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Appears in:
Page: 3036 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1661

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

BOKU SCIENCE TV: AN ENGAGING VIRTUAL CLASSROOM FOR REAL-TIME TEACHING AND COLLABORATION BASED ON LIVE-STREAMING, VIDEOCONFERENCING AND ONLINE APPS

A. Zitek, T. Prohaska, C.R. Michalek, B. Hinterstoisser

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, BOKU (AUSTRIA)
Within the CSI: TRACE your FOOD! project, funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy within the Sparkling Science program fostering the collaboration between universities and schools within real research projects, a web-based virtual classroom “BOKU Science TV” was developed. The idea was, to create an engaging environment, allowing for presentation of different kinds of content (power point, pdf, video etc.), individual interaction with students, the realization of online quizzes and feedback, and online collaboration within the research project. An additional goal was, to keep the costs as low as possible, and to minimize software installations at school computers.

The virtual environment, from which the teacher was sending, was set up as a TV studio using live streaming technology (Telestream Wirecast software, a webcam and a Chromakey background). Cisco Webex was used as virtual classroom, from where individual activities were triggered by sharing login data for e.g. Socrative (for online quizzes). Google education apps and google classroom were selected as tools for online collaboration. The only software that needed to be installed on school computers was the Webex plugin for the internet browsers. Driverless headset-webcam sets were also distributed to schools to support the individual virtual interaction with all participating pupils.

Google classroom was selected as environment for collaboration for several reasons, as it allows the collaborative use of google fusion tables, provides the possibility for the central creation and management of users without the necessity for students to create or use their own google accounts to use google tools like google fusion tables, and provides a virtual environment where tasks can be shared to individuals or groups of students. The login data were distributed to the teachers who passed them over to the pupils, so no sharing of private email addresses was needed and no additional email traffic was created for the pupils. 230 users were created in google education apps for collaboration and were invited in groups between 8 and 25 to different learning and collaboration activities.

Problems experienced during the interaction mainly arose due to activating the audio during the first Webex meeting, and the slow internet connection at some schools. Based on this experience, a questionnaire about the IT situation in schools in Austria was developed, to gain more information about the specific situation in each participating school and as basis to potentially foster the improvement in future.

Feedback from students and teachers to the new learning and collaboration experience was very positive. The technology and approach implemented in BOKU Science TV proved to be a versatile and affordable framework for online teaching and collaboration.

However, some limitations for a broader implementation exist. The major limitation is the fact, that Webex is a proprietary software, and it becomes expensive, once higher participant numbers are expected. The current version used allows for 25 users being online. To overcome this limitation it is planned to test BigBlueButton as virtual classroom within moodle at BOKU in similar settings. However, moodle also requires to create and manage login data for individual users, and user management and management of login data were the most time consuming activities in preparing the collaborative use of google classroom.
@InProceedings{ZITEK2016BOK,
author = {Zitek, A. and Prohaska, T. and Michalek, C.R. and Hinterstoisser, B.},
title = {BOKU SCIENCE TV: AN ENGAGING VIRTUAL CLASSROOM FOR REAL-TIME TEACHING AND COLLABORATION BASED ON LIVE-STREAMING, VIDEOCONFERENCING AND ONLINE APPS},
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.2016.1661},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1661},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3036}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Zitek AU - T. Prohaska AU - C.R. Michalek AU - B. Hinterstoisser
TI - BOKU SCIENCE TV: AN ENGAGING VIRTUAL CLASSROOM FOR REAL-TIME TEACHING AND COLLABORATION BASED ON LIVE-STREAMING, VIDEOCONFERENCING AND ONLINE APPS
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1661
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 3036
EP - 3036
ER -
A. Zitek, T. Prohaska, C.R. Michalek, B. Hinterstoisser (2016) BOKU SCIENCE TV: AN ENGAGING VIRTUAL CLASSROOM FOR REAL-TIME TEACHING AND COLLABORATION BASED ON LIVE-STREAMING, VIDEOCONFERENCING AND ONLINE APPS, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, p. 3036.
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