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CIT2017 - Virtual Reality & Student-Created Video for Learning


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Considers an online class that used virtual-reality meetings and student-created videos to build knowledge about a complex topic.

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CIT2017 - Virtual Reality & Student-Created Video for Learning

  1. 1. Developing Community and High-Stakes Content Online by Including a Virtual-Reality Environment and Student- Created Videos EILEEN O’CONNOR, PH.D. - SUNY EMPIRE STATE COLLEGE EILEEN.OCONNOR@ESC.EDU
  2. 2. Agenda  Poll audience on applications & on need for knowledge development  Review the course structure and objectives  Position the interactive components within the larger course requirements  Consider interactions and community aspects (in light of research too)  Evidence of knowledge acquisition  Evidence of community  Challenge audience to consider some of these elements
  3. 3. Guiding Questions ■ How did the interactive elements within the online course further the development of a learning community around the shared task of preparation for a future high stakes ePortfolio assessment? ■ What aspects of the student communication suggested knowledge building and active learning? ■ What knowledge building outcomes occurred as evident through the interactive elements? And, how was the instructor able to know and support student accuracy in knowledge building?
  4. 4. Data gathering from course elements ■ Recorded and transcribed virtual-reality sessions ■ Transcribed the student-createdYouTubes ■ Studied interactions in these two course areas using grounded theory and constant comparisons ■ Partial findings discussed here ■ More thorough explanation being prepared for publication
  5. 5. Course Objectives (Teaching & Curriculum) “The overall learning objectives of this course address the need to: ■ extend the educational practices begun duringTeaching and Learning, allowing you to develop inquiry-based lessons and practices and to reflect on your implementation; ■ develop successful uses of the Next Generation Science Standards, the Framework for K 12 Science Education, NYS Core Curriculum, the NYS Common Core, and high-stakes assessments for your classroom practice; ■ familiarize you, through lesson development and commentary writing, with the processes and practices that will be required by edTPA; ■ enable you to develop a network of colleagues with whom you can share advice, lessons, projects, and support – during the course and hopefully during your professional career; ■ provide you with opportunities to learn, use, and share-with technologies that allow and support 21st century learning for both K12 operations and for communications within this course.” From syllabus
  6. 6. Learning community building – relevant course components – creating a socially-integrated network Virtual reality – synchronous Discussion boards - asynchronous Webinar - content review & correction - based on “intel” from interactions Video - asynchronous
  7. 7. The challenge of teaching inquiry  Although the preservice teachers learned about inquiry instruction and were given the opportunity to practice it in an authentic school setting, the opportunity was met with challenges. The preservice teachers were themselves unlikely to have been taught with this strategy. This new knowledge of how to teach science directly conflicted with the “apprenticeship” they experienced as students in a secondary school setting. Therefore, they have had very little direct experience with execution of inquiry instruction outside of the methods course. In addition, it is quite possible that the mentor teacher with whom the preservice teacher was paired may have used more traditional teacher-centered approaches over student-centered ones. A recent investigation suggests this may be a common occurrence.  Binns, I. & Popp, S. (2013). Learning to Teach Science Through Inquiry: Experiences of Preservice Teachers. Electronic Journal of Science Education. 17(1).
  8. 8. A solution? Community building online and flow Barker, V. (2016). Flow in Virtual Worlds: The Interplay of Community andSiteFeatures as Predictors of Involvement. Journal Of Virtual Worlds Research,9(3), 1-17. When the environment and interactions were right then the survey respondents noted that they were completely immersed and satisfied with the environment citing the reference to "flow"
  9. 9. edTPA – Requirements & course elements ■ A required NYS licensure component – an ePortfolio with a planning component & a video showing evidence of particular teaching practice – The type of teaching to be evident – maybe a new approach for many (see the research) ■ The ePortfolio and video won’t be required for some time AFTER the course ends, therefore: – Hope to maintain the community beyond the course – Hope to have “memorable” understanding of edTPA – Not readily measurable outcomes
  10. 10. edTPA / video – average of 3 or higher
  11. 11. Video – Rubric 8
  12. 12. Rubric 9
  13. 13. Demographics / background of the class Number of student 14 Age range Late 20’s to early 50’s Male / female 6 / 8 Teaching* / not teaching yet 7 / 7 * Six students were the teacher of record. One student was a resident in another teacher’s classroom.
  14. 14. Virtual-reality* - start off with whole class – slide show & posters too *Virtual-reality islands can be downloaded completely developed – for free on institutional servers or for about $20 per month for 40 avatars (
  15. 15. Meeting w/ different groups
  16. 16. Virtual community development and trust “If you implement a very good tool, but you fail to train and elaborate a new culture of collaboration and cooperation, your initiative won’t bear fruit. Once these key factors are in place, a new culture must be established what is the biggest challenge. Our case has shown that trust building needs a long period of time, especially in a virtual learning space. If people are not focused in the same matter, it is difficult to establish trust relations. The relationship and human dimensions are much more important than the structural, because if you can animate and motivate people to be open, share their knowledge all technical issues are secondary. The basis is the human dimension, because a common topic and certain know-how of the individuals are crucial for the knowledge transfer. The third dimension, the relationship level, is even more crucial, because individuals only build trust and work together, if they communicate openly together, if they get constructive feedback and see the results and success of their communities. Eggs, C. (2012). Trust Building in a virtual context: Case Study of a community of Practice” The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management. 10(3), 212-222.
  17. 17. Ways to facilitate any distance conversations Common discussion board problems can include:  Misunderstood directions  Discussions that drift off-topic; Procrastinators that wait until last minute to give input; Lack of netiquette or respectful communication; too many discussions in the course - students merely “participate” but don’t fully engage; Use of discussion board for the wrong reasons. For example, the regurgitation of course materials or answering closed-ended questions. This does not allow for authentic conversation to emerge.  In order to avoid these difficulties, instructors must facilitate the discussion boards in a way to allow for an organic conversation to develop. They must then work to keep it on track and moving in the intended direction, which will allow students achieve course-learning outcomes. For many instructors, it will take practice to find the right balance of involvement vs. hands-off observation.  Mix it Up!: Question and answer, discussion, and reflection are great, but there are other “outside of the box” ways to use discussion forums. You could make students the moderators, ask them to submit video or audio comments instead of writing, plan a debate, or have students upload presentations to the board. Howard, E. (2016). Best Practice in Online Discussion Boards. Lethbridge College Learning Connections. Retrieved on May 8, 2017 from
  18. 18. Virtual-reality discussion – points raised during meeting & during loop-back ■ Extending the conversation about edTPA – Teacher lecturing vs. teacher guiding – Logistics of camera placement ■ Focusing on procedural details – that are essential ; 50 pages of densely packed reading materials in edTPA
  19. 19. Virtual reality, as used for these meetings ■ Launch w/ an overview of the topic and edTPA ■ More autonomy and less hierarchical than webinar – giving authority to the student voices (they will listen more to peers in some areas) – Having the students refer back to instructor comments and ideas – Dialog and extend ■ Students get to share and develop their own ideas / required time together – not just an asynchronous d-board – more personal and less intrusive than skype ■ Determining problems, such as, ideas from mentored teacher – an extended discussion – “as per one of the mentor teachers, maybe one of the best ways to stage the actual filming of the video is to offer hand-selected students extra credit for participating in an after school event, where they recreate a laboratory activity that they have previously completed. This will allow more control over the filming situation by limiting the number of disruptive students and improving the flow of the activity.” “I want a networked virtual theater where I can watch a movie next to my friends across the country, riffing with them as we look up at the same screen from adjacent virtual seats” – Greenwald in PC magazine
  20. 20. Loop back - comments ■ Summaries of the discussion – Analyze for content & thoroughness – What points were brought up? Ongoing understanding of students thinking – real time ■ Tie to the conversations in the loop back Intro by instructor inVirtual Reality Breakout groups Video by instructor (absences) Posting of team Loop back
  21. 21. Virtual reality – loop back conversation; building knowledge Student 1: you say "don't want to see teachers" is this correct? I realize the students need to be shown, but shouldn't the teacher also be shown interacting with the students? In the Literacy class we are watching a video byTovani and she is shown prompting the students often and they give lots of good responses that I think would be good for edTPA.The response of the student is what's important, but it is the interaction with the teacher that helps create the response. Reply to Student 1: Student 2: I agree with you,Tom. I think an important part of this is witnessing the scaffolding that the teacher supplies during the discovery that the students are making. I believe "don't want to see the teachers" refers more to "don't show a lecture or a long teacher demo". That is my opinion so let's see what other people think. Reply to Student 2: I interpreted it that way too, Christine. I would assume that the teacher should be sprinkled into the video asking leading questions or trying to draw more conversation out of student groups, but should not be feeding them answers.
  22. 22. Virtual-reality: secondary conversations How do you now that you will get a job in your area I don't know if I'll get a job at all.?. Kinda scary... I am looking in a 40 sq mile area so there are a lot of schools I'm targeting but there's going to be some luck involved. I also need a school that looks past my lack of teaching experience and sees the value of a transitioning professional.?. Sarah, very nicely done. If your classes are like this powerpoint set I want to observe you teaching!
  23. 23. VR -secondary conversations; important professional chatter You saidYoutube is blocked but what about sites likeTedEd or PBS? Those could be better resources for educational videos. I didn't try PBS. I tried NPR one day and it was blocked... I thinkTedTalks are blocked because they are videos... Very nice job Sarah, I think finding online videos is a great idea. But the problem is making sure you find video that is going to capture the kids minds and imagination. If you youtube is block can you convert the video and make it a mp4 and download it to your computer and upload it that way. Yeah I know that, but its a massive pain in the rear compared to just loading it at school, and requires prior planning. Sometimes you just want to pop something up while you are thinking of it in the moment. Plus I really don't want to download all those files on my personal laptop. I don't get paid enough to kill my laptop RAM with a zillion downloaded youtube videos, and I don't have a school-issued one... I was thinking about the problem of havingYouTube blocked. It is not blocked in my classroom (other useful sites are), but I have to be extremely careful when showing videos. More times than I care to remember, an inappropriate image or video to click on pops up in the end or on the side. I have to leap over to my computer to stop the video before it stops itself. I've tried resetting and multiple filters, but I can't seem to stop girls in barely there bikinis from appearing. The teacher made the mistake of logging one of our girls on under her ID today, and we looked up and the girl was watching some pornography video, so that's it for letting students onto youtube... sigh.
  24. 24. Virtual-reality and loop-back data: findings Topics Raised by Students: Making the tape Camera movement & placement Misunderstanding – video content Student must be center / not teacher Misunderstanding – video process Planning / staging students for the camera; getting students camera comfortable Types of assessment that can be used Regents? Other? Group disagreements Interpreting handbook differently Instructor concern Are all reading students reading instructor comments and corrections in discussion boards? Dialog fallacy
  25. 25. Final video-challenge assignment ■ M7.4a: Report on this approach to reporting and your classroom - video challenge (12/18/16) ■ This semester you have moved more deeply into the EdTPA requirements. Although this is an exit portfolio requirement from NYS at the present time, the work has come through a progressive implementation over the past number of years starting with work from Stanford University and from the National Board of teachers. It is challenging and exacting because it requires you to articulate very carefully what you are doing in the classroom and to think about this work not only from a procedural perspective but from an academic perspective too. Like it or not, at the present time this is a requirement for licensure in NewYork State. ■ Hopefully, despite the challenging aspects of documenting your work, you were able to grow from the experience of thinking deeply and expressing clearly how and why you construct your lessons. In your concludingVideo Challenge, take three or four minutes to apprise your colleagues of lessons learned about good teaching practices during the semester, particularly if the learning was prompted by the required exercises from EdTPA. Please use Screencast-O-Matic and either “talking heads” or captured screen evidence of areas you want to share with your colleagues. Please review and comment meaningfully on at least two of your colleagues work.
  26. 26. Borrowing from problem-based learning in online formats  Within the digital world, we have a myriad of opportunities to invite students to develop these skills, if the instructor has the courage and tenacity to relinquish some authority, and level the playing field. Expertise no longer resides in one individual in a professional learning community, and so the roles of teacher and learner meld. It is in the development of this safe and trusting environment, envisaged here through the creative implementation of Digital Moments as a teaching and learning tool, that growth occurs.  Barber, W., King, S., & Buchanan, S. (2015). Problem Based Learning and Authentic Assessment in Digital Pedagogy: Embracing the Role of Collaborative Communities. Electronic Journal Of E-Learning, 13(2), 59-67.
  27. 27. Instructors create the framework to support knowledge building  Instructors must provide the scaffolding for the type of knowledge that their students should build (Yücel & Usluel, 2016).  Garrison & Arbaugh (2007), in noting the contributing components of cognitive, social, and teacher presence with the community of inquiry framework, found that the teaching presence must be evident to create the common purpose and for “moderating and shaping the direction of the discourse.” (p. 168).  Richardson & Lowenthal (2017) expanded the community of inquiry framework to note how the instructor social presence as well as teaching presence is particularly critical for online communities.  In properly designing for online discussions, instructors must plan to “facilitate the discussion to allow for organic conversation to develop” such as finding ways to have students use both video and audio comments (Howard, 2016).
  28. 28. Final video topics – essentially unprompted responses / instructor assessment Final video topics raised: Video Itself Comments Note: Addressed the class personally 13/13 (100%) 6/13 (46%) Shared general teaching tips 8/13* (62%) 3/13 (23%) * All presently teaching plus one from past teaching Complexities of reform-based teaching 7/13 (58%) 6/13 (46%) Multiple issues, challenges & solutions Greater comfort with edTPA process 6/13 (46%) 3/13 (23%) Videotaping K12 students – issues and logistics 4/13 (31%) 2/13 (15%) Science writing & communication 3/13 (23%) 4/13 (31%) Challenges observed Improved perspective on assessment 3/13 (23%) 3/13 (23%)
  29. 29. Role of community ■ Vygotskyian effect – beyond the course and materials ■ Sharing the new teacher experience ■ Sharing how to work within the requirements and reporting principles of edTPA – the challenge of inquiry based - new culture & new language often ■ Personal sharing – marriage / babies / struggles as a new teacher ■ Reflections from new teachers – extended learning & reflection – Mario – should have gained more insight from other teachers; – Jennifer – should use lesson plans like other schools – Chris – need to break into the school / student culture
  30. 30. Online interactions & their sense- building and community building ■ Ways that community is shown – Addressing the class directly – thanks and apologies – Acknowledging what was learned from each other / honesty helpful for the teacher – Freedom to make mistakes (Jennifer, Heather); talks of mistakes (Mario,George) – Other areas of concern brought forth ■ Work in your content area  local school support ■ Students want spoon feed and answers ■ Lack of writing skills and willingness
  31. 31. Evidence of presence & community ■ “I am thankful that I was able to meet with you and talk with you and share those experiences to so that I can learn from them as well before I experience them for myself and I can be more prepared.” ■ Often extending beyond the assignment to share other learning and techniques ■ Explaining things that did not go well – honesty - safe space – those teaching / tough schools ■ Instructor as facilitator – encouraging interaction from those within the new classrooms with resistant cultures (Vygotsky social interactions)
  32. 32. Familiarity – and its nurturing and role ■ Type of discussion – from the lit / what they are to serve (community, content, analysis) ■ Terms that appear – enjoy (with videos) / you guys – learning from – (find chart on community attributes) / acknowledging the peers and not the instructor ■ More honest revelations then if just to instructor (the real pulse) – inquiry confession by student (not using) ■ Bringing in concerns from other courses (MT intoT&C) – new teachers ■ Holding students responsible to the class – more timely postings (anecdotal – less nagging and point penalties)
  33. 33. Where is the need for community & knowledge-building relevant in courses you create or support? ■ How do you avoid student isolation in online course? ■ What role / voice does the instructor have in directing discourse and structuring authority and interactions? ■ How might synchronous virtual-reality meetings bring to avoid the hierarchical constraints of instructor-led webinars and streamed-video sessions? ■ How do you work on supporting knowledge-building that can extend beyond the timeframe, and assessment, of the course?
  34. 34. List of References  Baker, K. A., & Badamshina, G. M. (2002). Knowledge management. In Management Benchmark Study. Office of Science, Department of Energy. Available at  Binns, I. & Popp, S. (2013). Learning To Teach Science Through Inquiry: Experiences of Preservice Teachers. Electronic Journal of Science Education. 17(1).  Eggs, C. (2012). Trust Building in a virtual context: Case Study of a community of Practice” The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management. 10(3), 212-222.  Garrison, D. & Arbaugh, J. (2007). Researching the community of inquiry framework: Review, issues, and future directions. The Internet and Higher Education. (10). 157-172.  Howard, E. (2016). Best Practice in Online Discussion Boards. Lethbridge College Learning Connections. Retrieved on May 8, 2017 from  Richardson, J. J., & Lowenthal, P. P. (2017). Instructor Social Presence: A Neglected Component Of The Community Of Inquiry. Elearning & Software For Education, 2531-536.  Yücel, U. & Usluel, Y. (2016). Knowledge building and the quantity, content and quality of the interaction and participation of students in an online collaborative learning environment. Computers & Education. 97. 31-48.