About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5015-5024
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.2271

Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain

COLLABORATION BETWEEN A LECTURER AND A LEARNING TECHNOLOGIST TO SUPPORT STUDENT TRANSITION TO AND ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING IN THE SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE CLASSROOM: HAVING THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

A. Logan1, S. Stone2

1St. Patrick's College, A College of Dublin City University (IRELAND)
2St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra, A College of Dublin City University (IRELAND)
The synchronous online classroom is a unique learning space which offers opportunities for exploring new pedagogical approaches in higher education (HE) but also presents many challenges, particularly in transitioning teaching and learning from face-face to the online learning context. This paper explores both opportunities and challenges from the perspective of three voices involved: the lecturer, the student and the learning technologist.

Technological advances have provided a greater range of options with which to communicate and interact with students (Falloon, 2011, Hudson, Knight & Collins, 2012; McBrien, Jones & Cheng, 2009). Synchronous interaction can have a positive impact by supporting the types of elements often found in face-to-face contexts (Park & Bonk, 2007; Shi & Morrow, 2006; Wang & Chen, 2007), although our understanding of how students learn in synchronous contexts is limited (Hudson et al., 2012; Shi, 2010). Web2 technologies offer potential to facilitate synchronous interaction, but require technical, procedural and operational knowledge (Falloon, 2011). The purpose of this study was to explore student engagement in the synchronous online classroom and uncover the affordances and limitations of technological tools to support interaction, teaching and learning. The research questions were: What are the experiences and perceptions of students of real time interaction, teaching and learning in the virtual classroom? How can collaboration between a lecturer and learning technologist in the use of pedagogic strategies and technological support facilitate student transition to and engagement in the virtual classroom?

The context was a two-year Masters’ in Special Educational Needs programme delivered using a blended model using the online platform Adobe Connect. Student participants were 55 primary and post primary teachers and the learning technologist and lecturer as participant researchers. The study was reviewed and approved by the Research Ethics Committee at the researchers’ institution. A mixed method two-phased approach was used. Phase 1 comprised anonymous online student evaluations and Phase 2 comprised two focus groups one face-to-face and one online with 12 students. Initial findings from phase 1 suggest that while most participants expressed a preference for the face-to-face classroom, the convenience of the online element was highly salient in enabling them to complete the programme. Many felt that they learned effectively in both contexts and some reported that the use of certain strategies enabled them to engage and interact more online than in a face-to-face context. The transition to the online classroom is both cultural and technical and while only a minority of participants require significant technical support many participants will not be familiar with the protocols for attending online classes. Building on Falloon’s (2011) conceptual framework, this study suggests that collaboration between lecturer, learning technologist and students can help participants in developing the technical, procedural and operational knowledge required to make this transition and thus harness the affordances of the online synchronous classroom. Data from phase two is being analysed and will shed further light on student perceptions of engagement and learning to inform the collaborative design and implementation of pedagogical approaches for quality distance learning in the synchronous online classroom.
@InProceedings{LOGAN2016COL,
author = {Logan, A. and Stone, S.},
title = {COLLABORATION BETWEEN A LECTURER AND A LEARNING TECHNOLOGIST TO SUPPORT STUDENT TRANSITION TO AND ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING IN THE SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE CLASSROOM: HAVING THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS},
series = {10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-5617-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2016.2271},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2016.2271},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {5015-5024}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Logan AU - S. Stone
TI - COLLABORATION BETWEEN A LECTURER AND A LEARNING TECHNOLOGIST TO SUPPORT STUDENT TRANSITION TO AND ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING IN THE SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE CLASSROOM: HAVING THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
SN - 978-84-608-5617-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2016.2271
PY - 2016
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2016
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2016 Proceedings
SP - 5015
EP - 5024
ER -
A. Logan, S. Stone (2016) COLLABORATION BETWEEN A LECTURER AND A LEARNING TECHNOLOGIST TO SUPPORT STUDENT TRANSITION TO AND ENGAGEMENT AND LEARNING IN THE SYNCHRONOUS ONLINE CLASSROOM: HAVING THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, INTED2016 Proceedings, pp. 5015-5024.
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