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  1. 1. A Quick Introduction to Videoconferencing Kim Peacock, M.Ed.
  2. 2. The Research
  3. 3. Why Videoconferencing? <ul><li>In many ways, the jury is still out on videoconferencing. </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing CAN provide rich and meaningful authentic learning experiences for students. </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing MAY increase the level of teacher-learner and learner-learner dialogue (or interaction) in a course. </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing CAN provide access to resources outside of a school or school division. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Videoconferencing? <ul><li>Videoconferencing MAY increase student motivation when compared to traditional methods of distance & correspondence learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing IS just as good as other instructional mediums when it comes to student attitudes and achievement (Russell, 1999). </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing DOES bring an increased number of learning modes to the distance learning experience. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Benefits to Teaching <ul><li>Reed and Woodruff (1995) outlined four main benefits of videoconferencing technologies in teaching: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers make a visual connection with students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased potential for interaction and interactive teaching techniques. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow a connection with the &quot;outside world&quot; and consequently, outside resources and experts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow for the integration of a very diverse set of media, such as document cameras, that allow teachers to share resources with students </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Benefits to Schools <ul><li>Experienced benefits of videoconferencing in K-12 schools (Sullivan, Jolly, Foster & Tompkins, 1994) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it offers the flexibility of connecting to other schools and institutions, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it has become more affordable, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it allows cooperative arrangements and partnerships with businesses, schools and institutions, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it often allows for simultaneous access to outside information using other technologies, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>videoconferencing classrooms have the potential to become a school/community production center. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Drawbacks of Videoconferencing <ul><li>Time and resource consuming (especially infrastructure costs and technical support). </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers should receive special training for teaching with Videoconferencing. </li></ul><ul><li>Technical problems can hinder student motivation. </li></ul><ul><li>The classroom environment can be limiting (Lawyer-Brook, 1991). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Drawbacks of Videoconferencing <ul><li>From Motamedi (2001): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>infrastructure is still a serious financial investment and those costs must be justified by the benefits the technology brings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The skilled expertise required to design and implement videoconferencing technologies properly can be both rare and costly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Once the technology is in place, it is often hard for teachers and learners to master using it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There often a lack of training on how to use the technology, and how to teach using such a specialized medium. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing SHOULD only accommodate a small number of students to be effective. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing is often used in ways that are not the most pedagogically sound (ie/ the talking head = passive learning). </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Poor Practice = Consequences for Student Learning <ul><li>Technology problems are often a significant drawback of videoconferencing initiatives (McIsaac & Gunawardena, 1996; Oliver & Reeves, 1996; Reed & Woodruff, 1995; Ritchie & Newby, 1998; Roblyer, Edwards & Havriluk, 1997). </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing is perceived to be second best when compared to a number of aspects of the traditional face-to-face classroom (Dallat, Fraser, Livingston & Robinson, 1992; Fillion, Limayem & Bouchard, 1999; Freeman, 1998). </li></ul>
  10. 10. Poor Practice = Consequences for Student Learning <ul><li>A study by Armstrong-Stassen, Lanstrom & Lumplin (1998) also found that students in the seven videoconferencing courses they examined at their post-secondary institution reported significantly less positive attitudes towards videoconferencing after having taken a videoconferencing course. Those students listed technical difficulties as their primary concern in taking courses using videoconferencing </li></ul>
  11. 11. Theoretical Issues
  12. 12. Theoretical Issues of Videoconferencing <ul><li>What is the role of the medium and other forms of communication? </li></ul><ul><li>How does distance affect the outcome of learning? </li></ul><ul><li>What role should the instructor play (sage, guide, etc…) and how does that differ from a regular classroom? </li></ul><ul><li>What degree of student autonomy balances with the requirements for interaction within videoconferencing? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Transactional Distance Theory <ul><li>A theory of distance education from Moore, 1993; Kearsley & Moore, 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>All distance learning has three core components: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learner Autonomy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TDT animation </li></ul>
  14. 14. According to Moore… <ul><li>From Moore, 2003: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The transaction that we call distance education occurs between teachers and learners in an environment having the special characteristic of separation of teachers from learners. This separation leads to special patterns of learner and teacher behaviours. It is the separation of learners and teachers that profoundly affects both teaching and learning. With separation there is a psychological and communications space to be crossed, a space of potential misunderstanding between the inputs of instructor and those of the learner. It is this psychological and communication space that is the transactional distance.” (p. 22) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Transactional Presence <ul><li>From Shin, 2003: </li></ul><ul><li>Transactional Presence is “the degree to which a distance student perceives the availability of and connectedness with people in his/her educational setting. ‘Availability’ implies that what is needed or desired is obtainable upon request involving the responsiveness of interpersonal relationships. ‘Connectedness’ indicates the belief or feeling that a reciprocal relationship exists between two or more parties, involving an individual's subjective judgment upon the extent of the engagement in relationships with others.” (Shin, 2003, p. 71) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Examples of Educational Videoconferencing
  17. 17. Types of Educational Videoconferences <ul><li>Research Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Telementoring </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Field Trips </li></ul><ul><li>Telecollaborative Projects </li></ul>
  18. 18. Research Collaboration <ul><li>Researchers can work collaboratively with other institutions in Canada and abroad – commercial, educational and non-profit. </li></ul><ul><li>This can significantly expand the nature and scope of research at this institution. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Research Collaboration Example <ul><li>SAVIE - - fairly comprehensive list of companies and educational institutions all over the world (post-secondary) with videoconferencing facilities. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Telementoring <ul><li>Telementoring is the process of making mentors available to students in certain areas to either inspire them and/or help them along. </li></ul><ul><li>Telementoring is especially popular in the area of writing. Often writers will work with classes of students on writing a book or story together (see link below for a local example). </li></ul>
  21. 21. Telementoring Example <ul><li>Edmonton author, Lyle Weis http:// (this is desktop vc, but it's still a good example of this type of activity). </li></ul>
  22. 22. Virtual Field Trips <ul><li>One of the core areas of virtual field trips consists of videoconferencing trips to various locations to hear/see a guest speaker that would not otherwise be available. </li></ul><ul><li>Instructors might consider having short 1-3 hour virtual field trips with their classes to model a potential technology integration method or subject area. </li></ul><ul><li>This would be especially relevant in the areas of science and social studies. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Virtual Field Trip Examples <ul><li>Global Leap Videoconferences - </li></ul><ul><li>You can explore the barrier reef in Australia (biology), visit the royal observatory in Greenwich (astronomy), learn about the mutiny on the bounty (social), visit a Viking ship (social), learn about Tudor life (English & social), take portrait drawing lessons from the national portrait gallery in the UK (art), have a collaborative session with an author (English), visit an Aztec temple (social), visit the Anne Frank house (social), learn about WW1 from the imperial war museum in the UK (social), the list goes on…. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>NASA Digital Learning Network - http:// / and NASA Live </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferences (many of them free) on the topics of aviation, space, astronomy, biology, geology and physics. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Apple Learning Interchange - http:// - </li></ul><ul><li>Apple maintains an ongoing list of technology supported educational opportunities including videoconferencing (this is an offshoot of the initial Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow project). Heck, there's even a MATH videoconference listed here </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Pacbell's Videoconferencing - http:// </li></ul><ul><li>A HUGE and very comprehensive list of museums and parks that run educational videoconferences all over the world </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Many other institutions offer virtual field trips that take very little effort to find. For example, a Google search for &quot;videoconferencing and aquarium&quot; resulted in two excellent field trips on the first page: http:// & </li></ul>
  28. 28. Telecollaborative Projects <ul><li>Telecollaborative projects are a means for students to get together with other classes across distances. </li></ul><ul><li>They're kind of like a 21st century version of classroom pen-pals. </li></ul><ul><li>These may occur under the premise of the classes working together on a project, or just having a cultural exchange </li></ul><ul><li>They may be one-shot deals, or the conferences may occur regularly. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Telecollaborative Project Examples <ul><li>Cultural Exchange to Israel: </li></ul><ul><li>There are many archives and directories of classes wanting to participate in such projects. The two most comprehensive ones are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Telus - SearchProjects.asp (local) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global Leap - (all over the world) </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Planning for Videoconferencing
  31. 31. Successful Videoconferencing <ul><li>Have a trained facilitator at all locations (Joiner, Silverstein & Clay 1981). </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers should be given special preparation and planning time (Barker, 1991). </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers should be given training on effective videoconferencing techniques (Barker, 1991) </li></ul>
  32. 32. Successful Videoconferencing <ul><li>Adequate technical support at all times (Sullivan, Jolly, et al., 1991). </li></ul><ul><li>Effective planning and preparation techniques (Sullivan, Jolly et al., 1991). </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding “just-in-time” delivery (Willis, 1994) </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize levels of interaction (Kober, 1990). </li></ul>
  33. 33. Interaction is Key? <ul><li>Studies have shown that there was either the same amount (Murphy, 1999; Rost, 2000) or less (Freeman, 1998; Kelsey, 2000; Ritchie, 1993) interaction in video classrooms compared to traditional classroom settings. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Classroom Interaction Research <ul><li>Until now, theorists have tended to have an &quot;if you build it, they will come&quot; attitude about interaction in videoconferencing classrooms. </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers have tended to theorize that giving more opportunity for student-teacher interaction would logically result in more interaction (Bauer & Rexabek, 1992; Boverie et al., 1997; Sholdt, Zhang & Fulford, 1995). </li></ul><ul><li>However, this has not always been the case according to videoconferencing practitioners (Kelsey, 2000). </li></ul>
  35. 35. So What IS Good Pedagogy in Videoconferencing? <ul><li>“ Good” classroom teachers generally make good videoconferencing teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing research and theory has repeatedly called for teachers to move away from the &quot;talking head&quot; model (more interaction). </li></ul>
  36. 36. So What IS Good Pedagogy in Videoconferencing? <ul><li>Even though good traditional teachers usually make good videoconferencing teachers, there are a number of additional skills that must be acquired to make be an effective teacher in a videoconferencing environment. For example, a number of expert practitioners have noted the importance of creating “presence” when teaching with videoconferencing (Cyrs, 2003a; Reed & Woodruff, 1995; Shin, 2002). </li></ul>
  37. 37. According to One Teacher… <ul><li>Cyrs (2003) has compiled an extensive list of skills that are needed to be a good videoconferencing teacher. Some of these skills include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>using visualization techniques, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>using props, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>using good presentation techniques, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>using effective questioning with remote sites, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>creating interest, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>planning and managing remote site materials, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>planning and managing remote site activities, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>knowing copyright laws, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>correlating the technology and other instructional materials, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>planning for evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http:// </li></ul>
  38. 38. Planning for Videoconferencing <ul><li>Many theorists and practitioners have stated that teachers cannot transport one of their traditional courses directly to a videoconferencing classroom without significant modifications (Bates, 1995; Heath & Holznagel, 2002; Reed & Woodruff, 1995). However, the degree of modification required is a major question in the field. </li></ul>
  39. 39. Planning for Videoconferencing <ul><li>It is logical to assume that the videoconferencing medium dictates some modifications such as sending worksheets to remote locations ahead of time, however, researchers and theorists do not agree on what teaching styles are best used in videoconferencing environments. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a great deal of debate as to whether or not a lesson taught using a lecture format in a traditional classroom can be as effective in a videoconferencing classroom. (Foley, 1998; Laurillard, 1993; Mason, 1998; Motamedi, 2001; Reed & Woodruff, 1995). </li></ul>
  40. 40. Summary <ul><li>Give students lots to DO. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just be a talking head. </li></ul><ul><li>Limit your “talking” to small chunks and if possible, break them up – students tend to have shorter attention spans when watching over videoconferencing. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan ahead and get resources to students ahead of time. </li></ul>
  41. 41. Teaching with Videoconferencing
  42. 42. Voice <ul><li>Be sure that your speech is clear, loud enough to be heard in a regular situation (adjust volume if need be), and slow enough to be easily understood.  </li></ul><ul><li>Take a moment to test this out at the beginning and make adjustments.    </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of possible voice delays across the system and accommodate for the delays.  </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the camera and your present audience when talking to ensure that you are interacting with your far-end audience as well as the participants in the same room.  </li></ul><ul><li>If you are wearing a microphone, be sure the volume is properly adjusted.  If you are using a fixed microphone, be sure that you are in range to pick up your voice. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Body Presence on Camera <ul><li>Be aware of camera placement and image you are projecting.  </li></ul><ul><li>Plan ahead for whether you want to be standing or sitting and whether you want the camera focused on the teacher or students.  </li></ul><ul><li>Camera movement and adjustments can be made if you have technical help (or have enlisted a student to control the camera), but generally the camera is set in a fixed position.   </li></ul><ul><li>The camera should be directed toward the person speaking to ensure clear understanding by the far-end audience.  It may be necessary to mark off the camera presence area with tape to remind the speaker of where to stand to best engage both audiences. </li></ul>
  44. 44. Presentation Styles <ul><li>Adapt your presentation style to fit the videoconferencing logistics.  </li></ul><ul><li>If you are a &quot;walker&quot; during your presentations in a regular classroom, you will have to adapt the classroom camera set-up (or your style) so that you do not disappear from the screen.  </li></ul><ul><li>If you like to engage your students in discussion, be sure that you are including students at your site as well as the far end site and that the camera focuses on them when they are speaking. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Dress <ul><li>Professional dress is always recommended, and simple clothing provides less distraction in an on-camera experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Try not to wear solid black or dark blue – it makes it hard for the audience to see hand motions, etc… </li></ul><ul><li>Try not to wear the same color as your background. </li></ul>
  46. 46. More Tips for Teaching Using Videoconferencing
  47. 47. Meeting Skills for Videoconferencing <ul><li>From Videoconferencing in Education : </li></ul><ul><li>At the start of the session confirm with each site that they can hear and/or see the other participants from all the participating sites </li></ul><ul><li>Allow each site and individual to introduce themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain eye contact with remote sites by looking directly into the camera while speaking. </li></ul><ul><li>During the meeting or program, indicate when you are finished speaking. This will reduce the chance someone will interrupt you. </li></ul>
  48. 48. Meeting Skills for Videoconferencing <ul><li>Mute the microphone when you are not speaking to avoid background noise and echo. </li></ul><ul><li>When using alternate cameras (e.g. document cameras, PCs), be sure to toggle back and forth frequently to the main camera to maintain program continuity and participant engagement. Long periods of a document camera image may make the remote sites feel forgotten. </li></ul><ul><li>When connecting to multiple sites, avoid confusion by directing questions or comments to a specific name or site location. </li></ul>
  49. 49. Videoconferencing Etiquette <ul><li>From the Videoconferencing Cookbook </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to how others see you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quit adjusting after a point. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t multitask even though they’re not “there”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mute your audio when you’re not talking (keep it as silent and non-distracting as possible). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be visually “loud”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan ahead and send ahead. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it as “real” as “real life” (ie/ courtesy wise). </li></ul></ul>
  50. 50. Other Resources <ul><li>Racol Best Practices - </li></ul><ul><li>The VIDE Cookbook for Teachers (more technical) - </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing in Education - </li></ul><ul><li>Videoconferencing Instructional Strategies - http:// </li></ul>