Student Perception of Learning and Teaching by VC
Keywords:videoconferencing, training, remote students, interaction, online survey,
AbstractThis paper explores the student experience of learning and teaching through the medium of videoconferencing (VC), on a range of HE programmes across all the partners of the University of the Highlands (UHI). The primary evidence used are the 190 responses to an online survey made available to any taught HE student at UHI that had taken modules where VC had played a significant role in delivery. Twenty-nine multiple choice, multiple answer and continuous response questions were asked, covering a wide range of subjects from students’ circumstances of study, to how they rated difference aspects of the experience. The study suggests that not only can VC succeed as a mode of educational delivery when undertaken by pioneering staff with a strong interest in educational technology, but it continues to succeed when delivered by an institution’s rank and file teachers, as a mature technology that has lost its novelty value. The much greater sample size of this study compared to those that have been undertaken in the past also provides a quantitative basis for identifying the approaches to teaching which succeed best, and for identifying the groups amongst whom VC is best received. Key factors for success were found to be appropriate allocation and configuration of VC suites, effective training in the use of VC, and teaching that placed a premium on interaction with students. However, social circumstances appear to be as important as substantive quality factors in colouring perception. Students’ rating of the technology as a mode of study seems to be heavily coloured by their access to educational alternatives. Students in remote locations appear more favourably disposed than those in larger campuses, mature students more than school leavers and women more than men. This has important implication for design and marketing of VC mediated degrees in the future.
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