About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3559-3563
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1805

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

CHAT ROOM AS REPLACEMENT FOR OFFICE HOURS AND EMAILS AND SUPPLEMENT TO LECTURE Q&A

W. Schultz

University of Michigan (UNITED STATES)
We query the 170 students in a team-taught 3rd year ME laboratory course about chat chatroom use including:
• Concerns of privacy in a competitive classroom
• Intimidation speaking in a large lecture room
• Fairness of equal access to information
• Faster response time
• Responses from more than one lecturer (and peers)
• Awkwardness of visual information (equations and graphs)
• Up-to-date information on lab equipment malfunctions and concerns
• Permanence of information

The author has taught Laboratory courses for well over a decade with increasing usage of information technology, especially use of chat room. He has converted fellow instructors to greater chat room use. The following is a discussion I have had in recent years with the class:

I much prefer the chat room over emails in answering questions. I also prefer questions during lectures (especially during Q&A) over private discussions after lectures and during emails. Hence, I was disappointed that I pleaded for more questions during lecture, dismissed class early, and then got many groups coming up and asking questions!

Allow me to question the need to ask questions more privately. I present several possible scenarios:
1) I’m asking a question that only my group would be interested in having the answer.
2) I’m worried that I’m asking a really dumb question. I’m shy.
3) I don’t even know what question to ask!
4) I’m asking a personal question such as, “What should I do when a team member is disengaged?”
5) You are worried that you are questioning an “authority figure”.
6) You are mainly looking for assurance in your data, conclusions, etc.
7) I’m asking a question every group should be interested in, but perhaps I was the only one smart enough to ask, and I want to receive the “inside information”. A very competitive job market invites GPA comparison with peers at UM and more specifically in ME495.

Now allow me to analyze these in order:
1) Haven’t encountered any of these yet—at least this semester.
2) Of course, the standard answer to this concern is, “There are no dumb questions.” In reality, some questions are less dumb than others! I think I haven’t heard nor read any questions that were not appropriately addressed to the general community. Sometimes, the question may have been addressed in lecture or the chat room previously, but we all need reminders!
3) When the conversation starts with, “I don’t even know how to start….” it’s hard to deal with that in a public way. In general, asking a question publicly forces one to word it more carefully. The answers might be more careful as well.
4) Please don’t ask these questions publicly! Start with your GSI and contact the rest of your ME495 teaching team as appropriate. Haven’t had any yet.
5) In many cultures, asking any question of an instructor is a sign of disrespect. Either the instructor must be wrong or did not explain the answer well the first time.
6) This happens fairly frequently. Try to avoid it when possible. It seems a little bit too much like, “Will you grade my report before I submit it?” It may just broadcast your insecurity. Think of a way to pose the question in a way that isn’t just seeking a pat on the back.
7) You are learning much from your peers, even as you may be competing with them. One of the best ways to find out what they are thinking about is by seeing what questions they are asking.
keywords: chat.
@InProceedings{SCHULTZ2016CHA,
author = {Schultz, W.},
title = {CHAT ROOM AS REPLACEMENT FOR OFFICE HOURS AND EMAILS AND SUPPLEMENT TO LECTURE Q&A},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1805},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1805},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3559-3563}}
TY - CONF
AU - W. Schultz
TI - CHAT ROOM AS REPLACEMENT FOR OFFICE HOURS AND EMAILS AND SUPPLEMENT TO LECTURE Q&A
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1805
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 3559
EP - 3563
ER -
W. Schultz (2016) CHAT ROOM AS REPLACEMENT FOR OFFICE HOURS AND EMAILS AND SUPPLEMENT TO LECTURE Q&A, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 3559-3563.
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