Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 11:41:16 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Seizing The Moment

Social Dynamics And The Remote Student Experience

 Social Dynamics And The Remote Student Experience
photo by

By
30th-Jun-2019       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Jim Phillips, James Williamson and Nicholas Brummell :
At a recent Excellence in Teaching award luncheon at the University of California, Santa Cruz, a conversation turned to lecture capture and revealed unexpected impacts. Although not a research study (much work has been done comparing online and in-class learning), the following recounts the faculty conversation and introduces a potentially beneficial dynamic for both remote students and in-class participants.
Applied Mathematics Professor Nic Brummell teaches Mathematical Methods for Engineers 1 in a large auditorium. More than two hundred undergraduate engineering majors are enrolled in the course. After Brummell outlined the class expectations and format, the students requested he add lecture capture recordings. He agreed. Audio recordings and a data feed were made available on demand so that students could access the lecture materials for review. Brummell's intent was to offer the lecture capture materials as supplements to the classroom experience.
Initially, his lecture presentation style was typical of what might be encountered in a large classroom. To convey the material, he used two document cameras projected on separate screens to make it easier for students in the far reaches of the room to see the content. Even though he saw benefits to this setup, Brummell pointed out that using the cameras has drawbacks. "This means you sit down at the camera," he said. "I don't like that. I prefer to be up and active. With lots of students in the class, you can't really pick out specific students very easily, and no one wants to ask questions."
After a few lectures, Brummell noticed that a sizeable number of students had stopped coming to class, presumably because they preferred to listen to the recordings. With the class scheduled in a large auditorium, the students who came to class tended to sit closer to the front of the room and nearer to the professor. While the use of the document cameras forced him to remain anchored to a specific location in the classroom, Brummell noted that because the students were closer, he could look up and talk directly to them. "I started getting to know a few names and faces, especially the students who got there early like me," he said. "I chatted with some of them on a regular basis."
Consequently, his class of two hundred was reduced to about fifty stalwart students who continued to come for the live-lecture experience. Due to the smaller face-to-face class size, Brummell began to shift his focus to the more specific needs of the students who were present. This, in turn, allowed him to use his small-class teaching style in place of the large-class teaching style he would normally use in a lecture hall. Brummell explained:
The atmosphere of the class definitely changed in that respect. There was a much more friendly air and a less separated (teacher-student) feel to it, and there were some questions that were more easily answered. [It was] easier to address a particular person, and I didn't feel the pressure of keeping a whole bunch of other people waiting.
It is also interesting that the remote students were not able to observe the professor interacting with the students in the classroom; they perceived his small-class teaching style only through his voice.
As the luncheon drew to a close, the reaction of the remote students was compared to the effect a live studio audience can have on television viewers at home. Professor Brummell agreed and jokingly asked for the addition of a laugh track to his recorded lectures.
Due to the smaller class size, Professor Brummell was better able to connect with the classroom audience. Students listening to the lectures remotely later indicated that his new presentation style was very effective. Brummell recounted:
There were quite a few comments…expressing appreciation for the webcasts, and some of the comments mentioned the atmosphere of the class (using words like "enthusiasm" and "friendliness"). Many appreciated the alternative. Again, it is hard to quantify, but my overall feeling is that even though I usually get good comments for this class, this year overall there seemed to be a greater degree of satisfaction.
While the positive student response described above would not have been possible without the digitization of the lecture content, it should not be attributed solely to technology. These student responses may have been strengthened by a deeper behavioral phenomenon: surrogacy through "vicarious interactions."
Vicarious interaction occurs when remote viewers establish a sympathetic relationship to a live studio audience and, through surrogacy, develop a connection with mediated subjects. For example, one study focusing on celebrities and social media describes vicarious interaction and surrogacy:
In [television interview] scenarios, the studio audience and the supporting cast who were involved in direct interactions with a performer function as surrogates for the audience that consumes the show from a distance.1
Within the context of online/hybrid instruction, remote students can benefit from the vicarious interactions by accepting the classroom attendees as surrogates. The concept linking surrogacy and vicarious interaction to student satisfaction was introduced in a paper presented by Leah Sutton at the 2000 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association:
Such students, referred to as vicarious interactors, can enjoy benefits that are essentially equivalent to those achieved by direct interactors. This enhanced outcome can be achieved without direct interaction in the traditional sense. The vicarious interactor cognitively processes content while absorbing the interactions of others. The cognitive processing that takes place at this stage, although relatively passive, nonetheless enhances the learning process.2
Sutton later posits that because the vicarious experience is derivative and because remote students do not directly or overtly participate in the classroom experience, their achievement may suffer.
Today there is a different type of student from the one Sutton recognized in 2000: one who is accustomed to online social interaction. It can be argued that techno-societies have reached a state of maturity wherein digital interchanges are accepted norms, and this has positive impacts within the context of teaching and learning.
In this case, the process of digitally recording the lecture and sharing it via the distributed network added new value, transforming a large lecture into a small-class conversation with unforeseen, vicarious benefits for remote students.
The digital transformation discussed here included three distinct elements:
The availability of recorded lectures resulted in a certain portion of the student population listening remotely, which, in turn, resulted in a smaller in-person class size.
The small-class format allowed the professor to address the issues, problems, concerns, and questions of those students present.
The remote student evaluations reported positive responses in part because of the small-class format.
Several interesting educational research questions remain: Do students who attend the lecture and interact with the professor introduce a selection bias to the class discussion? Additional research is needed with random samples of remote and in-class students to study whether selection bias impacts the nature of class discussion, the types of questions asked, and whether vicarious interaction improves the performance outcomes of remote students.
Another set of questions could consider the performance outcomes of remote students when there are classroom students versus when there are no classroom students. That is, does vicarious interaction have a measurable effect?
One might observe the tremendous growth in online learning and attribute it to better materials, better delivery, or even better technology, but another factor is how undeniably accustomed students have become to the dynamics of digitally mediated social interactions. Predictably, this impacts learning in all of its manifestations, including online/hybrid learning. This harkens back to what Stephen Fry referred to as the synergistic nature of invention wherein one invention has a ripple effect on society, which begets new technologies and new uses of existing technologies.3 Within this fecund space of human invention and bricolage lies unanticipated revelations, serendipitous discoveries, and unexpected side effects.
In an age of increased enrollments, impersonal lecture halls, and overcramped classrooms, it can be challenging for students and faculty to establish and maintain positive working relationships. Professor Brummell was able to improve the learning experience for both in-class and remote students by establishing a level of connectedness that endured even after the course had ended. He said, "I still see and recognize some of these students around campus now, and they cordially acknowledge me."

(Jim Phillips is Director of Learning Technologies, Information Technology Services at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jim Williamson is Director of Educational Technology Systems and Administration, Office of Information Technology, at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Nic Brummell is a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of California, Santa Cruz).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Welcome RSC as it takes over factory inspection regime


RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) - a local inspection entity jointly formed by BGMEA and representation of different brands, retailers and trade unions finally started functioning from June 1 taking over from Accord made up by European buyers. The handover basically shows the change of the guard from internationally supervised buyers' ...

City »

Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation Sheikh Fazle Nur Taposh speaking at the first board meeting of the newly elected councilors of DSCC in Mayor Mohammad Hanif Auditorium of Nagar Bhaban on Tuesday.


Sports »

Kutubuddin Ahmed gets Knight Award of Spain


Sports Reporter :Former secretary general of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Kutubuddin Ahmed got Knight Award of Spain. It is the highest reward of Spain.Ahmed was one of the organiser of South Asian Games (SA Games) 2010, which was held in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. He distinguished his name ...

Entertainment »

Shirley on the cover of magazine


This young singer-actor enjoys a terrific fan following on social media. A look at her Youtube channel or a visit to her Instagram page can leave one astonished about her immense popularity among youth and music lovers! That’s Auckland based Shirley Setia for you who comes like a ‘Fresh air ...

Editorial »

Inadequate Covid testing facilities may deteriorate the pandemic situation


THE overwhelming demand for Covid-19 tests has rendered the designated private facilities also unable to offer the tests to test seekers. Now 50 labs, including 17 private ones, are doing the Covid-19 RT-PCR tests after the number of government-run facilities was found inadequate to handle the pressure of the test ...

Football »

Sancho nets hat-trick, joins US killing protest as Dortmund cruise


England winger Jadon Sancho scored a hat-trick and revealed a "Justice for George Floyd" protest message in Borussia Dortmund's 6-1 rout of bottom side Paderborn on Sunday that trimmed Bayern Munich's lead at the top of the Bundesliga to seven points.The outstanding Sancho, who now has 17 goals and 17 ...

Cricket »

Sabbir denies allegation of harassing RCC cleaner


National discard cricketer Sabbir Rahman denied the allegation of harassing a cleaner of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) physically as the news spread around social media outlets.Sabbir who earlier was banned a couple of times for his off the field misbehave, admitted, he had some verbal spat with the cleaner, something ...

Entertainment »

Rishabh Tiwari releases new song Duniyadari


Rishabh Tiwari is one of the brightest rising stars of the music industry today. The young singer, who has earlier delivered a couple of popular songs in the past, is back to regale the listeners with a new song titled Duniyadari. Talking about his new track, he says, “Presently, there ...

Entertainment »

Mim launches her YouTube channel


 Entertainment Report :National Film Award winner actress Bidya Sinha Saha Mim had intention to launch her own YouTube channel many days ago. Due to her hectic working schedules she couldn’t launch the channel. At last, during the corona time she got the opportunity to launch her YouTube channel titled ‘Bidya ...

Health »

From the plague to MERS: A brief history of pandemics


Alia Chughtai :On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus - which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year - a pandemic.As of May 31, there were more than 6.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data collected by Johns ...

Editorial »

Increasing transport fare cannot be justified while people are struggling hard


AMID rising infection and death due to Covid-19, the government mindlessly eased the clampdown in excuse of protecting the corruption-riddled economy, though millions of dollars poured for social safety net support went into the account of local political goons. A sharp contrast has been seen when the government opts to ...

Business & Economy »

Industrialist Abdul Monem Khan passes away


Business Desk :Renowned industrialist and founder of Abdul Monem Group Abdul Monem Khan passed away at a city hospital on Sunday. He was 85.Sources said, he breathed his last at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka at around 10am.Monem left behind his wife, two sons, three daughters and a host ...

Cricket »

Daniel Vettori donates portion of salary for BCB's low-income staff


Former New Zealand captain and current Bangladesh spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori has asked the Bangladesh Cricket Board to give a part of his salary to low-income staffers to deal with the financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said Vettori has officially communicated ...

City »

The President of


Editorial »

Not only Libya, but many other countries also treat our migrant workers brutally


MEDIA reports on Saturday said Bangladesh government has sought justice from the internationally recognized Libyan government for the killing of 26 Bangladeshi nationals and the infliction of fatal injuries to 11 more in an incident in which a group of unruly militias opened fire on them in a desert. They ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news