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A Research Study on the Use of Wimba Classroom

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Presentation given at the 2009 Wimba Connect Conference. The presentation discusses why The University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss) chose to use Wimba classroom, the implementation phase, and the evaluation of that implementation. The methodology and instrument used to conduct the research study as well as the results of the data analysis and discussion are included.

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A Research Study on the Use of Wimba Classroom

  1. 1. A Research Study on the Use of Wimba Classroom Jalynn Roberts, Ph.D. Mary Nell McNeese, Ph.D. Amy Thornton, M.S.
  2. 2. Phased Pilot • Fall 2006 “Pilot” o 1 course - managed outside of Blackboard • Spring 2007 Pilot - 12 courses o 10 inside Blackboard; 2 per college as selected by Deans o 2 outside Blackboard • Received all-day training by Wimba • Added more faculty in March by invitation • Summer 2007 - offered university-wide
  3. 3. Methodology • 2 Survey Instruments o Instructors o Students • Responses o 5 Instructors o 19 Students
  4. 4. Skill Level With Computer Technology Instructors • Very Proficient with desktop and web-based applications (40%) • Familiar with using a computer and office application suites, but not familiar with hardware technologies (60%) Students • Very Proficient with desktop and web-based applications (52.6%) • Familiar with using a computer and office application suites, but not familiar with hardware technologies (42.1%) • Can use a computer to accomplish basic tasks (5.3%)
  5. 5. Course Taught/Taken Through Online Delivery – Fully or Partially Instructors • 3 or more courses (40%) • 1 or 2 courses (60%) Students • 3 or more courses (57.9%) • 1 or 2 courses (42.1%)
  6. 6. Previous Use of Collaboration Before Using Live Classroom Instructors • Yes (100%) Students • Yes (68.4%) • No (31.6%)
  7. 7. Type of Internet Connection Used Instructors • Dial-up (0%) • DSL (60%) • Cable (20%) • LAN (0%) • Don’t know (20%) Students • Dial-up (5.3%) • DSL (36.8%) • Cable (42.1%) • LAN (15.8%) • Don’t know (5.3%)
  8. 8. Describe Your Experience With Learning to Use Live Classroom Instructors • Very Easy (0%) • Somewhat Easy (40%) • Neutral (40%) • Somewhat Difficult (20%) • Very Difficult (0%) Students • Very Easy (57.9%) • Somewhat Easy (26.3%) • Neutral (5.3%) • Somewhat Difficult (10.5%) • Very Difficult (0%)
  9. 9. Features Utilized While Using Live Classroom Instructor • PowerPoint (100%) • Text Chat (80%) • Voice Chat (80%) • Whiteboard (60%) • Application Sharing (40%) • Polling/Quizzes (60%) • File Sharing (40%) Student • PowerPoint (100%) • Text Chat (84.2%) • Voice Chat (78.9%) • Whiteboard (57.9%) • Application Sharing (15.8%) • Polling/Quizzes (15.8%) • File Sharing (10.5%)
  10. 10. Usefulness/Ease of Use for Text Chat Instructors • Excellent (20%) • Good (80%) • Neutral (0%) • Fair (0%) • Poor (0%) Students • Excellent (57.9%) • Good (31.6%) • Neutral (0%) • Fair (5.3%) • Poor (0%)
  11. 11. Usefulness/Ease of Use for Voice Chat Instructors • Excellent (20%) • Good (60%) • Neutral (20%) • Fair (0%) • Poor (0%) Students • Excellent (26.3%) • Good (52.6%) • Neutral (5.3%) • Fair (10.5%) • Poor (5.3%)
  12. 12. Usefulness/Ease of Use for the Whiteboard Feature Instructors • Excellent (20%) • Good (40%) • Neutral (20%) • Fair (0%) • Poor (0%) • Did not use (20%) Students • Very Useful (26.3%) • Somewhat Useful (36.8%) • Not Useful (0%) • Did Not Use (31.6%) • No Answer (5.3%)
  13. 13. Usefulness/Ease of Use for the Application Sharing Feature Instructors • Excellent (0%) • Good (0%) • Neutral (60%) • Fair (40%) • Poor (40%) Students • Very Useful (15.8%) • Somewhat Useful (26.3%) • Not Useful (0%) • Did Not Use (52.6%) • Did Not Answer (5.3%)
  14. 14. Usefulness/Ease of Use for the Polling/Quizzing Feature Instructors • Excellent (0%) • Good (60%) • Fair (40%) • Poor (0%) Students • Very Useful (15.8%) • Somewhat Useful (15.8%) • Not Useful (0%) • Did Not Use (63.2%) • Did Not Answer (5.3%)
  15. 15. Usefulness/Ease of Use for the File Sharing Feature Instructors • Excellent (0%) • Good (40%) • Neutral (40%) • Fair (20%) • Poor (0%) Students • Very Useful (10.5%) • Somewhat Useful (21.1%) • Not Useful (0%) • Did Not Use (63.2%) • Did Not Answer (5.3%)
  16. 16. Usefulness/Ease of Use for the Hand- Raising Feature Instructors • Very Useful (40%) • Somewhat Useful (60%) • Not Useful (0%) Students • Very Useful (63.2%) • Somewhat Useful (21.1%) • Not Useful (0%) • Did Not Use (15.8%)
  17. 17. Usefulness/Ease of Use for the Polling Feature Instructors • Very Useful (60%) • Somewhat Useful (20%) • Not Useful (0%) • Did Not Use (20%) Students • Very Useful (68.4%) • Somewhat Useful (26.3%) • Not Useful (0%) • Did Not Use (5.3%)
  18. 18. Usefulness/Ease of Use for Accessing Archive of Previous Sessions Instructors • Excellent (0%) • Good (60%) • Neutral (0%) • Fair (20%) • Poor (0%) • Did Not Use (20%) Students • Excellent (21.1%) • Good (15.8%) • Neutral (10.5%) • Fair (0%) • Poor (15.8%) • Did Not Use (31.6%)
  19. 19. Audio Quality During Voice Discussions Instructors • Very Clear (0%) • Somewhat Clear (100%) • Neutral (0%) • Somewhat Unclear (0%) • Very Unclear (0%) Students • Very Clear (5.3%) • Somewhat Clear (57.9%) • Neutral (5.3%) • Somewhat Unclear (21.1%) • Very Unclear (10.5%)
  20. 20. Overall Usefulness of Live Classroom Instructors • Very Useful (80%) • Somewhat Useful (20%) • Not Useful (0%) Students • Very Useful (89.5%) • Somewhat Useful (5.3%) • Not Useful (5.3%)
  21. 21. Level of Technical Problems With Using Live Classroom Instructors • Very Severe (0%) • Severe (0%) • Moderate (60%) • Minimal (40%) • Non-existent (0%) Students • Very Severe (5.3%) • Severe (10.5%) • Moderate (42.1%) • Minimal (31.6%) • Non-existent (5.3%) • Did Not Answer (5.3%)
  22. 22. Technical Support Services Used Instructors • 24/7 Phone Support (20%) • Website Support (0%) • Learning Enhancement Center (80%) • Didn’t Require (0%) • Learning Enhancement Center Staff (20%) • Graduate Assistant (20%) Students • 24/7 Phone Support (5.3%) • Website Support (5.3%) • iTech Helpdesk (21.1%) • Didn’t Require (42.1%) • Learning Enhancement Center Staff (0%) • Instructor (52.6%) • Another Instructor (5.3%)
  23. 23. Quality of Technical Support Instructors • Excellent (40%) • Good (20%) • Neutral (0%) • Fair (20%) • Poor (0%) • Did Not Use (20%) Students • Excellent (26.3%) • Good (21.1%%) • Neutral (0%) • Fair (0%) • Poor (5.3%) • Did Not Use (47.4%)
  24. 24. Description of Technical Difficulties - Instructors • Three instructors reported that they experienced audio issues, especially when students tried to transmit to them audibly. The problems ranged from being garbled to being totally inaudible. • One professor mentioned the inability to show copyrighted video, but also that Wimba was looking for a way to resolve that issue. • One professor said that he/she was kicked out of the sessions for no reason, and that some students experienced the same difficulties. • Better troubleshooting tips are needed for students.
  25. 25. Description of Technical Difficulties - Students • Accessing archived sessions was time consuming and sometimes impossible. • Problems with logging into the system. • Seven students reported issues regarding the audio. These issues included clarity, voices fading in and out, and a total loss of audio at times. • Speed of connection was an issue for one student. This student said he/she was about five minutes behind during some sessions.
  26. 26. Additional Comments - Instructors • All of the comments mentioned the reliability of Wimba, and that the program’s potential will not be realized until the aforementioned technical issues are resolved. • All of the instructors agreed that while they did not experience any major issues with Wimba, it will be a valuable tool once its reliability issues have been resolved.
  27. 27. Additional Comments - Students • All of the comments mentioned the reliability of Wimba, and that the program’s potential will not be realized until the aforementioned technical issues are resolved. • All of the instructors agreed that while they did not experience any major issues with Wimba, it will be a valuable tool once its reliability issues have been resolved.
  28. 28. Analysis • All of the comments mentioned the reliability of Wimba, and that the program’s potential will not be realized until the aforementioned technical issues are resolved. • All of the instructors agreed that while they did not experience any major issues with Wimba, it will be a valuable tool once its reliability issues have been resolved.
  29. 29. Analysis • A majority of both instructors and students reported high levels of satisfaction with the text chat, voice chat, whiteboard, and hand-raising features. • Most instructors reported good and fair levels of satisfaction regarding application sharing, polling/quizzing, file sharing, and accessing archives. A majority of students reported that they did not use these features.
  30. 30. Analysis • Most instructors and students reported minimal to moderate levels of technical difficulties with Wimba Live Classroom, and most of those technical difficulties regarded the quality of audio. • Overall, both students and faculty reported high levels of satisfaction with Wimba Live Classroom, and both groups believe it enhances the online classroom environment.
  31. 31. Further Research • Current Survey will involve 17 institutions from: – Mississipppi – Tennessee – Utah • 15 Community Colleges and 2 Universities • Current Survey is undergoing the Institutional Review Board process and will hopefully be administered at the end of the spring 2009 semester.
  32. 32. Contact Information • Mary Nell McNeese – Mary.mcneese@usm.edu • Amy Thornton – Amy.thornton@usm.edu • Jalynn Roberts – Jaylynn.roberts@usm.edu • Presentation is available at: – http://instructtech.wordpress.com

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