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Help I NeedSomebody!A study into the effectiveness of Instant Messaging fortutorial and pastoral supportBy Dominic Gore and Matthew NorthallUniversity College BirminghamTuesday 9th April 2013
C_M_U_E__E_I_T_DC_M_U_I_A_I_N1 2 3 40% 0%0%0%1.I X V I D M U X X O A P M X2.E M G X V I T T R A I U L C3.E O X B C M A B Q Z A P O C4.R M C T A N O T O P M O E DA little fun before webegin... Can you guess theword?
3Presentation Contents• Project Timeline – Pre and Post 2011• Why CMC? – A Conceptual Framework and theTechnology• How it was implemented – TheoreticalUnderpinning• Methodology and Evidence – How the data wasgathered and Analysed• Impact on Learning – Student Feedback andEngagement• Future Development and Next Steps
5• UCB invested in what was the Wimba Suite of tools in December 2009.• The Blackboard Collaborate Instant Messenger Research project wasinitialised following the identification of a need to adapt to changing avenues tocommunication within Higher Education.• The initial pilot commenced in February 2010, however further iterations anddevelopments have paved the way for more in-depth usage of the toolfocussing primarily on this research to date• The tool was initially rolled out to students and staff in the School of Educationand Community• It was intended to be used as a pastoral teaching and learning tool.Pre - 2011
6• HE and FE students undertaking courses often come with a wide variety ofbackgrounds, often have diverse professional and personal experiences, andregularly arrive with an array of additional commitments outside of theeducational process.• It was agreed that the use of Computer Mediated Communication and morespecifically Instant Messaging could be the most convenient method ofaddressing this array of communication requirements• Allows opportunities to communicate in non-conventional modes and alsopresent methods to overcome the limitations presented by timeconstraints, distance and/or geographical barriers.
7• BA (Hons) Education and ICT group• 22 students progressing from the FdA Education and ICT Programme• BA „top-up‟ being completed in 3 semesters instead of 4 so need toprovide a module taught solely online• Original Teaching and Learning Online module has beenreconceptualised from a blended learning to a „learn anytime‟ onlinemodule• Blackboard Collaborate Instant Messenger was used predominately astime constraints and other factors forced the 22 students to receiveboth academic and pastoral support online.Post - 2011
Why CMC? -A Conceptual Frameworkand the Technology
9ExistingConventionalCommunicationpathwaysExisting Un-conventionalCommunicationpathwaysTutorialSupportStudent Academic andPastoral tutorialrequirementsSocial InfluenceonCommunicationComputer/UnconventionalCommunicationAnxietyExpectationsEmergent fromCommunicationsIntention toParticipateConceptual Model
10Blackboard Collaborate InstantMessenger – The Technology• Provided a medium to experiment/research the effectivenessof CMC for tutorial support• UCB has already invested in Blackboard Collaborate, so thetool was already available for deployment• Provided a medium to ensure educational directives were met• Integrated into existing systems i.e. UCB Online (BlackboardLearn)• Staff and student development was in place to ensureeffective usage and monitoring• Group, individual and Office Hours used to conduct academicand pastoral support• No need to utilise 3rd party applications such as MicrosoftLync, Facebook Messenger etc.
How it wasImplemented –A Theoretical Underpinning
Methodology andEvidence –How the data was gatheredand analysed
14• Methodological design underpinned by critical analysis offrameworks, readings and researcher‟s positionality. Sultana(2007)• Triangulation in the form of structure interviews and structuredquestionnaires• Corbetta (2003) suggests “structured interviews are interviewsin which each respondent is asked the same questions, usingthe same structure and the same wording”• Parity between the 2 sets of data collection methods Schafferand Kipp (2009)• Tools pre-coded. Pre-coding has been described as a method„…of conceptualizing research data and classifying them intorelevant and purposeful categories for the purpose of dataanalysis and interpretation‟ (Singh, 2007).• First and second level data analysis undertaken.
15Preliminary Empirical Evidence• 91% of the group (20) described themselves as „highly efficient‟ in the use of ICT• 81% (16) were of the belief that the BBIM tool had multiple-benefits• Over 60% of students organised or contributed towards online „self-help‟ sessionsand reported positively upon these experiences• About 86% (19) of the students identified social influence as a key factor in theirbehavioural usage intention• Over 95% (21) highlighted that the academic centric nature of the tool made iteasy to use
16• Up to 50% of the students (from a cohort of mature P/Tlearners) identified that they would prefer traditional tutorialmethods than electronic ones• About 72% of students reported what might be described as acontradiction between „Rules‟ and „Division of Labour.‟• A contradiction could be found between the „Object‟ and „Tools‟element of the systemHowever and somewhat contradictory…
Can you suggest any reasons as to whystudents have mixed attitude towardsCMC?1 2 3 425% 25%25%25%1. Prefer theinteraction ofspeaking f2f2. Apprehensive withthe technology3. Prefer a multi-model approach4. Other – (If selected pleasedocument via post-it notes)
18Analysis, Revisions toTool, Deployment and Implications forPractice• It is somewhat surprising that such a significant number of the respondents sawthe tool favourably?• The structure of IM conversations (in terms of Conversation Analysis) is borrowedfrom face-to-face conversations with adjacent pairs like questions and answers.• Reviewed in accordance with E-Learning to focus on group work• Development by the students forming „Communities of Inquiry‟• Use of a wider set of embedded tools including the „Collaborate Suite‟ whichallowed learners to communicate synchronously and interact with learning objectsin real time• Training event for staff organised in September 2011; intention to become „rollingprogram‟
19• Research findings included contradictions in the activity system between „Rules‟ and„Division of Labour.‟• Anytime screencast tutorials will be made available to learners to help overcomecontradictions and barriers• Aid in troubleshooting and reducing of initial anxiety and allow for revision andconsolidation of existing knowledge
20• A further contradiction within the activity system was between the „Object‟and „Tools‟ elements• Students were concerned that they were unable to retain what was saidduring online tutorials• It is of vital importance that we as practitioners avoid assuming thatlearners will have knowledge of the use of all aspects of the tool
24• Further use of the tool is planned with current cohort of students and alsonew program areas• Future deployment will include a series of screencasts and/or face-to-facetutorials showing how to correctly utilise all aspects of the Bb IM tool• Plans to push the software out to a wider variety of learners across the other4 school discipline areas• There are plans to use Blackboard Collaborate Instant Messenger alongside Collaborate Web Conferencing to support overseas dissertationstudents – A pilot of this is currently underway this semester• Introduction of Blackboard Mobile Learn in December 2012, has given riseto students engaging in course content via smart devices• Aim to revise/refocus the use of the Collaborate tools within a mobile context