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  1. Web-Conferencing A Tool for Online Learning

  2. What do We Know About Web Conferencing?

  3. On 8-26-09, ERIC returned just 31 references with the term ‘‘web-conferencing” in any field.

  4. Web Conferencing is… • Synchronous communication allowing people in different locations to interact via video and audio. • In learning environments it can be used to: • Reach learners in real time • Escalate collaboration • Meet the needs of virtual learners • Increase motivation for distance learners • Reduce isolation

  5. Uses Beyond the Classroom • Administrative Meetings • Professional Development meetings • Hosting guest presentors • Interviews

  6. Pragmatists, Positive Communicators, & Shy Enthusiastic: Three points of View on Web Conferencing in Health Science Education. The following research findings were found in a study conducted at McMaster University, Department f Health Science using Wimba’sLive Classroom Web conferencing system. A total of 36 people participated in the study, including medical residents (14), nursing graduate students (11), health sciences faculty (9), and health sciences staff (2).

  7. Common view points held by 36 medical residents who participated in a web conference research study include: Web conferencing was superior to audio conferencing alone More training would be useful No concerns that Web conferencing would hamper interactivity with remote participants Research Findings

  8. All participants felt positive about and enabled by web conferencing No strong negative views were expressed Audio features were more highly valued than video Strengths

  9. Pragmatists Viewpoint (76%) Seventy-Six percent of participants strongly agreed with the following statements: “Web conferencing provides students with flexibility to participate when off-site.” “Although face-to-face meetings are better than web conferencing, for those that can’t be there, web conferencing is useful.” “There is potential for technical difficulties during Web-conferencing, which can jeopardize its effectiveness.” “There is potential for Web conferencing to support education.”

  10. Pragmatists Strongly Disagreed “I am much less shy communicating from home, than I would be on-site!” “I would prefer to attend seminars online rather than face-to-face for cost savings.”

  11. Web Conferencing is Least Effective When… • Used with a large groups (more than 8-12) • Participants haven’t been trained • Structure of the conversation hasn’t been defined • Equipment hasn’t been tested

  12. Benefits to Web Conferencing

  13. Student-Centered Web Conferencing is a tool that can be used to facilitate learner-centered activities and conversation (Bower, 2010).

  14. Increased Contribution Student-centered learning designs in the web-conferencing increases contribution six fold in comparison to teacher-centered approaches (Bower, 2010).

  15. Co-Constructed Meaning More student discussion related to the content and less student responses to teacher questions has been shown to result in greater understanding (Bower, 2010).

  16. Keys to Success

  17. 1. Anticipate Connectivity Issues Bandwidth limitations, firewall and security filters that block access, audio quality and screen sizing issues, and problems installing a client needed to run the Web conferencing software (Valaitis al et 2007).

  18. 2. Check Resources Cameras, microphones, dedicated phone lines, or designated workstations with conferencing software loaded or ability to connect to remote site.

  19. 3. Set Clear, Structured Expectations Moderators can create structure by posing a questions and creating an order for each person to respond. For example, “Would everyone please take 2-3 minutes to introduce yourself and say a bit about your business. Let’s start with John, then Jake, Jack, Jill, and we’ll finish with Jim.”

  20. 4. Provide User Training Both facilitator and participants can learn to use more advanced tools such as using visuals, multi-media and interactive functions such as polling, application sharing, and chats as they become more experienced and as training is offered.

  21. Conduct More Research Identify best practices through continued research.

  22. References Bower, M. & Hedberg, J. (2010) A quantitative multimodal discourse analysis of teaching and learning in a web-conferencing environment – The efficacy of student-centredlearning. Computers & Education 54 (2010) 462–478. Ehman, L., Bonk, C., & Yamagata-Lynch, L. (2005). A model of teacher professional development to support technology integration. AACE Journal, 13(3), 251-270. Valaitis,R.() Pragmatists, positive communicators and shy enthusiasts: three views in web conferencing in health science education. J Med Internet Res. 2007 Oct-Dec; 9(5): e39.