environment is that lecturers must learn to operate the keypad in order to control their videoconference system (GAO, 1995). If they are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with its operation, this can severely impede the interactive process. Microphone/s The system comes with a ‘built in’ microphone and the positioning of this varies with different videoconference systems. Each system has a very sophisticated echo cancelling system that allows microphone/s to work at peak performance. Newer videoconferencing systems have microphones that can track the person speaking and switch the camera to them. Again, both lecturers and students are not accustomed to speaking to each other through microphones. Anecdotal evidence suggests that students can be uncomfortable with the use of microphones and particularly those which switch the picture to them. (The systems used in this study did not have microphones which tracked the person speaking.) Add-on Equipment There are various pieces of equipment which can be connected to a videoconference system to enhance the teaching environment. These include: • document camera • video cassette recorder • computer • extra microphones • extra cameras • any other device with a video output, e.g. video microscope.
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Document camera The document camera acts as an overhead projector, blackboard or whiteboard, and can be used to display photographs, diagrams or small objects. It can also be used by participants to demonstrate a technique or object. The head of the document camera can be swivelled and can be used to display a chart, large object etc. The lecturers used the document camera to display text diagrams and illustrations. No other ‘add-on’ equipment was used in this project.

Figure A3.5: Document Camera

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Appendix 4 Evaluation Questionnaires
A.4.1 Questionnaire Workshop 1
This evaluation is intended to determine your response upon reflection of the workshop It will help us to ensure that future workshops are effective. Your response will remain confidential. Please complete a few days after the workshop and return to reach QUT by 12 August. Send to: Dr Roy Lundin School of Curriculum & Professional Studies Faculty of Education, QUT Locked Bag 2, RED HILL 4059 or

Fax:

07 864 3898

Generally, how effective did you feel the following segments of the workshop were? (Circle the appropriate number) Excellent Pre-workshop activities: Morning Session (On-site activities): 1st Videoconference: Middle Session (On-site activities): 2nd Videoconference: Afternoon Session (On-site activities): 5 5 5 5 5 5 V. Good 4 4 4 4 4 4 Good 3 3 3 3 3 3 Fair 2 2 2 2 2 2 Poor 1 1 1 1 1 1

Please comment:

Generally, did this workshop meet your expectations? Please comment:

Yes

Partly

No

More specifically, did the videoconference meet your expectations? Yes Please comment: Partly No

Please comment on what changes could be made to improve future workshops.

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With regard to the videoconference sessions, please rate the following. (Circle the appropriate number) Session 1: Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: The lecturer paced the session suitably: Graphics were used effectively: I felt I was able to speak to other students and the lecturer as required: My general level of satisfaction with this session was: Excellent V. Good Good Fair Poor

5 5 5

4 4 4

3 3 3

2 2 2

1 1 1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

Please comment:

Session 2: Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: The lecturer paced the session suitably: Graphics were used effectively: I felt I was able to speak to other students and the lecturer as required: My general level of satisfaction with this session was:

Excellent

V. Good

Good

Fair

Poor

5 5 5

4 4 4

3 3 3

2 2 2

1 1 1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

Please comment:

Please give your opinion on each of the following technical aspects of the videoconference. (Circle the appropriate number) Excellent Quality of the picture: Quality of the sound: Your ability to see and hear at your site: 5 5 5 V. Good 4 4 4 Good 3 3 3 Fair 2 2 2 Poor 1 1 1

Please comment:

Thank you for your cooperation.
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A.4.2 Questionnaire Workshops 2 - 4
This evaluation is intended to determine your response upon reflection of the workshop It will help us to ensure that future workshops are effective. Your response will remain confidential. Please complete a few days after the workshop and return to reach QUT by 2 September. Send to: Dr Roy Lundin School of Curriculum & Professional Studies Faculty of Education, QUT Locked Bag 2 RED HILL 4059 or Fax:

07 864 3898

Generally, how effective did you feel the following segments of the workshop were? (Circle the appropriate number) Excellent Pre-workshop activities: Morning Session (On-site activities): 1st Videoconference: Middle Session (On-site activities): 2nd Videoconference: Afternoon Session (On-site activities): 5 5 5 5 5 5 V. Good 4 4 4 4 4 4 Good 3 3 3 3 3 3 Fair 2 2 2 2 2 2 Poor 1 1 1 1 1 1

Please comment:

Generally, did this workshop meet your expectations? Please comment:

Yes

Partly

No

More specifically, did the videoconference meet your expectations? Yes Please comment: Partly No

Were there differences between the last workshop and this one? If so, what?

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With regard to the videoconference sessions, please rate the following. (Circle the appropriate number) Session 1: Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: The lecturer paced the session suitably: Graphics were used effectively: I felt I was able to speak to other students and the lecturer as required: My general level of satisfaction with this session was: Excellent V. Good Good Fair Poor

5 5 5

4 4 4

3 3 3

2 2 2

1 1 1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

Please comment:

Session 2: Ample opportunity was given for discussion/comments: The lecturer paced the session suitably: Graphics were used effectively: I felt I was able to speak to other students and the lecturer as required: My general level of satisfaction with this session was:

Excellent

V. Good

Good

Fair

Poor

5 5 5

4 4 4

3 3 3

2 2 2

1 1 1

5

4

3

2

1

5

4

3

2

1

Please comment:

Please give your opinion on each of the following technical aspects of the videoconference. (Circle the appropriate number) Excellent V. Good Good Fair Poor Quality of the picture: Quality of the sound: Your ability to see and hear at your site: 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 1

Please comment:

Thank you for your cooperation.
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Appendix 5 Interaction Analysis Tabulation Sheet
No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 Code No 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 Code No 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 Code No 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 Code No 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 Code No 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 Code

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