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An analysis of pedagogical strategies

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Title:
An analysis of pedagogical strategies using synchronous web-based course systems in the online classroom
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Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Schullo, Shauna J
Publisher:
University of South Florida
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Tampa, Fla.
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Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Distance learning
Synchronous online learning
Web-based learning
Interaction
Social learning
Transactional distance
Community building
Immediacy
Dissertations, Academic -- Secondary Education -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
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government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

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Summary:
ABSTRACT: This study investigated a synchronous web-based course system (SWBCS) as a supplement todistance learning courses. Although challenges exist (such as the complex interface and potentialtechnological problems); these systems hold the potential to enhance the distance learning experiencethrough increased interaction, immediacy, social presence, group work, and collaboration.Using a rigorous blend of research methods, the study investigated the following questions: (1) what types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement, (2) how do instructors utilize the tools, (3) which tools do instructors choose to use, (4) why do instructors use the tools and strategies that they choose, and (5) what perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? A total of five unique cases were examined using surveys, interviews, focus groups, analysis of archival documents and extensive classroom observations.The classrooms observations were essential to answering the research questions; a comprehensive observation instrument was developed and validated during this research. Results show instructors implemented familiar strategies based on their teaching styles. The most successful strategies were: (1) mini lectures with interactive exercises, (2) structured group work and collaborative exercises, and (3) case study discussions. Each instructor used the tools in the synchronous system to solve a problem or address an issue, such as lack of immediacy or the need to guide the assimilation of information. Most instructors used a wide variety of the tools, including: (1) VOIP, (2) textual chat, (3) white board, (4) hand raising and emoticons, and (5) breakout rooms. Although some tried many tools, most chose to use tools based on training, experience, the teaching strategies selected and student needs.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2005.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Shauna J. Schullo.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 363 pages.
General Note:
Includes vita.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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aleph - 001670368
oclc - 62302482
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0001236
usfldc handle - e14.1236
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SFS0025557:00001


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An Analysis of Pedagogical Strategies: Using Synchronous Web-Based Course Systems in the Online Classroom by Shauna J. Schullo A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Secondary Education College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Ann Barron, Ed.D Frank Breit, Ph.D Colleen Kennedy, Ph.D Jeffery Kromrey, Ph.D Date of Approval: July 13, 2005 Keywords: Distance Learning, Synchronous Online Learning, Web-Based Learning, Interaction, Social Learning, Transactional Distance, Community Building, Immediacy Copyright 2005, Shauna J. Schullo

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DEDICATION When attempting to complete a dissertation while working and being married, many people play important roles in the process. In my case the most important person was my husband Scott. With out his confidence in me and undying support I would not have been able to finish this task. I want to say a special thank you to him for his perseverance and patience as my moods changed continually and he was often required to read my mind. Many marriages have succumbed to less stress. Ours has grown stronger as Scott has been my steady source of encourag ement throughout. I love you Scott. Others along the road have also been a part of this process including my family and my friends. I want to say a special thank you to my parents, Wendell and Karen, as they have believed in me all my life and provided me with the tools I have used repeatedly to get through this process. My dad has shown me how to work hard and never quit. My mom has shown me the benefits of patience and always having a positive attitude. Many thanks to you both for all you have done to get me here. The numerous friends, who have encouraged me, read my manuscripts over and over again and took me to lunch or coffee when I was feeling down know who they are. Thanks to each of you for your special support as a friend. I hope that I can return the favor many times over when you have the need. For all those who play special roles in my life, this final product was made possible because of all your support. Thanks go to all who touched even a piece of this monumental accomplishment through the many long years. For those still in the process that ma y read this along the way I leave you an encouraging thought, it is possible to finish and still have your sanity. I am graduating! Now when all those who have followed my progress through the years ask “Are you finished with school yet?” I can finally say yes!

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many different people contributed to the success of this research. First, no PhD student can ever accomplish the research and writing required for a good dissertation without a strong major professor. I would like to acknowledge Dr. Ann E. Barron for getting me through this process. She encouraged the many different directions I took until I found a path that led to the final results. She spent countless hours reading and editing my work and talking me through rough spots along the way. With the length and duration of this study, the process of editing and guidin g was not a small task. I appreciate the effort she put into helping me complete my degree and the mentoring that occurred. Dr. Barron also encouraged me to find ways to make the work I was doing, the research I worked on and the groups I worked with all coincide. This made the journey mu ch more rewarding, allowing me to accomplish more because of the outside support I received in all these areas Thanks for all your guidance Dr. Barron. I would also like to specifically acknowledge Dr. Jeffery Kromrey who has guided my adventures into qualitative and quantitative resear ch with great patience. I appreci ate the significant amounts of time he spent letting me talk through my ideas and the guidance and knowledge he imparted along the way. You are truly a great mentor and scholar. Next, I would like to thank the Synchronous Technology Research group (STARs): Ann E. Barron, Cacilda Barros, Sanaa Bennouna, Amy Hilbelink, Kristine Y. Hogarty, Tina Hohlfeld, Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Kathie Loggie, Jozan Powell, and Melissa Vena ble. The STARs are part of a research grant at the University of South Florida that supported part of this work. Without the dedication of this team this research would not have been possible. Many put in long hours as observers and helped to edit the numerous instrument iterations. In addition collaborativ e writing and presenting with this group has helped to formulate much of the content written in this dissert ation. The ability to have conversations with others familiar with the work was invaluable for my full understanding. For all your efforts I wish to say thank you. I feel honored to have worked with you all and look forward to our continued work together. Lastly I would like to thank the instructors and students who participated in this study. The use of new technologies in live classrooms is often a daunting task. I commend the pioneering spirit of these instructors. They jumped into this process and did well even with the discomfort that is often present when trying new approaches. You all deserve commendations for daring to go where others have not been. This work was supported, in part, by the University of South Florida and the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, under Grant No. P339Z000006. $2,774,950 in federal funds were provided for the project, representing 50% of the total project costs. The remaining 50% of the project costs ($2,774,950) were financed by nonfederal sources. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of th e United States Department of Education or the University of South Florida.

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i TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables................................................................................................................. ................................vi List of Figures................................................................................................................ .............................xii ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... .............................i Chapter One – Introduction and Background...................................................................................... ......2 Introduc tion................................................................................................................... .............................2 Statement of Problem........................................................................................................... ......................3 Interaction.................................................................................................................... .........................3 Pedagogy....................................................................................................................... ........................4 Possible So lutions............................................................................................................. .....................4 What is a SWBCS?............................................................................................................... ......................5 Purpose of the Study........................................................................................................... ........................8 Research Questi ons and Methods................................................................................................. ..............8 Theoretical Rationa le.......................................................................................................... ........................8 Limitations and Delimitations.................................................................................................. ..................9 Acronyms and Definitions....................................................................................................... .................10 Conclusion..................................................................................................................... ...........................12 Chapter Two – Literature Review................................................................................................ .............13 Introduc tion................................................................................................................... ...........................13 The Theoretical Framework...................................................................................................... ...............14 Overview of Theore tical Cons tructs............................................................................................. .......15 Introduc tion................................................................................................................... ..................15 Dialog and Academ ic Interactions............................................................................................... ...16 Learner-instructor in teractions (LII).......................................................................................... .17 Learner-learner interactions (LLI)............................................................................................. .17 Learner-content inte ractions (LCI)............................................................................................. 18 Structure...................................................................................................................... ....................18 Learner Autonomy............................................................................................................... ...........19 Summary of Transactiona l Distance Overview...............................................................................19 Significant Research on Tr ansactional Distance.............................................................................20 Exploring the Makeup of Transactiona l Distance – Adding Interactions...................................25 Exploring the Makeup of Transactional Distance – Adding Social and Academic learning perspectives................................................................................................................... .............28 Transactional Distance and Interface inte raction.......................................................................29 Summary of Transactiona l Distance Re search................................................................................30 Introduc tion................................................................................................................... ..................31 Synchronous Distance Education Re search in Soci al Learning......................................................31 Social Presence................................................................................................................ ...............32 Introduction to So cial Presence................................................................................................ ..32 Social Presen ce Research....................................................................................................... ....34 Summary of Soci al Presence..................................................................................................... .39 Interactions in Social Learning................................................................................................ .......39 Introduction to Interactions in Social Learning..........................................................................39 Summary of Interactions in Social Learning..............................................................................45 Community...................................................................................................................... ...............46

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ii Introduction to Community...................................................................................................... .......46 Research on Community.......................................................................................................... ..48 Summary of community........................................................................................................... ..50 Summary of Soci al Lear ning..................................................................................................... .....50 Web-Based Synchronous Distance Education.....................................................................................50 Synchronous web-Based Course Systems (SWBCS)............................................................................51 Introduc tion................................................................................................................... ..................51 Introduction to SW BCS Research..............................................................................................53 Research by Microsoft on Synchronous systems.......................................................................53 Research on Commercially Available SWBCS..........................................................................55 Summary of res earch on SWBCS................................................................................................... 59 Introduction to Instru ctional St rategies....................................................................................... ....60 Research contributions to instructional st rategies in synchronous online systems.........................60 Summary of Instruc tional Stra tegies............................................................................................ ...65 Chapter Co nclusion............................................................................................................. .....................65 Chapter Three – Research Methods............................................................................................... ...........67 Introduc tion................................................................................................................... ...........................67 Overview of Study.............................................................................................................. ......................67 The Sample..................................................................................................................... ......................68 The Researcher................................................................................................................. ...................68 Overview of Da ta Collection.................................................................................................... ...........69 Training....................................................................................................................... ........................71 Data Collection Instruments.................................................................................................... .................73 Interviews and Focus Groups.................................................................................................... ..........73 Surveys........................................................................................................................ .........................73 Classroom Re cordings........................................................................................................... ..............79 Archival Do cuments............................................................................................................. ................79 Researcher Journal............................................................................................................. .................80 Data Reduction and Anal ysis.................................................................................................... ...............82 A Working Framework for Data Reduction......................................................................................... 82 Pedagogy....................................................................................................................... ..................84 Interaction.................................................................................................................... ...................85 Structure...................................................................................................................... ....................86 Learner Autonomy............................................................................................................... ...........87 Tool Use....................................................................................................................... ...................88 Success........................................................................................................................ ....................88 Data Di splays.................................................................................................................. ................89 Pilot Case Summary............................................................................................................. ...........89 Chapter Co nclusion............................................................................................................. .....................96 Chapter 4 – Data Analysis and Results.......................................................................................... ...........97 Introduc tion................................................................................................................... ...........................97 The Sample..................................................................................................................... ..........................97 The Instructors................................................................................................................ .....................97 The Courses.................................................................................................................... .....................98 The Students................................................................................................................... ......................99 Study Logi stics................................................................................................................ ...................101 Case 2......................................................................................................................... ............................101 The instructor – Via the Instructor Interview.................................................................................. ..101 The class – Via the In structor Interview....................................................................................... .....102 The class Via cla ssroom observations......................................................................................... ....103 Pedagogy....................................................................................................................... ................103 Interaction.................................................................................................................... .................105 Structure...................................................................................................................... ..................108

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iii Learner Autonomy............................................................................................................... .........113 Tool Use....................................................................................................................... .................115 Strengths, Weaknesses and Success.............................................................................................. 117 The Class – Via Student Surveys................................................................................................ ........118 Producer input................................................................................................................. ..................122 Summary of Case 2 Based on Research Qu estions............................................................................124 Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors im plement with the tools?....................124 Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment?................................................................................................................... ..............124 Q3. With access to a multitude of tools available in a SWBCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use?........................................................................................................................ ...................124 Q4. Why do instructors use the tools an d strategies that they choose?.........................................125 Q5. What perceptions do students and inst ructors have about using a SWBCS?.........................125 Case 3......................................................................................................................... ............................125 The instructor – Via the Instructor Interview.................................................................................. ..125 The class – Via the In structor Interview....................................................................................... .....126 The Class – Via cla ssroom obse rvations......................................................................................... ..127 Pedagogy....................................................................................................................... ................128 Interaction.................................................................................................................... .................130 Structure...................................................................................................................... ..................135 Learner Autonomy............................................................................................................... .........139 Tool Use....................................................................................................................... .................140 Strengths, Weaknesses and Success.............................................................................................. 142 The Class – Via Student Surveys................................................................................................ ........144 Producer input................................................................................................................. ..................151 Summary of Case 3 Based on Research Qu estions............................................................................153 Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors im plement with the tools?....................153 Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment?................................................................................................................... ..............154 Q3. With access to a multitude of tools available in a SWBCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use?........................................................................................................................ ...................154 Q4. Why do instructors use the tools an d strategies that they choose?.........................................154 Q5. What perceptions do students and inst ructors have about using a SWBCS?.........................154 Case 4......................................................................................................................... ............................155 The Instructor – Via the Instructor Interview.................................................................................. ..155 The Class – Via the in structor in terview....................................................................................... .....156 The Class – Via cla ssroom obse rvations......................................................................................... ..157 Pedagogy....................................................................................................................... ................157 Interaction.................................................................................................................... .................159 Structure...................................................................................................................... ..................163 Learner Autonomy............................................................................................................... .........167 Tool Use....................................................................................................................... .................168 Strengths, Weaknesses and Success.............................................................................................. 170 The Class – Via Student Surveys................................................................................................ ........171 Producer Input................................................................................................................. ..................175 Summary of Case 4 Based on Research Qu estions............................................................................176 Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors im plement with the tools?....................176 Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment?................................................................................................................... ..............177 Q3. With access to a multitude of tools available in a SWBCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use?........................................................................................................................ ...................177 Q4. Why do instructors use the tools an d strategies that they choose?.........................................177 Q5. What perceptions do students and inst ructors have about using a SWBCS?.........................178 Case 5......................................................................................................................... ............................178 The instructor – Via the Instructor Interview.................................................................................. ..178

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iv The Class – Via the In structor In terview....................................................................................... ....178 The Class – Via cla ssroom obse rvations......................................................................................... ..179 Pedagogy....................................................................................................................... ................180 Interaction.................................................................................................................... .................182 Structure...................................................................................................................... ..................187 Learner Autonomy............................................................................................................... .........191 Tool Use....................................................................................................................... .................192 Strengths, Weaknesses and Success.............................................................................................. 194 The Class – Via Student Surveys................................................................................................ ........196 Producer Input................................................................................................................. ..................201 Summary of Case 5 Based on Research Qu estions............................................................................201 Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors im plement with the tools?....................201 Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment?................................................................................................................... ..............202 Q3. With access to a multitude of tools available in a SWBCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use?........................................................................................................................ ...................202 Q4. Why do instructors use the tools an d strategies that they choose?.........................................202 Q5. What perceptions do students and inst ructors have about using a SWBCS?.........................203 Case 6......................................................................................................................... ............................203 The instructor – Via the Instructor Interview.................................................................................. ..203 The class – Via the In structor Interview....................................................................................... .....204 The Class – Via cla ssroom obse rvations......................................................................................... ..204 Pedagogy....................................................................................................................... ................205 Interaction.................................................................................................................... .................207 Structure...................................................................................................................... ..................212 Learner Autonomy............................................................................................................... .........217 Tool Use....................................................................................................................... .................219 Strengths, Weaknesses and Success.............................................................................................. 221 The Class – Via Student Surveys................................................................................................ ........223 Producer Input................................................................................................................. ..................228 Summary of Case 6 Based on Research Qu estions............................................................................228 Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors im plement with the tools?....................228 Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment?................................................................................................................... ..............228 Q3. With access to a multitude of tools available in a SWBCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use?........................................................................................................................ ...................228 Q4. Why do instructors use the tools an d strategies that they choose?.........................................229 Q5. What perceptions do students and inst ructors have about using a SWBCS?.........................229 Summary of Faculty En d of course survey........................................................................................ .....230 Chapter Summary................................................................................................................ ...................236 Chapter 5 – Conclusions........................................................................................................ ...................237 Introduc tion................................................................................................................... .........................237 Discussion of Findings for Research Questions.................................................................................. ...237 What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools?...............................237 How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment?..242 With access to a multitude of tools available in a SW BCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use? ............................................................................................................................... ............................243 Why do instructors use the tools an d strategies that they choose?....................................................244 What perceptions do students and inst ructors have about us ing a SWBC S?.....................................245 Theoretical Im plications....................................................................................................... ..................249 Transactiona l Dist ance......................................................................................................... .............250 Transactional Distan ce – Interaction........................................................................................... ..251 Instructor-Learner and LearnerInstructor Interaction..............................................................251 Learner-Learner Interaction.................................................................................................... .252

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v Learner-Content Interaction.................................................................................................... .252 Interface Inte raction.......................................................................................................... .......252 Transactional Distance – Structure and pedagogical frameworks.................................................253 Structure...................................................................................................................... .............253 Transactional Distance – Learner Autonomy................................................................................254 Social Learning Theories....................................................................................................... ............256 Social Presence................................................................................................................ .........256 Social Inte ractions............................................................................................................ ........257 Community...................................................................................................................... .........257 Other Implications and Guidelines.............................................................................................. ...........258 Methodological Implications.................................................................................................... .........270 Practical im plications......................................................................................................... ...............271 System improvements............................................................................................................ .......271 Lessons for Instruct ors and Producers.......................................................................................... 272 Directions for Fu ture Research................................................................................................. ..............272 Conclusion..................................................................................................................... .........................274 References..................................................................................................................... .............................276 Appendices..................................................................................................................... ............................282 Appendix A: Description of Sy nchronous Tech nologies .......................................................................283 Audiogr aphics.................................................................................................................. ..................283 Audio and video conferen cing (not web Based).................................................................................28 3 Audio and video conf erencing (D esktop)......................................................................................... ..284 Textual chats, MOOs and MUDs................................................................................................... ....284 Other Synchronous Technologies................................................................................................. .....284 Appendix B: Instructor Interview Protocol...................................................................................... ......286 Appendix C: SWBCS Online Student Survey I. Orientation: Ge tting Starte d.......................................288 Appendix D: SWBCS Online Student Survey II. End of Course...........................................................293 Appendix E: The Students: Sn ap Shots for each case............................................................................2 97 Case 2......................................................................................................................... .......................297 Case 3......................................................................................................................... .......................301 Case 4......................................................................................................................... .......................303 Case 5......................................................................................................................... .......................306 Case 6......................................................................................................................... .......................310 Appendix F: Stude nt Reflections................................................................................................ ............315 Appendix G: End of Semester In structor Survey Results .......................................................................322 Delivery of the Course......................................................................................................... ..............322 Teaching Strategies............................................................................................................ ................322 Realizations vs Expectations.................................................................................................. ...........323 Challenges..................................................................................................................... ....................323 Effecti veness.................................................................................................................. ....................323 Support........................................................................................................................ .......................324 Future Plans Further Course Development.......................................................................................3 24 Overall Perspec tive on SWBCS................................................................................................... ......325 Words of Wisdom................................................................................................................ ...............325 Appendix H: Synchronous Web Based Co urse Observation Instrument...............................................326 General Session Information.................................................................................................... .........326 Pedagogy....................................................................................................................... ....................326 Interaction.................................................................................................................... .....................328 Structure...................................................................................................................... ......................334 Learner Autonomy............................................................................................................... ..............339 Tools.......................................................................................................................... ........................341 Appendix I: Producer Focus Group Protocol...................................................................................... ...344 About the Author............................................................................................................... ............End Page

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vi List of Tables Table 1. Features of a Deluxe Sync hronous web-based Course System.........................................................6 Table 2. Importance of cons tructs in th is study................................................................................ .............14 Table 3. Summary of Research Review ed on Transactiona l Distance (TD).................................................21 Table 4. Summary Correlation Analysis of Key Variables (Saba & Shearer, 1994, p. 18)...........................24 Table 5. Results Matrix adapte d from Chen & Willits (1 999)..................................................................... .26 Table 6. Statistical Results on Transactiona l Distance (TD) Factors from Chen (2001)...............................28 Table 7. Correlational Results from Monson et al. (1999)...................................................................... .....30 Table 8. Summary of Research on Social Pr esence in Synchronous Di stance Education.............................33 Table 9. Multivariate Tests: Five Fact ors (Tu & McIssac, 2002, p. 139)......................................................35 Table 10. Media Types in Medi a Richness (Newbe rry, 2001)......................................................................3 5 Table 11. Means of Student Perceptions of Chat (Spencer & H iltz, 2003, p. 7)...........................................37 Table 12. Mean dyadic contribution as a function of the communication. A mean of 10 would indicate perfect cooperation between the dyadic pa irs. (Jensen, et. al., 2000, p. 4)...................................38 Table 13. Summary of Research on Social Learning Interactions in Synchronous Distance Education......40 Table 14. Multiple Regression Analysis Predicting Interaction in Synchronous Versus Asynchronous Discussions (Chou, 2002, p. 5)................................................................................................. ....41 Table 15. Summary of Research on Community in Synchronous Dist ance Education.................................47 Table 16. Sense of Classroom Community by Type of Classroom (Rovai & Lucking, 2003, p. 6)..............49 Table 17. Summary of Research on Sync hronous web-Based Co urse Systems............................................52 Table 18. Breakdown of interactive exchanges over the last three sessions of a class using Flatland and Netmeeting (White, et. al. 2000)............................................................................................... ....55 Table 19. Pedagogical Strategies Identified by Instructors Using SWBCS That Support Chickering & Gamson’s Seven Principles For Good Practice Undergraduate Education (Knolle, 2002)...........59 Table 20. Chickering & Gamson’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).................................................................................................... ..59 Table 21. Framework for Participant Inte raction (Bonk & Denne n, 2003 p. 339)........................................61 Table 22. Framework for Pedagogical Stra tegies (Bonk & Denne n, 2003 p. 340).......................................62 Table 23. Relationship between study questio ns and data collection instruments........................................70

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vii Table 24. Study Data Collectio n Matr ix......................................................................................... ...............71 Table 25. Distribution of Student Self-Reported So ftware Proficiency........................................................91 Table 26. Frequency and Severity of Problems Reported with the Synchronous Classroom........................92 Table 27. Reported Usefulness of Feat ures in the Synchr onous Classroom.................................................92 Table 28. Reported Usefulness of Feat ures in the Synchr onous Classroom.................................................94 Table 29. Overall systemic issues.............................................................................................. ...................94 Table 30. Overall satisfaction with course as a product........................................................................ ........95 Table 31. Overa ll Satisf action................................................................................................. ......................95 Table 32. To ols used........................................................................................................... ..........................95 Table 33. Overview of Cases – the Sample of Instructors....................................................................... .....98 Table 34. Overview of Cases – the Sample of Courses............................................................................ .....99 Table 35. Overview of Cases – the Sample of Students........................................................................... ...100 Table 36. Case 2: Results of Peda gogical Observatio n Constructs.............................................................104 Table 37. Case 2: Results of Instructor-Lea rner Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................105 Table 38. Case 2: Results of Learner-Instru ctor Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................106 Table 39. Case 2: Results of Learner-Conte nt Interaction Observ ation Constructs....................................106 Table 40. Case 2: Results of Learner-Lear ner Interaction Observ ation Constructs....................................107 Table 41. Case 2: Results of Learner-Inte rface Interaction Observ ation Constructs...................................108 Table 42. Case 2: Results of Classroom Manage ment (structure) Observation Constructs........................110 Table 43. Case 2: Results of Content Organi zation (structure) Observ ation Constructs.............................112 Table 44. Case 2: Results of Presentatio n (structure) Observa tion Constructs...........................................113 Table 45. Case 2: Results of Learner Autonomy Observatio n Construc ts..................................................115 Table 46. Case 2: Results of To ol Use Observatio n Constructs..................................................................1 16 Table 47. Case 2: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs......................................117 Table 48. Case 2: Results of Session Success Observatio n Constructs.......................................................118 Table 49. Case 2: Student Report of Problems w ith SWBCS F eatures.......................................................119 Table 50. Case 2: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students..................................................120

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viii Table 51. Case 2: Quality of SWBCS F eatures as Reported by Stud ents...................................................121 Table 52. Case 3: Results of Peda gogical Observatio n Constructs.............................................................129 Table 53. Case 3: Results of Instructor-Lea rner Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................131 Table 54. Case 3: Results of Learner-Instru ctor Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................132 Table 55. Case 3: Results of Learner-Conte nt Interaction Observ ation Constructs....................................133 Table 56. Case 3: Results of Learner-Lear ner Interaction Observ ation Constructs....................................134 Table 57. Case 3: Results of Learner-Inte rface Interaction Observ ation Constructs...................................135 Table 58. Case 3: Results of Classroom Manage ment (structure) Observation Constructs........................136 Table 59. Case 3: Results of Content Organi zation (structure) Observ ation Constructs............................137 Table 60. Case 3: Results of Presentatio n (structure) Observa tion Constructs...........................................138 Table 61. Case 3: Summary of Stru cture Observation Constructs..............................................................139 Table 62. Case 3: Results of Learner Autonomy Observatio n Construc ts..................................................140 Table 63. Case 3: Results of To ol Use Observatio n Constructs..................................................................1 41 Table 64. Case 3: Observers Summa ry Remarks on Tool Use....................................................................142 Table 65. Case 3: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs......................................143 Table 66. Case 3: Results of Session Success Observatio n Constructs.......................................................144 Table 67. Case 3: Student Report of Problems w ith SWBCS F eatures.......................................................145 Table 68. Case 3: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students..................................................146 Table 69. Case 3: Quality of SWBCS F eatures as Reported by Stud ents...................................................147 Table 70. Case 3: Student Open Ended Comments on the Use of Synchronous Software During Session 1 ............................................................................................................................... .....................149 Table 71. Case 3: Student Open Ended Comments on the Use of Synchronous Software During Session 2 ............................................................................................................................... .....................150 Table 72. Case 4: Results of Peda gogical Observatio n Constructs.............................................................158 Table 73. Case 4: Results of Instructor-Lea rner Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................160 Table 74. Case 4: Results of Learner-Instru ctor Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................161 Table 75. Case 4: Results of Learner-Conte nt Interaction Observ ation Constructs....................................161 Table 76. Case 4: Results of Learner-Lear ner Interaction Observ ation Constructs....................................162

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ix Table 77. Case 4: Results of Learner-Inte rface Interaction Observ ation Constructs...................................163 Table 78. Case 4: Results of Classroom Manage ment (structure) Observation Constructs........................164 Table 79. Case 4: Results of Content Organi zation (structure) Observ ation Constructs.............................165 Table 80. Case 4: Results of Presentatio n (structure) Observa tion Constructs...........................................166 Table 81. Case 4: Results of Learner Autonomy Observatio n Construc ts..................................................167 Table 82. Case 4: Results of To ol Use Observatio n Constructs..................................................................1 69 Table 83. Case 4: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs......................................170 Table 84. Case 4: Results of Session Success Observatio n Constructs.......................................................171 Table 85. Case 4: Student Report of Problems w ith SWBCS F eatures.......................................................172 Table 86. Case 4: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students..................................................173 Table 87. Case 4: Quality of SWBCS F eatures as Reported by Stud ents...................................................173 Table 88. Case 5: Results of Peda gogical Observatio n Constructs.............................................................181 Table 89. Case 5: Results of Instructor-Lea rner Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................183 Table 90. Case 5: Results of Learner-Instru ctor Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................184 Table 91. Case 5: Results of Learner-Conte nt Interaction Observ ation Constructs....................................185 Table 92. Case 5: Results of Learner-Lear ner Interaction Observ ation Constructs....................................186 Table 93. Case 5: Results of Learner-Inte rface Interaction Observ ation Constructs...................................187 Table 94. Case 5: Results of Classroom Manage ment (structure) Observation Constructs........................189 Table 95. Case 5: Results of Content Organi zation (structure) Observ ation Constructs............................190 Table 96. Case 5: Results of Presentatio n (structure) Observa tion Constructs...........................................191 Table 97. Case 5: Results of Learner Autonomy Observatio n Construc ts..................................................192 Table 98. Case 5: Results of To ol Use Observatio n Constructs..................................................................1 94 Table 99. Case 5: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs......................................195 Table 100. Case 5: Results of Sessi on Success Observatio n Constructs.....................................................196 Table 101. Case 5: Stude nt Report of Problems with SWBCS F eatures.....................................................197 Table 102. Case 5: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students................................................198 Table 103. Case 5: Quality of SWBCS F eatures as Reported by Stud ents.................................................199

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x Table 104. Case 6: Results of Peda gogical Observatio n Constructs...........................................................206 Table 105. Case 6: Results of Instructor-L earner Interaction Observ ation Constructs...............................208 Table 106. Case 6: Results of Learner-Instru ctor Interaction Observ ation Constructs...............................209 Table 107. Case 6: Results of Learner-Conte nt Interaction Observ ation Constr ucts..................................210 Table 108. Case 6: Results of Learner-Lear ner Interaction Observ ation Constr ucts..................................211 Table 109. Case 6: Results of Learner-Inte rface Interaction Observ ation Constructs.................................212 Table 110. Case 6: Results of Classroom Mana gement (structure) Observation Constructs......................214 Table 111. Case 6: Results of Content Orga nization (structure) Obse rvation Cons tructs..........................215 Table 112. Case 6: Results of Presentati on (structure) Observa tion Constr ucts.........................................216 Table 113. Case 6: Summary of St ructure Observatio n Constructs............................................................217 Table 114. Case 6: Results of Learne r Autonomy Observa tion Constr ucts................................................218 Table 115. Case 6: Observer's Summ ary Comments on Learner Autonomy..............................................218 Table 116. Case 6: Results of To ol Use Observatio n Constructs................................................................22 0 Table 117. Case 6: Observers Su mmary Remarks on Tool Use..................................................................221 Table 118. Case 6: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observa tion Constr ucts....................................222 Table 119. Case 6: Results of Sessi on Success Observatio n Constructs.....................................................223 Table 120. Case 6: Stude nt Report of Problems with SWBCS F eatures.....................................................225 Table 121. Case 6: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students................................................226 Table 122. Case 6: Quality of SWBCS F eatures as Reported by Stud ents.................................................226 Table 123. Perceptions of student outcomes..................................................................................... ..........230 Table 124. Overall systemic issues............................................................................................. ................231 Table 125. Overall satisfaction with course as a product....................................................................... .....231 Table 126. Overall inst ructor satis faction..................................................................................... ...............232 Table 127. Tools used.......................................................................................................... .......................232 Table 128. Instructor Responses on Eff ectiveness of Synchr onous Sessions..............................................234 Table 129. Changes and Refineme nts Instructors Would Make.................................................................235 Table 130. Instructor’s Words of Wisdom to Others.............................................................................. ....235

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xi Table 131. Summary of Pe dagogical Ob servations................................................................................. ....239 Table 132. Summary of Pedagogi cal Observation Comments....................................................................240 Table 133. Number of Lessons in wh ich, SWBCS Tool Use was observed..............................................243 Table 134. Student Percep tions on Us ing a SWBCS................................................................................ ..246 Table 135. Summary of results from Faculty end of co urse survey............................................................248 Table 136. Overview of Theoretical Constructs.................................................................................. ........249 Table 137. Levels for Comparison............................................................................................... ...............258 Table 138. Summary of Classroom Observations and Student Perceptions by Case using four levels for comparison..................................................................................................................... ...........260 Table 139. Summary of Classroom Observations and Student Perceptions by Case using four levels for comparison..................................................................................................................... ...........261 Table 140. Case 2: Student Self Reported Technical Proficiencies............................................................30 0 Table 141. Case 2: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions..................................................300 Table 142. Case 3: Student Self Re ported Technical Proficiencies.............................................................30 3 Table 143. Case 3: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions..................................................303 Table 144. Case 4: Student Self Re ported Technical Proficiencies.............................................................30 6 Table 145. Case 4: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions..................................................306 Table 146. Case 5: Student Self Re ported Technical Proficiencies.............................................................31 0 Table 147. Case 5: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions..................................................310 Table 148. Case 6: Student Self Re ported Technical Proficiencies.............................................................31 4 Table 149. Case 6: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions..................................................314 Table 150. Case 5: Student Open Ended Comments on the Use of Synchronous Software........................315

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xii List of Figures Figure 1. Illustrative Screen Capture of the Elluminate Live!™ Sync hronous Environment.........................7 Figure 2. Depiction of Tran sactional Dist ance Theory........................................................................... ......16 Figure 3. Flow diagram of Transactional Distance (Sab a & Shearer, 1994 p. 8)..........................................23 Figure 4. Plot of Saba and Shearer Model for Transactional Dist ance (1994, p. 12)....................................24 Figure 5. Model of Transactional Distance (Chen, 2001 p. 462).................................................................. 27 Figure 6. Jung’s Transac tional Distance Framework.............................................................................. ......29 Figure 7. Social Presence and Interact ion (Tu & McIssac, 2002, p. 132).....................................................34 Figure 8. Mean dyadic contribution as a function of mode of communication. A mean of 10 would indicate perfect cooperation between the dyadic pairs. Error bars represent standard deviations. (Jensen, et. al., 2000 p. 4)........................................................................................................... ................38 Figure 9. One hour Interaction Diagram of eClass, with color coded small breakout groups. The bold numbers are the total messages sent by the pa rticipant. (Lobel et. al., 2002, p. 10)......................42 Figure 10. Ratio of attending to participating for each participant for each class session. Each data point represents one 3-hour class (L obel et. al., 2002, p. 9).................................................................43 Figure 11. Instructional Framework (Saskatchewan Educational Training and Employment handbook, 1991).......................................................................................................................... ..................63 Figure 12. Classification of Instructional Strategies (Saskatchewan Educational Training and Employment handbook, 1991)................................................................................................................ ..........64 Figure 13. Screen Capture Ex cerpt of Studen t Survey 1.......................................................................... .....74 Figure 14. Screen Capture Excer pt from Student Survey 1........................................................................ ...75 Figure 15. Screen Capture Ex cerpt of Studen t Survey 2.......................................................................... .....76 Figure 16. Screen Capture Excerpt of Faculty Survey............................................................................ ......78 Figure 17. Screen capture of a session recording............................................................................... ...........79 Figure 18. Diagram of Research Plan............................................................................................ ................81 Figure 19. Theoretical Framework based on Jung (2001), Moore (1989), Hillman et. al. (1994) and implementations of pedagogi cal strategies in a sync hronous online classroom..........................83

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xiii Figure 20. Screen capture of Observatio n Instrument – General Information...............................................84 Figure 21. Stem-and-Leaf Plot of Item Level Inter-Rater Agr eement Coeffi cients....................................84 Figure 22. Screen capture of observa tion instrument Pe dagogy section.....................................................85 Figure 23. Screen Capture of Exampl e Interview Review Instrument .........................................................90 Figure 24. Screen Capture of Example of Observer’s Notes....................................................................... ..93 Figure 25. Observ ation Framework............................................................................................... ..............250 Figure 26. Overview of Transactional Distance and Percepti ons of Success.............................................263 Figure 27. Instructor's Educational Goals and Students Perceptions...........................................................26 5 Figure 28. Observation Results and Students Perceptions........................................................................ ..268 Figure 29. Case 2: Fre quency Student Age Range............................................................................... .....297 Figure 30. Case 2: Frequency Dist ance Students Live From Campus......................................................298 Figure 31. Case 2: Frequency Ag e of Computer Student Used................................................................298 Figure 32. Case 2: Frequency Type of Intern et Conn ection..................................................................... 299 Figure 33. Case 2: Frequency Features Reported on Stud ent Computers.................................................299 Figure 34. Case 2: Frequency Number of Online Courses Prev iously Taken...........................................300 Figure 35. Case 3: Frequency Dist ance Students Live From Campus......................................................301 Figure 36. Case 3: Frequency Type of Intern et Conn ection..................................................................... 301 Figure 37. Case 3: Frequency Features Reported on Stud ent Computers.................................................302 Figure 38. Case 3: Frequency Number of Online Courses Prev iously Taken...........................................302 Figure 39. Case 4: Fre quency Student Age Range............................................................................... .....304 Figure 40. Case 4: Frequency Dist ance Students Live From Campus......................................................304 Figure 41. Case 4: Frequency Features Reported on Stud ent Computers.................................................305 Figure 42. Case 4: Frequency Number of Online Courses Prev iously Taken...........................................305 Figure 43. Case 5: Fre quency Student Age Range.............................................................................. .....307 Figure 44. Case 5: Frequency Dist ance Students Live From Campus.....................................................307 Figure 45. Case 5 Frequency Type of Intern et Conn ection...................................................................... .308 Figure 46. Case 5: Frequency Features Reported on Stud ent Computers.................................................308

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xiv Figure 47. Case 5: Frequency Number of Online Courses Prev iously Taken..........................................309 Figure 48. Case 5: Frequency Format of Current Course........................................................................ .309 Figure 49. Case 6: Fre quency Student Age Range.............................................................................. .....311 Figure 50. Case 6: Frequency Dist ance Students Live From Campus......................................................311 Figure 51. Case 6: Frequency Ag e of Computer Student Used................................................................312 Figure 52. Case 6: Frequency Type of Intern et Conn ection..................................................................... 312 Figure 53. Case 6: Frequency Features Reported on Stud ent Computers.................................................313 Figure 54. Case 6: Frequency Number of Online Courses Prev iously Taken...........................................313

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i An Analysis of Pedagogical Strategies: Using Synchronous Web-Based Course Systems in the Online Classroom Shauna J. Schullo ABSTRACT This study investigated a synchronous web-base d course system (SWBCS) as a supplement to distance learning courses. Although challenges ex ist (such as the complex interface and potential technological problems); these systems hold the pot ential to enhance the distance learning experience through increased interaction, immediacy, social presence, grou p work, and collaboration. Using a rigorous blend of research methods, the study investigated the following questions: (1) what types of pedagogical strategies do instructors im plement, (2) how do instructors utilize the tools, (3) which tools do instructors choose to use, (4) why do instructors use the tools and strategies that they choose, and (5) what perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? A total of five unique cases were examined using surveys, interviews focus groups, analysis of archival documents and extensive classroom observations. The classrooms observ ations were essential to answering the research questions; a comprehensive observation instrument was developed and validated during this research. Results show instructors implemented familiar stra tegies based on their teaching styles. The most successful strategies were: (1) mini lectures with in teractive exercises, (2) st ructured group work and collaborative exercises, and (3) case st udy discussions. Each instructor used the tools in the synchronous system to solve a problem or addres s an issue, such as lack of i mmediacy or the need to guide the assimilation of information. Most instructors used a wide variety of the tools, including: (1) VOIP, (2) textual chat, (3) whiteboard, (4) hand raising and emoticons, and (5) breakout rooms. Although some tried many tools, most chose to use tools based on training, experience, the teaching strategies selected and student needs. Both instructor and student perceptions were positive and all of the instructors planned to continue to use a SWBCS in the future. Overall, the SWBCS was found to supplement ex isting distance courses, allowing educators to build connections with and among students more efficiently and increase the potential for interaction in the online classroom. In addition, this research provided the initial framework for the development of a set of guidelines to support the planning and use of SWBCS in higher education instruction.

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2 Chapter One – Introduction and Background Introduction Due to the popularity of the Internet, the landscape of education is quickly changing both in the classroom and in distance education programs. In 1996, McIsaac and Gunawardena stated “distance education, structured learning in which, the student and instructor are separated by time and place, is currently the fastest growing form of domestic and international education. What was once considered a special form of education using nontraditional delivery systems, is now becoming an important concept in mainstream education" (p. 403). Using data from the 2000-2001 academic year, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that “90 percent of public 2-year and 89 percent of public 4-year institutions offered distance education courses” (Waits & Lewis, 2003, p. iii). Compared to the 1997-1998 academic years, where 78 % of 4-year institutions and 62 % of 2-year institutions offered distance education courses (Lewis, Snow, Farrris, & Levin 1999), it is obvious that distance education is growing at an exponential rate. The increases in distance education are directly rela ted to the proliferation of the Internet both in society and education. The National Center for Education Statistics report points out that most institutions (90%) offering distance education courses in 2000-2001 indicated that they used asynchronous Internet technologies as a delivery format (Waits & Lewis, 2003). This shows that web-based instruction is becoming a popular choice for distance learners in higher education. Web-based instruction is also popular in the K-12 arena. A report by Clark states that “the trend ‘virtual high schools’ to ‘virtual K-12 schools’ continues” (Clark, 2001, p. i ). He estimated that 40,000 to 50,000 students would enroll in a virtual school course in 2001-2002 (Clark, 2001). Interactive Educational Systems Design, Inc., surveyed 447 high school principals and 345 school district administrators. From this sample, 40 % of U.S. high schools indicated they were already using online courses or planning to start using them during the 2001-2002 school year. An additiona l seventeen % were interested in offering online courses in the future, and 32 % of the public school districts were planning to adopt and use an online learning platform for the first time in 2002. The participants chose delivering a broader curriculum costeffectively and expanding college prep/advanced pl acement offerings for students as the main driving forces for this movement (Sivin-Kachala, Stanton, & Bowerman, 2002). In a study conducted by Education Week, a survey of state technology coordinators indicated that 12 stat es already had a virtual high school; 32 states had e-learning initiatives; 25 states allowed cy ber charter schools; and 10 states were planning to administer online assessments (Trotter & Skinner, 200 2). These reports show that utilization of online learning is emergent in K-12 education.

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3 Changes in industry are also ev ident, partially because traini ng budgets have been reduced significantly, requiring organizations to find less expensive ways of conducting training. An article written by Galvin (2003) in Training magazine notes that the last time U. S. companies decreased training budgets this low was in the mid 1990’s. The survey indicated a massive shift of preference in delivery methods to E-Learning because it yielded the “biggest bang for the buck”. E-Learning can, by definition, encompass many electronic forms of instruction, not just web-based instruction. However, web-based instruction is on the rise. A breakdown of the movement in training shows that although face-to-face instructor led training is still the highest (at 69 %); it has dropped from 74 % in 2002. Increases were seen in both computerdelivered training (asynchronous) and instructor led training from a remote location (synchronous) (Galvin, 2003). Industry has taken an interest in using the Internet for an increasing number of training elements. The Internet is ubiquitous, providing a place to sh op, a place to socialize, and a place to learn. Educational environments in higher education, K-12 education, and industry show increased interest in distance education and online learning. Research into the design of effect ive distance teaching and learning via the Internet would be benefici al to educators in all fields. Statement of Problem The examination of current literature in distance education provides insight into two major issues facing distance educators. The firs t challenge is to provide optimal in teraction, both course related and social, for students to learn. Second there exists a lack of proven peda gogical strategies used in distance environments to create conducive learning opportunities in synchronous environments. Both of these issues need to be addressed by educational researchers. Interaction Research in distance education continues to empha size the importance of interaction for effective teaching (Garrison, Anderson, & Ar cher, 2001; Hillman, 1999; McIsaac, Blocher, Mahes, & Vrasidas, 1999; Moore & Kearsley, 1996; She rry, Fulford, & Zhang, 1998; Vrasidas & Mc Isaac, 1999). Studies indicate that interactions between students and instructors as well as student-to-student interaction greatly enhance education at a distance by improving attit udes, encouraging earlier completion of coursework, better performance on tests, and greater retention (Harasim, 1990; Hillman, 1999; Hillman, Willis, & Gunawardena, 1994; Moore, 1989; Willis, 1995). In add ition, studies on distance education have found that the important social aspects required for students to be successful learners are frequently missing. Students assert feelings of isolation and detachment from their instructors and peers (Galusha, 1997; Hara & Khling, 1999; Kubala, 1998; Lockett, 1998). Many educators use asynchronous computer mediated communication (CMC) such as email and discussion boards, to address this issue, but these asynchronous methods may not be sufficient. Lack of immediacy still makes it difficu lt for students to connect quickly with each other or

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4 their instructors. Research indicates that this isolation can be a serious detriment to learning (Galusha, 1997; Hara & Khling, 1999; Kubala, 1998; Lockett, 1998). Pedagogy Most distance education methods, especially real-time solutions such as two-way video and audio, still emulate passive lecture hall modes of instructio n for content delivery. Other asynchronous methods use large volumes of reading similar to that of correspondence courses of the past, but with newer technological delivery options. These methods suffer from long standing pedagogical problems, such as the lack of active student participation and effective inte raction coupled with lack of immediacy. These passive modes of instruction are heightened in distance edu cation by the fact that students are unable to communicate face-to-face w ith their instructors and peers. Many pr oven pedagogical strategies for the use of asynchronous CMC have been devised to address thes e problems. In addition, a few strategies have been established for using synchronous chat as an effective educational tool. However, the pedagogical strategies for synchronous technologies have not been extensively examined to determine the approaches that are the most successful – especially with some of the new technologies that are availa ble in synchronous mode. To enhance interaction in distance education, many instructors are combining asynchronous computer mediated communications with other distance education technologies used for synchronous content presentation. For example, an asynchronous discussion board might be combined with broadcast video to increase the opportun ities to interact with students (Burge & Howard, 1990; McIsaac & Gunawardena, 1996). Even with th ese combined approaches, interactio n between students and instructors as well as student-to-student interaction may not be sufficient to alleviate the isolation and potential frustrations the distance learner experiences. Possible Solutions With previous research in mind, distance educators must seek to actively in volve students in their learning and create communities th at support an environment con ducive to learning. Due to the technologies required and the distances in time and space, distance educators find this challenging. This research proposes the use of Synchronous web-based Course Systems (SWBCS) as tools to overcome these problems, allowing distance educat ors to build connections with an d among students and increase the potential for interaction. SWBCS are fa irly new, showing up on the market in the late 1990’s. At the time these systems first became available, educators were not able to take full advantage of the tools because of limited bandwidth. As technology continues to advance, these systems are becoming more and more feasible for education. Therefore, re search into the use of SWBCS in education is new, yet very significant to the distance education communities in higher education, K-12 and industry alike.

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5 What is a SWBCS? A SWBCS combines many different tools into on e interface creating a web-based classroom that can be used in real time either with a whole class or with a group within a class. It can be used by as few as two people or as many as feasible with the content, connections and bandwidth available. A SWBCS is used to offer web-based instruction and can be broken down into three broad categories based on the capabilities offered: Deluxe. High-end systems offer two-way audio using voice-over Internet protocol (VOIP), options for one-way or two-way video, application sharing, text chat capabilities and the ability to breakout into groups. Some products in this category also provide learning-management features, such as course scheduling, tracking, and assessment. Standard. This category includes systems that offer one-way VOIP audio or use a phone bridge for two-way audio. Text chat is often used for feedback. Application viewing, in which, learners can see, but not modify documents exhibited by the instructor, are typical of these systems. Economy. This category includes browser-based software that provides chat functions and some degree of application viewing. Client-side downloads are often unnecessary as long as Java-enabled browsers are being used by learners. Products in this emerging category are offered free of charge or for little cost. This category is the closest to electronic groupware or software meant to facilitate collaborative work over the Internet. For the purposes of this study, a deluxe SWBCS was used (Elluminate Live! ™).Table 1 highlights each tool available in an Elluminate Live! ™ classroom, presen ting a good picture of the overall system. A screen capture of the SWBCS environment in Elluminate Live! ™ is provided in Figure 1 to illustrate the overall environment.

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6 Table 1. Features of a Deluxe Synchronous web-based Course System Feature Feature Description Textual Chat Allows for real-time conversations with all participants using the keyboard. It is sequential, with all messages intermingling ba sed on when they were typed. Access can be controlled by the instructor or left open for anyone to use. Visual Presentation Provides instructor, guest speaker or student s, with authoring pr ivileges so they can upload pre-prepared presentation materials such as PowerPoint slides or web pages for synchronous viewing by all participants. Auditory Presentation Provides a means for two-way co mmunication between all participants. Access can be controlled by the instructor or left open for an yone to use. This is usually conducted using voice over Internet protocol (VOIP). Polling/ Questioning Provides a means of getting feedback and responses from the participants. Questions are presented in a multiple choice format and stude nts are able to respond with a click of the mouse. Hand Raising/ Learner-Instrctor Interaction tools Allows students to interact with the instruct or by “raising their hands” in a manner similar to the face-to-face classroom. The instructor is notified and students are placed in a que based on who raised his/her hand first. St udents have access to tools that allow for emotional reaction such as smiling, applauding, frowning or asking the instructor to slow down. Guided web Surfing Allows the instructor to display a web site he /she wants the students to explore. Group Breakout Rooms Permits the instruct or to place students into groups in a “private” room. Once in this room, all the same tools are available. An instruct or can elevate the status of a group member to moderator to provide control over the breakout room. Application Sharing Provides a means to work collaborativel y with any software insta lled on the instructor’s or the student’s computer. It is useful for demonstrations and collaborative work.

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Figure 1. Illustrative Screen Capture of the Elluminate Live!™ Synchronous Environment 7

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8 Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to observe the use of a synchronous web-based course system (SWBCS) as a supplement to existing distance courses to determine if and how it enhances the distance education environment. These systems have the poten tial to reduce challenges f aced in distance education by providing increased interaction, immediacy of feedback, social presence, and opportunities for group work and collaboration. It is important that studies ar e conducted to determine how the tools available in a SWBCS can be used to supplement and/or improve existing educational strategies. Once the basic educational implications of a SWBCS are clear, resear ch can expand to include in-depth studies on the effective implementation of individual pedagogical strategies and approaches. Research Questions and Methods This study utilized a combination of data collecti on strategies such as observations, surveys and interviews to investigate how instructors used a SWBCS in their online courses. The main questions addressed include: 1. With access to a multitude of tools available in a SWBCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use? 2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment? 3. Why do instructors use the tools and strategies that they choose? 4. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools? 5. What perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? In his writings about choosing a research strategy, Yin (1994) states, “a specific research strategy has distinct advantages in certain situations. For a case study: a how or why question is being asked about a contemporary set of events over which, the investigat or has little or no control” (p. 9). For this reason, qualitative research strategies were most appropriate for the majority of this study and therefore the main method of data collection. The research design, however, was a mixed methodology using the following modes of data collection: student and instructor surveys, instructor and support personnel interviews and focus groups, both direct and participant observations analysis of event logs and analysis of archival records. The use of multiple sources of evidence helped to strengthen the construct validity of the research. Most data collection took place electronically, and all was stored in a database for later review. The use of case study protocols and the creation of a study database assisted in increasing the reliability of the study. Theoretical Rationale Because a SWBCS allows for significantly more interaction in real time than other distance technologies, the theory of transactio nal distance, which, centers on interaction between participants in the

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9 class (learners and instructors) as well as social learni ng theories, played a signifi cant role in this study. Interaction studies highlight interactions between the students, between the studen ts and the instructor, as well as content interaction and inter actions with the interface. Distan ce education research also needs to address the “distance” factor of the teaching method. This is accomplished by looking at the aspects of transactional distance theory, which, address distance communication based on different levels of structure, dialog (interaction) and learner autonomy in the course (Moore, 1989). Early researchers, Vygotsky and Bandura, provided a foundation on which, many social learning theories are based (Bandura, 1971; Vygotsky, 1978). Both addressed the fact that social interactions are important to the learning process. To truly understand the learning that occurs in a sync hronous distance classroom, so cial interactions made possible by the use of a SWBCS that lead to learning and understanding were examined. Since added interaction and social learning are sh own to be effective ways to increase learning, it is important to examine what pedagogical strategies are implemented, exploring how interaction, transactional distance, and social learning are inco rporated into the online classroom. By examining interaction, transactional distan ce and social learning, a minimal taxonomy of successful pedagogical strategies used by instructors in this study was creat ed. This taxonomy serves as a starting point for further research on the effectiveness of synchronous distance pedagogy. The theoretical underpinnings discussed here were used as a basis for the design of the study. However, since this was a mixed method design that significantly utilizes qualitative case study, this ba sis evolved as data was reduced and analyzed. Limitations and Delimitations This study examined live classrooms situations, therefore some limitations were addressed. To gain a good understanding of the use of the SWBCS, the study looked at the instructor, the students and the support team for each case. Purposeful sampling was used to select five instruct ors from various colleges who teach a variety of subjects at a variety of levels. Ea ch instructor had a unique teaching style and all had experience as distance instructors Purposeful sampling was chosen due to the richness of the data available and required in this exploratory study. Patton (2002) st ates “cases for study are selected because they are ‘information rich’ and illuminative, that is, they offer useful manifestations of the phenomenon of interest; sampling then is aimed at insight about the phenomenon, not empirical generalization from a sample to a population” (p. 40). The variability in this sample provided rich information illustrating how a SWBCS can be used in a variety of disciplines and circumstances. However, this research was limited by this small sample and caution should be taken to not generalize to other populations. As previously discussed, generalization is often a problem, making external validity of case study research questionable. The generaliza tion of case studies is not automatic. However, through replication of findings in a second or third case where the theory ha s specified that the same re sult should occur, external validity can be strengthened. Since re plication of this type was successful the results of this study can be accepted for a much larger number of similar cases, ev en though extensive replications have not been

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10 performed. In this research, each instructor and hi s/her class was defined as a separate case. Using the multiple case strategy helped to reduce problems with external validity by allowing for replication across the cases. For the most part, this research was an explorator y case study. Due to the variability and the reallife situation, the researcher had little control over the actual events that took place in the classroom. The goal was to examine what naturally occurred in these classrooms and relate the findings to theories of instruction. For this reason, concerns about internal validity were minimized. In a discussion about internal validity, Yin states that “internal validity is a concer n only for causal (explanator y) case studies. It is not applicable to descriptive or exploratory studies which, are not concerned with making causal statements” (1994, p. 35). However, internal validity can be ad dressed using explanation building which, was one result of the combined methodologies of this research. No true causal relationships were studied, but some quantitative data was collected through surveys and quantitative analysis that provide insights into why certain strategies are or are not successful. One additional limitation that needs to be noted was the role of the rese archer. The researcher holds a position at the University in which she is responsible for professional development for faculty. In this project, she was the main facilitator for the training provided to the instructors and producers. She also played a role of support person throughout the study. Although many different approaches were demonstrated during training and care was taken to start instructors thinking on their own about the many different possibilities, there is a chance that the res earcher had a influence on how instructors chose to proceed. Acronyms and Definitions To provide a basis for discussion, the following definitions were used in this study: Asynchronous education does not take place simultaneously. Here, the instructor may deliver the instruction via video, computer, or other means, and the students view and respond at a later time. For example, instruction may be delivered via the web or videotapes, and the feedback could be sent via e-mail messages. (Barron, 1999) Distance Education is described by Willis (1995) at its most basic level as “education [that] takes place when a teacher and student(s) are separated by phy sical distance, and technolo gy (i.e., voice, video, data, and print), often in concert w ith face-to-face communication, is used to bridge the instructional gap. For this study, a variation of this definition will be used in which, no face-to-face interaction occurs between the students and the instructor or other students unless it is technology mediated (i.e. Video over the Internet)”( 1). E-Learning, in some situations, is defined specifically as learning across electronic networks. However, in this study, e-learning includes all learning that has an electronic component to its delivery.

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11 This encompasses a wide set of applications and processes such as web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) is defined by Webopedia, as “human communication via computers and includes many different forms of synchronous, asynchronous or realtime interaction that humans have with each other using computers as tools to exchange text, images, audio and video. CMC includes e-mail, network communication, instant messaging, text messaging, hypertext, distance learning, Internet forums, USENET newsgroups, bulletin boards, online shopping, distribution lists and videoconferencing” (Webopedia.com, 2004, CMC 1). Interaction as defined by Wagner in 1994 is “reciprocal events that require at least two objects and two actions. Interactions occu r when these objects and events mu tually influence one another” (Wagner, 1994, p. 8). Moore’s (1989), discussions on interaction between students and content have long been recognized as a critical component of both campus -based and distance education. Interaction will be addressed in depth in Chapter 2. Sense of Community relates feelings students have of belonging or being a part of “a readily available, mutually supportive network of relationships on which, they can depend” (Sarason, 1974, p. 1). This community provides support such that a student does “not experience sustained feelings of loneliness that impel one to actions or to adopting a type of living masking anxiety and setting the stage for later and more destructive anguish” (Sarason, 1974, p. 1). Sense of community can be difficult to build at a distance. Social presence was defined by Spencer and Hiltz as “that sense of ‘intimacy and immediacy’ or ‘we are together’ feeling, leading to increased enjoym ent, involvement, task pe rformance, persuasion and socio-emotional interaction” (Spencer & Hiltz, 2003, p. 37). Tu and McIsaac use a similar definition in their research on text-based communication in which, social presence “is the degree of feeling, perception, and reaction of being connected by CMC to another intellectual entity” (Tu & McIsaac, 2002). Social Learning is defined by Encyclopedia Britannica as a psychological theory in which, “learning behaviour is controlled by environmental infl uences rather than by innate or internal force.” (2004). It is sometimes also referred to as observatio nal learning or “learning that occurs as a function of observing, retaining and replicating behavior in othe rs” (Wikipedia, 2004). Many theories that will be examined in the study have been de rived from social learning theory. A Synchronous web-based Course System ( SWBCS ) is a software application that manages realtime interactions between students and instructors in an online learning environment. A SWBCS often contains methods for content delivery, textual chat, VOIP, hand raising, breakout rooms, application sharing and polling. For this study, a system called Elluminate Live!™ is being used. Synchronous education is learning in which, the inst ructor and the student interact with each other in "real time." For example, with two-way videoconferences, students interact with "live" video of an

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12 instructor. Less complex technologies, such as tele phone conversations are also synchronous (Barron, 1999). For this study, the synchronous environment will be completely web-based. Transactional Distance (TD) was originally defined by Moore as a function of dialogue, structure, and learner autonomy (Moore, 1993). Based on interactions between learners and instructors, transactional distance refers to a physical separation between participants (learne rs and instructors) that causes a psychological and communicative chasm in the distance educational environment. Moore’s definition reflects a balancing act between dialogue and structure in which, decreases in dialogue must coincide with increases in structure and vice versa in order to close the distance between participants (Moore, 1991). Web-based Instruction (WBI) is instruction that takes advantage of the Internet and the World Wide Web for the delivery of information. Conclusion This chapter has provided a brief overview of distance education, pointing out some of the challenges and the gaps in the research. It presented a general explanation of this study directing the reader to focus on the importance of social learning and interaction in distance education. This chapter described a SWBCS as a new, relatively complex set of t ools that can be used by instructors. The remaining chapters of this dissertation cover literature and research methods relevant to this study. Chapter two reviews literature pertaining to distance education and the technologies used for synchronous learning, outlining the theoretical backgroun d that will be used as the basis for the study. Chapter three contains a detailed description of the methods of research used in the study. This includes how cases are selected, how data is to be collected, as well as an overview of the intended data analysis and reduction that will take place. The chapter ends with detailed plans for the pilot study, which, will evaluate the instruments and procedures. Chapter four discusses the resulting data and the processes used to collect it. Chapter five provides conclusions, summarizes the outcomes of this re search, and suggests directions for future research in this area.

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13 Chapter Two – Literature Review Introduction Distance education provides access to instruction fo r those not able to attend conventional classes due to geographical separation from institutions, mitig ating life circumstances or personal preference. It relies heavily on technologies of delivery; therefor e the face of distance education changes quickly as technology progresses. Research in distance educatio n must shift with changes in distance education delivery. Research on how innovativ e technologies improve our ability to teach at a distance must be examined in detail, providing proven strategies to di stance educators. Due to th e characteristics of distance education, challenges such as social isolation, lack of immediacy, feedback, and insufficient interaction are threats to success. This study investigated a Sync hronous Web-Based Course System (SWBCS) in online distance education courses to determine how pedagogical strategies utilize the available technologies to address these challenges. Implementing a SWBCS is an enhancement used to improve teaching at a distance. Successful strategies for using the tools provided in a SWBCS n eed to be examined to provide educators ways to maximize student learning. Overall, this chapter provides an understanding of the research in synchronous distance education as it pertains to transactional distance, interaction and social learning. It also points out gaps in the research that this st udy addressed. The chapter begins with a discussion of a theoretical framework supported by previous research. This framework includes transactional distance theory and social learning theories. Di scussion of principal constructs within these theories and research conducted, points out how the learning process is enhanced by interaction between all course participants. The discussion indicates that both academic and social in teractions are important and that a SWBCS provides tools that allow sound pedagogical strategies to be used effectively in the distance environment. Little research has been conducting on the use of a SWBCS fo r instruction. However the research in this area will also be reviewed. The chapter culminates in a discussion of framework s that allow these pedagogical strategies to be logically categorized. Overall, this chapter outlines the research previously conducted in synchronous distance education environments that pertain to tr ansactional distance, soci al learning theory, and interaction. Table 2 provides a quick overview of rese arch reviewed and how the constructs impacted this study.

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14 Table 2. Importance of constructs in this study Theory Constructs Importance of concept to this study Studies Reviewed Transactional Distance Theory Dialog (interaction) Structure Learner Autonomy Transactional Distance theory provides a basis for examining interactions in pedagogical approaches that make them successful teaching strategies. Moore (1990, 1993) Moore & Kearsley (1996) Saba & Shearer (1994) Chen & Willits (1999) Chen (2001) Jung (2001) Hillman et. al (1994) Monsoon (1999) Social Learning Theories social presence Interaction Community Learning is usually a social process. Therefore understanding how social learning can be improved in a SWBCS will help to enhance strategies for teaching. Tu & McIssac (2002) Newberry (2001) Spencer & Hiltz (2003) Jensen & Farnham (2000) Lobel (2002) Swigger et. al. (1999) Rourke & Anderson (2002) Burge & Howard (1990) Rovai (2003) Research on SWBCS The use of SWBCS is fairly new, but some research has been conducted that supported and guided this study. Frank et. al. (2002) Mark (1999) Evans (2000) Knolle (2000) Pedagogical Frameworks A method to sort and analyze pedagogical strategies that instructors use in a SWBCS was necessary to assist in validating this study. Previous frameworks were examined to determine the best approach for this study. Moore & Anderson (?) Bonk & Dennen (2003) Bonk & Reynolds (1997) Saskatchewan (1991) Chickering & Gamson (1987) Khan(1997, 2001) The Theoretical Framework Introduction to Research The pace of distance education res earch does not correspond to the rate of change in distance education delivery. Therefore it is critical that educational researchers strive to provide quality research on how to effectively teach with the e volving delivery tools. Past resear ch in distance education has been dominated by comparisons of delivery methods, resulting in a large body of research labeled the “nosignificant difference” phenomenon (Russell, 1999). Ho wever, as more and more research confirms the

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15 efficacy of technology-mediated distance education (Phi pps & Merisotis, 1999; Russ ell, 1999) the focus of research is moving toward other considerations. These include how students interact and learn at a distance; how distance students are supported; how courses are designed, managed, and supported; and how teaching at a distance affects faculty work life. Overview of Theoretical Constructs A wide range of theoretical constructs discussed in recent years pertain to the understanding of the distance learner and the distance classroom. Three such concepts evolving from Cognitive theory are (a) transactional distance (Jung, 2001; Moore, 1990; Sa ba & Shearer, 1994), (b) interaction (Hillman, Willis, & Gunawardena, 1994; Moore & Kearsley, 1996; Moor e, 1989), and (c) social learning (Feenberg & Bellman, 1990; Hackman & Walker, 1990; McIsaac, 1993; Sh ort, Williams, & Chris tie, 1976). These three constructs provide a framework about how learning occurs in distance education. However, discussion of the constructs and the research reviewed show that th ey overlap in many areas. Fo r this reason, a combined framework taking into consideration all the constr ucts of interests was developed for this study. Transactional Distance Introduction One of the most prominent theories discussed in distance education is M oore’s (1993) theory of transactional distance. Moore’s theory provides a global perspective broad enough to cover most distance education situations. Moore considered distance a pedagogical phenomenon, not a geographical one. Therefore, transactional distance is the “sense of di stance” a learner feels during the learning process, which, can occur even in a face-to-face course. Moore an d Kearsley (1996) state th at “the procedures to overcome this distance are instructional design and interaction procedures, and to emphasize that this distance is pedagogical, not geographic” (p. 200). This theory is represented in Figure 2, showing how it encompasses the constructs of structure and dialog between the instructor and th e student in the distance classroom. The variable, dialog, is defined as two-way communication between the student and the instructor. Structure refers to the flexibility and design of the course. A third variable, learner autonomy, although not represented in Figure 2 does play an important role. Learner autonomy represents the learner’s perception of both independent and interdependent participation in the course and is dir ectly related to the student’s level of self-directed learning.

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16 Figure 2. Depiction of Transactional Distance Theory The word transaction suggests that relationships exist between the environment, the individuals and the patterns of behaviors in a given situation. Moore and Kearsley (1996) discuss transaction in distance education as the relationship between instructor s and learners in special environments where they are geographically separated from one another and mu st use a resulting set of pedagogical approaches to compensate. This geographical separation often leads to a communication gap or “psychological space of potential misunderstandings between the behaviors of the instructors and those of the learners, and this is the transactional di stance” (p. 200). Dialog and Academic Interactions It is obvious that content delivered through highly conversational methods such as telecommunications provides dialog. This dialog is synonymous with a newer term (interaction) that is found in research. The concept of interaction has been important in education for decades. According to John Dewey the goal of education is to develop reflective, creative, and responsible thought (1938). Dewey believed that an effective educational experience required two key processes – interaction and the continuity of interaction. The orig inal concept of dialog encompassed only learner-instructor interactions. However, the definition of interaction and therefore dialog has expanded to include other forms of interaction that the learner experiences. Recently, Mo ore and Kearsley (1996) identified three types of important interaction namely (a) learner-content interac tion (LCI), (b) learner-learner interaction (LLI), and (c) learner-instructor interaction (LII). Moore and Kear sley proposed that these types of interaction should be utilized to enrich learning within distance education environments. Transactional Distance More Less More LessDialog Structure Transactional Distance More Less More LessDialog Structure High Transactional Distance Low Transactional Distance Transactional Distance More Less More LessDialog Structure Transactional Distance More Less More Less More Less More Less More Less More LessDialog Dialog Structure Structure Transactional Distance More Less More LessDialog Structure Transactional Distance More Less More Less More Less More Less More Less More LessDialog Dialog Structure Structure High Transactional Distance Low Transactional Distance

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17 Hillman, Willis, and Gunawardena (1994) define a fourth type of interaction (learner-interface interaction) as interactio n occurring between the learner and the t echnology. Since distance education relies heavily on technology, this interaction is also importa nt. However, it most likely falls into the category of structure, rather than dialog. Proper training in the use of the technological tools should be coordinated to make the interface more transparent, reducing the distraction and stress learner-interface interaction can cause. Optimizing educational interactions using a co mbination of learner-inst ructor, learner-learner and learner-content interactions, while limiting problems due to learner-interface interaction, is the key to successful online learni ng. In addition, as educational interac tion is optimized, dialog should increase, therefore decreasing transactional dist ance. The concepts of interaction are intertwined with more than just one theory utilized in Distance Education. Although in teractions are important in studies of transactional distance, they are also important in studies on Social Learning. Ther efore, interaction was a recurring theme in this study, discussed from many angles. Learner-instructor interactions (LII) Interaction between the instructor and the learner is defined as learner-instructor interaction (LII). Therefore, dialog as originally defined in Moore’s (1993) transactional distan ce theory includes all twoway academic interactions between instructor and learner. Understa nding the potential for utilizing SWBCS for meaningful learner-instructor interactions to promote better teaching at a distance was one of the proposed outcomes of this study. Many approaches for using a SWBCS address interaction, immediacy, feedback, opportunity for dialog, and more. Asynchronous interactions that take place between the student and the instructor within the class such as email communications, discussion forums in which, the instructor replies, assignments with feedback, and other forms of one-to-one communication are considered learner-instructor interactions. The real time interactions made possible by the use of a SWBCS should increase not only the opportunities for learner-instructor interaction, but also the quality and variability of the interactions. Synchronous interactions might include activities such as mini-lectures, virtual office hours or help sessions, direct question and answer periods, demonstrations and many more. Once course content has been presented and reviewed by the student, instructors should engage the learner by using strategies that enhance all types of interactions. Learner-learner interactions (LLI) Later research (Chen & Willits, 1999; Jung, 2001) suggests that dialog also encompasses learnerlearner interactions. The extent and nature of the dialog depends on many factors such as: (a) the educational philosophy of those responsible for the design of the course, (b) the personalities of participants, (c) the course content, and (d) the environmental factors. Some of these factors are more important in distance education and therefore have been studied extensively. For this research, the environmental factor of communication was very important. According to Moore (1993), as the mode of communication provides opportunities for better dialog transactional distance decreases. Remembering

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18 that dialog requires a two-way interaction, distan ce education tools such as chat and two-way audio increase dialog more than one-way methods of communication such as one-way video. Interactions that take place between the studen t and others within the class during course discussions, critiques, debates and other forms of interpersonal communication are considered learnerlearner interactions (LLI). These interactions can take many forms depending on how the course is structured, but are often more social than other types of interaction. For this reason, a more lengthy discussion of learner-learner interactions will occur in the sections on Social Learning. However, there are learner-learner interactions that are not social, but academic in nature These interactions need to be viewed differently than purely social interactions or interactio ns that make up social learning. The strength of using a SWBCS to enhance learner-learner interaction comes from the many different forms of two-way communication available. This study examined many different forms of interaction and how they relate to the strategies used by instructors within the SWBCS. Learner-content interactions (LCI) Learner-content interaction (LCI) refers to the relationship between the learner and the subject matter under study. Interaction with the content allows learners to construct their own knowledge by integrating new information into their pre-existing me ntal structures (Schoenfeld-Tacher & Persichitte, 2000). Due to the nature of the media used for web-based instruction, online courses provide an ideal setting to take advantage of learner-content interactio ns. Although structure of a course determines how learner-content interactions take place, it can also be seen as a form of internal didactic dialog in which, the learner “talks” to himself in order to comprehend the material. This makes it a bit more difficult to determine if learner-content interaction is based on st ructure or dialog. The con cept of dialog incorporates internal conversations about instructional content. Wh ile the concept of structur e incorporates designs for using instructional content such as a website, a print based study guide, a textbook, a television program, or an audio tape. Therefore learner-content interactions st raddle both dialog and stru cture. This may also be true for learner-interface interaction. Structure Another variable in transactional distance theory, structure, should be addressed in the design of the distance course. Structure is determined by the ed ucational philosophy of those involved with creating and maintaining the course. It expresses the rigidity or flexibility of the course’s educational objectives, teaching strategies and evaluations methods and therefor e describes the extent to which, course components can be responsive to the individual learner’s needs. Structure of a course is directly related to the pedagogical strategies an instructor incorporates into his/her course. For a more difficult or risky strategy, more structure is usually needed. For example, inst ructors can provide structure in a SWBCS by having students do pre-work, making sure instructions are clear ly defined for the activities, have visual or textual

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19 materials (i.e. slides or instructional text) prepared th at will be used in the session, have planned for proper support to make the session successful yet be flex ible enough to change pl ans if needed. Overall, preplanning is the key to successful structure in a SWBCS. Therefore structure was addressed in this study by examining how instructors inte grate strategies using the SWBCS. Learner Autonomy One strength of online learning is the ability to a llow students more self directed opportunities and less structure in a course. However when this happe ns, more dialog is often needed for a successful educational experience. Some researchers (Moore, 1993 ; Saba & Shearer, 1994) posit that as structure increases and dialog decreases, transactional distance in creases (See Figure 2). However, it is questionable whether an increase in structure always results in a decrease in dialog. Even with low structure, if dialog decreases, transactional distance increases, which, resu lts in the necessity for the learner to take more responsibility for his/her own learning. This concept is called learner autonomy and relates directly to selfdirected learners as well as immediacy. Successful distance learners are often very se lf-directed and therefore have high learner autonomy, but what about those who do not? For these students, our goal is to reduce transactional distance by increasing dialog and developing well-structured courses. “Garrison and Baynton (1987) discuss the relationship between autonomy and various elements of structure, such as pacing and the negotiation of objectives and dialog, which, they describe as frequency and immediacy of communication” (as cited in Moore & Kearsley, 1996, p. 208). The elements that eff ect learner autonomy are al so important in the study of SWBCSs. For example, there are many tools in a SWBCS that can increase immediacy and feedback between students and between students and instructors. The lack of visual cues requires that other methods of feedback and teacher immediacy be adapted. Changes in feedback an d immediacy can a ffect the dialogstructure continuum of the distan ce learning relationship. Therefore it was important to examine how SWBCS was used to enhance the opportunities for feedback and increase immediacy. Summary of Transactional Distance Overview Transactional Distance Theory play s an integral part in the design and successful implementation of distance education in any environment. With th e added benefits that a SWBCS can provide, dialog, structure, and learner auto nomy can be adjusted to fit the needs of the instructor, the students, and the content of a course. This section has discussed how interaction plays a role in decreasing the transactional distance between students and instructors, students and other students and students and content. The following section will review research that has been conducted in the area of transactional distance as it relates to synchronous distance education.

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20 Significant Research on Transactional Distance Moore (1993) was the first to postulate the theory of transactional distance. Since then it has been studied in many different ways. Synchronous interactions provide a good opportunity to study this theory as dialog can be recorded and examined in deta il. Many researchers use different approaches to categorizing and analyzing the results, but all of th e literature reviewed deemed dialog, structure and learner autonomy to be important parts of successful distance learning. To make it easier to follow the review of this literature, a matrix of the studies reviewed is provided in Table 3.

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Table 3. Summary of Research Review ed on Transactional Distance (TD) Purpose of study Method Delivery Method Important Sta tistics Importance to this study Authors and Dates Empirically verify concepts of dialog and structure in TD Qualitative using transcribed video tapes and interviews for student perceptions Desktop Video conferencing See Table X. for Pearson correlations N= 30 students, Model equations tested with all 30, Correlation used only five. See Table 4 for correlations Used a systems approach to mathematically show that TD is effected by dialog and structure Saba & Shearer (1994) Saba (1988) Determine what factors make up structure and dialog Mixed Exploratory factor analysis based on survey data Video Conferencing N=121 students, See Table 5 for factor analysis and correlation results The constructs of TD are very complex and not as easy to identify as previously thought Chen & Willits (1999) Identifying factors that make up TD in WBI Mixed Exploratory factor analysis based on survey data WBI – including synchronous chat and asynchronous discussion See Table 6 for factor analysis and correlation results N=71 students Determined that TD consists of four dimensions: instruct or-learner, learnerlearner, learner-content, and learnerinterface transactional distance Chen (2001) An attempt to categorize pedagogical features of WBI using past research and create an expanded framework for TD Qualitative Review None N= 58 articles, No real statistical analysis is reported Categorized pedagogical features in the WBI literature using TD as a conceptual framework. Subdivided interaction into additional categories. Jung (2001) Explore learner-interface interactions Qualitative – Small case study Audiographics No real data provided N= unknown, One four hour orientation session for graduate level distance students Importance of training and familiarity with the technology for success. Hillman et. al (1994) 21 Determine relationship between technology and communication apprehension Quantitative One-way video two-way audio N=385 students, 19 classes, See Table 7. for results of Pearson correlations Descriptive statistics There is a special type of apprehension that students experience when using technology Monsoon (1999)

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22 Proving Transactional Distance Saba (1988) and Saba and Shearer (1994) studied transactional distance from a systems perspective. Their research had two main goals: (1) to empirically verify the concepts of transactional distance structure and dialog and (2) to develop a methodology for achieving the first goal. The result was a set of mathematical equations that model the learning situation in connection with transactional distance. Saba and Shearer used an integrated voice, video and data system (similar to desktop video conferencing with a shared screen) where one student and one instru ctor interacted in real-t ime from different locations. A system dynamics approach was used in order to conceptualize the relationships among the key variables and to simulate the time-based variance of such inter-relationships. Since these variables are not static, a systems design approach allowed for measuring change over time. Discourse analysis was used to code the learner-in structor interactions that were recorded during the sessions. This analysis specifically defined and meas ured the rate of four variables (active, passive, direct, and indirect), which, were then used to determine the level of all other variables included in the study. Overall the project measured nine variables: 1. Dialog – the extent that the learner and inst ructor are able to respond to each other, 2. Structure – a measure of the program’s re sponsiveness to the learners needs, 3. Transactional distance – a functio n of dialog and structure, 4. Learner control – a dynamic variable changed by dialog between the learner and tne instructor, 5. Active – speech acts by the learner that show i nvolvement in the instructional transaction, 6. Passive speech acts where the learner responds with a simple yes, no, or lack of speech, 7. Instructor control – a dynamic variable changed by the interaction between the instuctor and the learner, 8. Direct – indicates the instructor’s expository speech acts providing guidance, information and feedback, and 9. Indirect – indicates the instructor’s inquisitive speech acts requesting clarification and elaboration from the learner, A discourse analysis form was filled out for each mi nute of the session for both the instructor and the learner. The diagram in Figure 3 depicts the relationships considered in this study.

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23 Transactional Distance Instructor Control Learner Control Structure Dialog ActivePassive DirectIndirect Transactional Distance Instructor Control Learner Control Structure Dialog ActivePassive DirectIndirect Figure 3. Flow diagram of Transactiona l Distance (Saba & Shearer, 1994 p. 8) In this diagram, the boxes depict variables with levels, such as transactional distance, while the circles on arrows depict variable rates. The clouds represent ‘infinite sources’. Arrows that cross from one level to another represent direct influence on a variable, such as instructor control directly influencing structure. This model was then converted into equations that represent this complex flow of variables. The resulting mathematical model predicts different levels of each variable over time. When plotted (See Figure 4) it becomes easy to see how the five variables (instruc tor control, learner contro l, transactional distance, dialog and structure) that support the hypothesis of this study interact.

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24 Figure 4. Plot of Saba and Shearer Model for Transactional Distance (1994, p. 12) The model shows that instructor co ntrol and structure take the same path through time. In a similar manner, dialog and learner control follow also. The model also shows that the high dialog and low structure results in minimal transactional distance. Although this model was verified using real data from learner-instructor interactions, it did not take into consideration many of the other types of in teraction that are now thought to make up dialog. In addition, only a small number of students were used ( N =30) to check the model, each interacting with the instructor one at a time, not as a whole class. Of the 30 students, only five were used for the Pearson correlation coefficient analysis. A su mmary of the final results of the co rrelation analysis can be seen in Table 4. Table 4. Summary Correlation Analysis of Key Variables (Saba & Shearer, 1994, p. 18) Students Direct-Indirect Direct-Active Direct-Passive Indirect-Active Indirect-Passive Active-Passive 1-5 -0.1911 -0.4761 -0.59219 0.53081 -0.0636 -0.6129 The data showed a strong negative correlation between direct instructor behavior and both active (-0.4761) and passive (-0.59219) learners, along with a positive correlation between indirect instructor behavior and active (0.53081) learner behavior. This indicates that strong instructor guidance is essential for passive students and productive for active students. In addition, students with a more active approach (more learner autonomy) may have fewer problems with transactional distance if an indirect approach is used by the instructor. 0 1 2 3 4 051015202530354045505560 MinutesRelative Levels of Key Componen 1 Instructor Control 2 Learner Control 3 Transactional Distance 4 Dialog 5 Structure

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25 The Saba and Shearer study (1994) recognized that as technology advances, their research needs to be repeated to include instructo r-learner interactions where more that one student is participating. This would allow for examination of lear ner-learner and learner-content inte ractions as well. The Saba and Shearer model helps to support other findings that an increase in dialog will decrease transactional distance and helps to inform the study of SWBCS. Exploring the Makeup of Transactional Distance – Adding Interactions Again, based on Moore’s theory of transactiona l distance, Chen and Willits (1999) conducted an exploratory factor analysis to determine the factors that make up dialogue, structure, and learner autonomy. They found that dialogue consisted of three dimensions (a) in-class discussion, (b) out-of-class electronic discussion, and (c) out-of-class face-to-face discu ssion. Structure contained two dimensions, course organization, and course delivery, and learner autonomy was comprised of independence and interdependence. A questionnaire was developed and piloted with videoconference learners. The final questionnaire was completed by 121 graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of video conference-based classes. The questions asked addressed dialog, structure, and autonomy. Dialog was measured by students indicating how frequently each of thirteen different types of interactions occurred on a scale of 1 (never) to 7 (always). Structure was measured by students indicating the level of flexibility of the course structure on a scale of 1 (extremely flexible) to 7 (extremely rigi d). A measure of learner autonomy consisted of eleven statements in which, students indicated how well th e statements described them. The answers ranged from 1 (not at all true) to 7 (completely true). The major results of this study (See Table 5) include verification that the central concepts of transactional distance are complex, not simple. Cla ss structure was found to be differentiated by two factors: course organization and course delivery. Thes e two factors were only modestly correlated, meaning that a rigidly organized course was only slightly more likely to demonstrate inflexibility of delivery than was a more flexibly organized course. However, the inflexibility of course delivery was found to significantly inhibit in-class discussion while inflex ibility of class organization did not affect dialogue. Results on learner autonomy show that most students described themselves as both independent and interdependent learners. In addition, these two charact eristics were not correlated indicating they are not two ends of a continuum. The researchers point out this is the beginning and more research is needed in this area.

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26 Table 5. Results Matrix adapted from Chen & Willits (1999) Factors 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mean Score % of Variance Cronbach’s Alpha Dialog In-class discussion .37** .21* -.09 -.45** .38** -.04 4.4 31 .84 Out-of-class F2F .26** .00 -.12 .07 .09 2.9 13 .58 Out-of-class Electronic -.08 -.09 .06 -.06 2.0 10 .59 Structure Course Organization .28** -.09 -.05 3.9 33 .75 Course Delivery -.15 -.13 3.2 19 .69 Learner Autonomy Independent -.04 5.3 29 .82 Interdependent 5.1 26 .77 *significant at 0.05 level ** significant at 0.01 level Chen and Willits (1999) imply we can assist pr acticing distance educators by making them aware of the complexity of transactional distance. It is important to encourage utilization of varying types of dialog, consider the degrees of appropriate flexibility in both course organization and course deliver, and foster both independence and interdependence of learne rs in all classes. SWBCSs provide many tools that may help educators overcome th e complexities of transactiona l distance when properly used. Chen (2001) continued to examine the complex ities of transactional distance in web-based instruction by investigating 71 user’s experiences in a web-based course. The purpose was to identify three dimensions or factors that constitute transactional distance in web-based learning environments. Chen determined that transactional distance consists of four dimensions: instructor-learner, learner-learner, learner-content, and learner-int erface transactional distance. The model Chen used to depict the relationships between transactional distance and Interaction can be seen in Figure 5.

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27 Figure 5. Model of Transactional Distance (Chen, 2001 p. 462) In order to answer the questions “What constitute s transactional distance and how do we measure it?” an exploratory factor analysis was conducted, which, resulted in the four-factor solution represented in the original model. Chen (2001) used a 23 item questio nnaire with a 5 point liker t scale (1=very close 5= very distant) to address these four factors (See Table 6). Final results of the factor analysis are shown in Table 6. Learner Teacher Content Learner Interface Communication Interaction Transactional Distance Transactional Distance Learner-InstructorLearner-Learner Learner-ContentLearner-Interface Learner Teacher Content Learner Interface Communication Interaction Transactional Distance Transactional Distance Learner-InstructorLearner-Learner Learner-ContentLearner-Interface

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28 Table 6. Statistical Results on Transactiona l Distance (TD) Factors from Chen (2001) Factor 2 3 4 Mean Score % of Variance Cronbach’s Alpha Learner-Learner TD .32** .47** .51** 2.81 33 .87 Learner-Content TD .34** .42** 2.36 13 .86 Learner-Interface TD .29* 2.42 10 .85 Learner-Instructor TD 2.82 7 .82 *significant at 0.05 level ** significant at 0.01 level The results of this study show transactional di stance does exist, sup porting and expanding the findings of Moore and others. It also reiterates that transactional distance is a very complex concept made up of at least four factor s: (1) learner-instructor TD, (2) learner-learner TD, (3) learner-content TD and (4) learner-interface TD. This res earch also challenges instructors, design ers, and institutions to look for ways to overcome various types of transac tional distance perceived by learners. Exploring the Makeup of Transactional Distance – Adding Social and Academic learning perspectives In a recent article by Jung (2001), the theories of interaction and transactional distance were examined in a slightly different fr amework specifically for web-based inst ruction (WBI). In a review of the literature on WBI, Jung found that “not many studies investigated pedagogical processes in WBI in a rigorous manner” (p. 528). Jung also states that “research on WBI ha s indicated that ‘student centered learning environments’, ‘full of multimedia resour ces’, ‘expanded interactiv ity’, and ‘adaptability to different student characteristics’ as distinctive features of WBI, most reflecting integration of technological features of web into WBI” (p. 529). In addition, he categorizes pedagogical f eatures found in the WBI literature into categories using transactional distan ce as a conceptual framework. This framework (See Figure 6) consists of three main domains: (1) communication variable, (2) learning variable and (3) teaching variable, tied together by teaching and lear ning in WBI. The use of a SWBCS will most likely affect all these domains in one way or another and this framework is a good way to look at the interactions that take place in the synchr onous online classroom.

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29 Figure 6. Jung’s Transac tional Distance Framework Jung’s theoretical framework provides a starting point for examining the pedagogical strategies that can be used in a SWBCS within the distance classroom; potential strate gies would fall into all three of these domains. For example, collaborative approaches using group work and breakout rooms fall into communication. Presentation materials, either visual or auditory, fall into teaching. Students offering suggestions or responses to each other or the content without prompts from the instructor might fall under learning, especially if they had the freedom to choose interaction via text or audio. Based on the work by Moore (1993), Jung determ ined that the levels of interaction in these situations were more complex than first thought and subsequently subdivided Moore’s levels of interaction into additional categories, which, can be seen in th e communication variable. Transactional distance is also addressed in this model in all three variables where dial ogue and structure play a role for both the instructor and the students. Transactional Distance and Interface interaction In an effort to learn more about learner-inte rface interaction, Hillman, Willis, and Gunawardena (1994) conducted a study on orientation sessions used in a pilot distance education program facilitated by audiographics and electronic mail. A four-hour orientation session was required with two and a half hours devoted to training on the audiographics system and one hour devoted to introducing electronic mail. This study was small and qualitative, culminating in an under standing that a single day orientation is inadequate to address learner-interface interac tion when using this audiographics system. This result may have some important implications on how students are trained to use a SWBCS and their resulting levels of satisfaction, especially since they may not be present in a face-to-face situation. Communication variable Academic interaction Collaborative interaction Interpersonal interaction Learning variable Learner autonomy Learner collaboration Teaching and Learning in WBI Teaching variable Content Expandability Content adaptability Visual Layout

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30 Monson, Wolcott, and Seiter (1999) studied a random sample of distance classes (N=385 students) delivered via a one-way video/two-way audio delivery system. The purpose was to determine the relationship between the technologies used and students’ communication apprehension levels in synchronous distance education. The study examined whet her students in these settings experience anxiety, reluctance, and frustration (i.e. comm unication apprehension) when using technologies to interact and, if so, what factors (i.e. prior experien ce with technology) might function to ease such negative reactions. Findings indicate that half the students experienced moderate to high levels of communication apprehension in this envi ronment, and communication apprehension levels were negatively correlated with students’ prior experience using interactive technolo gies (see Table 7). More significantly, the overall findings suggest the existence of technology communication apprehension, a type of apprehension that has not been addressed in previous research. These findings are consistent with others that have studied interface interaction, which, relates a great deal to problems seen in usability design. Table 7. Correlational Results from Monson et. al. (1999). Measure 1 2 3 4 5 Mean Standard Deviation Trait-like CA .597 .639 -.237 -.214 65.89 18.74 State-CA .597 .449 -.135 -.084 38.36 14.28 Technology-CA .639 .449 -.234 -.267 17.68 4.95 Prior Experience -.237 -.135 -.234 .360 20.54 7.58 Familiarity -.214 0.084 0.267 -.360 6.12 2.63 p=0.01 Summary of Transactional Distance Research This section has discussed the importance of transactional distance theory in the design and successful implementation of distance education envir onment as portrayed by many different researchers from a variety of different perspectives. Transactiona l distance was first postulated by Moore (1993) and has since been the focus of numerous studies. Transactional distance has been shown to be complex, encompassing variables such as academic and social in teractions as well as course structure and learner autonomy. Researchers have shown that synchronous interactions provide a good opportunity to study this theory because dialog can be recorded and examin ed in detail. The approaches to categorizing and analyzing transactional distance have been varied, but all deem dialog and structure to be important parts of successful distance learning. With the added benefits that a SWBCS can provide, dialog, structure, and learner autonomy can be adjusted to fit the needs of the instructor, the students, and the content of a course. This section has discussed how inte raction plays a role in decreasing the transactional distance between students and instructors, students and other students, and students and content. The next section provides more detail on the social aspects of learning, examini ng how social presence, soci al learning interactions, and community have been studied in the research on synchronous distance education.

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31 Social Learning Introduction Theoretical frameworks that highlight learning as a social process such as social constructivism, social development theory, and soci al learning theories are important aspects of distance education. Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory highlights the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors and attitudes of others. It postulates that instruction can be more efficient by modeling desired behaviors to learners and providing situations which, allow learners to use or practice that behavior to improve retention. This theory explains how humans behave through two-way cognitive, behavioral, and environmental factors (Kearsley, 1994). According to Bandura, the process of observational learning is made up of four parts: (1) attention, (2) retention, (3) motor reproduction, and (4) motivation. Bandura’s work shares concepts with other theories emphasizing the role of social learning in education, such as, Vygotsky’s (1978) theory of social development and Lave’s (1988) theory of situated learning. The major theme of Vygotsky's theoretical framework is that “social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition” (Kearsley, 1994, 1). More important, for this study, Vygotsky’s theory maintains "that instruction is most efficient when students engage in activities within a supportive learning environment and when they receive appropr iate guidance that is mediated by tools" (Vygotsky, 1978, as cited in Gillani & Relan 1997, p. 231). Lave also argues that learning is a function of the activity, context and culture in which, it occurs (i.e., it is situated). With these social learning theories in mind, the next few sections will disc uss the literature related to social learning in the environment of synchronou s distance education. Significant research on social learning concepts has been conducted in synchronous distance education such as: (1) social presence, (2) social learning interactions (collaboration, coopera tive learning, group work), (3) sense of community or the ability to build learning communities. All these areas of social learning intermingle with both transactional distance and the concept of interaction. Th erefore they play a role in the framework for this study and are important in the study of SWBCS. Synchronous Distance Education Research in Social Learning The next three sections of this chapter will discu ss research in the area of social learning as it pertains to synchronous distance education. The aspects of social learning seen in literature are numerous, but only three will be discussed here: 1. social presence, 2. social interactions in learning, and 3. community

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32 To make it easier to follow the review of this litera ture, a short introduction of the topic and matrix of the studies reviewed is provided in each section. Social Presence Introduction to Social Presence Social presence, the extent to which, a learner or instructor is perceived as ‘real’, is important in distance education. Social presence is directly related to the concept of immediacy with immediacy defined as behaviors that enhance closeness to and nonverbal interaction with others. Anderson (1979) found that teacher immediacy is conceptualized as those nonv erbal behaviors that reduce transactional distance between teachers and learners. In face-to-face cla ssrooms, instructors accomplish immediacy using many visual cues and body language. When using technology to communicate, rich media such as video and audio offer more opportunities for these social cues but do not always suffice. Some immediacy can be transmitted using approaches that provide more pers onal interactions. Therefore ways to increase social presence and instructor immediacy are being quickly deve loped. Social presence is harder to generate in distance education environments due to the lack of visual and other nonverbal cues that can be sent and received. However, there are ways to enhance dist ance environments that will increase immediacy. For example in a distance environment the concept of t eacher immediacy can be expanded to include other behaviors such as talking about experiences that ha ve occurred outside class, adding humor, calling students by name, and praising students' work or comments (Gorham, 1988) help to increase social presence. A review of research in the area of synchro nous distance education shows that the trend in distant education has evolved immediacy behaviors into the theory of social presence (see Table 8).

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Table 8. Summary of Research on Social Presence in Synchronous Distance Education Purpose of study Method Delivery Method Important Sta tistics Importance to this study Authors and Dates Examined elements of social presence Questionnaires, Participant observation, interviews, data from LMS Mixed Quantitative First Class LMS with asynchronous tools and synchronous chat Exploratory Factor Analysis, Pearson’s Correlation, document analysis See Table 9 N= 51 students Defined social presence and showed it as necessary for fostering online social interaction Tu & McIssac (2002) Examined how richness of media supports social presence as seen in previous literature Not research None None Reiterates that social presence is very complex. Implies that Synchronous communications are richer and provide more social presence than asynchronous. Newbery (2001) Which, levels of synchronous communication use aid group interactions and social presence? Qualitative Field Study using action research and participant observation. ALN, ALN + Face-to-face, ALN + one chat session, ALN + multiple chat sessions Bonferroni and ANOVA See Table 11 N=113 students. 18 courses Use of synchronous communication two or more times with other formats provides more social presence than other combinations. Spencer & Hiltz (2003) Analyzed four modes of communication to see if differences in levels of cooperation exist. Quantitative Voice, Text –to-speech, Text Chat and no communication in conjunction with a computer based two person web-based game See Table 12 Multivariate ANOVA N=66, ANOVA Highlights importance of using more advanced forms of communication Jensen et. al. (2000) 33

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34 Social Presence Research An often-referenced study by Tu and McIsaac (2002) looked at social presence in an online learning environment by focusing on three elements: (a) social context, (b) online communication, and (c) interactivity. These three elements emerged as important in establishing a sense of community among online learners. The study also discussed issues of privacy, learner characteristics, computer-mediated communication, and course design. Tu and McIssac prov ide a diagram of social presence (See Figure 7), hypothesizing that increasing the dimensions that ma ke up social presence w ill increase the Interaction possible in online learning. Figure 7. Social Presence and Inter action (Tu & McIssac, 2002, p. 132) Dimensions of social presence were examined using a Computer Mediated Communications Questionnaire validated in an earlier study by Tu an d Corry (2002). The questionnaire evaluated email, bulletin board, and real-time chat on measures of so cial presence and privacy. Additionally, a participant observation method was used to better understand social interaction. Data were collected through casual conversations, in-depth interviews, direct observation, and document analysis. Communication took place via a computer conferencing system providing email, bulletin board, and synchronous chat. Overall this study determined that “social pres ence is the degree of feeling, perception, and reaction of being connected by CMC to another intellectual entity through a text based encounter” (Tu & McIsaac, 2002, p. 140). In addition, “social presence is necessary to enhance and foster online social interaction” (p. 146). Data analysis suggested that more variables contribute to social presence; therefore it is much more complicated than previously imagin ed. Perceived social presence and privacy using CMC was found to be high, with social presence positiv ely influencing online interaction. Interestingly, Interaction SocialPresence Intimacy Immediacy Interactivity Social Content Online Communication

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35 correlation between frequency of CMC participation and social presence did not vary with the level of social presence. An exploratory factor analysis of the questionnaires was conducted with five factors remaining: (1) social context, (2) online comm unication, (3) interactivity, (4) system privacy, and (5) feeling of privacy, among the three CMC systems. These five factors accounted for 76.74 % of the variance with Cronbach’s alpha ranging from .82 to .71. One-wa y repeated-measures, analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted on the three systems (email, bulletin board, and chat) and the fi ve factors. Results (See Table 9.) indicated a significant difference in the level of five factors. Table 9. Multivariate Tests: Five Factors (Tu & McIssac, 2002, p. 139) Effect Wilk’s Value F d. f. Error d. f. Sig. 2 CMC Social Context .58 14.84 2 41 .00* .42 Online Communication .66 10.38 2 41 .00* .34 Interactivity .42 27.97 2 41 .00* .58 System Privacy .83 4.21 2 41 .02* .17 Feeling of Privacy .71 8.39 2 41 .00* .29 Note: Sig. = statistical significance of the F value; CMC = computer-mediated communication p < .05, two tailed From this study, Tu and McIssac concluded that the complicated nature of social presence requires that the relationships between social presence theory an d social learning theory be examined further. They suggested that CMC systems be exam ined in different formats: one-toone, one-to-many, many to many; both asynchronously and synchronously. Newberry (2001) also explored issues relating to social presence in online classes, suggesting ways to increase student social presence. Through previous literature, this study reviewed the relative richness of seven media types as seen in Table 10. Table 10. Media Types in Media Richness (Newberry, 2001) Criteria Feedback Multiple Cues Me ssage Tailoring Emotions Totals Media types Face-to-Face 3 3 3 3 12 Video Conferencing 3 2 2 2 9 Synchronous Audio 3 1 2 2 8 Text-based Chat 3 1 1 1 6 E-mail 1 1 2 1 5 Asynchronous Audio 1 1 1 2 5 Threaded Discussion 1 1 1 1 4

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36 The framework combined concepts of media rich ness and social presence. Succinctly, media richness is the ability of a medium to carry informa tion. Newberry’s criterion for rating media was based on the media’s ability to: 1. relay immediate feedback, 2. transmit multiple cues such as body language, 3. permit tailoring the message to the intended receiver, and 4. relay communicator feelings or emotions Table 10 shows how the study rated the seven media types using the concept of media richness on a scale with one being lowest and three being highest. Not surprisingly, synchronous technologies tended to be rated richer than asynchronous technologies. If Newberry’s results are accepted, one would expect to see students in classes using the richest media possible experiencing the highest levels of social presence. However, these results did not take into consideration what happens when multiple media formats are combined in the same system such as a SWBCS. In addition, with practice using voice intonation and getting to know your students, the message tailoring and emotions categories can be improved by using synchronous audio. This effect of instructor experience and training was not discussed. Newberry suggested ideas for raising soci al presence in onlin e classes such as: using student pictures in the course web site allowing the use of voice for students using synchronous media types to help create greater social presence by selecting chat or audio conferencing for appropriate activities forming persistent student groups that work together online via computer-mediated communications on a variety of topics throughout the course allow more time to build relationships in an online environment. Newberry also points out that raising student social presence in an online class may help to better replicate some subjective impressions of quality of experience on the part of the student. A field study conducted by Spencer and Hiltz in 2003 looked at various levels of synchronous media use: 1. Asynchronous learning networks (ALN) only, using email and discussion boards, 2. Face-to-Face plus ALN, 3. One Synchronous chat session plus ALN, and 4. Multiple Synchronous chat sessions + ALN, The study investigated which, of the four levels of CMC best aided the group to resolve ambiguity resulting from increased social presence, where social presence was defined as “that sense of ‘intimacy and

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37 immediacy’ or ‘we are together’ feeling, leading to increased enjoyment, involv ement, task performance, persuasion and socio-emotional interaction” (p. 2). Using an action research and participant observation method with data collected via inte rviews, transcript analysis, and st udent surveys, Spencer and Hiltz (2003) found the student’s perceptions of the usefulness of chat as illustrated in Table 11. Table 11. Means of Student Perceptions of Chat (Spencer & Hiltz, 2003, p. 7) Mode Synchronicity Useless Chat Revealing Complex Supportive Mean 3.36(^) 3.28 3.96(*) 3.64 ALN only Std. Dev. 1.753 1.275 1.306 1.800 Mean 4.21 3.43 3.93 2.86 FtF plus ALN Std. Dev. 1.528 1.222 1.207 1.027 Mean 3.90 3.60 4.20 3.20 One Sync plus ALN Std. Dev. 1.969 1.350 1.033 1.317 Mean 4.55(*) 3.07 4.87(*) 3.10 Two or more sync plus ALN Std. Dev. 1.917 1.654 1.526 1.667 Mean 4.20 3.21 4.50 3.20 Total Std. Dev. 1.885 1.501 1.460 1.609 ANOVA sig. p= .054 p= .671 p= .015 p= .436 Bonferroni p <.001 (*) Bonferroni p <.05 Most importantly, students found chat significantly more ‘Rewarding’ and less ‘Complex’ for classes that scheduled chat sessions two or more times than for students in asynchronous only classes. This implies that when students actually use chat they find it ‘Rewarding’ rather than ‘Complex.’ Using a Bonferroni pair-wise comparison Spen cer and Hiltz also found that students in the ALN plus synchronous courses posted more actively (p<0.05) in asynchronous discussions than the other groups. Students reported significantly (p<0.001) more postings to the two synchronous sessions plus asynchronous communication mode than to the face-to-face plus asynchronous mode. Although the results of this study look promising, student perceptions of chat was mixed. On a scale that ran from ‘Useless’ to ‘Rewarding’ students claimed 33% unfavorable ratings and 44% favorable ratings. The study was inconclusive, unable to show or disprove the ability of synchronous media to foster social presence. Jensen, Farnham, Drucker, and Kollock (2000) adapted social dilemma research paradigm to quantitatively analyze different modes of communication at a distance. In their research, they compared four forms of communication: (1) no communication, (2) text-chat, (3) text-to speech, and (4) voice to determine if statistical differences could be found in the levels of cooperation generated. Results showed statistically significant differences between the vari ous forms of communication, with the voice condition resulting in the highest levels of cooperation. This study highlights the importance of using more advanced forms of communication in online environments, especi ally where trust and cooperation are essential (see Table 12).

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38 Table 12. Mean dyadic contribution as a function of the communication. A mean of 10 would indicate perfect cooperation between the dyad ic pairs. (Jensen, et. al., 2000, p. 4) Mode of Communication Dyad N Mean Cont ribution (Cooperation) Standard Deviation None 9 5.3 4.2 Text Chat 9 6.4 3.5 Text-to-Speech 7 8.4 1.4 Voice 8 9.4 0.2 The research found that “more immediate form s of communication (forms of communication producing a heightened sense of social presence, fo r instance face-to-face or voices) would prove more effective in promoting cooperation than less immediate fo rms such as text chat“ (200 00, p. 2). Jensen et. al. indicated “voice affects cooperation for reasons other than the differences in the semantic content of the text versus speech and for reasons other than the nonverbal information communicated through personal voice such as intonation and gender” (2000, p. 4). Further, in the no communication condition, people tended to fall into either a pattern of no cooperation, or complete cooperation, while people in the chat condition showed a range of levels. Table 12 shows the mean values for contributions to the game or cooperation for all four-communication conditions. A between subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) (F (3, 29) = 3.42, p < .04) shows that the type of communication had a statistically significant effect. Th e graph is Figure 8 shows the differences between the communication conditions in a way that is easier to view. As can be seen, in the text to speech condition as well as the voice condition people tended to be cooperative. Figure 8. Mean dyadic contribution as a function of mode of communication. A mean of 10 would indicate perfect cooperation between the dyadic pairs. Error bars represent standard deviations. (Jensen, et. al., 2000, p. 4) Other results showed that the ability to communicate played a large role in this study. How people evaluated their partners suggested they had a more pos itive image (likable and trustworthy) of partners with 0 2 4 6 8 10Points None Text Chat Text-to-Speech Voice

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39 whom they could communicate. In addition, when communicating via voice modes, people felt their partners were more intelligent. This is possibly due to the immediacy of the communication mode where the differing amounts of time it took for people to communicate in each of the modalities may have had an effect. The research suggests that the experience of he aring a voice enhanced people ’s perceptions of social proximity and situations in which, there was no histor y available (like in text chat) forced subjects to pay greater attention to the other player, hence in creasing their sense of social presence. Summary of Social Presence The studies discussed in this section have approached the concepts of social presence from many different directions. Numerous terms were used to describe the complex relationship that social presence has in online learning environments, but all the results point to the same conclusions. As you increase opportunities to build social presence in meaningful, rich ways, learners will be positively affected. The study of SWBCS addresses many of the issues seen in social presence research. Although, social presence will not be directly measured in this research, categoriz ing social interactions that occur during the use of SWBCS will provide a better picture of social learning. The concepts of social presence are tied to the many different social lear ning concepts and require social interac tions in the educational environment. These interactions will be discussed in the next section of this chapter. Interactions in Social Learning Introduction to Interactions in Social Learning Many different types of social interactions take place in a classroom. Learner-learner interaction and learner-instructor interaction are often considered social interactions that include components of social theories such as attitudes and emotional reactions. However, it is more difficult to encourage these social interactions in the distance environment. Therefore many studies have been conducted to examine why social interaction is important and how social interac tions can be encouraged in distance education (Burge & Howard, 1990; Newberry, 2001; Rovai & Lucking, 200 3; Tu & McIsaac, 2002). This section will review literature relating to social interactions in the on line synchronous classroom to better appreciate how these social interactions affect learners and how instructors can capita lize on the tools available to increase interactions in distance education. As an advance or ganizer of the material to be reviewed on social learning interactions, a matrix of the studies examined is provided in Table 13.

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Table 13. Summary of Research on Social Learning Interactions in Synchronous Distance Education Purpose of study Method Delivery Method Important Sta tistics Importance to this study Authors and Dates Examined patterns of learnerlearner interaction in a distance education environment Mixed discussion boards, textual chat and enhanced virtual systems (MOO) Content analysis coded using Bales analysis schema, Unit of analysis = sentence (N=4,977) Cronbach’s alpha for inter-rater reliability ranged .88 to .90, multiple regression analysis F(2, 116)=85.7, p <.0001 (see table 14) More interactive exchanges occurred in synchronous communication than asynchronous including an overall higher due to immediacy of the media %age of socialemotional interactions. Chou (2002) Explores the impact of group facilitation on Attentiveness, Interaction, Involvement, and Participation Mixed eClassrom, a web-based interactive text, image, and animation messaging system with a main room and four breakout rooms. N=20, document analysis, regression analysis, network analysis (see Figure 9.) Online real-time, instantaneous interactions are parallel unlike face-to-face interactions which, are serial, enhancing perceived worth of the group to be many times the sum of the worth of its individuals. Students attend and participate much as they do in face-to-face classes. Lobel et. al. (2002) Studied the effect of collaborative technologies on learning outcomes, attitudes and attitudes about collaboration. Mixed Shared web browser with chat, whiteboard, application and file sharing N=400+, pre-post test matched controls design results in no significant difference, No statistical data given Distributed groups produce similar work to face-to-face groups. Group chat was the most frequently used mode of communication for groups, but typing skills inhibited some users. Swigger et. al (1999) 40 Examined the capacity of webbased, group communication systems to support case-based teaching and learning Mixed Asynchronous voice system (Wimba), synchronous test system (MSN Messenger), synchronous voice system (Tutor’s Edge) N=11 students, descriptive only due to small number of students, content analysis None of the groups main tained the fidelity of their treatment but migrated to tools that fit the need of the group at the time. Rourke & Anderson (2002)

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41 Research on Interactions in Social Learning Research on interaction in synchronous distance environments covers many technologies previously discussed; mostly focusing on LLI. A study reported by Chou (2002) compared patterns of learner-learner interaction between synchronous and asynchronous Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) systems. The results suggested that constructiv ist-based instructional activities were conducive to interaction. The course examined used multiple technologies to provide content and interaction including discussion boards, textual chat and enhanced virtual systems (MOOs – object oriented multi-user dimension). Important findings from this study incl ude results on social-emotional interactions. Socialemotional interactions can be defined as interpersonal re lationships such as trust, friendship and positive (or negative) feelings toward other people. These inte ractions constitute the affective domain of social interactions and are very important in the overa ll concept of social presence and interactions. Chou (2002) discovered more interactive exchanges occurred in synchronous communication than asynchronous. This included an overall higher percentage of social-emotional (SE) interactions (33% SE) than task interactions (67% Task) where task interactions are those that relate directly to the content and are not usually emotional in context. In contrast, students spent more time on academic interactions (8% SE, 92% Task) when using asynchronous discussions (See Table 14). For example, in the synchronous environment, students discussed the topic of the week, but also spen t time in getting to know each other through interpersonal interactions. Table 14. Multiple Regression Analysis Predicting Interaction in Synchronous Versus Asynchronous Discussions (Chou, 2002, p. 5) Synchronous Mean Synchronous SD Asynchronous Mean Asynchronous SD F SE 8.66 8.12 4.26 4.72 -7.46 *** Task 17.65 15.53 46.74 19.11 12.21 *** Totals 26.31 22.01 51.00 20.76 5.85 *** *** p < .0001 It was found that the immediacy of synchronous message exchanges encouraged more socialemotional oriented interactions In contrast, there was less twoway communication taking place in asynchronous discussions and the majority of the discussions were about the instructional content. After the initial social interactions required for getting to know each other, there was a gr adual decline in socialemotional interactions in both communication modes. Students then tended to concentrate on the content. In addition to discussions about learner-learner inte raction, the study touched on the interaction of the learners with the interface repo rting that “time played an important role in student adoption of new technology. Usually after the first two or three weeks, students were able to ignore some of the "obstacles" of a system and concentrate on the task at hand“(p. 7). Many important issues were addressed in this study

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42 that can be tied to the use of a SWBCS. Interactions made possible and successful in the synchronous environment will also be possible and successful in a SWBCS, but with a much expanded tool set that allows for even more interaction possibilities. A study by Lobel, Neubauer, and Swedburg (2002) looked at group interactions in a synchronous online chat environment called eClassroom. They determined that group interaction in this environment has a parallel communication pattern, as well as classical elements of group interaction. The resulting parallel interactions were graphically presented (see Figure 9) to illustrate that given the chance, people will reach out to each other to establish connections and to develop relationships any way they can. Figure 9. One hour Interaction Diagram of eClass, with color coded small breakout groups. The bold numbers are the total messages sent by the pa rticipant. (Lobel et al., 2002, p. 10) In addition, Lobel et. al. (2002) specifically examined the impact of effective group facilitation on attentiveness, interaction, involvement, and particip ation. Although this study states that synchronous communication was used, on closer examination it appears to be a pseudo synchronous system that required students and instructors to click the “Get/Sen d” button to refresh data each time. In other words, the screen was not auto updated as is the case with most synchronous systems. An alysis of the system log files resulted in three distinguishable types of students, students with a tendency to: attend (lurk but are paying attention) rather than participate students who attend and participate consistently

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43 students with a tendency to participate more than attend (or pay attention) A regression analysis calculated a .23 correlation (p < .05) between attending and participating. Lobel et. al., (2002) considered this low correlati on to confirm “that ‘vocal participation’ may not necessarily mean ‘paying attention,’ while ‘non vocal participation’ does not necessarily imply inattention” (p. 26). The study determined that the relationship between attending and participating can be expressed as a ratio that remains fairly consistent for each of the participants over time. The three distinguishable types of ratios observed were: (1) participants with the distin ct tendency to attend more than participate (students 3, 4, 7 in Figure 10); (2) participants who attend and participate equally (students 5, 9, 11 in Figure 10); (3) participants with a tendency to participate more th an attend (students 8, 10, 14, 19 in Figure 10). Figure 10. Ratio of attending to participating fo r each participant for each class session. Each data point represents one 3-hour class (Lobel et. al., 2002, p. 9). Extrapolating from the work by Lobel et. al. (2002) to the current study, the use of a SWBCS offers more opportunities for interactio ns to occur as well as a space for grou ps to interact in real time. The parallel nature of the group interaction in one medium such as chat may become overwhelming when multiple mediums (chat, audio and whiteboard) are prov ided for group interactions. The ability for students to provide and receive feedback in different ways may also change the way student s attend and participate.

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44 This study will not examine all of these concepts, but Lobel et. al. (2002) provide interesting information on interactions in online systems that may guide sine if the research. Swigger, Brazile, Bryon, Livingston, Lopez, and Reynes (1999) conducted a study designed to determine the effect of collaborative technology on student learning outcomes, student attitudes and attitudes about collaboration. The data were analyzed to determine which, factors contributed to successful /unsuccessful collaboration in these collaborative systems. Results from over 400 students show that “most distributed groups produced work that was indistinguishable from groups doing the same work face-toface” (p. 3). As is usually the case with group work, some groups pe rformed poorly, some had members who never participated, and some work teams complained about the system, even though they performed well. The interface for this study consisted of a shared web-browser and a set of collaborative tools that permitted groups to chat, use a white board, share applications, and files. Systems logs were used to collect data on source, time, and type of interaction, cons tituting a detailed record of types of activities that the students and groups performed while using the interface. Data analysis indicated group chat was the most frequently used collaboration tool regardless of course content or activity. The study also observed several problems with using this environment. For example: 1. Students had trouble multi-tasking and using multiple windows, 2. Students had difficulty distinguishing between shared and individual modes on the computer due to a lack of experience with shared applications, 3. Students found it difficult to map computer-collaborative tools onto the specific tasks, and 4. Students became frustrated when they did not know what other members of the group were doing The study also showed that the collaborative inte rface was a good tool to use for groups to brainstorm and co-author documents. Doing this task in the synchronous environment was found to encourage both talkin g and doing in the same meeting. On the ot her hand, because of the often restrictive nature of the interface, groups were forced to talk to each other through the keyboard rather than verbally. Therefore, team members with inadequate typing skills felt inhibited or restrained. This point is quite important for SWBCS as multiple means of communicati on are available and should help to alleviate this problem. Rourke and Anderson (2002) studied the capacity of web-based, group communication systems to support case-based teaching and l earning, with eleven graduate stud ents studying at a distance. Using action research, students were randomly assigned to three groups using one of the following communication tools: (a) Wimba, an asynchronous voice system; (b) MSN messenger, a synchronous text system; (c) or Tutor’s Edge, a synchr onous voice system. The goal of the interactions between the students was to produce a 3000 word report and a presentation. Data were collected from written and verbal reports,

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45 student activity time logs, student reflections on the project, and a one hour group interview conducted via audio conference. The analysis of the data provided interesting results, with the most powerful detail being that none of the groups maintained the fidelity of their treatment. Participan ts used each system strategically, with email used to share files and arrange meetings, while synchronous voice systems were used for more immediate needs such as brainstorming and decision-making. This study provided quite a few student insights pertaining to interaction and the use of synchronous tools for distance education. For illustrative purposes, some have been quoted here. When we found [the synchronous voice tool], that was when we became most passionate about the project. We were finally able to discuss, plan and debate the issues in real time. Issues that would take 2-3 days to discuss asynchronously could be resolved in a few minutes. (p. 6) Our group tried to use the asynchronous voice technology as a synchronous communications tool when we needed to brainstorm solutions, have discussions, and distribute the tasks (asynchronous group member) (p. 6). Rourke and Anderson found that although the instructional activity seemed to have more of an effect than the communication mode, the asynchronous voice group, who switched to synchronous voice mode after the first week, did report they were able to get to know each other better and faster once they switched. They stated that “the [synchronous voice tool] enabled us to joke around with each other and gave us an opportunity to chat about things unrelated to the task at hand. This built a community out of our team (asynchronous voice group member)” (p. 6). Overall, this study was very enlightening and leads to many questions that should be explored for distance learning as it pertains to modes of communication. Summary of Interactions in Social Learning Review of literature on interaction portrays how im portant the technology is in distance education. Interaction is an integral part of social learning theories such as so cial presence, sense of community and community building as well as a factor in the dialog element of transactional di stance. This section has provided a wide variety of research on social learning interaction in groups and in whole classes. The most important outcome of this research is that synchronous mediums tend to offer more immediate forms of communication and therefore are often used for social interactions that might not occur as easily in the asynchronous environments. This is very important when examining SWBCSs that offer the ability to enhance the interaction for both large and small groups utilizing many different modes of synchronous communication.

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46 Community Introduction to Community Social interaction between people with shared goa ls or ideas is the basis and the nature of community. Time spent sharing goals and ideas allow relationships to be formed and communities are built. In the case of learning, the shared goal is to sust ain learning, thus learning communities are formed. In order to create successful online lear ning environments, instructors need to include means and mechanisms through which, online social interactions can be fost ered. The means to build co mmunity have existed for a long time in tools such as discussion boards, chat and other forms of online communication, and have been the subject of many educational studies. In this study, the issue is not the inclusion of the tools in the online environment, but the manner in which, SWBCS are used to create and sustain learning relationships. The following section looks at some of the most prominent work in the area of community and synchronous distance education. As an advance organizer of the material to be reviewed on community presented here, a matrix of the studies reviewed is provided in Table 15.

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Table 15. Summary of Research on Community in Synchronous Distance Education Purpose of study Method Delivery Method Important Sta tistics Importance to this study Authors and Dates Examined changes necessary for a student centered approach to distance education using audio conferencing Qualitative Audio Conferencing Surveys with closed and open ended questions N=120 students, 14 courses Suggestions collected on how to improve the learner centered environment. Burge & Howard (1990) Examined the sense of classroom community in a television-based higher education distance course compared to the same course in a face-to-face setting Used a validated Sense of Classroom Community Index (SCCI) Mixed One-way closed circuit television broadcast to 24 remote classroom sites in conjunction with Two-way audio teleconferencing Descriptive statistics of pre and post SCCI, ANOVA, ANCOVA, discriminant analysis N=120 students, 101 face-to-face, 19 distance Educators need to reconceptualize how sense of community can be stimulated in a different learning environments Rovai & Lucking (2003) 47

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48 Research on Community There are many studies that discuss community in synchronous and asynchronous distance education environments. Only a few will be presente d here. Burge and Howard (1990) along with Rovai and Lucking (2003) looked at soci al issues from the community persp ective. Rovai and Lucking measured the sense of classroom community in a television-b ased higher education distance course and the same course in a face-to-face setting, while Burge and Ho ward, looked at community -building and interaction using audio conferencing. The Burge and Howard study was a non-genera lizable small case study examining changes necessary for successful distance education using audio conferencing when a student-centered approach is taken. In fourteen courses 120 students returned end-of-course surveys that contained both open-ended and closed-response questions. Results showed students quickly adjusted to using the technology and were in general satisfied with their courses and the learning experience. The most important outcome was suggestions collected on how to im prove the learner centered environm ent. Although most students were not adversely affected by the absence of visual cues they suggested: (a) avoiding online lecturing and promoting student-student interaction on and off-line; (b) creating conditions to promote feeling and being successful; and (c) employing facilitators who are person able, keep control, and give regular feedback. Due to reduced visual cues, attention must be paid to the interactive courtesies of a quiet and attentive classroom and to local site group dynamics so participants can jo in in an ordered sequence of speakers without feeling pressure of interrupting. These sugg estions are useful as information to guide our teaching strategies while using SWBCS. Rovai’s study was more robust, including 120 students in two sections of an undergraduate education course, 101 from the distance section and 19 from the face-to-face section. The distance education delivery consisted of one-way closed circuit television broadcast to 24 remote classroom sites located throughout the state, complemented by two-way audio tele conferencing. Data were collected via a validated ‘Sense of Classroom Community Index (SCCI)’ (Rovai, 2002). The SCCI was a self-reporting survey, used to operationalize th e classroom community. Using a caus al-comparative design, the study investigated differences between and within groups, controlling for instructor and course effects by having the same instructor teach both sections. Students self -selected course sections based on proximity to an available classroom site with overflow students placed in the telecourse studio as audience members at the main campus. The researchers discuss the fact that th e measurement of sense of community was limited to self report measures by the student s and may be affected by additional variables such as: (a) instructor communication styles, (b) student stages of learning, (c) instructor teaching styles and pedagogy, (d) instructor immediacy, and (e) the course parameters.

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49 Classroom community incr eased during the semester for the traditional course with a significant difference (p = .005) between the pre and post test, while the distance education section’s sense of community decreased only slightly. Table 16. Sense of Classroom Community by Type of Classroom (Rovai & Lucking, 2003, p. 6) Community pretest Community posttest Type course and sites M SD M SD n1 n2 Traditional total 123.00 13.38 133.58 11.28 20 19 Distance total 110.56 15.89 106.65 19.64 130 101 Note: Total possible scores range from 0 to 160, with higher scores reflecting a stronger sense of classroom community. Variable n1 is the total number of enrolled students at each location. Variable n2 is the number of students at each location participating in this study. A two-group stepwise discriminant analysis sh owed three significant items on the SCCI were important in discriminating participants between traditional and distance education sections: “I feel spirit of community” (community spirit) (coefficient = .57; traditional group: M = 3.53, SD = .51; distance education group: M = 2.46, SD = .82) “I feel comfortable speaking candidly” (ease of interaction) (coefficient = .44; traditional group: M = 3.47, SD = .61; distance education group: M = 2.47, SD = .89) “I feel a sense of certainty in this course” (fe elings of certainty about the course) (coefficient = .38; traditional group: M = 3.47, SD = .51; di stance education group: M = 2.43, SD = .97). Using these three items as predictors, 75% of orig inal grouped cases were correctly classified. In each instance, the distance educatio n group felt less positive regarding these three items than did the traditional group. These results suggest telecourse students felt a lower spirit of community than did their traditional section counterparts. They felt less trust, making them less comfortable speaking candidly and less certain about the course. As a conclusion, the res earchers state that “educators who perceive the value of social bonds in the learning process may have to re-conceptualize how sense of community can be stimulated in a variety of learning environments” (p. 8). This study is important to the study of social interactions in a SWBCS as social bonds should be eas ier to stimulate in this environment, but will still need to be addressed in the design of SWBCS activities.

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50 Summary of community Community requires the sustained interaction of people with shared goals and ideas. Learning communities require social and academic interactions that sustain learning. The research reviewed here has shown that social interactions in the distance educa tion environment can lead to learners’ development of a sense of community, but it is not as straight forward as it is in the traditional classroom. In order to create successful online learning environmen ts, instructors need to include m eans and mechanisms through which, online social interactions can be fostered. SWBCS of fer the means via tools embedded in the system. This study will look at the mechanisms or pedagogical strategi es that instructors use to increase the interactions both socially and academically that allow learning communities to form. Summary of Social Learning The previous discussions have pertained to three concepts within social learning that have shown to be important in the distance education environmen t, namely: (a) social presence, (b) social learning interaction, and (c) community. These social learning concepts provide a basis for the discussion of significant research on synchronous distance learning and how it is affected by the elements present in social learning settings. In addition, concepts of social learning have been shown to intermingle with both transactional distance and the concept of interactio n, all playing important rolls in the theoretical framework of this study. This theoretical framework will evolve further as the field of distance education and web-based synchronous dist ance education are examined. Web-Based Synchronous Distance Education Synchronous web-based instruction as found in a SWBCS has seen little study. Most research on synchronous distance education has been done in courses utilizing tools such as: (a) textual chat, (b) MOOs, (c) non web-based audio and video conferencing and (d) audiographics. Other non web-based interactive tools such as interactive television and sa tellite broadcasts in conjun ction with a two-way phone bridge have also been reported in the literature. Those not familiar with these technologies can read a full description of each tool in Ap pendix A for cl arification. Since integrated systems such as SWBCS are fairly new, they have not been extensively studied. Some researchers have investigated the use of elect ronic meeting places and lo w end synchronous systems (Farnham, 2001; Guzley, 2001; Jancke, 2000; Mark, 1999). Others have studied instructional strategies in synchronous online systems and topics directly relati ng to SWBCS (Collins, 2000; Hofmann, 2000; Knolle, 2000). However, none have reported how and why instructors would use synchronous web-based systems. This gap is being addressed in this study. The expl oratory research described here will define pedagogical approaches to using SWBCS; providing meaningful insight on strategies that can be used to improve distance education.

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51 Synchronous web-Based Course Systems (SWBCS) Introduction In Chapter One, a description of the SWBCS system, Elluminate Live! ™, that was used in this study was provided (see Table 1 and Figure 1). To reiterate, a SWBCS combines many different tools into one interface creating a web-based environment where a wh ole class or a group with in a class can interact in real-time. This system can be used by as few as two people or as many as feasible with the content, connections and bandwidth available. SWBCS have tools such as textual chat, two-way VOIP audio, realtime presentation and whiteboard areas, application shar ing and more. The next few sections will take a look at the research that has been conducted in the area of SWBCS in educational environments. As an advance organizer of literature on SWBCS research pr esented here, a matrix of the studies reviewed is provided in Table 17.

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Table 17. Summary of Research on Synchronous web-Based Course Systems Purpose of study Method Delivery Method Important Sta tistics Importance to this study Authors and Dates Examined the differing and evolving patterns of use Ethnographic Study using observation, questionnaires, document analysis, and interviews Netmeeting w ithout audio and video but in conjunction with telephone conferencing Means on responses to questionnaires are provided for some questions. No other statistics reported. Provided important lessons on how to manage a class or meeting using synchronous web-based communications. Mark, Grudin, & Poltrock (1999) Tracked and observed the evolving use of a new synchronous web-based system Qualitative study using questionnaires in 3 classes Flatland and Netmeeting were used to give live demonstrations Summary statistics only were provided. N1=4, N2=10, N3=7 Points out some important issues about integrating and using synchronous communication systems. White, Gupta, Grudin, Chesley, Kimberly & Sanocki (2000) Discusses reasoning and process for implementing a SWBCS in distance education. Qualitative report. Used surveys to solicit opinions from faculty and students. Horizonlive implemented in a live studio situation with students at distance sites. No statistical data is provided except in summary form. Provides some insights into the implementation of SWBCS and how it is received. Evans (2000) Examined what happens to teachers and students participating in distance education projects. Mixed Method Qualitative study using series of pre-post class questionnaires in sequential classes with observation, interviews and content analysis. Used LearnLinc iNet in classrooms at two different sites where each student had a headset with a microphone and a computer. Summary statistics were provided. N1=38, N2=19, N3=13. Two-tailed t-test for pre/post technology interactions were only significant difference (t=3.37, p<.01) Provides suggestions for implementation and lessons learned for success. Frank, Kurtz, & Levin, (2002) 52 Identified how instructors translate guidelines they found to be successful in the traditional classroom to the synchronous online environment. Masters thesis using qualitative Delphi technique. Three questionnaires were used in succession to get to final result. Horizonlive implemented in a live studio situation with students at distance sites. N=56 instructors. Statistical data is not provided, but final 68 strategies are given with their average ratings. Data was reduced to 68 strategies used by instructors that support Chickering & Gamson’s (1987) seven principles of good undergraduate teaching. Knolle (2002)

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53 Introduction to SWBCS Research After an extensive search of the literature, a lack of current research related to the use of SWBCS is evident. Terms used in the sear ch included synchronous online learning, synchronous online classrooms, synchronous web based instruction, synchronous distance education, synchronous distance learning, synchronous training, HorizonLive, Elluminate, vClass, Centra, LearnLinc, Interwise, LLinc and WebEx, all combined with the term research. This covers mo st of the major synchronous companies’ products as well as most of the terms currently being used in this area. The search resulted in a few educational research articles and one Masters Th esis (Blakeslee & Johnson, 2002; Da nchak, 2000; Ellis, 1997; Evans, 2000; Frank, 2002; Knolle, 2000). Most of the research found was conducted by Microsoft researchers (Cadiz, 2000; Farnham, 2001; Jancke et al., 2000; Mark et al., 1999; White, 2000) and borders on usability research rather than pedagogical research. Other reso urces discussed the features of SWBCS and how they may be used (Ellis, 1997; Hofmann, 2001 & 2004; Hyde r, 2002; Schullo, in press). Only one (Knolle 2002) reported on pedagogical issues that face distance educators. Only those that have significant bearing on the current study are discussed here. Research by Microsoft on Synchronous systems An ethnographic case study by Microsoft researchers in conjunction with Boeing (Mark, Grudin, & Poltrock 1999), examined how desktop conferencing wi th application sharing was used routinely by four groups within a major company. The authors discuss differing and evolving patterns of use including a range of difficulties arising from poor communication. The project required merging communication technologies and information sharing technologies by using NetMeeting in conjunction with teleconferencing. Four geographically distributed groups were studied in the Boeing Company. The groups had existed for six months or more and had recently started using desktop conferencing. In some cases a conference room with a computer conn ected to a projector was used for groups at one site and in others each member was at his or her own desk. The behavior of the teams was observed in their work environment with one author attended meetings silently and taking notes. Recordings were not permitted. The teams were observed for 3 months during weekly or bi-weekly meetings. Data coll ection utilized questionnaires after each meeting to determine ease of using the technology social aspects of participation, and satisfaction of the meeting. In addition, in-depth interviews with 19 members were conducted and meeting documents were collected. A content analysis was performed resulting in a list of problems and solutions. Overall, the use of NetMeeting was felt to be worthwhile. However, problems did occur that affected the flow of meetings. These were due mainly to difficulties in coordination and proper protocols for this new approach. For example, problems occurred with setup for the meetings, and the teams did not use the environment for collaborative production, therefore limiting the usefulness of the technology.

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54 Problems with coordinating interaction made it difficult to coordinate participation, identify speakers, and know who was present. Team members felt it was diffic ult to tell how others were feeling and what their intent was. There was little socialization that had prev iously been present in face-to-face meetings. Some participants suggested low involvement was due to multitasking. Solutions to these problems came as organizational and procedural advancements in the teams. For example, roles were created such as the technology facilitator role and the virtual meeting facilitator to make things run smoothly. These new roles addresse d many of the interaction problems. The facilitator often coordinated speaking turns by recognizing body language in the conference room or hearing an utterance online and making sure to directly address re mote site participants. In addition, one group found it useful to add a chat channel for side conversations that would not disturb the meeting. Advantages in using this type of system over teleconferencing alone were seen in the ability to share documents. This allowed the group to share last minute changes, provided focus by using the mouse to draw attention to a certain aspect of the document, and was found to be more useful than live video. The use of this system increased attendance at meetings by alleviating the need to meet face-to-face. Some of the lessons learned will be helpful to instructors for effectively managing a class taught using a SWBCS as some of the same problems that were evident here will occur in a class taught synchronously online unless these issues are addressed. Another research project by Microsoft (White, Gupta, Grudin, Chesley, Kimberly & Sanocki, 2000) studied the evolving use of a system called Flatland which, provides a wide range of interaction capabilities. The study reports on the use of the so ftware in three multi-session training courses. Discussion includes (a) the overall reaction of students and instructors, (b) the changes in behavior and perception over sessions, (c) and formation of social conventions over sessions. Flatland combines NetShow (streaming audio an d video) with a collection of feedback mechanisms allowing the presenter to receive both solicited and unsolic ited responses from the viewers. The screen layout has: a video of the presenter slides for presentation questions that allow audience to vote a text chat area A separate area is available for questions to the presenter. Feedback mechanisms include: check boxes for speed and clarity a button to leave the presentation a list of audience members a place to raise your hand

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55 For this study, NetMeeting was used to also provide for application sharing. A total of twenty-one students participated in different classes in which, the instructors were observed and videotaped. Each instructor received fifteen minutes of training. Data collection was implemented through questionnaires. Overall the reactio ns were positive with students feeling there was more interaction than they would have gotten in a f ace-to-face class. Students rated the desktop-to-desktop instruction more highly than the instructors, but instructors grew more comfortable and eventually most liked it. Students liked the ability to multitask during slow periods using verbal cues to return to the class when they were ready to start again. Although the r eactions were positive, the feedback features did not seem to compensate as much as it was hoped they would. Students and instructors had difficulties with the interface when trying to switch between Flatland and NetMeeting. The authors felt many of these issues could have been avoided if more instruction and guidelines had been provided to instructors. White, Gupta, Grudin, Chesley, Kimberly, and Sanocki (2000), report that from the student perspective, it took about two sessions for participants to become comfortable with the technology. This was evident by the level of interaction that occurred fr om session to session. Over the last three sessions of one course, the type of exchanges on the classroo m changed (see Table 18) as students needed less technical support and could concentrate on the content of the course. Communication directed to the instructor also doubled with the number of responses to the instructor’s comments rising from one in session two to twenty-f our in session four. Table 18. Breakdown of interactiv e exchanges over the last three sessions of a class using Flatland and Netmeeting (White, et. al. 2000). Session % Class related % Social % Technical 2 27 11 62 4 60 26 14 Some other problems were caused by the instructor’s environment being different from the students as well as uncertainty from students on how certain tools functioned. Multiple inputs were sometimes a problem, causing students to feel ignored when the instructor did not respond. Students needed more means for feedback to and from the instructor but were also not sure which, channel to use with the options they already had. Overall, the system was us ed successfully, students l earned and liked the system, but instructors missed the face-to-face experience with only two of the three remaining positive about the technology at the end of the study. Research on Commercially Available SWBCS A report by Bill Evans (2000), Operations Manager at California State University, Chico discusses the processes necessary when, after 25 years of deliv ering distance education, funding was cut and they

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56 needed to transition their 120 satellite-based distance education courses to a blended live-Internet and webenhanced model powered by HorizonLive, a SWBCS, and WebCT, an asynchronous web-based course management system. This option was chosen over converting all courses to a completely asynchronous model for monetary reasons as development of the courses would require increased, rather than reduced, funding over a long time period. Chico reviewed the many products available to them at the time and settled on HorizonLive because it contained the most de sired features and would be compatible with the existing WebCT courseware. To facilitate the change-over, they enhanced their existing studio classrooms with some minor equipment changes and began to stream classes through HorizonLive via the Internet. For the original pilot study, two courses were offered in a dual satellite/Inter net mode and two additional courses were offered as Internet-only. Approximately 175 students enrolled in the courses. Internet par ticipation was encouraged, but voluntary, resulting in 65 students participating live via the Internet each week. Students were surveyed online through WebCT midway through the semester with a 54% return rate. Some of the pertinent results include: 81% felt it was important that class arch ives were available for each session 78% access live or archived classes at least once or twice a week 69% looked forward to taking more courses in this mode 62% had a positive experience using the Internet in these classes 49% got online without ever calling tech support. Although this study mainly addressed the issues of implementation of a SWBCS into an existing distance education program, the perceptions from students and faculty about SWBCS are useful in completing the overall picture of the us e of SWBCS in the distance classroom. Frank, Kurtz, and Levin (2002) examined two pre-university courses that used LearnLinc iNet, a synchronous distance classroom. The study used a broad cast studio and LearnLinc integrated together to transmit via broadband to two sites. The system provided for two-way communication using video, voice and data between the instructor and the distant classes. Students sat in front of their computers and participated in the instructor-learner interaction. Each student had a computer, a microphone and earphones for voice interaction. Two way video was installed at one site while one-way video was used at the other. This study also included at le ast one face-to-face meeting. Pre-post questionnaires, participant observation, semi-structured interviews and data retrieved from the system were used to collect information on ideas, emotions, difficulties and behaviors. Content analysis was used to review and categorize data. The courses were in succession and included 38 students for the first, 19 students for the second, and 13 for the third. It was found that 92% of the students had high motivation coming into the program, 82% believed they would succeed and that the course was importa nt. The questionnaire after the first class showed

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57 general satisfaction was high (4 on scale from 1-5), but the end of class questionnaire results were moderate, averaging a little above 3. Teachers receive d high average marks (3.6 and up) for knowledge, preparation, presentation, organization, clarity, intere st, attitude to students and work and general level of teaching. The required use of the computer did not distract from mo tivation as 90% replied very positively to ease of computer use. Questions pertaining to layout were also positive, with live video rating the lowest and whiteboard use the highest. One third of the students felt that contacting the instructor or asking questions was difficult, but when asked to compare th is course to other face-to-face courses, the results were positive. Students were disappointed that little homework was collected and graded, stating that more exercises would have been useful. Qualitative data analysis resulted in three important items from the student perspective (a) advantages of distance learning over traditional teaching methods, (b) interaction between students and instructors as well as students themselves during le ssons and (c) the structure of the distance class and study conditions. From the teacher’s perspective (a) c oncerns about preparation an d presentation of distant lessons, (b) limitations imposed on student-teacher interactions and (c) abilities required for distance teaching, were the most prominent. The final result was a discussion on implications of synchronous distance learning including implementation tips for instructors. Some of the more important recommendations are discussed here. Students felt that immediate feedback was a good feature that required them to stay alert in order to respond to the instructor. However, questions or obse rvations in the chat area were not responded to or responded to too late. The teacher’s teaching style resulted in few opportunities to speak; therefore the students did not feel they interacted Students also did not feel a person al connection to the teacher as the teacher’s approach was generally not personal. When provided content before and during the lecture, students found that taking copious notes distracted from learning, but also did not want to have all the slides provided ahead of time as they felt the lesson di d not add much then. A sugge stion for skeleton slides was the resulting solution. From the teacher’s perspective, they emphasized the importance of preparation and training for this environment and found it difficult to interact due to lack of visual clues. Although the student could indicate a question, both teachers and students found this new tool awkward to use. Teachers liked the ability for bidirectional immediate feedback using polling and answering questions, but had other reservations about interaction mainly due to lack of visual cues. This resulted from a poor quality of video used to see the students at the distance sites. In su mmation, teachers need experience and the ability to concentrate and coordinate with the technological system during the lecture. Most importantly, they must be comfortable with the computerized environment. Although this study did use a SWBCS, students at the distance sites were actually together in one room which, later was discussed by researchers. They felt this environment required more of a lecture

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58 mode with a large presentation screen, speakers and wired microphones such as would be used in an offsite video conferencing classroom. Overall, this stud y provides some good ideas for instructors and could be used as a guideline, but further study is necessary before it can be generalized. Knolle (2002) conducted a Delphi study investigating the best practices for using HorizonLive, a SWBCS, to teach in the synchronous online environment. The study used the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Educa tion (Chickering & Gamson, 1987) as a theoretical framework. As reported earlier (Evans 2000), instructors previously using satellite transmission to conduct courses were transferred to a blended model using a SWBCS and an asynchronous course management system. The study included 56 instructors who had previously taught via HorizonLive for one or more semesters. Data were collected via three self-reported, anonymous, we b-based questionnaires with a return rate of 50%. These instruments were not verified and therefore may be lacking in validity. However, the resulting data condensed to produce 68 strategies for addressing Chickering and Gamsons’ (1987) seven principles when using HorizonLive. The results were grouped based on the strategy they applied to and ranked according to effectiveness by the instructors. In addition, responses from the instructors were used to form guidelines for implementing the strategies in the online self-report. One evident factor in the review of this study is that many instructors taught in a combination setting where students were present both in the studio audience and online. This seemed to influence guidelines needed to accommodate bo th online and face-to-f ace students at the same time. The instructors used an asynchronous system (WebCT) to support the online learners. This blend of asynchronous and synchronous instruction was not really taken into accou nt as the guidelines seemed to place items in the synchronous environment that may have been better u tilized in the asynchronous environment. This result may have been due to the fact that Chico was trying to convert satellite based instruction to online-based instruction with the least amount of development, wh ile still maintaining its quality (Evans, 2000). This study reported the literature on synchronous online syst ems lacking and that no guidelines were available for instructors who were trying to use synchronous system s effectively in their courses. In fact, it states that “the bulk of research that does exist relate s to real-time chat for communication” (p. 5). The final 68 strategies from this study were ranked based on the total score given by instructors and the number of instructors who se lected the item. This resulted in eight strategies that received a rating of 6.0 or higher out of a possible 7.0, when ranked according to effectiveness. A complete listing of all 68 strategies is not feasible here, however, the list of highly rated strategies is provided in Table 19. The strategies are listed according to Chickering & Gamson’s principles, which, can be seen in Table 20.

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59 Table 19. Pedagogical Strategies Identified by Instructors Using SWBCS That Support Chickering & Gamson’s Seven Principles For Good Prac tice Undergraduate Education (Knolle, 2002). Principle-Idea # Strategies Identif ied Number of Votes Average Rating P1-03 Acknowledge students comments throughout the class session 171 6.11 P5-08 Have materials, web sites, and information organized and ready to use prior to the class session 179 6.39 P5-05 Focus the discussion and lecture in class by displaying slides showing the current cour se topic or discussion item 169 6.40 P6-02 Model high expectations when teaching in the online environment through quality lecture material and feedback to students 183 6.54 P6-01 Refer to the course syllabus grading scale, and requirements during the online class session to clarify expectations for projects, assignments, etc. 182 6.50 P6-03 Show detailed descriptions o f assignments and rubrics for grading when introducing assignments or projects to students 169 6.04 P7-08 Reframe students’ comments when necessary to facilitate others’ understanding of the issues 175 6.25 P7-01 Vary activities. Lectures, Q&A, discussion and guest speakers during the class session 169 6.04 Table 20. Chickering & Gamson’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (Chickering & Gamson, 1987). Principle # Principle 1 Encourages contact between students and faculty 2 Develops reciprocity a nd cooperation among students 3 Encourages active learning 4 Gives prompt feedback 5 Emphasizes time on task 6 Communicates high expectations 7 Respects diverse talents and ways of learning Summary of research on SWBCS The research reviewed in this section has provided guidelines that can be passed on to instructors utilizing SWBCS in their course to assist them in planning and successfully implementing pedagogical strategies. Overviews of some of the early development of systems for teaching synchronously have been reported, offering an understanding of the technical and usability issues th at will be faced by instructors and

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60 students alike. Information has been provided to assist in planning student support services and training for instructors and support personnel. Knolle (2002) offered some insight into pedagogical strategies that can be utilized in the SWBCS environment, but a gap still exists in evaluating how the instructors actually use the software to support these pedagogical strategies and how well they work. The self-reported nature of Knolle’s study does not address whether the strategies reported were implemented properly or even which, system (asynchronous or synchronous) the strategy was implemented in. This study will address these issues by observing the strategies in use during live sy nchronous classes or from archived recording of the classes. This will allow for unbiased examination of the strategies and proper categorization. The effectiveness of the strategies will be examined by studying the interactions, the reac tions, and the feedback from the students and the instructors during the sessions, followed by interviews and surveys. Instructional strategies in synchronous online systems Introduction to Instructional Strategies In order to record and assess the instructional strategies that instructors choose to utilize in the SWBCS, a method must be used to categorize the st rategies. Although this could be accomplished thematically at the time of data analysis, the probability that all raters would use the same terminology is very small. Therefore a framework needs to be identified. For this reason, a search was conducted for online teaching strategies to see if any pre-existing frameworks are available. The following discussion outlines findings in this area, however most of the in formation reviewed was not research based, but rather lessons learned. Research contributions to instructional strategies in synchronous online systems One significant contribution in this area was found in the Distance Education Handbook by Moore & Anderson (2003). The chapter by Bonk and Dennen provides some frameworks for research that have promise. Bonk and Dennen list five frameworks for online learning: (1) psychological justification for online learning, (2) participant interaction, (3) level of web integration, (4) student and instructor roles and (5) pedagogical strategies. In their discussion they state that “as th e growth in this area of teaching explodes, it becomes important to understand various pedagogical strategies that can be used for online teaching” (p. 338). Bonk an d Dennen assert “there is a dearth of knowledge about pedagogical tools and strategies for the web” (p. 338) which, leaves us with a growing need for pedagogical frameworks to consider the web for teaching. Bonk and Dennan examin ed a series of research studies and online course experiments at Indiana University that spurred their in terest in the development of various online learning frameworks. Of the resulting frameworks, two (particip ant interaction and pedagogical strategies) are of particular interest to this study.

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61 Bonk, Medury, and Reynolds developed a framework in 1994 to assist in understanding the levels of interaction fostered by synchronous and asynchronous computer conferencing and collaborative writing tools. The table below is reproduced to show how this framework categorizes interaction. Table 21. Framework for Participant Interaction (Bonk & Dennen, 2003 p. 339) To Students To Instructors To Practitioners/Experts From Instructors Syllabus, schedule, profiles, tasks and tests, lecture notes and slides, feedback and email, resources, course changes Course resources, syllabi, lecture notes and activities, electronic forums, teaching stories and ideas, commentary Tutorials, online ar ticles, listservs, electronic conferences, learning communities, news from discipline/field, products to apply in field From Students Models or samples of prior work, course discussions and virtual debate information, introductions and profiles, link sharing, personal portfolios, peer commenting or evaluation Class voting, polling, completed online quizzes and tests, minute papers, course evaluations and feedback, reflection logs, sample student work Resumes and professional links, web page links, field reflections and commentary From Practitioners/Experts web tele-apprenticeships, online commentary and feedback, e-fieldtrips, internships ad job announcements Survey opinion information, course feedback, online mentoring, listservs Discussion forums, listservs, virtual professional development, team explorations and communities The Pedagogical Strategies framework, is of great interest to this study as well as it provides one starting point for thematic sorting of strategies used by instructors in the SWBCS. The model is based on previous work by Bonk and Reynolds as discussed in the web Based Learning book by Khan (1997). Bonk and Reynolds designed this framework by detailing a set of instructional strategies for the web and linking them to relevant creativity, critical thinking, and cooperative learning literature. The initial pedagogical framework from Bonk and Reynolds has been extended by Bonk and Dennen to include motivational techniques and principals. The following (T able 22.) depicts the resulting framework.

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62 Table 22. Framework for Pedagogical Strategies (Bonk & Dennen, 2003 p. 340) Motivational and Ice Breaking Activities 8 Noun introduction Coffee house Expectations Scavenger Hunts Two Truths, one Lie Public Commitments Share-A-Link Creative Thinking Activities Brainstorming Role-Play Topical Discussions web-based Explorations and Readings Recursive Tasks Electronic Sances Critical Thinking Activities Electronic voting and polling Delphi technique reading reactions summary writing and minute papers field reflections Online case analyses evaluating web resources Instructor as well as Student generated virtual debates Collaborative Learning Activities Starter Wrapper discussions Structured Controversy Symposia or Expert Panels Electronic Mentors and Guests Round robin activities Jigsaw and Group problem solving Gallery tours and publishing work Email pals/web buddies and critical/constructive friends Other suggestions provided by Bonk and Dennen in this chapter relate to extending these categories to reading and writing intensive online exercises as well as additional ideas for online pedagogical strategies. These additional strategies c ould also be categorized in the manner discussed in Table 22. Another framework discussed by Bonk and Dennen has potential to be useful. This framework categorizes the online instructor tasks into four separa te roles: (a) pedagogical, (b) social, (c) managerial, and (d) technological. While reviewing the recorded cl ass session in the SWBCS, there will be times when actions of both the instructor and the students do not fall in the category of pedagogy or learning, but are rather classroom management related. The categories of social, managerial, and technological may help to properly code these instances. During the search for a good framework, the Saskatchewan Educational Training and Employment handbook (1991) came up repeatedly. Although no research could be found related with the information provided on this site, the model they use is very intriguing. They present an instructional framework (see Figure 11) that identifies and illust rates interrelationships among instru ctional approaches and illustrates approaches in instruction ranging from a broad instructional model, to an instructional skill.

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63 Figure 11. Instructional Framework (Saskatchewan Educational Training and Employment handbook, 1991). The framework needed for this study would be at the instructional strategies level with instructional methods being sorted into categories as th ey are used by instructors in the SWBCS. This is a feasible starting approach to sorting the strategies used. However, to be clear, definitions of what a strategy is and what each category means is needed. The most difficult part of using this or any other framework is the fact that these categories are not completely clear Methods of instruction may overlap (see Figure 12) into two or more strategies defined depending on the teaching styles of the instructors.

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64 Figure 12. Classification of Instructional Strategies (Saskatchewan Educational Training and Employment handbook, 1991). The use of the categories, direct an d indirect, have been seen before in this review as they were used as variables in the study by Saba and Shearer (199 4) on transactional distance. This helps to support the idea that using a framework based on these instructional strategies would be beneficial. Definitions of all these strategies would have to be solidified before they could be utilized for sorting, so further investigation is warranted before a final framework is set. In his new book E-Learning (in press), Khan ha s created an e-learning framework with eight dimensions

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65 1. institutional 2. pedagogical 3. technological 4. interface design 5. evaluation 6. management 7. resource support 8. ethical Each dimension has several sub-dimensions and each consists of issues focused on a specific aspect of an e-learning envi ronment. Kahn (2001) states: The pedagogical dimension of e-learning refe rs to teaching and learning. This dimension addresses issues concerning goal s/objectives, content, design approach, organization, methods and strategies, and medium of e-learning environments. Various e-learning methods and strategies include presentation, demonstration, drill and practi ce, tutorials, games, story telling, simulations, role-playing, discussion, interaction, modeling, facilitation, collaboration, debate, field trips, apprenticeship, case studies, generative development, and motivation ( 4 ). Khan describes methods and strategies that are common to discussions of online learning pedagogical strategies; however no good categories are di scussed in which, we can place these different yet similar strategies. Some have even tied the strategies to the delivery format as a method to cat egorize strategies. For example; one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many are commonly used as sorting parameters when discussing instructional strategies and technology for online learning. Summary of Instructional Strategies This section has reviewed literature pertaining to categorizing instructional strategies. Since the literature is not clear-cut, a framework will be built that addresses the strategies by combining the results found from literature, along with experiences from th e researcher. The “instructional methods” discussed in the literature and used by the instructors will be sorted into these “instructional strategy” categories to provide a clear picture of what is happening in the SWBCS. Chapter Conclusion This chapter has provided a general understanding of the research in synchronous distance education as it pertains to transactional distance, interaction and social learning. It has pointed out gaps in the research that this study plans to address, highli ghting where the research revi ewed can provide insights. The chapter began by discussing a theoretical framework that will be used in this research and is supported

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66 by previous research. This framework is made up of transactional distance theory and social learning theories. The principal constructs within these theories and the research conducted in these areas have been discussed to provide an understanding of how the learning process is enhanced by interaction between all course participants. Discussions within this chapte r have examined the importance of both academic and social interactions in learning and suggested that a SWBCS will provide tools allowing for effective use of sound pedagogical strategies in the distance environmen t. Overall, this chapter has outlined the research previously conducted in synchronous distance education environments that pertain to transactional distance, social learni ng theory, interaction and the use of SWBCS. In addition, this chapter has initiated the creation of a framework from the literature that will allow the pedagogical strategies discussed to be logically categorized. In Chapter Three, the research methods used to collect data examining the use of these stra tegies within the structure and design of courses conducted throughout the study will be discussed. The structure of the study as well as the data collection instruments and data reduction processes will be fully detailed. A pilot study will also be reviewed which, provides data that can be examined to validat e the processes and instru ments for this study.

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67 Chapter Three – Research Methods Introduction The main questions this study sought to answer were how and why instructors teaching via distance used the tools provided in a SWBCS to ex pand their teaching. Because a SWBCS allows for significantly more interaction in real time than other distance technologies, it wa s assumed that interaction theories as well as social learning theories would play a significant ro le in its use. To investigate how interaction and social learning were incorporated into the online classroom the pedagogical strategies were examined, as well as which, strategies were perceived to be successful, This chap ter provides an overview of the research methods and data collection techniques that made up this study. After a short overview of the study and the sample, data collection procedures are discussed in detail. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection are discusse d with examples provided from a pilot case. Overview of Study This research was conducted as a multiple qualitative case study, examining in-tact classes being conducted through synchronous technologies. In his writings about choosing a research strategy, Yin (1994) states that “a specific research strategy has dis tinct advantages in certain situations. For a case study: a how or why question is being asked about a contemporary set of events over which, the investigator has little or no control” (p. 9). Accordingly, qualitative re search strategies were most appropriate for this study and were used for the majority of the data collection. The research design was a mixed methodology using the following modes of data collection: (a) student and instructor surveys, (b) instructor and support personnel interviews and focus groups, (c) both direct and participant observations, (d) archival documents and (e) a researcher’s journal. Most data collection t ook place electronically, and all was stored for future review. The study took place over one academic semester in which, each instructor used a SWBCS a minimum of three times. Each instructor was provided training and offered suggestions on how best to use the tools in a pedagogically sound manner. They were also given direct support in the form of a trained and knowledgeable producer or technical support person who assisted during live sessions. The way an instructor used the system was not limited, rather it wa s expected that each instru ctor would use the system in a way that supported his or her teaching style as well as the learning styles of their students.

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68 A total of five university level instructors usi ng SWBCS for distance learni ng sessions participated in the study. For study purposes, each instructor and his/ her class was defined as a separate case. To gain a good understanding of the use of the SWBCS, the study looked at the instructor, the students, and the support team for each case. The Sample The population of instructors using SWBCS at the Un iversity of South Florida was made up of ten instructors from all colleges and campuses. In a discussion of qualitative sample selection, Merriam (1998), states that “the most appropriate sampling strategy is nonprobabilistic” (p. 60). Merriam goes on to report that the most common form of nonprobabilitist sampling is purposeful sampling, which, “is based on the assumption that the investigator wants to discover, understand, and gain insight and therefore must select a sample from which, the most can be learned” (p. 61). With this in mind, this study used nonprobabilistic purposeful sampling to select participating instructors in such a way as to maximize variability in level, subjects, and teaching styles. From the population, five in structors were chosen to participate in this study. All five instructors volunteered to participate in the study because they felt the SWBCS would enhance their teaching, or they had a significan t interest in the advances of tec hnology for teaching and learning. Selection of the instructors was based on their inte rest, as well as other criteria. The university used two SWBCSs for the semester; however, to redu ce variability due to technology, the faculty chosen for this study were limited to those using Elluminate Live! ™. In addition, the faculty needed to use the system at least three times in order to be comfortable and assure that their students were familiar with the technology. This encouraged more use of teaching st rategies and less time spent on troubleshooting technical difficulties. Faculty who were experienced at teaching via the web took precedence over those who were new to this type of teaching. Those who had been teaching with the web for some time should have found it easier to translate their strategies to th e new environment. The final criteria was the format of the course. It was decided that faculty teaching completely at a di stance rather than those who were teaching blended courses would be used first. Some faculty were teaching a dist ance section of a course and had a live section in the studio as well. These cases were used since they were still distance based and there were not enough fully we b-based courses available. The plan for choosing instructors for this study provided a solid sample for research. The variability in this sample offered a good basis for understanding how a SWBCS can be used in diverse teaching situations. However, due to the variability and the real-life situation, the researcher had little control over the actual events. The Researcher Since the researcher played a role in many different aspects of this study, it is important to delineate the roles she played and discuss any bias that may have resulted. The researcher currently holds a

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69 position at the university in which, she supports faculty development in the area of teaching with technology. She has been in this or a similar position fo r about 10 years. This job offers her the opportunity to encourage instructors to utilize different types of technology in their teaching and allows her to support their individual learning processes. The researcher ther efore encouraged the instruct ors to participate in the use of this new technology, offered the training for the use of the SWBCS, and provided support when needed throughout the process. Although this might have induced some bias, care was taken to include many others in the process to limit the influence the researcher had on the instructor. For example, producers supported the instructors in course delivery (rather than the researcher), there was limited contact between the researcher and the students, and multiple raters were employed for reduction of data. Instructor interviews were conducted by at least two team members (one the researcher) and were reviewed by multiple people. A similar process was used for the observation of sessions, where a pair of team members reviewed each session separately and then me t to finalize agreement. The pairs of team members were randomly assigned and no two sessions were reviewed by the same pair of reviewers. The only area where the researcher played a sign ificant role was during training, where ideas and strategies for the successful use of a SWBCS for teaching were modeled. However, the same training was provided to all instructors and the study has shown th at each instructor used the system in a way that met their individual needs. Overview of Data Collection Data collection for this study was multifaceted. Utilization of document analysis, interviews, surveys, problem logs and journaling was combined to draw a comprehensive picture of how instructors used SWBCS in distance education. Tables 23 and 24 provide an overview of the instruments used to collect data in this study. Each of the instruments is described in more detail in the following sections. All instruments are included in the Appendices.

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70 Table 23. Relationship between study questions and data collection instruments Study Question Instrument Collecting Data Expectations/Outcomes Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools? Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents. Instructors used a variety of strategies that were familiar to them from the regular classroom. Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents. Instructors utilized the tools to increase satisfaction and the success of their course by adding interactions both academic and social through sound pedagogical strategies. Q3. With access to a multitude of tools available in a SWBCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use? Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents. Instructors used a combination of the tools available to reach the goals they set. Q4. Why do instructors use the tools and strategies that they choose? Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups. Instructors used the tools based on experience, strategy selected and training. They also chose based on guidance from producers and what they planned to accomplish. Q5. What perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents and reflections from students. Students and instructors ha d positive perceptions about the ability SWBCS have to increase academic and social interactions. They felt that the added tools provide more opportunitie s for connections and decreased transactional distance.

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71 Table 24. Study Data Collection Matrix Instrument Audience Data Collected Analytic Method Used to answer study question Faculty Interview Protocol and recording Faculty Background, Anticipations Experiences Observational, descriptive, thematic Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5 Student Survey 1 Students Background, experience, etc. Descriptive, Frequencies, Correlations Q5 Classroom Recordings – Observation matrix, observer comments Participants in the sessions are Faculty, Students and Producers Observational Observational, thematic Q1, Q2, Q3, Q5 Student Survey 2 Students Perceptions, problems, satisfaction, experiences, etc., success of strategies and the use of the tools Descriptive, Frequencies, Correlations Q5 Student Reflections Students in a select set of classes Perceptions, problems, satisfaction, experiences, etc., success of strategies and the use of the tools Document analysis for themes Q5 End of Course Faculty Survey Faculty Perceptions, problems, satisfaction, experiences, etc., success of strategies and the use of the tools Thematic Analysis, Descriptive Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5 Archival Documents Producers & Faculty Problems/ Successes with strategies and the use of the tools Thematic Analysis, Descriptive Q1, Q2, Q3, Q5 Producer Focus Groups Producers Perceptions, problems, satisfaction, experiences, etc. Thematic Analysis, Descriptive Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5 Researcher Journal Researcher Process, procedure, problems, successes, happenings, etc. Thematic Analysis, Descriptive Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, Q5 Training Training was provided to instructors, producers and students prior to their first SWBCS session. Instructor and producer training consisted of one face-to-face session and additional online sessions using Elluminate Live! ™. The face-to-face session covered th e basics of how to use the software for teaching.

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72 The online sessions modeled teaching strategies that were appropriate for the medium and involved the instructors and producers actively within the system. The online sessions consisted of three topics; Interactive Lecturing, Active Learning, and Group Work in synchronous online environments. The following pedagogical strategies are examples of the strategies that were modeled: Short lecture with wait time pauses Full class and small group discussion Active learning strategies su ch as think, pair, share Critical thinking activities Polling and whiteboard activities Breakout rooms for group interaction All sessions were archived. To see the classroom recordings go to the following web addresses: Interactive Lecturing Session Recording in Elluminate: https://www.elluminate.com/pmtg.jnlp?psid=d557270063.99148 This session was conducted on July 7th, 2004. The purpose was two fold. One to see how Ellumi nate operates in a classr oom setting. Two to learn about Interactive Lecturing by modeling some of the techniques that might be used in this environment. Active Learning Session Recording Using Elluminate: https://www.elluminate.com/pmtg.jnlp?psid=d150713522.118650 This session was conducted on July 14th, 2004. The purpose was two fold. First to see how Elluminate operates in a classroom setting. Second to learn about Active Learning by modeling some of the techniques that might be used in this environment. Group Work Session Recording in Elluminate: https://www.elluminate.com/pmtg.jnlp?psid=d757639417.120825 This session was conducted on July 28th, 2004. The purpose was two fold. First to see how Elluminate operates in a classroom setting. Second to learn a bout working with groups using critical thinking and collaboration by modeling some of the techniques that might be used in this environment. Student’s utilized an online demonstration and wizard to setup their system followed by one-onone or group sessions online with a producer in the SWBCS. When students first logged in, they were prompted to download the software required and automatically run the wizard to setup their computer. It was suggested that students do this in the first week of classes and then attend a demonstration session. Three types of demonstrations were available in mo st cases: (1) a self paced demonstration on how the tools function, (2) live demonstrations provided by Ellu minate or (3) live demonstrations setup by the class producer. Many producers held a series of “office hours” or “practice sessions” in Elluminate Live! ™ to allow students time to interact with the technology. These sessions included setting connection speeds, checking microphones and audio settings, and trying th e chat and whiteboard features. Participants were shown how to raise their hand and provide feedback to the facilitator and other participants using the tools available in the system. In most cases, student partic ipation in these demonstrations was voluntary. When

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73 students participated, this process facilitated a level of comfort before actually using the systems for live classes. The purpose of the traini ng was to enable users to be su ccessful in using the SWBCS. Data Collection Instruments Interviews and Focus Groups An initial interview with each instructor took place shortly afte r the training phase of the study. The interviews provided insight on how instructors planned to use the SWBCS. This open-ended interview protocol obtained information on: (a) instructor background, (b) interest and expectations of the study, (c) experience with online course development, (d) experience with synchronous online tools, (e) anticipations/experiences about course delivery and (f) pedagogical strategies to be used. This type of protocol provided room for instructors to voice their concerns and their excitement about the use of SWBCS. The initial interview protocol is included in Appendix B. The interview recordings were examined by multiple team members who independently recorded themes. The themes were examined for consistency and distilled to create an overview of th e instructor’s perspectives and experiences at the beginning of the study. Producer focus groups or individual interviews were conducted at the end of the study to determine if the plans originally made were successful This interview addressed: (1) the usability of the SWBCS, (2) the pedagogical strategies that the in structors chose to use and (3) how successful the strategies were. An open-ended in terview protocol was set to obtain information on (a) usability, (b) problems, (c) strategies used, (d) success of strate gies used, (e) thoughts on future use of SWBCS for teaching, and (f) overall impressi ons on using a SWBCS for teaching. Surveys At the beginning of the semester, a web-based su rvey was collected from students to determine a base line for experience, comfort and attitude toward the coming technology use in the distance classroom (Figures 13 and 14). Directions for completing the survey were distributed via email and the announcement area of Blackboard or a similar course portal. This surv ey is included in Appendix C. The constructs of the survey included: (a) biographical information, (b) reason for taking the course, (c) description of the equipment that would be used for the class, (d) proficiency with the technology and (e) experience with distance learning systems, especia lly those that are synchronous in nature. The information provided a baseline for the study, and informed instructors and producers about the class participants.

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74 Figure 13. Screen Capture Excerpt of Student Survey 1

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75 Figure 14. Screen Capture Excerpt from Student Survey 1 Students were also surveyed at the end of the semester to assess their reaction to using the SWBCS and the pedagogical approaches used by the in structor (Figure 15). Directions for completing the survey were again distributed via email and the anno uncement area of Blackboard or WebCT. This web based survey (see Appendix D), incl uded questions related to the followi ng constructs: (a) accessibility of the SWBCS, (b) technology efficiency of the SWBCS, (c) communication utilized, (d) instructional content, information and strategies, (e) instructional materials presentation, (f) aspects of instructional delivery, (g) technical support, and (h) overall impression.

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Figure 15. Screen Capture Excerpt of Student Survey 2 76

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77 Faculty were also surveyed at the end of the seme ster (Figure 16). Of the eight active instructors using synchronous software this semester, five responded to the end of course survey. The survey consisted of both closed and open-ended responses. There were a total of 34 closed response items in five categories: (1) perceptions of overall student outcomes, (2) overall systemic issues, (3) overall satisfaction with course as a product, (4) overall satisfaction, and (5) tools used. There were also 12 open-ended questions dealing with: (1) delivery of cour se, (2) teaching strategies, (3) realizati ons vs. expectations, (4) challenges, (5) effectiveness, (6) support, (7) future plans, (8) ove rall perspective and (9) words of wisdom for others. Important insights into how the tools were used and the success of the synchronous session were obtained from these answers. The instructor su rvey helped to reinforce data that was seen in the student surveys and the classroom recordings.

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78 Figure 16. Screen Capture Excerpt of Faculty Survey

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79 Classroom Recordings During the semester, each synchronous class session was recorded to an on line file that allowed for later analysis by the researcher. It also serv ed as an asynchronous archive for the instructors and students. Recordings of these sessions included all in teractions (verbal, written or graphical) that took place during the session. Some sessions were also attend ed by the researcher as a participant observer. These recordings were one of th e primary sources of data. An observation instrument and document analysis procedures were used to reduce the data and to identify themes. This process is discussed in detail later in this chapter. Figure 17 contains a “sna p shot” screen capture of a classroom recording. Figure 17. Screen captur e of a session recording Archival Documents Producers and support personnel often produced notes of sessions to track problems as well as note interesting events that occurred. These notes were reviewed for themes thro ughout the semester for

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80 both formative evaluation and summative evaluation purposes. The data obtained in the notes were analyzed using thematic analysis proc edures and helped to triangulate data obtained from other resources. For ease of access, these notes were delivered via email or a Blackboard discussion forum provided for producers and instructors involved in the project. Researcher Journal In order to maintain consistency and flow through out the processes of this study, the researcher kept a journal. This journal was a stream of consciousness narrative and organizational tool that helped in the review and reduction of data. The journal was used as a tracking device for communications, processes, and ideas and constituted a problem log for the researcher. Document analysis of this journal was done at the end of the study.

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81 Figure 18. Diagram of Research Plan Training Instructors & Producers (June & July) Students (August) Recorded Synchronous Sessions (Fall Semester) Surveys Students (August) Interviews/ Focus Groups Instructors (August) Document Analysis Session Recordings Problem logs Researcher Journal (Fall & Spring) Interviews/ Focus Groups Instructors Producers (Fall & Spring) Surveys Students Instructors (Fall & Spring) Data Review & Reduction (Fall & Spring) Document Analysis Session Recordings Problem logs Researcher Journal (Fall & Spring) Data Analysis and Conclusions (Fall & Spring) Recorded Synchronous Sessions (Fall Semester) Data Review and Reduction (Fall & Spring)

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82 Data Reduction and Analysis As is typical in qualitative research studies, all the data collected was examined, categorized, tabulated or otherwise recombined to address th e initial propositions of the study (Yin, 1994). A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods wa s utilized. Qualitative data analysis was conducted through a theoretical framework based on current literature in web-based instruction, distance and adult learning and pedagogical strategies for teaching. Initial review of the data helped determine themes that allowed for data reduction. As stated by Miles and Huberman (1994), “data reduction refers to the process of selecting, focusing, simplifying, abstracting and transforming data” (p. 10). This process was iterative and continued from inception of the study through the final report. Miles and Huberman (1994) discuss that even before data collection begins, “anticipatory data reduction is occurring as the researcher decides (often without fu ll awareness) which, concep tual framework, which, cases, which, research questions, and which, data coll ection approaches to choose ” (p. 10). However, as data is continually collected and reduced, the actua l framework for a qualitative study will change and evolve until the final report has been written. A Working Framework for Data Reduction The research on transactional distance and social learning provided a beginning framework for this study. The ideas around social learning include many sub categories, such as social presence and community building. In Jung’s 2001 study, he extended the theories of interaction proposed by Moore (1989) and Hillman, et. al. (19 94) to include academic interaction, collabora tive interaction, and interpersonal interaction. By combining Jung’s work with that of Moore (1989) and Hillman et. al.’s (1994) theories of interaction and the concept of guiding pedagogical strategies, we looked at many different aspects of the course (see Figure 19). This framework allowed data obtained from the session recordings as well as other data sources (instructor and producer interviews, problem logs, surveys) to be reduced. An observation instrument was created based on this theoretical structure and traditional classroom observation instruments. The instrument consisted of yes/no indicators that were each coordinated with an open-ended comment area for descri ption or explanation. These questions fall into the following seven categories: (1) general information about the session being observed, (2) pedagogical strategies, (3) interactions, (4) structure, (5) lear ner autonomy, (6) tool usage, and (7) success of the session. Each category begins with a definition of th e category and ends with an open-ended summary area. Within each category, directly observable as well as judged items were reported. An excerpt of this instrument can be seen in Figure 21. The entire instrument is in Appendix H.

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83 Figure 19. Theoretical Framework based on Jung (2001), Moore (1989), Hillman et. al. (1994) and implementations of pedagogical strategies in a synchronous online classroom The instrument was put into an online survey format to make data reduction easier (Figure 20). This instrument was developed through many iterations in which, multiple observers recorded information. After all data were obtained for the recordings view ed, the results were compared and adjustments were made to increase clarity and reduce the number of items necessary to examine data. A total of six observers were involved in the final stages of reliability testing. The last iteration of the instrument was finalized us ing the pilot case discussed in this chapter. The resulting item inter-rater agreement coefficients (Figure 21) for the pilot suggest excellent agreement on the majority of indicators. Only a few problems were dete rmined in this stage and were clarified with minor wording changes and minimal edits. Upon discussing the differences found in the data, all six observers agreed 100%. This iterative process proved valuable and the final version of the instrument and procedures were used to examine all remaining cases. During the main study, the instrument was used in the same manner. Pairs of observers reviewed a session recording using the instrument. Items that did not have 100% agreement were discussed by the pair and consensus was determined. As with the pilot, the in ter-rater agreement was high in all cases and only a few items needed to be discussed for each session. Framework for Observations Communication variable Academic interaction Collaborative interaction Interpersonal Learning variable Learner autonomy Learner collaboration Teaching variable Content Expandability Content adaptability Visual Layout Interaction Factor Student Perceptions & Reflections Instructor Perceptions & Reflections Producer Perceptions & Reflections Observer Perceptions & Reflections Strategy Success Synchronous Tools Used Other Themes

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84 Figure 20. Screen capture of Observation Instrument – General Information Stem Leaf 10 000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 9 8 00000000033333333333333333333333333 7 5555 6 0000777777777777 5 000 Figure 21. Stem-and-Leaf Plot of Item Level Inter-Rater Agreement Coefficients To help describe the observation instrument and how it was used a discussion on the contents and the procedure for using the instrument is necessary. The following guidelines were used to facilitate accurate recording of pedagogy, inte raction, structure, learner autonom y and tool use. Here observers recorded their impression of items re lated to pedagogy during each sessi on. Items listed in the observation instrument were considered guidelines, with obs ervers recording what they saw or felt. Pedagogy Often defined as the art and science of teaching, pedagogy is a rather vague concept that we shape with our teaching philosophies and strategies. It co ntains many elements that were seen in themes

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85 discovered during the observations of these synchronous class sessions. Both directly observable and judged pedagogy were recorded. Directly observable pedagogical strategies as observed in the classroom were record by noting the roles the instructor and stude nts played. For example, it wa s noted if an instructor lectured or conducted interactive whole class discussions. Judged pedagogical strategies were based on the observer’s experience as a student, an instructor or an instructional designer. Some items in this category were; teaching methods were appropriate for the content and lesson requir ed student thought and participation. Figure 22. Screen capture of observation instrument Pedagogy section Interaction As defined by Wagner in 1994 interactions are “reciprocal events that require at least two objects and two actions. Interactions occu r when these objects and events mu tually influence one another” (Wagner, 1994, p. 8). Moore’s (1989), discussions on interaction between students and content have long been recognized as a critical component of both campus-based and distance education. For purposes of observation during synchronous sessions, a reciprocal event that occurred between the learner and the instructor, the learner and another l earner, the learner and the content, and the learner and the interface was recorded. These were then categorized as social, academic or technical interactions It was possible to have interactions that covered more than one type. In the cas e of interface interaction, as we use technology to

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86 teach, it is possible and sometimes necessary for learne rs to interact with the technology. This is called interface interaction and it can be both positive and negative in nature. Directly Observable Instru ctor-Learner Interaction was recorded when interactions with the learner were observed that were initiated by the instructor. For example the instructor might check student comprehension or encourage questions and feedback. Judged Instructor-Learner Interaction were recorded when the observer was required to make a judgment about an interaction and felt the instructor initiated a certain type of interaction with the learners that was not directly observable. For example, the instructor provided informative feedba ck or the instructor li stened carefully to student comments. There were three categories of questions in this section, Instructor Questions, Responses and Overall Impressions. Directly Observable Learner-Instructor Interaction was recorded when the observer saw a learner interact with the instructor as noted in the checklis t. For example, a student asked a question of the instructor or presented information to the instructor. Judged Learner-Instructor Interaction was recorded when the observer felt the learner initiated an interac tion with the instructor that could not be directly observed. Directly Observable Learner-Content Interaction recorded when learners interacted with the content as noted in the checklist. For example, l earners were observed reading, writing or presenting content. Judged Learner-Content Interaction recorded when the observer co uld not directly see the learner interacting with content, but rather judged that it was happening. For example it is not possible to see a student interpret content, but from other events, it could be judged. Directly Observable Learner-Learner Interaction was recorded when a le arner interacted with another learner(s) as noted in th e checklist. For exampl e, students engaged in academic or social conversation with one another or encour aged each others’ comments and questions. Judged LearnerLearner Interactions were not seen, but interpreted by the obse rvers when the observer felt the learner initiated this type of interaction with another learner. Examples of this type of interaction were; students maintain a good rapport and students have mutual respect for one another. Directly Observable LearnerInterface Interaction was recorded whenever an observer saw a learner interact with the interface e ither positively and negati ve as noted in the chec klist. For example, a student might work on the whiteboard or speak using a microphone and VOIP. Judged Learner-Interface Interaction was recorded when an observer felt the learne r initiated a positive or negative interaction with the interface that was not directly observable. This in cluded items such as stude nts show frustration or emotion. Structure Structure contains multiple dimensions, such as course organization, course design and course delivery. It is determined by the educational philos ophy of those involved with creating and maintaining

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87 the course. In part, it expresses the rigidity or flexibility of the course ’s educational objectives, teaching strategies and evaluations methods and therefore describes the extent to which, course components can be responsive to the individual learner’s needs. Structure of a course is directly related to the pedagogical strategies an instructor incorporates into his/her course. For a more difficult or risky strategy, more structure is usually needed. For exam ple, instructors can provide structure in a SWBCS by having students do pre-work, making sure instructions are clearly define d for the activities, using visual or textual materials (i.e. slides or instructional text) and planning for proper support to make the session successful yet be flexible enough to change plans if needed. Overall, preplanning is the key to successful structure in a SWBCS. The following sub-categories made up the construct of structure. Directly Observable Classroom Management was used to note different methods that the instructor used to manage the classroom such as st arting class on time, maintaining student attention and providing sufficient wait time. Judged Classroom Management was recorded for items that required a judgment on the part of the observer such as the instructor seemed well prepared and the instructor provide clear directions or procedures. Directly Observable Content Organization noted different methods that the instructor used to organize content. For example, the instructor explained the goals of the session, summarized and distilled main points at the end of class and made course co ntent relevant with references to “real world” applications. Judged Content Organization allowed the observer to make a decision based on whether they felt the instructor used the content organization methods listed in the checklist. Examples of judged content organization include; introduction captured attention, main ideas were clear and specific and sufficient variety was provided to support information. Directly Observable Presentation noted the different methods that the instructor used for presentation including auditory, visual and general presentation items. Example items include; volume was sufficient to be heard, varied pace, included illustra tions, and visuals were clear and well organized (large and legible). Judged Presentation required observers to make a decision based on certain characteristics of the instructor’s presentation methods. For example, was the rate of delivery appropriate and did the instructor communicate a sense of confidence, en thusiasm and excitement toward content. Learner Autonomy Learner autonomy is about students’ taking more control over their learning. This does not mean that autonomous learning is synony ms with words such as self-instruc tion, self-access, self-study, selfeducation, or even distance learning These terms basically describe various ways and degrees of learning by oneself, whereas autonomy refers to abilities and attitudes. Many scholars feel that the autonomous learner understands the pur pose of learning, explicitly accepts respon sibility for learning, shares in the setting of learning goals, takes initiatives in planni ng and executing learning activities, and regularly reviews learning and evaluates its effectiveness (cf. Holec 1981, Little 1991). Saba and Shear determined

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88 that learner autonomy was comprised of both independence and interdependence. The theory of transactional distance uses learner autonomy as a vari able affecting the psychological distance between the learner and the instructor or the learner and other learners. Therefore it is important to examine how pedagogical strategies used in the SWBCS account fo r learner autonomy. This can most easily be done by examining the roles and relationships that all participants have with each other, but most specifically, the roles of the instructor and the students. The observation instrument recorded many different aspects of learner autonomy both directly observable and judged. Directly Observable Learner Autonomy items accounted for the different ways in which, learners took control over their own learning during synchronous sessions. The observers were guided in this section by items such as; students participated in activities such as self-guided reading, groups, electronic dialogues, and reflective writing activities; and students discovered information that they need for the session rather than being provided all of it. Judged Learner Autonomy provided the observers with a chance to decide whether they felt the learner took control of his/her own learning by responding to items such as; strategy used provided for multiple learning styles students seem to have positive attitudes about this learning experience, and instructor provided ch allenges that students seem to enjoy. Tool Use Tools are available in a SWBCCS which are somewhat unique. Therefore it was important that we examined which, tools were used and why. The classroom recordings and observation instrument offered the opportunity to examine the use of the followi ng tools: Textual Chat, VOIP, Breakout Rooms, Whiteboard, Shared Browser, Appli cation Sharing, Private Messaging, Pa ce Meter, Hand Raising, Polling, Emoticons, Step-away Feature, and Quizzing, as well as any other tool use that could be seen by the observer. The observer recorded the use of tools using yes or no indicators. Additional comments on tool use were collected in the open-ended items and the summary of tool use. Success Success was difficult to define as it is subjec tive and depends greatly on the observer’s perspectives. For this reason the observation instrume nt collected the strengths, weaknesses and overall perspectives of the session as seen by the observers. Summaries of thou ghts on the success of the session as seen by the observer or mentioned by any participants were included in open-ended responses. This process helped to establish the success of the session and the overall success of the how the course used the SWBCS. Additional information on success was gleaned from multiple sessions as well as instructor, producer and student perceptions obtained from other instruments.

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89 Data Displays Displaying the data of this study was also an ite rative process. Since it wa s not clear at the start what data reduction would provide, the researcher was only able to visualize how data would be displayed from literature. Therefore as the data were reduced to reportable findings, displays such as matrices, graphs, charts, and networks were used to represen t the data in understandable ways. The resulting data displays are provided in chapter 4 with a review of the data obtained from the study. However a short discussion will be provided here to outline how the pro cess took shape. To do this, a pilot case will be used as an example. Pilot Case Summary The results of the pilot case were analyzed qualitatively based on the previously discussed theoretical framework that examined interactions, structure, learner autonomy and the success of the pedagogical strategy used, as well as perceptions of those involved. Data collected for this case included two student surveys, three session recordings, observatio ns by multiple observers, a faculty interview, and a faculty survey. In addition, archival documents such as web sites and emails were examined to fill in the gaps. Instructor Interview By interviewing the instructor, information was gathered about the course, the plan for the semester and the experiences of the instructor. For example, the pilot course was taught by a full professor with 14 years of experience teaching in higher edu cation and approximately 10 years via distance. She regularly teaches graduate-level courses in mu ltimedia, instructional design, web design, and telecommunications, many at a distance. Before this study, this graduate level Web Design course was taught asynchronously online through WebCT with little real-time interaction. The interview with this instructor was useful in understanding her experience with synchronous tools and her mind set at the beginning of the study. Although she was an experienced distance instructor, she had not used a synchronous classroom to teach be fore. However, she was open minded to the possibilities and excited about the experience. After multiple reviewers examined the interview for themes it was determined that the interview protocol and review process were sound and could be used for the remaining cases.

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Figure 23. Screen Capture of Example Interview Review Instrument 90

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91 Student Surveys This semester, 18 students were enrolled in the pilot course. Eleven of the 18 students responded to the initial survey providing background information and demographics for the study. The first survey seemed to capture the data needed for a baseline record of the students. Using the feedback offered by the students as well as their answers to the survey, on ly minor adjustments were found to be needed. 13 students in the pilot case answered the end of semest er survey. From their res ponses and feedback, minor issues were discovered and adjusted. Examining the resu lts of the survey showed that the end of semester survey provided good insights into the student’s use of the SWBCS in their course and their perceptions of the experience. Reduction of data in these two surveys provided example data displays that represent the student’s base lines as well as their perceptions. For example, Table 25 shows data obtained from survey one indicating student proficiency levels with various types of software. Table 25. Distribution of Student Self-Reported Software Proficiency Software Type Beginner Intermediate Advanced Word Processors 0 4 7 Spreadsheets 1 7 3 Presentation software 0 5 6 Email 0 1 10 Chat 2 5 4 Web Page Creation 5 4 2 Audio & Video programs 5 6 0 Web Browsers 2 3 6 Survey two provided data reflecting student perceptions of the SWBCS. Table 26 is an example from the pilot case that represents the frequency and severity of problems students reported with the Synchronous Classroom. While Table 27 represents student views of the tools available for use in the SWBCS.

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92 Table 26. Frequency and Severity of Problems Reported with the Synchronous Classroom Feature No Problem Minor Problem Major Problem Not Applicable Text chat 12 1 0 0 Two-way audio 10 3 0 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 13 0 0 0 Whiteboard 12 1 0 0 Application Sharing 7 0 0 6 Breakout Rooms 11 1 1 0 Taking Polls or Quizzes 10 2 0 1 Guided Web Surfing 8 0 0 5 Other 6 0 0 3 Table 27. Reported Usefulness of Features in the Synchronous Classroom Feature Not Useful Somewhat Useful Very Useful Not Applicable Text chat 0 2 10 1 Two-way audio 0 1 11 1 Hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 0 2 10 1 Whiteboard 0 4 8 1 Application Sharing 0 1 4 8 Breakout Rooms 0 2 10 1 Taking Polls or Quizzes 0 1 10 2 Guided Web Surfing 0 1 6 6 Session Observations The results of the observation for this case sup ported the findings from the student surveys and showed the session observed was successful. The observe rs found that although th e observation instrument was long, it was a good record of what happened during the synchronous sessions and provided information necessary to answer the study questions. Observes found that watching the whole session while taking notes and then working with the observation instru ment was a good approach. If necessary, observers would refer to the time stamps in the notes and “rewind” the recording to see something they were unsure of. After making observations with the pilot case, a ll observers were comfortable with the process and the observation instrument. All observers were able to use the extensive instrument to examine the remaining cases. Figure 24 is an example of one observer’s notes taken prior to completing an observation instrument.

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93 Figure 24. Screen Capture of Example of Observer’s Notes Instructor Survey The end of semester survey s eemed to gather information th at provided a picture of the instructor’s experience with the SWBCS throughout th e semester. After reviewing the pilot case data, it was determined that no changes were necessary in th e survey and the protocol for reviewing the data was sound. Tables 28-32 represent how this data is displayed for the whole study. The Faculty survey was anonymous; therefore the real data reported w ill be a compilation of all faculty perceptions.

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94 Table 28. Reported Usefulness of Features in the Synchronous Classroom Question Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied 1. Your students' performance in the course as a result of using Elluminate. 0 0 1 0 2. The overall attainment of knowledge by the students as a result of using Elluminate. 0 0 0 1 3. The students’ creativity/work produced as a result of using Elluminate. 0 0 0 1 4. Your ability to interact with st udents in the course as a result of using Elluminate. 0 0 0 1 5. The ease for students to comm unicate with each other using Elluminate. 0 0 0 1 6. The sense of community felt between the students as a result of using Elluminate. 0 0 0 1 7. The relationships you have with your students as a result of using Elluminate. 0 0 0 1 Table 29. Overall systemic issues Question Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied 1. Your students’ ability to access the synchronous technology. 0 0 0 1 2. The dependability of the sy nchronous technology. 0 0 1 0 3. The availability of techni cal support and assistance for Elluminate. 0 0 1 0 4. The amount of training you recei ved on using Elluminate in your online course. 0 0 1 0 5. The availability of prod ucers to assist you in using Elluminate. 0 0 0 1 6. The training you received to prepar e you for using Elluminate. 0 0 1 0 7. The support provided by the Produ cers/facilitators in helping you conduct sessions. 0 1 0 0 8. The helpfulness of the Producers/fa cilitators you worked with. 0 0 0 1 9. The knowledge of the Producers/fac ilitators you worked with. 0 0 1 0 10. The innovative ideas/contributions of the Producers/facilitators. 0 0 1 0 11. The logistical support you had for the synchronous portion of this course, e.g., hardware, software, server space. 0 0 0 1

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95 Table 30. Overall satisfaction with course as a product Question Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied 1. The creative presentation possi bilities of the SWBCS. 0 0 0 1 2. The ability to use graphics and audio components in the SWBCS. 0 0 0 1 3. The ability to use other components such as web push, breakout rooms, and application sharing in the SWBCS. 0 0 1 0 4. The effectiveness of the online synchronous environment in fostering learning. 0 0 0 0 5. The ease for students to interact and participate using the SWBCS. 0 0 0 1 6. The ease for you to provide feedback, interact, or provide other information to your students through the SWBCS. 0 0 0 1 Table 31. Overall Satisfaction Question Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied 1. Working with the Producers/fac ilitators before and during your synchronous sessions. 0 0 0 1 2. Your overall technology teaching e xperience with Elluminate. 0 0 0 1 Table 32. Tools used Tool % Response Chat 100 Two-way VOIP 80 Application Sharing 40 Electronic Presentation Board 80 Breakout Rooms 60 Session Recording 60 Polling and Quizzing 40 Student interaction tools (hand rais ing, applause, pace meter, etc.) 80 Important insights into how the tools were used and the success of the synchronous session were obtained from opened questions in the faculty survey. These answers helped to reinforce data that was seen in the student surveys and the classroom recordings. Producer Focus Group A focus group was conducted with a few of the producers, some in person and some using the SWBCS. All producers also answered via email a short focus group questionnaire that resulted in a

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96 significant picture of their experiences and perceptions. The actual focus group protocol questions can be seen in Appendix I. Archival Documents During the data reduction of the pilot case it wa s necessary to examine certain web pages and emails that dealt with the course being studied. Th ese documents were used to fill in minor gaps in the information gather during the instructor interview and to support the perceptions seen in the faculty survey. The researcher’s journal was also consulted as a source of information, providing a time line and additional information. Chapter Conclusion This chapter provided an overview and rationale for the mixed methodology that this study utilized to examine the pedagogical strategies that faculty use in a SWBCS. The questions this study sought to answer have been addressed and mechanisms for an alyzing the data collected have been presented. A variety of data collection procedures were discussed that allowed for triangulation of data. The process followed for the pilot case provided a good structure fo r data collection, reduction and reporting. The data gathering, data reduction and data analysis proces s was iterative in nature resulting in well-developed instruments, data reduction and analysis procedures that were used to complete the full study. Chapter 4 will present the remaini ng case data with more detailed reporting. Chapter 5 will discuss how the data on pedagogical strategies has been analyzed and reduced to allow strategies, techniques and guidelines to be placed in a logical framework to guide future edu cators in the use of synchronous classroom technologies.

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97 Chapter 4 – Data Analysis and Results Introduction Data collection for this study took place over th e fall semester. Reduction of data commenced at the end of the semester. All qualitative data was review ed by multiple reviewers and then summarized by the researcher. This process along with the iterative design of the instruments provided a good research model. This chapter will discuss the data as collected an d refined. The overall sample will be introduced and then each case will be discussed separately with discussion of data obtained from the following: (1) instructor interviews, (2) two student surveys, (3) classroom observations, and (4) producer focus groups. A final data set was obtained from an instructor surv ey at the end of the semester. This survey was anonymous, so it is reviewed as a whole rather than by case. Discussion of the data describes the class and the students, reviews faculty ideas and perceptions, looks at the sessions from the producer’s point of view and reviews any additional documents about the case on an individual basis. A final summary describes the cases based on th e study research questions and how the data informed the answers to these questions. Overall this chapter will provide ample information to understand how this study was conducted and will set the stage for conclusions to be drawn in chapter 5. The Sample The Instructors Using nonprobabilistic purposeful sampling, par ticipating instructors were chosen to maximize variability in experience, subjects, and teaching styles Although seven instructors that used the SWBCS were interviewed, a total of five instructors were ch osen for observation of their courses. One instructor was removed due to lack of participation from the stud ents in the surveys and on e instructor was used as the pilot case. All instructors studied used Elluminate Live! ™ for at least three class sessions allowing them to become comfortable and assure that their students were familiar with the technology. All five instructors were previously teaching via the Internet wh ich allowed them to translate their strategies to the new environment. In the following s ections, each instructor’s course will be discussed as a separate case. Table 33 provides a listing of the cases and summa rizes some information gl eaned from instructor interviews and archival docu ments about the instructors.

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98 Table 33. Overview of Cases – the Sample of Instructors Case Status Rank & Experience Work load 1 Pilot testing of instruments only Full Professor 14 years teaching in higher education, 10 years via distance Full teaching load of 3 classes. Serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Center for Instructional Technology and is the Coordinator of the Ed.S. program. Publishes, presents and conducts research on a regular basis. 2 Full case Instructor 4 years in current teaching position with both face-to-face and distance courses. Full teaching load, 3 course s totaling over 100 students. Serves on many committees. Is continuing personal education. 3 Full case Instructor 3 years teaching current course since obtaining her PhD in 2001. Much of her experience is in distance education. Teaches 3 sections of gradua te level courses. Holds an administrative position in support of faculty using distance and technology educa tion on a remote campus. Serves on many committees. 4 Full case Full Professor 30 years teaching in higher education, most including distance education. Full teaching load of 3 courses. Dean of outreach for the Florida Engineering Education Delivery System (FEEDS). On the board of two honor society and represents university on many committees. 5 Full case Lecturer 18 years teaching in higher education, past 12 years through Florida Engineering Education Delivery System. Teaches 2 courses with 30-40 students in each. Also teaches a self paced course. Serves as undergraduate coordinator for Industrial Engineering department. Oversees graduate research and is very involved in the many college projects. 6 Full case Assistant Professor Taught in higher education for over 10 years with extensive experience in distance education and technology. Teaches 2 courses with a pproximately 25 students in each. Continues to work toward tenure with publications and research. Also serves on many committees such as the universities Instructional Technology committee. The Courses The courses studied in this project were from a variety of disciplines. They were all taught at a graduate level and each had been taught via distance technologies previously. The number of students enrolled varied from 10 to 33. Table 34 provides an overview of the courses that made up each case.

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99 Table 34. Overview of Cases – the Sample of Courses Case College # of Students Enrolled Level Description of Course 2 Nursing 33 Graduate An Epidemiology course taught asynchronously over the Internet with mandatory initial and final face-to-face meetings. 3 Education 13 Graduate A course on microcomput ers for school managers taught asynchronously over the Internet with mandatory in itial and final face-to-face meetings. 4 Engineering 10 Graduate An entrepreneurial cour se in Human Relations for Technical Managers utilizes streaming video and asynchronous technologies over the Internet. 5 Engineering 33 Graduate The capstone course for the MS Engineering Management curriculum utilizes streaming video and asynchronous technologies over the Internet. 6 Library and information Science 25 Graduate Information Architecture and De sign course which, was described as a blended class with part of the course online and part of it face-to-face. The Students The students in this study had similar backgrounds and characteristics. They were all graduate students enrolled in programs of study. The following table summarizes the demographics and technical experience recorded from the initial student survey. This provides a good picture of the students enrolled in the courses that make up each case.

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100 Table 35. Overview of Cases – the Sample of Students Case Student Profile Survey Responses/ Enrolled Age Ranges Type of Internet Connection Distance from Campus Online Courses Taken Software Proficiency Levels Synchronous Experience 2 33/33 33% < 30 24% < 40 11% < 50 9% >50 6-dialup 16-cable 10-DSL 0-LAN 30% < 30 miles 36% > 60 miles 35% 3 46% 4+ Evenly spread 4-chat 1-audio 2-video 1-app. share 2-SWBCS 3 3/13 67% < 30 33% < 40 0-dialup 1-cable 2-DSL 0-LAN 67% < 30 miles 33% > 60 miles 67% 0 33% 1 Beginner to Intermediate 1-chat 1-audio 0-video 0-app. share 0-SWBCS 4 7/10 71% < 30 29% < 40 0-dialup 6-cable 0-DSL 1-LAN 87% < 30 miles 0% > 60 miles one student was out of the country 57% 0 29% 2 14% 4+ Mainly Advanced 2-chat 1-audio 0-video 1-app. share 0-SWBCS 5 16/35 38% < 30 43% < 40 2-dialup 7-cable 3-DSL 4-LAN 44% < 30 miles 13% > 60 miles 40% 0 27% 1 7% 2 27% 4+ Intermediate to Advanced 5-chat 4-audio 0-video 2-app. share 1-SWBCS 6 15/25 53% < 30 40% < 40 7%>40 1-dialup 6-cable 3-DSL 4-LAN 93% < 30 miles 7% < 60 miles 20% 0 40% 1 40% 4+ Intermediate to Advanced 7-chat 1-audio 0-video 4-app. share 1-SWBCS

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101 Study Logistics The collection of data for this study ran in to a few situations that need to be addressed at this point. One event that was beyond anyone’s control was the fact that courses were repeatedly disrupted by hurricanes in the semester of this study. This would disrupt any course, but these courses were heavily dependent on technology not to mention electricity were significantly affected. Although all the cases bounced back from the problems seen at the beginning of the semester due to hurricanes, it delayed much of the technological innovations planned by the instructors. It also caused some students to drop out of courses due to unforeseen technology issues. Overall the storms did not have a significant effect on the study, but should be noted as an anomaly. Another issue with data collection was a poor response rate from students in some of the cases. Students were encouraged, but not required to respond and the resulting response rates to surveys were not optimal. However, in some of the worst cases, the data collected from surveys were augmented with data collected by the instructor in the form of open ended questions that addressed many of the important aspects from the student surveys. Overall, the picture provided by the surveys and the other document analysis was able to be triangulated to provide a good student view of the use of the SWBCS in each case. This student view was used in conjunction with the other data sources, creating an extensively rich data set. Case 2 The instructor – Via the Instructor Interview This course was taught by an instructor w ith numerous years of both teaching and practical experience. She has been an instructor at this univers ity for four years. During this time she has taught a combination of face-to-face, web-based, web enhanced and clinical courses. Although self reported, the information obtained from instructor interviews presents a good picture of the instructor and how sh e feels about teaching in this manne r. This instructor carries a full teaching load with no research assi gnment. She currently teaches three courses with a total of over 100 students. One course is a web-based course with 30 students, the same course is offered as web-enhanced with 70 students and a different web-enhanced course was assigned with 13 students. Although she does not have a research assignment, her service commitments are si gnificant within the College of Nursing. In addition, this instructor is continuing her professional development by taking 2 Ph.D. level courses at another university. Challenges that face this instructor in her web courses include the ongoing maintenance of web based materials. Due to the large number of students, she did have a teaching assistant who helped produce the synchronous sessions and assist ed with grading and monitoring of asynchronous discussions. When asked why she volunteered for this study, the instructor replied that she wanted to improve web-based classes by adding more interaction. She noted that Epidemiology students tend to do better with

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102 live classes than distance and theref ore she wants to improve the distan ce courses. For her students, she hopes to increase satisfaction by offering the increas ed interaction between students and between herself and the students. She felt that she could improve the quality and quantity of learning she provides in her web-based course as she compares it to her face-to-face courses. Being an experienced distance educator, the inst ructor was asked to address anticipations and experiences in teaching at a distance. This instructor has found that most students think the web format class will be easier than the face-to -face course. She also noted a signifi cant learning curve for navigating in Blackboard that delays learning at the beginning of the semester. She hoped that the synchronous technology would offer additional sources of support to students sooner in the semester by providing an earlier start on figuring out where everything is lo cated. To accomplish this, she planned to incorporate synchronous in week 2 or 3 to help students get organized earlier. The class – Via the Instructor Interview The course studied for this case was a graduate level course in the College of Nursing which, covered epidemiology. Before this study, the course was being taught online with a mandatory orientation meeting at the beginning of the semester to discuss technology and group projects. A midterm exam and final exam were also accomplished in person. The instru ctor stated that the course was a web-enhanced or blended course due to these required meetings. Groups were formed in this course to analyze data and complete assignments. Previous online offerings of this course have been presented as ynchronously through Blackboard with little real-time interaction. The content of the course usually consis ts of the Blackboard course containing PowerPoint slides, hyperlinks, group activities and asynchronous discussions. Before use of the SWBCS the course used Black board’s asynchronous discussion board for Q & A, monitored by the teaching assistant. The students we re required to participate in discussion and search for information within of the modules. Small groups were created to work on projects that often caused issues due to drop out rates. The in structor voiced a desire to update an introductory activity for the next time the course is taught. When asked during the interview what the instructor anticipated using in the way of instructional strategies, she seemed to have a sound plan in mind. The instructor wanted to use short lectures that included polling with interaction or questions afterward where students would be required to explain their answers. In addition, she planned to use some of the appointed time for group work. Here groups of students would analyze epidemiology data and complete assignments by using a worksheet which includes assigned tasks. This instructor liked the idea that the synchronous interface offe rs an interaction media/medium (audio) that students are familiar w ith and hoped to use more active strategies and include case scenarios in

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103 the future. She noted wariness due to the fact that you can’t see studen t’s faces, but was ready to try this method anyway. Another anticipated outcome was an increase in the exchange of ideas on the asynchronous discussion boards due to increase comfort levels between the students and connections she hoped would be built. The class Via classroom observations Synchronous sessions of this course were cond ucted via SWBCS 6 times. After initial review, 3 were selected for observation using the observation inst rument. Observations for this case were completed by five different observers for three of the six instructional sessions conducted by this instructor. The first session was an orientation to the system and did not present epidemiology content. The remaining two were very similar in how they were conducted, with the instructor being very consistent in her approach. During the third session, the instructor struggled a bit as her producer was unexpectedly taken ill and went to the hospital. The unplanned changes caused the instructor some discomfort and confusion at the beginning of the session. Additionally, she made a few mistakes that would not have happened if she had had the extra support as she had planned. However, she rebounded nicely and still conducted a very successful session. The remainder of this section will discuss the resulting observations of the three sessions and the instructional approaches seen throughout this case. Pedagogy Based on observation of three class session conduct ed by this instructor it is obvious that she utilized a variety of pedagogical strategies in her class. She provided short lectures, but broke them up with other activities such as question and answer sessions. These sessions often involved analysis of data from charts and graphs as well as preplanned questions using the polling and quizzing tools. The instructor probed for deeper thought by asking questions at different levels, setting cogn itive tasks, and requiring higher order or critical thinking. She included group work in which, the students had specific tasks to accomplish. This approach was seen as a problem solving strategy. Overall, this in structor rated very high in the practice of sound pedagogy for student learning.

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104 Table 36. Case 2: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable Pedagogical Strategy Instructor lectured – conveyed information through talking or demonstration Direct (telling, lecturing) whole group. x x x Instructor used interactive direction with whole group (posing que stions and calling for answers) x x Instructor questioned at different levels x x Individual students worked alone x x Students worked in pairs or small groups x x Students acted as a whole class (ie. large class discussion, full class quizzing or polling, lecture, whole class project etc.) x x x Other approaches This was more of a how to session on the software than a real class session. it may have been a bad choice to review. Pedagogy Judged Pe dagogical Strategy The teaching strategies utilized tools appropriate for the students’ level of skill with the technology and were well supported x x x Teaching methods were appropriate for the content x x x Lesson required student thought and participation– explain. x x The teaching strategy included a problem solving activity– explain. x x The Instructor set c ognitive tasks for the students – explain. x x Session required higher order (not route memory or just opinion) and/or critical thinking on the part of the students– explain. x x Other approaches Summary of Pedagogy Used Summary of Pedagogy An orientation session there was no real pedagogy. Instructor lectured, used PowerPoint slides effectivel y to illustrate, presented many charts and graphs and had students analyze data The pedagogy was sound and seemed appropriate.

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105 Interaction When looking at interaction, five areas were specifically noted: (1 ) Instructor-Learner interaction, (2) Learner-Instructor interaction, (3) learner-Learner interaction, (4) Learner-Content interaction and (5) Learner-Interface interaction. Table 37 shows that the instructor initiated interactions with her students in all sessions. Table 37. Case 2: Results of Instructor-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable Instructor-Learner Interaction Checks student comprehension x x x Knows and uses student names x x Responds to students as individuals x x x Praises students for contributions that deserve commendation x x Criticizes student ignorance or misunderstanding Encourages questions, invol vement, debate and/or feedback x x x Encourages students to answer questions by provided cues and encouragement x x Other Directly Observable I-L Interactions Judged Instructor-Learner Interaction Instructor Questions Instructor feedback is informative x x x Instructor Responses Instructor listens carefully to student comments and questions x x Instructor feedback is informative and constructive x x x Instructor answers student questions clearly and directly x x x Overall Impression Good rapport with students x x x Treats class members equitably x x x Encourages mutual respect among students x x x Respects diverse points of view x Recognizes when students do not understand x x x Other Judged I-L Interactions During the first session, interactions were not as prevalent, however, throughout the content related session the instructor effec tively initiated academic interactions with students. During these sessions she knew and used their names, responded to students as individuals, provided feedback as well as encouraged student interac tions. Through these interactions, she kept her students involved in the learning process.

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106 Table 38. Case 2: Results of Learner-Instructor Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable LearnerInstructor Interaction Students ask questions of the instructor x x x Students volunteer information x x Students present information x Student feedback is on topic x x Other Directly Observable L-I Interactions Interactions initiated by the students with the instructor were also prevalent in the two content related sessions. These interactions were recorded as Directly Observed Learner-Instructor Interactions. No judged interactions were recorded in this process. From the observation reports, it is evident that students were comfortable interacting with the instructor an d did so in a variety of ways. Students initiated interactions with the instructor by asking qu estions as well as volunteering information. Other interactions initiated by student pertain to the actual session contents. In the first session, students interacted with the tools as this was the content of the session. In the later two sessions, the content included epidemiological data and related information. Table 39 shows the recorded observations of learner-content interactions. Table 39. Case 2: Results of Learner-Content Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable LearnerContent Interaction Reading x x x Writing (i.e., on whiteboard, in chat, etc.) x x Presentation (i.e., verbal, graphical, etc.) x Discussion x x Responds x x x Participates in Poll x x x Other Directly Observable L-C Interactions Judged LearnerContent Interaction Interpret x x Comprehend x x x React x x Listening x x x Other Judged L-C Interactions When using technology, it is usually hard for students to use the tools and not interact with the content as long as content is being presented in some fashion. So, it is not surprising that the observers marked content interaction high in this case. The in structor had structured th e two content sessions such that student would interact with the content and it worked well. The first session was a practice session to

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107 assure the students would be comfortable with the t ools. This was a great approach as it allowed the students to interact with the content in the late r sessions with out the tools getting in the way. Learner-Learner interactions were not as significan t as other types of interactions in this case. Although students did engage in some conversation it was limited. Notable is the drop off in learner-learner interaction seen between session 2 and session 3 (Table 40). Table 40. Case 2: Results of Learner-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable LearnerLearner Interaction Students discuss the content of the session with each other (on-task academic conversation) x Students engage in conversati on that is not related to the subject of the session but is related to the course or other courses (off task academic conversation) X Students engage in conversati on that is not related to the course (social conversation) Students encourage other students’ questions, involvement, debate and/or feedback X Students criticize other student’s ignorance or misunderstanding Students use each others names x Other Directly Observable L-L Interactions Judged LearnerLearner Interactions Students answer questions clearly and directly x x Students maintain a good rapport with each other x x Students show mutual respect for each other (i. e. listening carefully, responding constructively, etc.) x x x Students treat class members equitably x x Other Judged L-L Interactions This drop corresponds to the problems the instructor had with the system due to not having her producer available in the third session. The instructor had not solely prepared the room before and was not aware that the students did not have access to some of the communication tools that would have allowed them to interact with each other, su ch as chat. Although students did engage in some conversation in the second session, overall they communicated much more with the instructor than with each other. This case also utilized groups and the use of brea kout rooms. Group activities were part of the sessions, and communication in the groups did take place. Due to not being able to record the group areas, observers could not discern how much or what type of interactions occurred. The student did seem to respect each other and have a good rapport.

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108 Table 41. Case 2: Results of Learner-Interface Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable LearnerInterface Interaction Work on whiteboard x Use microphone x x x Exchange messages in chat x x x Raises hand x x x Completes a poll x x x Uses emoticons x x x Troubles connecting x x x Troubles with microphone x x x Unable to use tools x Other Directly Observable L-Interface Interactions Judged LearnerInterface Interaction Did any students voice frustration with the interface? Shows emotion x x Other Judged L-Interface Interactions Interaction between the students and the interface wa s inevitable. Observations in this area were meant to determine if the interface was a hindrance or a support fo r the students. With this in mind, students did not voice frustrat ions with the interface or show negativ e emotions. Some emotion was shown, but more in use of the emoticons than voiced objections. For the most part the use of tools was not a problem except for minor issues with connections to the SWBCS and some microphone adjustments. The tools used for interaction such as the emoticons, the step away feature raising hands and polling were all used throughout the sessions. Students also interacted with the system wh en they used their microphones to add to the discussions. Overall the interactions that took place in this case were between the instructor and the students. Students effectively interacted with the interface and with content in the sessions, but did not interact extensively with each other. Discussion did play a significant role in the sessions, but it was guided by the instructor. The group session may have had more significant learner-learner interactions but they were not visible to the observers. Placing interactions on a s cale of low to high, the interactions in this case would most likely be medium to high. Structure The next few sections of the observation instru ment reflect the structure of the class sessions. Theory has shown that the structure of the class can play an important role. To accurately review the class structure during a synchronous session it was divided into three sections that could be observed in different

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109 ways: (1) classroom management, (2) content organization and (3) presentation. First, the management of the classroom was observed du ring all three sessions. This instructor managed her sessions well. She st arted on time and came prepared. She seemed to have a clear organizational plan which, she followed. During the sessions she stayed on track and was aware of the needs of her students. She maintained th eir attention, pausing to allow them to reflect and answer questions. Her manner maintained control and credibility. Overall her classroom management was excellent (Table 42).

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110 Table 42. Case 2: Results of Classroom Management (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable Classroom Management Instructor began class on time in an orderly, organized fashion x x x Instructor digressed often from the main topic Instructor had readily available the materials and equipment necessary to complete the activity x x x Instructor gave prompt attention to individual problems x x Instructor maintained student attention x x x Instructor paused to allow students to interact and answer questions (wait time). x x x Provided opportunities for dialogue about the activity with peers and/or instructor x x Instructor allowed opportunity for individual expression x x Instructor provided practice time and sufficient time for completion x x x Other Directly Observable classroom management Judged Classroom Management Instructor appeared well prepared for class x x x Instructor had a clear organizational plan x x x Instructor clearly organized and explained assignments x x x Instructor provided clear directions or procedures x x x Instructor provided sufficie nt wait time (i. e. gave students enough time to respond to and ask questions) x x x Skills required during the session were not beyond reasonable expectations for this course and/or these students (were they struggling with any skills? Why?) x x x Instructor maintained cred ibility and control (i. e. Spoke about course cont ent with confidence and authority, used authority in classroom to create an environment conducive to learning, etc.) x x x Instructor is able to adm it error and/or insufficient knowledge Instructor respects constructive criticism Instructor responds to distractions effectively yet constructively Other Judged classroom management

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111 The content of session one covered the use of th e synchronous classroom in order to increase the student’s comfort levels. The goals for this session were stated by the instructor, bu t they were significantly different than for session two and three. With sessions two and three we saw an increase in the content organization. The instructor included previews of what was to come as well as explained the goal or objective of the session. Session two and three had both similarities and differences (Table 43), but more organizational strategies were include in the last session which, may show that the instructor was more familiar with the system and was able to plan better as she became more experienced. Strong organizational strategies such as incorporating student responses, integrating assigned course materials, and making the content relative to real world situations showed that the instructor has strong skills in organizing her content in an educationally sound manner.

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112 Table 43. Case 2: Results of Content Organization (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable Content Organization Previewed lecture/discussion content x x Introduced organization of the lecture x x Explained the goal or objective for the period x x x Reviewed prior class material to prepare students for the content to be covered x Provided internal summaries and transitions x Summarized and distilled main points at the end of class (formally) Previewed by connecting to future classes (hinting at things to come) x x Instructor incorporated student responses x x x Integrates assigned course material into class presentation (readings, web sites, etc.) x x x Relates current course content to students’ general education x x Makes course content releva nt with references to “real world” applications x x Explicitly states relationships among various topics and facts/theory x x Explains difficult terms, concepts, or problems in more than one way x x Presents background of ideas and concepts x x Presents up-to-date developments in the field x x Other Directly Observed Content Organization Judged Content Organization Introduction captured attention x x Main ideas are clear and specific x x x Sufficient variety was provided to support information x x x Relevancy of main ideas were clear x x x Other Judged Content Organization In addition to the organization of content, it is very important to present content in a meaningful and effective way. The last piece of identifying the stru cture of the sessions was to observe aspects of the presentation (Table 44). Even in session one where cont ent was not as familiar, the instructor presented the material well. One observer noted that during session three the text in some slides was small and could have been clearer, other than this, all presentation constructs were seen positively in the sessions. Not only was the visual presentation considered effective, but the verbal presenta tion was also clear, properly paced and showed confidence and enthusiasm for the subject matter. Overall presentation was rated very high.

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113 Table 44. Case 2: Results of Presentation (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable Presentation Articulation and pronunciation was clear x x x Absence of verbal pauses (speech fillers) x x x Volume was sufficient to be heard x x x Varied pace x x x Included illustrations x x x Presented views other than own when appropriate x x Visuals were clear and well organized (large and legible) x x x Visual aids were easily read x x x Other Directly Observation Presentation Judged Presentation Instructor spoke extraneously Effective voice quality x x x Rate of delivery was appropriate x x x Communicates a sense of confidence, enthusiasm and excitement toward content x x x Speech is neither too formal nor too casual x x x Other Directly Observation Presentation After reviewing all the aspects presented here, ob servers summarized the st ructure they observed in the sessions overall. For session two, comments incl uded well organized, effective slides, discussion and good facilitation. For session three, comments includ ed well organized, showing time and thought put into the organization and delivery of the content. This instructor had a significantly well structured approach to using the SWBCS for her class. Learner Autonomy Another area of importance in distance education is the responsibility that a student takes for his or her own learning. This is labeled as learner autonomy. Often the amount of responsibility students take depends on the opportunities they are given to make choices. To examine learner autonomy, constructs were used as guidelines in observing the synchronou s session (Table 45). In this case, the instructor required students to review and analyze data in the form of graphs and chart and then to respond to questions. From this and group work which, was assigned at the end of both the second and third sessions, observers felt students had opportunities and took responsibility for a part of their resulting learning. For example, all students worked on analysis of the da ta and responded to polls, even if they responded incorrectly. Some were then asked to provide reasoning for their analys is. Students also worked in small groups in breakout rooms. Within these rooms students were assigned specific tasks that they had to complete. They were directed to mate rials from the web that they used to get to an end point. The work in

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114 these groups was done by the student without assistan ce from the instructor. From these examples and what the observers were able to see, the learner autonomy constructs in Table 45 were reported. Overall it was determine that the strategies used in the two content related session provided ample opportunity for learner autonomy and students responded by taking responsibility for their learning.

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115 Table 45. Case 2: Results of Learner Autonomy Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable Learner Autonomy Activities such as self-guided reading, participation in groups, electronic dialogue s, or reflective writing activities were used in this session x x Instructor utilized dialogue with learners x x x Students are given options on how they will interact and learn the material Learning was “primarily” independent or interdependent, not dependent on the instructor x x Students take noticeable responsibility for various decisions associated with the learning in this session x x Students discover information that they need for the session rather than being provided all of it x x The discussion in groups was dominated by one or two people Students ask a lot of productive questions x x x Students who struggle with the technology bounce back and become productive members of the class x x x Other Directly Observed Learner Autonomy Judged Learner Autonomy Strategy used provides for multiple learning styles x x x Strategy used allows for l earner independence and/or interdependence x x Students seem to have positive attitudes about this learning experience x x x Students seem to enjoy discussion of ideas x x Instructor provides challenge s that students seem to enjoy x x Other Judged Learner Autonomy Tool Use Since technology use is a significant part of this research, it was important to understand how the tools provided were used. The next section of the observation instrument provided a means to record what was used and to summarize the effectiveness of the to ol use. Table 46 shows th e resulting tool use for all three sessions. Included in the table is a reporting of how often the tools were used. As can bee seen, VOIP was used extensively along with other tools that helped to check student comprehension such as polling. In addition, students used tools to get the attention of the instructor and to communicate. Regular use of most of the tools was seen throughout all sessions. When asked to judge the effectiv eness of the tool use, observers all agreed that the use was effective. In th e case of the third session effectiveness of tool use would have been improved had the producer been available. The instructor did not turn on, and therefore

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116 utilize all the tools. Some specific tool use was pointed out by the observers that assisted in making a better presentation, including using the pointer and the highlighter to highlight the areas of the slide the instructor was talking about and draw the student’s attention. Table 46. Case 2: Results of Tool Use Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Directly Observable Tool Use Textual Chat x x Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Audio x x x Breakout Rooms x x x Whiteboard x x Shared Browser x x Application Sharing x Private Messaging Pace Meter Hand Raising x x x Polling x x x Emoticons x x x Step away feature x x x Quizzing x How often were the tools used? – describe ( ie. Used extensively, regularly, minimally, etc.) Only as an orientation Tools were used regularly as they were learning how to use the tools in this session. Extensively to check comprehension Regularly The VOIP was used extensively, but others were not as frequent. Hand raising was extensive also. Instructor actually had chat and whiteboard turned off without knowing it. A variety of the available tools were used to present materials x x x Other Directly Observable Tool Use Highlighter on whiteboard Pointer tool for graphs and tables. Judged Tool Use Use of tools was effective x x x Other Judged Tool Use Tool use could have been better with all tools on. Overall tool use was summarized as good, highlighting the use of polling and quizzing to check comprehension and the interaction of students who raised their hand to join the discussion and ask questions.

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117 Strengths, Weaknesses and Success Having observed the entire class session, each observer was asked to list the overall strengths and the weakness they observed. Table 47 contains the resulting comments from all observers. Table 47. Case 2: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs Questions 15 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Judged Overall Strengths and Weaknesses observations What strengths were observed? Students will be adequately prepared for the real session the following week. The instructor seemed to be well prepared and handled the class well. Lots of variety in lesson which, kept instruction interesting. The session made use of a variety of Elluminate functionalities. Students had many questions for which, the instructor provided clear simple answers. Instructor was able to help students with technical problems Good use of Elluminate features. Students asked a lot of questions. They seemed satisfied with the answers. Instructor helped students with technical difficulties. The class was well organized. The students seemed prepared. The content was appropriate for the venue. What weaknesses were observed? None really. This use of Elluminate is probably a really good idea and more instructors should do it. The instructor at one point confused the students and did not notice that they were lost. Variety of microphone levels. The volume of the instructor was rather low. Microphone problems, audio problems. The instructor had some technical issue with the software because her normal producer was ill. She did not know how to give access to the whiteboard and chat features. Based on all the constructs in the observation in strument, the observers were then asked to judge the success of the session. This is often a difficult ta sk as the observers have only a small picture of the entire educational environment the inst ructor has created. However, the ob server’s comments are useful in determining how the session was perceived. When combined with student, instructor and producer perceptions, the overall picture should be clear. Table 48 shows the comments on success of the se ssion that each observer made for each session. Overall this instructor should be commended for her successful use of a SWBCS as an online educational supplement to her course.

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118 Table 48. Case 2: Results of Session Success Observation Constructs Questions 15 – 9/13/2004 12 9/20/2004 17 10/20/2004 Summary of Session Success Success of the session Fine for its purpose. For an orientation to the tools, this session was a success. However, it did not cover actually course materials. Very successful. Content was communicated in an interesting fashion, student comprehension was check often and a variety of tools were used. This session was very successful. This session was quite successful. It was well structured, offered some time for learners to work on their own and helped with a difficult topic. The instructors and students interacted well. The Class – Via Student Surveys Most of the students were aware that the course was offered in multiple formats (online and faceto-face); however 6 did not know which reflects their desire for an online format. With this in mind, 14 student said it was not likely that they would have taken the course had it not been offered online, while 13 said likely and 6 said definitely To address the reasons students to ok the course, they were asked to rate the most important reason for taking the course. 19 of the students reported that it was required for their degree. Other popular answers were work schedule (4), Family obligations (4) and driving distance (5). Since the class included a synchron ous element, students were asked if they were aware of this requirement before the class began. 31 of the students responded no however, 31 also responded that they had allotted time in their schedules for the synchronous sessions. There were few problems reported by the students in preparing to take the course with items such as difficulty registering ( easy 24; very easy 6), difficulty getting an ID card ( easy 20; very easy 5) and difficulty of accessing the Internet ( easy 20; very easy 10) showing positive results. Items required to access the asynchronous portions of the co urse online include obtaining a NetID ( easy 19; very easy 4) and accessing the university servers ( easy 19; very easy 9). Other questions asked in the initial survey addressed instructions and materials for the course. 20 students reported that obtaining a syllabus was easy and 12 said it was very easy The majority of the students (25) also felt that instructions fo r using technology in this course were very clear and the setup required for the courses was not difficult (21). In addition, the Synchronous Setup Wizard was considered to be easy (19) to very easy (9) to use. When students did experience problems, help was not difficult to get ( easy 25; very easy 4). The students were asked if they participated in a demonstration of the synchronous software before attempting their first session. 25 of the students in this case answered yes and only 8 answered no From this, students reported that they felt s omewhat prepared (9) and well prepared (14) with 2 students feeling very well prepared and 2 still feeling not prepared 26 students participated in the end of semester

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119 survey. From the results of the s econd survey the students perceptions about the SWBCS used in their course were positive. The students in this class used the system at leas t once, with half of th ose answering the survey reporting 3 or more sessions. In addition, all but 5 of the students participated in all the sessions provided. When asked how easy the system was to use, 17 out of the 26 students answered very easy 9 answered somewhat easy and no one answered not easy The majority of the students (16) reported no problems connecting to the synchronous classroom with only 2 having major problems In addition, 77% of the students had no problem getting familiar with the new interface. The next section of the survey addressed issues students had with diff erent features of the synchronous classroom. Table 49 shows the results. As can be seen, there were very few problems reported by the students with the tools they used. Table 49. Case 2: Student Report of Problems with SWBCS Features Feature No Problem Minor Problem Major Problem Not Applicable Text chat 22 3 0 1 Two-way audio 16 10 0 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 26 0 0 0 Whiteboard 18 7 1 0 Application Sharing 14 4 0 8 Breakout Rooms 19 3 0 4 Taking Polls or Quizzes 22 2 0 2 Guided Web Surfing 16 3 0 7 Other 8 8 1 9 After reporting on issues they had with different features of the system, students were asked to report how they solved problems that did occurred. 8 students solved the problems themselves, 8 chose not applicable and 5 reported other means of solving the problem. Other ways in which, students found help with their problems included: 1) “Computer Trouble shooters”, 2) “anti spy ware programs”, 3) “before 1st session I did the live session with Elluminate represen tative”, and 4) “I was auto matically reconnected each time”. To be sure technical issues were not creating significant issues for the students; a few questions were asked that addressed how they connected to the Internet and how their com puter kept up with the sessions. The means of connecting to the internet was previously reported, this question resulted in a similar a breakdown. With most students connecting at higher bandwidth it was not surprising to see that all students (26) felt that their computers were able to keep pace during the sessions.

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120 When asked whether technical knowledge and skills were required to master the use of Elluminate Live! ™, students had mixed feelings. However, 58% stated that these skills were important at least frequently or almost always Most students (53% rarely ; 23% sometimes ) did not need technical assistance to complete the synchronous sessions. When they did need technical support, 42% said it was almost alway s available and 27% said is was frequently available. In addition, those who required technical support found that their problems were solved (19%, frequently ; 39% almost always ; 35% N/A ). In order to determine the success of the tools used during the sessions, the students were asked how useful each feature was to them. Table 50 show s the results. Two-way audio (23) and the ability to raise their hand (22) were considered very useful features with the whiteboard (18) running a close third. Interestingly, no students answered that a tool was not useful Table 50. Case 2: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students Feature Not Useful Somewhat Useful Very Useful Not Applicable Text chat 0 14 11 1 Two-way audio 0 3 23 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 0 4 22 0 Whiteboard 0 8 18 0 Application Sharing 0 5 12 9 Breakout Rooms 0 6 15 5 Taking Polls or Quizzes 0 6 17 3 Guided Web Surfing 0 4 15 7 In an effort to determine how the students perceived the quality of the synchronous software, students were asked to rate the quality of different f eatures. Table 51 portrays the results. Most tools were rated good to excellent

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121 Table 51. Case 2: Quality of SWBCS Features as Reported by Students Feature Poor Fair Good Excellent Not Applicable Elluminate Presentation Space 0 3 18 5 0 Elluminate Audio 1 3 14 8 0 Elluminate Screen Layout 0 1 18 7 0 Ways to offer instructor and others feedback (i.e. emoticons, applause, hand raising, etc.) 1 0 10 15 0 Your connection to Elluminate 0 4 9 13 0 Collaboration tools (i.e. whiteboard, application sharing, breakout rooms, etc.) 1 1 11 12 1 The overall quality of the Elluminate experience 0 2 11 13 0 When asked if they thought that taking this course was a good idea, all 26 students responded yes In addition they thought that the organization was logical and easy to follow ( frequently 35%; almost always 62%). More importantly, 62% felt that synchronous session activities and assignments facilitated their understanding of course content. 53% felt that the sessions were almost always aligned with the course objectives and 73% felt that the instructor’s approach to using Elluminate was almost always effective. Much of the framework of this study is based on transactional distance which, has been directly related to interaction numerous times. Many educational researchers suggest that interactions are a very critical part of learning and should be encouraged in several ways. With this in mind, questions were asked that addressed how students perceived interactions when using a SWBCS. In this case, 65% felt that interactions with their classmates and/or the instructor were almost always effective when using the synchronous software. 69% felt that synchronous discussions with their peers were almost always encouraged in the sessions and 77% felt that the instructor almost alway s provided opportunities for students to participate during the sessions. Research shows that effective interactions with th e instructor can take many forms. Opinions on instructor feedback address both inst ructor interactions and also immediac y in the classroom. In this case, 69% of the students felt that the instructor almost always provided constructive feedback during the synchronous sessions. The goal of educational environments is for students to increase thei r knowledge. In these sessions, 35% of the students reported that the sessions allowed them to frequently demonstrate their learning while 50% stated the sessions almost always allowed them to demonstrat e their learning. Although concern for students with disabilities were considered important by the researcher, only a small number felt

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122 that this was important to them with 65% stating accommodations for disabilities were not applicable However, almost all of those who did an swer this question an swered positively. One string of thought on the use of synchronous technologies for teaching at a distance is that it allows for increased connections that build a stronger learning community. With this in mind, students were asked if using Elluminate made them feel more connect ed to others in their cla ss. 80% stated that they almost always felt more connected and 12% said they frequently felt more connected to other students. In addition, 77% felt almost always more connected to instructor and 12% felt frequently more connected to the instructor. Using technology should enhance the learning pro cess rather than create more chaos. Students in this class felt that the technology used almost always (65%) or frequently (31%) enhanced their learning experience. Only one felt that the technology rarely made a difference. In additio n, students felt that the use of this technology motivated then to learn with 54% choosing almost always and 31% choosing frequently Students did not seem to be turned off by the technology, but rather they would consider taking a course that used synchronous technologies again. 65% of the students in this case would consider this almost always while another 19% would frequently consider synchronous techno logies in a course. When asked to compare this course to other courses they have taken, 54% stated the course was almost always excellent and 35% stated it was frequently excellent. Only 4% stated that the course was not excellent. Producer input This class had one of the most active producers. She played a major role in the success of the sessions. Many questions were asked during the produ cer focus group to determin e what role she played and her perspectives of the SWBCS as it was used in this case. As background information this producer had some previous experience with a similar system in the corporate world. Besides this she had no experience with other synchronous technologies. This producer participated in all of the training sessions provided before the beginning of the pilot. The relationship with the instructor and the role that the producer played in the use of the SWBCS are important factors in how well the sessions went as well as the producers pers pectives. This producer had a very close relationship with the instructor in which, everything was done as a team. They met several times in person and talked via phone or email once or twice a week. The major duties that she performed for the instructor were helping to design the course, conducting the initial orientations and training for students, monitoring all classes and handling technical issues as they arose. Sh e also prepared for the course by converting PowerPoint slides to White board format and making sure that the recordings were available for the students afterwards. When asked if she thought that the instructor would now be able to conduct the same type of sessions on her own, without a producer, the producer said “I can’t imagine the instructors doing all this on

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123 their own”. Overall the producer fe lt that the SWBCS was very effectiv e for teaching. The strengths were listed as stronger community and enabling the student to ask the teacher direct questions and the teacher was better able to explain complex issues. Weaknesses mentioned were the frustration caused by working through technical issues and the problems some students who did not speak English as a first language had with keeping up and understanding. In this case, the producer reported that lectur ing, group work polling and questions and answer strategies were used during the sessions. These strate gies were practice by the instructor and the producer before they were implemented in the SWBCS. To help building community, students were placed into groups which, were deemed very successful. Students al so checked in early and had chances to chat with the instructor and other students on an informal basis. Of these strategies, the producer felt that the group work, polling and questions and answer activities were th e most successful. The strategies tried that were the least successful included application sharing which, may have been more successful if more practice had taken place before using it. In addition, the on line testing was a “little vague”. Overall the producer felt that given the content of the course and the students in the class, these were the best strategies to have been used. In the way of problem en countered, the producer reported few, but stated that “students have occasionally not been able to login and discovering problems takes more knowledge than I have”. When asked how these problems were solved, she stated they were turned over to the system administration team. The tools reported being sued the most frequently we re push to web, application sharing, polling, and whiteboard which, were used every session. Both push to web and polling were considered to work well while application sharing was considered “difficult to master”. This producer was excited about the use of a SWBCS for the ability to communicate with students more directly. She saw the convenience as an advantag e when compared to a face-to-face class as so many of the students in this case work full-time and a number of them live all over the st ate. When compared to ac completely asynchronous online class, she felt that the “human touch” added by using a SWBCS was a great supplement. At the end of the focus group, each producer was asked to shar e lessons learne d for further producers of synchronous sessions. This producer states that “Students should “check in” well in advance of the actual class.” For this case, a special session wa s held students had to come to and ensure they could get access and be familiar with the interface. By the time of the class, most of the issues were resolved. Overall this producer had a positive perspective of the use of the SWBCS for teaching in cases such as this and is still producing sessions for this instructor and others.

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124 Summary of Case 2 Based on Research Questions Analysis of the qualitative data from this case has been thoroughly discussed. To summarize the results of this data with respect to the research ques tions proposed in this study, the questions have been answered below. Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: instructor surveys, interviews and focus groups; observation instrument; and archival documents. The instructor in this case used a variety of strategies that were familiar to her from her regular classroom. She employed interactive lecturing techniques containing full class lecture, polling, questions and answer sessions, and classroom discussion. The course also utilized breakout rooms so that students could work in small groups on project based assignments. Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. The instructor in this case utilized the tools to increase satisfaction and the success of the course by adding interactions through sound pedagogical strategies. She encouraged interaction between the instructor and the stud ents as well as the student with each other by using the SWBCS. Most of the visible interactions were considered to be academ ic in nature. She used the SWBCS to supplement instruction for concepts that had been notoriously difficult for the students in past classes. The immediacy of the SWBCS allowed faster and more successful interaction to take pl ace and helped to alleviate issues with this difficult subject matter. Q3. With access to a multitude of tool s available in a SWBCS, which, tool s do instructors choose to use? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews, and Fo cus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. The instructor in this case used a combina tion of the tools available to reach the goals she set before starting this project. To acco mplish this, she used a significant variety of tools in her sessions, including lectures which, utilized both the VOIP feat ure and the white board. Her use of the white board tools was also noteworthy, allowing her to focus the st udent’s attention to the areas of the screen she was speaking about. In addition, she effectively used the polling feature to check for student comprehension. The breakout rooms were used to allow project gro ups to interact online and facilitated project based learning.

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125 Q4. Why do instructors use the tool s and strategies that they choose? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups. The instructor in this case used the SWBCS tools based on her experience, the st rategies she selected and the traini ng she received. She chose to use tools that fit the needs of her class. She needed to provided clearer instructi on on difficult concepts and allow students time to practice these concepts while she was immediately available for feedback. The use of VOIP, the whiteboard and polling tools allowed the students and the instructor to communicate on difficult subjects and resulted in faster feedback. In addition to these tools, she used the web push feature to provide students access to data that wo uld be discussed and used later in group projects. Using this tool in conjunction with VOIP, she was able to guide students through the web site and explain what they would need to accomplish their goals. She also chose to use the break out rooms as a mean s for students to interact among themselves in smaller groups. The immediacy of the SWBCS along with the familiarity of voice rather than textual chat allowed the students to colla borate effectively and efficiently on assigned projects. Q5. What perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents, and reflections from students. Studen ts and the instructor in this case had positive perceptions about the ability of a SWBCS to incr ease academic and social interactions. Th ey felt that the added tools provide more opportunities for connections and decreased transactional distance. Case 3 The instructor – Via the Instructor Interview This course was taught by an instructor who is fairly new to teaching. She holds the rank of instructor and has been teaching at the university fo r four years. During this time she has taught a combination of face-to-face, web-based, web enhanced courses. In addi tion, she holds an administrative position as Assistant Director of Dist ance Programs for one of the university’s remote campuses. In this position she assists instructors with the process of bui lding and converting courses to an Internet format, through both web-based and web-enhanced options. She also facilitates the training and development for both faculty and students to enable distance based course participation. As a member of the instructional technology department, she facilitates distance program development in conjunction with a variety of departments, with a close connection to Educational Leadership initiatives. She has been teaching distance courses herself for three years. She ha s a great deal of practical experien ce with technology and is teaching a technology related course. The self reported data obtained from instructor in terviews adds to this information by describing in more detail the instructor’s workload and feelings ab out teaching in this manner. This instructor carries a

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126 somewhat reduced teaching load due to her additio nal administrative duties. She currently teaches two sections of the course studied and a course in Educatio nal Leadership for a hospital program that is offered. The course studied for this case had 13 students in one section and 14 in another. Due to her administrative assignment her service commitment was quite heavy. In addition, the administrative assignment was in support of faculty at the remote campus which, can be quite demanding. Although she did not have a formal research assignment, she continued to present and publish to further her career. This instructor is a leader in the use of technology, stating that she volunteered for the study because she wanted to “become awar e of and learn the tech nologies” so she could s how faculty how to use them in their own courses. She felt this was a good opportunity for her own professional development and a tool to help her encourage the professional development of faculty at her campus. In addition, she opted to try the synchronous system in this study as well as anot her one the university was considering. To this end, she began with plans to use one system with each sec tion of her course for at least two sessions with each group within the section. She also felt that this experience was important to teaching and making courses better. Having obtained feedback from her students throughout the years, she felt they needed more immediate and personal interactions. Therefore she hoped to incr ease satisfaction by providing means of increased interaction betweens students and between herself and the students. She felt that she would be able to get a better sense of their objectives and assume a more facilitative role in thei r successful completion. From her experiences as a distance educator, th e instructor was asked to reflect on both her anticipations and experiences in teaching at a dist ance using a SWBCS. She mentioned a concern for the amount of information provided to students and how they assimilate it to meet their needs since the course is very self-directed. She felt that using the SWBCS would help break up the content and allow her to guide the students, framing the content and stretching it even more. She also mentioned the concern that her students come in with a very wide range of skills. She was hoping that a SWBCS would give help to those who are struggling and challenge those on the other end of the scale. In offering the co urse with this added feature, she fe lt that the technology itself would be the biggest challenge. The students are already learning so much so quickly that getting them familiar with the technology can be difficult. However, she felt that once they mastered the technology, it would be fine. Other concerns dealt with scheduling as well as the traditional excuses and prob lems faced in teaching. The class – Via the Instructor Interview The course studied for this case was a graduate level course in the College of Education which, covered technology for school administrators. Before this study, the course was being taught online with a full day orientation meeting at the beginning of the semester to examine the technology to be used,

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127 complete a learning styles inventory, create learning contracts and start learning communities. A three hour end of course session was also held where students present products they have created throughout the semester. Before use of the SWBCS the content of the course content was mainly conducted asynchronously utilizing resource packs housed within a Blackboard cour se shell. The course materials were enhanced by asynchronous discussions and group work. Learning co mmunities (groups) were form ed in this course and required the completion of at least three group objectives completed by the end of the semester. Previously this asynchronous model offered little real-time inter action. Interaction occasionally occurred through the Blackboard collaboration tool (synchronous chat) as well as email, discussion boards, phone and other familiar means of communication. The instructor was also available for face-to-face session by request and offered these based on the need of the student or group. Assessment in this course was facilitated through products completed and sent to the instructor. These are then evaluated through a rubric. Students were required to log on 3 times a week and participate in discussion boards which, incl uded reflection pieces. At the end of the semester, students completed formal grading contract to evalua te themselves and their learning. The instructor stated that this course contains too much conten t to share in too short a time. Using learning contracts, each student dete rmines what they want to learn an d how to get there. The instructor voiced interest in helping students obtain their goals by breaking up the content with synchronous activities which, would allow her to guide them through the content better. When asked during the interview how the instructor anticipated using the synchronous software she described two meetings she would hold with each group of students. During the session she would utilize lessons addressing technology for school admi nistrators and the STAR chart respectively. She felt this was “very much a new approach, a new format a nd process” for the course. She was excited about not only exposing them to the new technology, but also to the content as well. Although she had already built in many was for st udents to interact with her, she saw the SWBCS as a device for actively engaging students. The increase in immediacy and the ability to show emotions and learning was a feature students may not get in the asynchronous environment previously used. The ability to use the SWBCS would allow for more immediacy with out reducing the convenie nce as much as driving to meet face-to-face. Althou gh this method reduced the convenience of a fully asynchronous course, the instructor hoped that it would provide a reduction in isolation and build greater connection. The Class – Via classroom observations With this course especially, students had a difficult time getting started due to hurricanes that ravaged much of the area in which, the students lived. The instructor reported that students had difficulties with all course assignments because of poor technology infrastructure owing to the hurricanes and that the

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128 synchronous sessions were delayed as a result of these problems. However, they were successful in completing sessions that were observed toward the end of the semester. Synchronous sessions for this course were co nducted via SWBCS 4 tim es with one practice session used as a demonstration of the system. Each scheduled session was broken down into smaller session arranged for each small group in the class. This resulted in a total of 12 separate one and half to two hour sessions being conducted. After initial review, thr ee of the twelve instructional sessions conducted by this instructor were selected for observation using th e observation instrument. Observations for this case were completed by five different observers. The next few sections show the results of the observation of the three sessions that were reviewed. Pedagogy Observation of the three class se ssion reviewed showed that this instructor used a variety of pedagogical strategies to conduct the sessions. The fi rst session included lectur e, class discussion, and analysis and interpretation of school technology data. The instructor focused on concepts and information provided on web pages through planned exercises in which, students read information about their own schools and report back to the class their views. Th e instructor used the whiteboard to focus students on the questions. Individual attention was provided to each student as the group was small. The second and third sessions used very similar strategies with grou p work, discussion and web sites. Students were required to interpret information, relating the findings and reports to their real world situation. The third session contained very lively discussions between the sm all group of students and the instructor. Overall, this instructor rated very high in the practice of sound pedagogy for student learning. Table 52 provides the observation summary for Pedagogical strategies.

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129 Table 52. Case 3: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Questions 16 – 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable Pedagogical Strategy Instructor lectured – conveyed information through talking or demonstration Direct (telling, lecturing) whole group. x x x Instructor used interactive direction with whole group (posing que stions and calling for answers) x x x Instructor questioned at different levels x x x Individual students worked alone x x Students worked in pairs or small groups Students acted as a whole class (ie. large class discussion, full class quizzing or polling, lecture, whole class project etc.) x x x Other approaches Pedagogy Judged Pe dagogical Strategy The teaching strategies utilized tools appropriate for the students’ level of skill with the technology and were well supported x x x Teaching methods were appropriate for the content x x x Lesson required student thought and participation– explain. x x x The teaching strategy included a problem solving activity– explain. x x The Instructor set c ognitive tasks for the students – explain. x x x

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130 Table 52. (Continued) Case 3: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Questions 16 – 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Session required higher order (not route memory or just opinion) and/or critical thinking on the part of the students– explain. x x x Other approaches Summary of Pedagogy Used Summary of Pedagogy Instructor used lecture, class discussion, and analysis and interpretation of school technology data. Dr. X used lecture and class discussion. She focused on concepts and information provided on web pages by having students read information about their own schools and report back to the class their views. She focused students on the questions by posting them on the whiteboard. She made sure that all students were able to use the technology and worked individually with each student to help them locate the information. Instructor did an excellent job of directing students to specific websites and allowing students to explore and share findings, thoughts, and interpretations with other students. Group work and discussion. Students had to interpret findings and reports to their real world situation. This was a small group lecture with a lot of interactive discussion on the part of both the instructor and the students. There were only 3 students and the instructor in the session. This session was then followed by other sessions that same evening for other groups of students. The instructor lecture in small chucks and then required participation from the students for class discussion of the topic. Interaction When looking at interaction, five areas were specifically noted: (1 ) Instructor-Learner interaction, (2) Learner-Instructor interaction, (3) Learner-Learner interaction, (4) Learner-Content interaction, and (5) Learner-Interface interaction. Table 53 shows that th e instructor was very interactive with the students, initiating interactions in a variety of ways in all sessions.

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131 Table 53. Case 3: Results of Instructor-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 – 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable Instructor-Learner Interaction Checks student comprehension x x x Knows and uses student names x x x Responds to students as individuals x x x Praises students for contributions that deserve commendation x x x Criticizes student ignorance or misunderstanding Encourages questions, invol vement, debate and/or feedback x x x Encourages students to answer questions by provided cues and encouragement x x x Other Directly Observable I-L Interactions Instructor seemed to have an exceptionally good rapport with students. She seemed to know each one of them s individuals and used their names often. Judged Instructor-Learner Interaction Instructor Questions Instructor feedback is informative x x x Instructor Responses Instructor listens carefully to student comments and questions x x x Instructor feedback is informative and constructive x x x Instructor answers student questions clearly and directly x x x Overall Impression Good rapport with students x x x Treats class members equitably x x x Encourages mutual respect among students x x x Respects diverse points of view x x x Recognizes when students do not understand x x Other Judged I-L Interactions Across the board, this instructor effectively initiated academic inte ractions with st udents. During these sessions she knew and used their names, responded to students as individuals, provided feedback as well as encouraged student interactions. The groups we re small and may account for some of the level of interaction that was possible. However, as one ob server noted the “Instructor seemed to have an exceptionally good rapport with stud ents. She seemed to know each one of them as individuals and used

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132 their names often.” Through these extensive interactions, the in structor was able to keep the students involved in the learning process. Table 54. Case 3: Results of Learner-Instructor Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable LearnerInstructor Interaction Students ask questions of the instructor x x x Students volunteer information x x x Students present information x x Student feedback is on topic x x x Other Directly Observable L-I Interactions Students seemed to feel comfortable asking questions and responding to comments. This was a small group and friendly. Judged LearnerInstructor Interaction Summary of Judged Learner-Instructor Interaction There was some initiation of interactions at the end. The instructor opened the door, but the students jumped in and asked questions on their own to satisfy their individal needs. Interactions initiated by the students with the inst ructor were also prevalent in all three sessions. These interactions were recorded as directly observable Learner-Instructor Interactions and as stated by one reviewer, “Students seemed to feel comfortable asking questions and responding to comments.” The fact that the group was quite small provided a more relaxed and communicative atmosphere for the students to interact in. Under judged Learner-Instructor Interactions, one reviewer noted that during the third session “There was some initiation of interactions at the en d. The instructor opened the door, but the students jumped in and asked questions on their own to satisfy their individual needs.” From the observation reports, it is evident that students were comfortable interacting with the instructor and did so in a variety of ways. Students initiated interactions with the instructor by asking questions, presenting and volunteering information. Other interactions initiated by students pertain to the actual session contents. During the sessions students interacted with the information provided by th e instructor on topics of educational leadership and technology. Table 55 shows the r ecorded observations of learner-content interactions. When using technology, it is usually hard for students to use the tools and not interact with the content as long as content is being presented in some fashion. So, it is not surprising that the observers marked content interaction high in this case. The instructor had stru ctured the sessions such that students would interact with the content and it worked well.

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133 Table 55. Case 3: Results of Learner-Content Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable LearnerContent Interaction Reading x x x Writing (i.e., on whiteboard, in chat, etc.) x x x Presentation (i.e., verbal, graphical, etc.) x x Discussion x x x Responds x x x Participates in Poll x x Other Directly Observable L-C Interactions Judged LearnerContent Interaction Interpret x x x Comprehend x x x React x x x Listening x x x Other Judged L-C Interactions Student s seemed to be involved in the content. They seemed to think about the questions posed and really put themselves in the positions discussed in the cases. Learner-Learner interactions were also signifi cant in this case. Students tended to engage in discussion with each other as well as the instructor Both directly observable and judged learner-learner interactions were high (Table 56). This level of inter action is not surprising considering that the session was held for pre-existing small groups that had been work ing with each other throughout the semester. As one reviewer noted, “these were groups that had been working together for a while (assumption) and they seemed to already have a connection.” The students seem ed to work together well and have good rapport.

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134 Table 56. Case 3: Results of Learner-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable LearnerLearner Interaction Students discuss the content of the session with each other (on-task academic conversation) x x Students engage in conversa tion that is not related to the subject of the session but is related to the course or other courses (off task academic conversation) x x x Students engage in conversa tion that is not related to the course (social conversation) x x Students encourage other students’ questions, involvement, debate and/or feedback x x x Students criticize other student’s ignorance or misunderstanding Students use each others names x x x Other Directly Observable L-L Interactions Judged LearnerLearner Interactions Students answer questions clearly and directly x x x Students maintain a good rapport with each other x x x Students show mutual respect for each other (i. e. listening carefully, responding constructively, etc.) x x x Students treat class members equitably x x x Other Judged L-L Interactions Students seemed to be getting along really well. These were groups that had been working together for a while (assumption) and they seemed to already have a connection. As stated earlier, interaction between the students and the interface was inevitable. Observations in this area were meant to determine if the interface was a hindrance or a s upport for the students. Students in this case did not voice frustrations with the interface or show negative emotions. Emotion was shown, but more in use of the emoticons for interaction than voiced objections. For the most part, the use of tools was not a problem except for minor issues with connections to the SWBCS and some microphone adjustments in the first session. The tools used for interaction su ch as the emoticons, chat, the step away feature, and raising hand were all used throughout the sessions. Students also interacted with the system when they used their microphones to add to the discussions. For some of the sessions, polling and whiteboards were used as well.

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135 Table 57. Case 3: Results of Learner-Interface Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable LearnerInterface Interaction Work on whiteboard x x Use microphone x x x Exchange messages in chat x x x Raises hand x x x Completes a poll x x Uses emoticons x x x Troubles connecting x Troubles with microphone x Unable to use tools Other Directly Observable L-Interface Interactions Judged LearnerInterface Interaction Did any students voice frustration with the interface? Shows emotion x x Other Judged L-Interface Interactions Overall the interaction observed in this case was at a high and positive level. The interface did not seem to cause problems and the strategies used offered high levels of interactivity in all areas. The instructor did some lecturing, but for the most part, students were analyzing data and engaging in discussions. The instructor did an excellent job of facilitating discussions, supporting the students and taking the time to work with students individually with both the technology and the content. Initially the students were reluctant to interact with each other without the instructor as the mediator, although they encouraged each other with the emo ticons. By the second and third sessions, all students interacted with many tools and all actively participated in class. Part of this was due to the small groups and their comfort levels with each other that seemed to grow overtim e. Generally this case showed a good use of the interactive capabilities of the synchronous classroom. Structure Once again the structure of the sessions was determined to be important and was therefore examined in the following three categories: (1) classroom management, (2) content organization and (3) presentation. In this first section, the management of the classroom will be discussed as observed during all three sessions. This instructor managed her sessions well. She started on time and came prepared. Her organizational plan was clear and she followed it. The instructor did not digress from the topic of the

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136 sessions or become significantly dist racted by the technology or outside interruptions. She remained aware of the needs of her students, maintaining their attention, and pausing to allow them to reflect and answer questions. She was friendly yet professional which, allo wed her to maintain control and credibility. Overall her classroom management was excellent (Table 58). Table 58. Case 3: Results of Classroom Management (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable Classroom Management Instructor began class on time in an orderly, organized fashion x x x Instructor digressed often from the main topic Instructor had readily available the materials and equipment necessary to complete the activity x x x Instructor gave prompt attenti on to individual problems x x x Instructor maintained student attention x x x Instructor paused to allow students to interact and answer questions (wait time). x x Provided opportunities for dialogue about the activity with peers and/or instructor x x x Instructor allowed opportunity fo r individual expression x x x Instructor provided practice time and su fficient time for completion x Other Directly Observable classroom management Judged Classroom Management Instructor appeared well prepared for class x x x Instructor had a clear organizational plan x x x Instructor clearly organized a nd explained assignments x x x Instructor provided clear directions or procedures x x x Instructor provided sufficient wait time (i. e. gave students enough time to respond to and ask questions) x x Skills required during the session were not beyond reasonable expectations for this course and/or these students (were they struggling with any skills? Why?) x x x Instructor maintained credibility and control (i. e. Spoke about course content with confidence and authority used authority in classroom to create an environment conducive to learning, etc.) x x x Instructor is able to admit error a nd/or insufficient knowledge x x x Instructor respects constructive criticism x Instructor responds to distractions ef fectively yet constructively x x Other Judged classroom management Although the sessions were very similar in orga nization, more of the criteria used in the observation instrument were seen in sessions 1 and 3 (Table 59). Even so, the content used by this instructor was well organized in all three observed sessions. She previewed the lecture, introduced the lesson organization and explained the goals in two out of three sessions. During all three sessions the

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137 instructor used internal summaries and transitions, stated relationships among various topics and facts/theory, and explained difficult terms, concepts, or problems in more than one way. She demonstrated strong organizational strategies such as incorporating student responses, integrating assigned course materials, and tying the content to general education and real world situations with up-to-date developments in the field. These strategies showed exemplary skills in organizing her content in an educationally sound manner. Table 59. Case 3: Results of Content Organization (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable Content Organization Previewed lecture/discussion content x x Introduced organization of the lecture x x Explained the goal or objective for the period x x Reviewed prior class material to prepare students for the content to be covered Provided internal summaries and transitions x x x Summarized and distilled main points at the end of class (formally) x Previewed by connecting to future classes (hinting at things to come) x Instructor incorporated student responses x x x Integrates assigned course material into class presentation (readings, web sites, etc.) x x x Relates current course content to students’ general education x x x Makes course content releva nt with references to “real world” applications x x x Explicitly states relationships among various topics and facts/theory x x x Explains difficult terms, concepts, or problems in more than one way x x Presents background of ideas and concepts x x x Presents up-to-date developments in the field x x x Other Directly Observed Content Organization Judged Content Organization Introduction captured attention x x x Main ideas are clear and specific x x x Sufficient variety was provided to support information x x x Relevancy of main ideas were clear x x x Other Judged Content Organization

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138 The final observable element of structure is the presentation of content. Table 60 shows the data collected for this case. Overall, this instructor presented content very we ll. She had a clear voice along with illustrations and good visuals. The verbal presentatio n was also properly paced and showed confidence and enthusiasm for the subject matter. During at least one session this instructor chose to push web sites that she needed to assist students in navigating. Her ability to do this was considered by one observer as a plus in her presentation as it can be quite difficult to ke ep everyone together with out full control over the navigation of these web sites. Overall presentation was rated very high. Table 60. Case 3: Results of Presentation (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable Presentation Articulation and pronunciation was clear x x x Absence of verbal pauses (speech fillers) x x x Volume was sufficient to be heard x x x Varied pace x x x Included illustrations x x x Presented views other than own when appropriate x x Visuals were clear and well organized (large and legible) x x x Visual aids were easily read x x x Other Directly Observation Presentation Boyer helped students navigate through websites she pushed to them. Judged Presentation Instructor spoke extraneously x Effective voice quality x x x Rate of delivery was appropriate x x x Communicates a sense of confidence, enthusiasm and excitement toward content x x x Speech is neither too formal nor too casual x x x Other Directly Observation Presentation After reviewing all the aspects presented here, ob servers summarized the st ructure they observed in the sessions (Table 61). The comments made by the observers were positive. In at least two of the sessions, the observers stated that the small group size was a strong factor in the success of the sessions. They considered the small group size to assist in helping the class be better structured which, allowed it to flow well. Overall it was agreed that this instructor had a significantly well structured approach to using the SWBCS for her class.

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139 Table 61. Case 3: Summary of Structure Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Summary of Structure Structure Summary Well-structured class, which, flowed well (particularly because of small group). She held students' attention and was able to effectively engage them in discussion. The instructor related and used material that the students had previously used to explore new websites and apply concepts. The instructor tried to get students to respond; however they were reluct ant. The instructor controlled the interaction of students with the content, the instructor, and the other students. Well-structured class with a clear, organized format. Students looked at various websites; lively class discussion; good instructor feedback. Well structured session, getting good feedback from students. They seemed to follow along with difficult material and had plenty of opportunities to discuss concerns or questions. This course was well structured which, helped with the success. The instructor had a good grasp of the technology and was prepared. It was also a very small group which, made control of the class easier. Learner Autonomy The importance of Learner Autonomy has been discussed previously and this case was examined using the same constructs and definitions. The following describes the observed learner autonomy throughout all three sessions in this case. From previo us knowledge of the structure of this course it is obvious that learner autonomy is respected and thought to be important by this instructor (See section on the class via instructor interview). The observers of the sessions did not preview the interviews before the sessions, so their comments do not reflect this knowle dge, only what they were able to observe during the sessions. Observers felt that students had opportunities and took responsibility for a part of their learning during these sessions. However, session two was rated much higher through the learner autonomy constructs of the observation instrument than the other two. From observer comments, similar exercises were conducted in all sessions where students worked with data individually and made decisions, but students responded in different ways. This might be due to the students or the approach of the instructor. The students in session one were more dependent on the instructor. In session two, the students seemed to interpret the data and share more readily with out as much instructor prompting. Comments on the third session state that “Since this was already a small group discussion it is hard to judge if learner autonomy was high. The instructor did guide most of the session rather than the students driving it.” Overall it was determine that the strategies used in the two content related session provided ample opportunity for learner autonomy and students responded by taking responsibility for their learning. Judged learner autonomy portrayed positive student attitudes toward learning as well as the instructor’s ability to provide for multiple learning styles and challenges for the students. Even though they seemed to have positive attitudes, students did not seem to al ways feel comfortable with this approach.

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140 Table 62. Case 3: Results of Learner Autonomy Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable Learner Autonomy Activities such as self-guide d reading, participation in groups, electronic dialogues, or reflective writing activities were used in this session x x Instructor utilized dialogue with learners x x x Students are given options on how they will interact and learn the material Learning was “primarily” independent or interdependent, not dependent on the instructor x Students take noticeable responsibility for various decisions associated with the learning in this session x Students discover information that they need for the session rather than being provided all of it x x The discussion in groups was dominated by one or two people Students ask a lot of productive questions x x x Students who struggle with the technology bounce back and become productive members of the class x x Other Directly Observed Learner Autonomy Judged Learner Autonomy Strategy used provides for multiple learning styles x x x Strategy used allows for l earner independence and/or interdependence x x Students seem to have positive attitudes about this learning experience x x x Students seem to enjoy discussion of ideas x x x Instructor provides challenge s that students seem to enjoy x x x Other Judged Learner Autonomy Tool Use Since technology use is a significant part of this research, the importance of it can not be understated. Therefore how the tools provided were u tilized was recorded by the observers as they watched each session. Table 63 provides a summa ry of which, tools were used in all three sessions. Included in the table is a reporting of how often the tools were used. As can be seen, VOIP, textual chat, hand raising, emoticons and the whiteboard were used in every session. Of these tools, emoticons and hand raising were used by the students extensively along with regular use of chat and VOIP. The instructor also used VOIP and the whiteboard throughout all sessions. Polling was used in two out of the three sessions and so was the shared browser. This shows an extensive use of most t ools provided in the system and reflects the variety of tools used for presentation as reported by the observ ers. All observers judge th e tool use as effective.

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141 Tool use was summarized as very good, highlighting the use of hand raising and emoticons to check student comprehension. Observers remarked (Table 64) that “the instructor used the tools in a way that supported the instruction” and “the proper tools to accomplish the tasks at hand were used for this session.” Overall the instructor and the students utilized the tools in the system well. Table 63. Case 3: Results of Tool Use Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Directly Observable Tool Use Textual Chat x x x Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Audio x x x Breakout Rooms Whiteboard x x x Shared Browser x x Application Sharing Private Messaging Pace Meter Hand Raising x x x Polling x x Emoticons x x x Step away feature x Quizzing How often were the tools used? – describe ( ie. Used extensively, regularly, minimally, etc.) handraising and emoticons were used extensively. The VOIP was used extensively. Students also used CHAT. The instructor used the whiteboard for PPT slides. The class examined pushed URLs. The students responded mostly with emoticons to show that they agreed, were in the right place, or lost and confused. Extensive use of emoticons, hand raising. Often. VOIP, handraising and chat were used by the students regularly. The instructor used VOIP and the whiteboard extensively. Other tools were used minimal. regularly, the whiteboard/PPT presentation were the main tools along with the audio, which, were used often. A variety of the available tools were used to present materials x x x Other Directly Observable Tool Use Judged Tool Use Use of tools was effective x x x Other Judged Tool Use

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142 Table 64. Case 3: Observers Summary Remarks on Tool Use Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Summary of Tool Use Tool Use Summary Very effective us e of handraising for students to indicate that they had questions; very effective use of emoticons for students to indicate comprehension. The instructor used the tools in a way that supported the instruction. The instructor predominately used VOIP to explain the technology and the pushed URLs. The visuals of the PPT slides helped to focus and organize the discussion. Students were able to quickly show the instructor that they were on the right location on the web page with emoticons. Student s responded to questions through VOIP and sometimes CHAT. Instructor used whiteboard, emoticons, handraising, shared browser. The proper tools to accomplish the tasks at hand were used for this session. Strengths, Weaknesses and Success Having observed the entire class session, each observer was asked to list the overall strengths and the weakness they observed. Table 65 contains the resulting comments from all observers.

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143 Table 65. Case 3: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs Questions 16 10/06/2004 5 10/13/2004 6 -11/10/2004 Judged Overall Strengths and Weaknesses observations What strengths were observed? Good rapport with students. Interesting lesson with effective use of tools. Students were pushed to provide evaluation of school data. The instructor was extremely patient with students who struggled to learn the technology, which, allowed the students to all have successful experiences. The visuals helped organize the content. Very good instructorstudent relationship; material was interesting and presented in an interesting format. Extensive student discussion with small group allowed everyone to participate on a large scale. Good interactivity and discussions with excellent visuals including the websites chosen to push. The class was well structure and interactive. Students seemed to be interested in the content. Questions at the end brought the groups together more as a learning community as the instructor provided opportunity to voice concerns and the students end up praising one another for their efforts and team work. very organized and enthusiastic instructor. very attentive and interested students. Good use of tools PPT slides were effective and clear. Discussion was managed effectively, integrating lecture with discussion from the students and then feedback. What weaknesses were observed? None. There was not enough time allowed for students to interact with the material before they were asked to respond, and there was not enough wait time for students to feel the need to participate in discussions. Therefore, students did not interact with each other about the content. Session ran long if this had been a face-to-face class, this probably wouldn't have happened (students would have left). If I had to pick a weakness, it was that the session was a bit long for the material covered. This was a very small group which, is really not a weakness but may be somewhat of a limitation in the research as well. There were no visible weaknesses otherwise. Based on all the constructs in the observation in strument, the observers were then asked to judge the success of the session. This is often a difficult ta sk as the observers have only a small picture of the entire educational environment the inst ructor has created. However, the ob server’s comments are useful in determining how the session was perceived. When combined with student, instructor and producer perceptions, the overall picture should be clear. Table 66 shows the comments on the success of th e session made by each observer for the session. All observers felt that all three sessions were very su ccessful. This reflects the planning and ability of the instructor and she should be applauded for her su ccessful use of a SWBCS as an online educational supplement to her course.

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144 Table 66. Case 3: Results of Session Success Observation Constructs Summary of Session Success Success of the session Very successful. Good use of tools, including shared browser. This class was an overall success, especially since it was the first time that these students had participated with Elluminate Live! ™ They were all successful with using all of the tools that were included. The instructor seemed to have excellent report with her students. Very successful since instructor made effective use of the Elluminate tools this was the perfect type of course material to use with Elluminate. Successful in getting the students to interpret charts and data in different ways and to look at all available resources. Good use of tools and interactivity. No one seemed to feel left out. This session was very successful in delivering content and helping the students to interact with that content and each other. It looked to be quite successful at meeting the objectives of the session. Very successful. Instructor let a small group of students through a real-world, current case study which, was interesting and involved everyone equally. Interface tools were also used well and effectively. The Class – Via Student Surveys The class was examined from the perspective of the students through surveys. Questions were asked to address not only student perceptions of the cl ass, but also the overall mindset of the students taking a distance course. From thes e questions, one student thought that the course was only offered online and one did not know which, reflects their desire for an online format. In addition, only one student said it was not likely that he would have taken the course had it not been offered online, while two said they definitely would have taken the course. To address the reasons students took the course, they were asked to choose and rate the most important reason for taking the course. All three students reported that it was required for their degree. Other popular answers were work schedule (2) and driving distance (2). Since the class included a synchronous element, students were asked if they were aware of this requirement before the class began. Two of the students responded no however, all three also responded that they had allotted time in their schedules for the synchronous sessions. There were few problems reported by the students in preparing to take the course with items such as difficulty registering ( easy 3), difficulty getting an ID card ( easy 3) and difficulty of accessing the Internet ( easy 3) showing positive results. Items require d to access the asynchr onous portions of the course online include obtaining a NetID ( easy 3) and accessing the university servers ( easy 3). Other questions asked in the initial survey addresse d instructions and materials for the course. All three students reported that obtaining a syllabus was easy The majority of the students (2) also felt that instructions for using technology in this course were very clear while the setup required for the courses had mixed reviews, (1, not difficult 1 somewhat difficult 1 very difficult ). In addition, the Synchronous Setup Wizard was considered to be easy (2) to very difficult (1) to use. When students did experience problems,

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145 help was not difficult to get ( easy 3).The students were asked if they participated in a demonstration of the synchronous software before attempting their first session. All three students who responded in this case answered no However, only one student reported on how prepared they felt (s omewhat prepared ). A total of 5 students completed the end of semest er survey. From the resu lts of the second survey the students perceptions about the SWBCS used in thei r course were positive. The students in this class used the system at least once. In addition, all but one of the students participated in all the sessions provided. When asked how easy the system was to use, 3 out of the 5 students answered very easy 3 answered somewhat easy and no one answered not easy Two students reported no problems connecting to the synchronous classroom while one had minor problems and two had major problems In addition, 60.0% of the students had no problem getting familiar with the new interface. The next section of the survey addressed issues students had with diff erent features of the synchronous classroom. As can be seen in Table 67, there were very few problems reported by the students with the tools they used. Table 67. Case 3: Student Report of Problems with SWBCS Features Feature No Problem Minor Problem Major Problem Not Applicable Text chat 4 1 0 0 Two-way audio 2 2 1 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 5 0 0 0 Whiteboard 5 0 0 0 Application Sharing 3 0 0 2 Breakout Rooms 0 0 0 5 Taking Polls or Quizzes 0 0 0 5 Guided Web Surfing 1 1 0 3 Other 1 2 0 2 Two “other” problems students reported dealt with getting logged into the system. One had problems with cookies and after deleting them things worked fine. Another had difficulties getting the Java properly downloaded, but once it was finally installed had no more problems. After reporting on issues they had with different features of the system, students were asked to report how they solved problems that occurred. Two students solved the problems themselves, one sought help from peers one sought help from the instructor three sought help from Elluminate one sought help from the class assistant and one reported other means of solving the problem. Other ways in which,

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146 students found help with their problems included: (1) “HP”, and (2) “due to download did not get to participate but once”. To be sure technical issues were not creating significant problems for the students; a few questions were asked that addressed how they connected to the Internet and how their com puter kept up with the sessions. The means of connecting to the internet was previously reported, this question resulted in a similar breakdown except now there were also two student using dial-up. With most students connecting at higher bandwidth it was not surprising to see that all st udents (5) felt that their computers were able to keep pace during the sessions. When asked whether technical knowledge and skills were required to master the use of Elluminate Live! ™, students had mixed feelings. However, 60% stated that these skills were important at least frequently or almost always Student’s need for technical assistance to complete the synchronous sessions varied (40% rarely ; 20% sometimes; 40% almost always ). When they did need t echnical support, 60% said it was almost alway s available and 40% said it was frequently available. In addition, those who required technical support found that thei r problems were solved (40%, rarely/not at all ; 20% sometimes ; 40% almost always ). In order to determine the success of the tools used during the sessions, the students were asked how useful each feature was to them. Table 68 shows the results. Textual chat (60%), two-way audio (80%) and the ability to raise their hand (100%) were considered very useful features. Interestingly, in this case two students felt that the whiteboard was not useful even though the instructor used it to present material, this may well be a misconception in how they envision a whiteboard as two others chose not applicable Table 68. Case 3: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students Feature Not Useful Somewhat Useful Very Useful Not Applicable Text chat 0 1 4 0 Two-way audio 0 1 4 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 0 0 5 0 Whiteboard 2 0 1 2 Application Sharing 0 0 3 2 Breakout Rooms 0 1 0 4 Taking Polls or Quizzes 0 0 0 5 Guided Web Surfing 0 1 2 2 In an effort to determine how the students perceived the quality of the synchronous software, students were asked to rate the quality of different f eatures. Table 69 portrays the results. Most tools were rated good to excellent

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147 Table 69. Case 3: Quality of SWBCS Features as Reported by Students Feature Poor Fair Good Excellent Not Applicable Elluminate Presentation Space 0 1 1 3 0 Elluminate Audio 1 1 2 1 0 Elluminate Screen Layout 0 1 1 3 0 Ways to offer instructor and others feedback (i.e. emoticons, applause, hand raising, etc.) 0 0 1 4 0 Your connection to Elluminate 0 1 2 2 0 Collaboration tools (i.e. whiteboard, application sharing, breakout rooms, etc.) 0 0 1 2 2 The overall quality of the Elluminate experience 0 1 1 3 0 When asked if they thought that taking this course was a good idea, all 5 students responded yes In addition they thought that the organization was logical and easy to follow ( frequently 40%; almost always 60%). More importantly, 100% felt that synchronous session activities and assignments facilitated their understanding of course content. Interestingly, 60% felt that the sessions were almost always aligned with the course objectives and 80% felt that the instructor’s approach to using Elluminate was almost always effective. In accordance with the theoretical framework of this study inte raction was considered a very critical part of learning in these distance courses and this instructor encouraged student’s to interact in many ways. Questions asked addressed how students perceived interactions when using a SWBCS. In this case, 60% felt that interactions with thei r classmates and/or the instructor were almost always effective when using the synchronous software. Additionally, 60% felt that synchronous discussions with their peers were almost always encouraged in the sessions and 60% felt that the instructor almost alway s provided opportunities for students to participate during the sessions. Student opinions about instructor feedback address both instructor interactions and also immediacy in the classroom. In this case, 60% of the students felt that the instructor almost always provided constructive feedback during the synchro nous sessions. In addition, the goal of teaching is increased knowledge so questions were asked that addressed student’s levels of learning. In these sessions, 60% of the students reported that the sessions allowed them to frequently demonstrate their learning while 40% stated the sessions almost always allowed them to demonstrate thei r learning. Concern for students with disabilities were considered important by the rese archer, when asked 40% felt that this was important to them with 60% stating accommodations for disabilities were not applicable It is assumed that the use of synchronous tech nologies for teaching at a distance allows for increased connections that build a stronger learning community. Therefore, students were asked if using

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148 Elluminate made them feel more connected to others in their class. 60% stated that they almost always felt more connected and 40% said they frequently felt more connected. In addition, 60% felt almost always more connected to the instructor and 40% felt frequently more connected. Educational technology should be transparent, adding value not hindering learning. Students in this class felt that the technology used almost always (60%) or frequently (40%) enhanced their learning experience and no one felt that the technology rarely made a difference. In addition, students felt that the use of synchronous technology motivated them to learn with 60% choosing almost always and 40% choosing frequently Students were not aggravated by the technology, but rather would consider taking a course that used synchronous technologies again. A large number (80%) of the students in this case would consider this almost always while the other 20% would frequently consider synchronous technologies in another course. In addition, when asked to compare this course to other course s they have taken, 80% stated the course was almost always excellent and 20% stated it was frequently excellent. In conjunction with the formal data collected, the instructor also coll ected perceptions from students by way of an asynchronous discussion boar d. The instructor shared these results with the researcher and they were enlightenin g. The instructor seemed to get slightly more participation from the students on how they felt about the software than with the survey the researcher provided. This was also a very open ended situation where students could say what they really thought about the use of synchronous technology in their course. Therefore, it is important that these results also be examined. Table 70 shows actual quotes from eight students in this case after their first synchro nous session. The themes are mostly positive with some frustration shown in getting connected and setting up the software. Once connected to the classroom, all students se emed to enjoy the sessions.

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149 Table 70. Case 3: Student Open Ended Comments on the Use of Synchronous Software During Session 1 Student Comments We just completed our first synchronous me eting via elluminate. And...coming from so meone with limited technology skills...it w as actually pretty neat:) Yes, I agree. I got comfortable with it pretty quick. I (We) recommend you definitely follow the instructions beforehand and te st it out before your scheduled day and time to work out the kinks. I had to delete programs a nd re-install them and delete temp files to get it working properly, but once I did it was fine. Have fun at your meeting! Also in agreement! I thought it was easy a nd actually pretty fun! However, definitely download software at least a day prior to your meeting and make sure you can access Elluminate and log in! I would also suggest logging into your session a few minutes before your scheduled time. Couldn't agree with you more, I actually enjoyed the synch meeti ng. The whole concept of having a meeting with individuals mile s away from you is pretty remarkable. This technology has so mu ch potential particularly for e ducators. I imagine a day when department meetings will be held through this media. Althoug h I had some difficulties with the microphone, I found the experien ce totally cool. Learning new ways to communicate will only make us that much more effective and e ffecient in our roles as leaders The meeting was very interesting! I enjoyed the interaction pro cess. I had no idea the STAR chart even existed and was enlighte ned by my school's responses. As I was interac ting with the group, I starting thinking about how cool it would be for me to interac t with my students in this way. You could do book ta lks, comprehension checks, etc. using this format. I would like to learn more abou t how the system works and try something like this in the future with my classes. I can al so see how effective administrative meeting s held in this format could be for an indivi dual school as well as a county. Wow, things have really changed! Unfortunately, I had extreme difficulties with the software on my personal computer, but luckily I was able to utilize my paren t's computer. It was really kind of funny, they were all sitting around watching me on the computer. A new experience for them as w ell. It was very cool. Being a technology savvy person, i thought I knew all of the products but I had no idea that elluminate would be so easy. I found that as time went on with th e meeting which, lasted about 1hr & 45min, that it was easier to use as time went on and I was sad to see the meeting come to an end. I am looking forward to the mext meeting. The instructor initiated an additional discussion after the second round of synchronous sessions by asking the following questions in the discussion board. “Can you all please provid e me with some feedback about our second synchronous meeting? What did you think of the content? Do you find these sessions helpful for "connecting to the group"? Should I continue to use the synchronous technologies in coming semesters?” All thirteen students responded to this inquiry. Students’ responses are shown in Table 71. Once again most of the comments were positive with a few voicing frustration with connections and problems getting the software setup correctly.

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150 Table 71. Case 3: Student Open Ended Comments on the Use of Synchronous Software During Session 2 Student Comments I really enjoyed the second session much more than the first one, especially since I was able to join my group this time. I fee l that it went much more smoothly since we were all used to the set-up a nd how to use the program. I also felt more relaxed since we did not have to go out to other web sites and back and forth like last time. I enjoyed seeing the STaR chart and everything and learned a lot, but it was difficult for me to navigate betw een the different screens and web sites. I definitely learned so much from last night's session. There are always so many new things to be aware of as a teacher and fut ure administrator. Talking about and discussing the privacy and Internet use issues was very relevant to me at this time and I'm le arning more and more about the Ed. Leadership program. Thanks for always bringing such helpful in formation to our attention. These sessions are definitely helpful in connecting to our group. It's another way to communicate and touch base and is much ea sier than trying to coordinate a face to face meeting with all of our busy schedules. I think that you should continue using this technology in future semesters. I never even knew anything like this existed before taking this class. I think it would be helpful for future students as we ll as current administrators even to see what all is out ther e available for use. Technology can make communicating across distan ces so much easier and much more efficient. I enjoyed the content very much. I was much more vocal this time. I like controversial issues. :o) I think the session was helpful. Kinda makes me think about things now, before I type an e-mail or put grades in my grade book. "I" don't want to get in any type of trouble for e-mailing anyone an ything. I think you should continue to use the technologies in upcoming classes. I would warn the students ahead of time what to do and the steps they need to follow in order to get logged i n to the sessions, much like you did this time, but stress not to try the day before or of the session! I think the content was extremely valuable. I was talking to a colleague about it today. It's amazing (and a bit scary) how man y people don't realize how public our e-mail really is. I do think the sessions are helpfu l in this type of class. Also, I do think you should continue using them because it exposes people to a new technology tool they may not have been expos ed to before. I enjoyed each synchronous session. The content in each was valu able and I liked conversing with my group over the topics. I fe el the sessions did help to bring my group together more and would recommend continuing them. Honestly, I enjoyed this type of instruc tion more than surfing through the various websites provided. I think a great deal of information c ould be taught in this format. If you stop using the software, it will be a sin. I must say th at I'm very impressed with the synchronous software. The last se ssion was very much needed. I enjoyed discussing (playing) with my peers. Being able to use such great technology to communicate with eac h other is wonderful. I'm not big on intellectual things. I'd much rather chat about real-w orld issues, as we did. I give the syn chronous meetings two thumbs up! I think the content was excellent. I was shoc ked about who could have access to my e-ma il. Yes, i learned a great deal about email and the Sunshine Law. You must continue it! Yes, it is always good to talk with your group members. You can only exprees so much by e-mail. Yes, definitly continue it.

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151 Student Comments The second Sync meeting was more informative than the first. I found that since I was already fam iliar with the program and I d id not have to think about how Elluminate worked I was able to focus more on the discussed content. I also liked the focus of the content for the meeting (Legal issues and technology us e in schools). The discussed issues opened my eyes to the multitude of legal issues that coul d arise with the use of e-mail communicati on and the massive Internet. Administrators teachers, and kids alike, must be properly trained in the etiquette of computer communication use. The use of the Elluminate technology is an easy way to connect with my fellow classmates and the prof essor and be able to discu ss problems, obstacles, or strategies related to our assignments. I would like to utilize this technology in the future. It would allow us to connect without being physically in the same room. Yes, this multi-communication form of tec hnology should be used in further classes. The second meeting was incredibly powerful! It's undoubtedly the wa y of the future. The meetings provide a larger insight into our eventual way of communication as administrators. It was interes ting and very informative. It's only nerve-wrecking (a bit) beca use of its element of novelty. Soon it will become second nature. It's cr itically important that you c ontinue providing the experience to others. I believe it's Helen Keller who so appropriately stat ed, "Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing." WoW!! … Kudos to you. The information presented duri ng the synch was awesome. I really enjoyed every bit of content you gave us. If you noticed I had a lot to say. I just wanted to ad we re ally need to be careful on ce we become administrators. Loved finally getting to enter the Sync Meeting!!! I enjoyed the intellectual conversation and the content discussed. The conte nt was definitely an eye opener!! You must continue using this format. This elluminate system would be great for parent teacher rela tions. This could help to lesson the amount of face to face parent -teacher conferences that occur during a teacher's sc hool year. The teacher could conduct scheduled meetings with a parent just as we di d with Dr. X. I think this technology could and should be used redily in the future. As I said after the first meeting, I really like the synchronous tool. It is a great way to meet with you, as well as the group I wasn't surprised by the fact that our school e-mail can be accessed so easily, but what the principal did about it in the cas e presented was shocking! I would definitely suggest using this so ftware again in your future classes. I really enjoyed our second meeting and was much more "relaxed" with the entire process. I found the content to be very valuabl e and informative. I definitely feel you should continue using elluminate with your future classes! Producer input The producer for this case was employed by the di stance learning office on a regional campus as a support person for the overall delivery of these courses. She played a smaller role in the process than the producer in case 2, but more than the producer for cases 4, 5 and 6. Her participa tion did play a significant part in the success of the sessions. Many questions were asked during the producer focus group to

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152 determine what role she played and her perspectives of the SWBCS as it was used in this case. As background information this producer had experience only as a graduate assistant in online learning courses. She had worked with satellite and TV classes, but not many other synchronous mediums. Other than this, she had very little experience with distance education. This producer participated in all of the training sessions provided before the beginning of the pilot, but felt that she had no other experiences that helped her with her duties as a producer. The relationship with the instructor and the role that the producer played in the use of the SWBCS are important factors in how well the sessions went as well as the producers perspectives. When asked about the relationship she had with the instructor, she stated she was to support students when having difficulties with the system. Practice sessions were offe red previous to scheduled sessions and she had the opportunity to serve as a moderator for one of these sessions. She felt that this was a great experience. In this case, the producer and instructor met an umber of times to discuss the material to be used in the sessions, the dates and meeting times before making arrangements. This producer viewed her role as technical support and assistant in the course sessions. When asked if sh e thought that the instructor would now be able to conduct the same type of sessions on her own, without a producer, the producer said “I think they still need some technical assistance. The instructors are capable and able of doing these things on their won; however, it can be time consuming sometimes and instructors tend to have a full load of work to which, no extra additions need to be made“. Overall the producer felt that the SWBCS was very effective for teaching, allowing for the ability to teach at a distance and providing students more interactio n with the instructor. Ho wever, she also found that it is difficult to find a time when everyone in class is able to meet online synchronously. When asked about pedagogical strategies used, the producer reported that “in the practice sessions we made use of the tools, like emoticons, clap and hand rising. During practice sessions we also used the whiteboard. During the regular sessions, a power point presentation was used, and the students were to interact by using the different tools (hand raising, emo ticons, etc). Students were also able to speak during a discussion time.” She also noted that her and the instructor practiced using these tools both in the training sessions and in later practice sessions. Questions about building a lear ning community proved that the course was multifaceted. The producer stated that “Since SWBCS was not the only an d principal form of instruction, it is difficult to isolate the results of the SWBCS from the rest of the methods/tools used.” This point is very important in the results of this study as all the cases had other m eans of communicating and inte racting with the students besides the SWBCS. Interactions with students were encouraged using groups as reported by the producer. “Students are divided in groups during the first class meeting. Then, they are responsible to work as a group and turn in at the end of the se mester a group project in which, all of them participated. This way, the students must interact between them, outside the group the interacted by using the discussion board.”

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153 This producer felt that the strategies used in the SWBCS could not be used as a judge of the success of the course as it was not th e main and only tool used in the class. However, few problems were encountered. The only real problems encountered were with assisting Macintosh users and specific problems with setting up microphones. To solve these problems the producer did some troubleshooting, asked questions from more experience producers and u tilized the Elluminate support web site. Overall this producer felt that all the tools they used worked well and were employed when applicable in the class sessions. This producer was excited about the possibility of learning at a distance, yet interacting with the rest of the class that SWBCS provide. She stated “I see it more as a co mplement to online learning. I do not believe Elluminate can stand alone to support a class. It needs more online components, for example email and asynchronous discussion groups.” In comparison to a non-blended or completely asynchronous class she felt that it “gives the opportunity to ask questions during real time, this might be beneficial for the whole class. Offers immediate fee dback.” However she also saw certain challenges such as student’s resistance to change or ability adapt to a new learni ng environment. She remarked that the chances of students reacting this way were very slim due to the very positive feedback she had received from students so far. At the end of the focus group, each producer was asked to share le ssons learned fo r new producers of synchronous sessions. This producer stated “When troubleshooting, always begin by asking the simplest question (even if you think they might sound stupid) for example: is your headset plug [sic] in? Is it plug [sic] in the correct outlet?” Overall this producer ha d a positive perspective of the use of the SWBCS for supporting distance education. Summary of Case 3 Based on Research Questions To summarize the results of this data with respect to the research questions proposed in this study, the questions have been answered below. Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: instructor surveys, interviews and focus groups, observation instrument, and archival documents. Case 3 was based on pedagogical principles for small groups of students rather than the class as a whole. The instructor in this case chose to present short lecture segments follo wed by interactive discussion with the students; however, her course was divided into small group sessions (approximately three students at a time) that met with her one after the other. The information was presented both through slides and by using the shared web browser. Similar to cas e 2, the students were required to interpret and report findings based on their real world situation during the sessions.

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154 Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. In a similar manner to case 2, this instructor used the tools in a way that supported the instruction she had planned for increasing student comprehension and interaction. Her use of PowerPoint slide visuals supported her set goals to focus and organize the discussion and improve the assimilation of course content. She also used tools to check student comprehension and increase the connections between members of each group and herself. Q3. With access to a multitude of tool s available in a SWBCS, which, tool s do instructors choose to use? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews, and Fo cus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. Once again in a similar fashion to case 2, th e instructor in this case implemented extensive use of VOIP in conjunction with hand raising for students to indicate that they had questions and emoticons for students to indicate comprehension. VOIP was used as a communication medium to explain the technology, while the whiteboard was utilized to present visuals to keep things on track. Students were encouraged to participate in discussions about content provided through the shared browser in two of the three sessions observed. Q4. Why do instructors use the tool s and strategies that they choose? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focu s Groups. During the interview for this case, the instructor voiced a concern that the course contained too much cont ent to share in too short a time, especially asynchronously. She hoped to use the SW BCS to focus students an d help them meet their contracted individual and group goals. To do this, she interacted with students in small groups and guided them through the content with synchronous activities. In this case, the immediacy of the SWBCS and the tools the instructor used supported the small learning community’s growth. Q5. What perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents, and reflections from students. In this case both th e students and the instructor had positive perspectives about the use of the SWBCS in their course. Most sa w the tools in the SWBCS as high quality and very useful. As the students became more comfortable with the new technol ogy, they made comments about how well they liked this form of communication to suppor t their learning. Examples of this were evident in the asynchronous discussion setup by the instructor where a student commented, “The second meeting was

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155 incredibly powerful! It's undoubtedly the way of the fu ture. The meetings provide a larger insight into our eventual way of communication as administrators. It wa s interesting and very informative. It's only nervewrecking (a bit) because of its element of novelty. Soon it will become second nature. It's critically important that you continue providing the experience to others. I believe it's Helen Keller who so appropriately stated, "Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing."” Case 4 The Instructor – Via the Instructor Interview This course was taught by an instructor with cl ose to thirty years teaching experience much of which, included teaching via distance technologies. He ha s been an instructor at this university since 1987. During this time he has taught a combination of face-to-face, satellite, IT FS, videoconferencing, webbased, and web enhanced courses. In 1978 this instructor started teaching distance education courses in Jacksonville using the public television station. He continued his career when he joined this university in 1987 where he began to participate heavily in the Florida Engineering Education Delivery System (FEEDS) program. Throughout his career, he has used many different delivery systems to provide education to distance learners. Some examples of his experien ces with synchronous technologies include ITFS, videoconferencing, and phone bridges. He has broadcast courses to corporations and students throughout the nation, and internationally. He has broadcast live on both ITFS and on the Internet, and used web-based asynchronous lectures. Although he has used video tape in the past, it is no longer a good approach for his students. Most of his experience has been site based until lately when FEEDS started using the Internet (1999-2000) and were able to reach students at their desktops. This instructor sees himself as a creator versus a caretaker. He likes to be a pioneer in new ways to deliver quality education to improve access to students. During the interview process, the instructor related his personal experiences as a student who could not complete a degree due to constant relocation while working for a gas company. This is one of the reas ons he feels so strongly about providing access to education globally. He wants to enable students to have quality education at their fingertips at any time and in any place. A good example of this was a student in the course studied. This student was in Afghanistan with the war effort and participated in the course th rough the SWBCS. This instructor would like to see our university able to tap international education markets and extend our reach. The instructor in this case does research on the tools available in distance education each year. The research conducted in his classes and with colleague s has shown that the learning is not different with any of these approaches. Therefore he feels that the di fferent technologies are ju st tools for delivering the content and that all new approaches should be examined. He is looking forward to world wide dissemination and students around the globe.

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156 The Class – Via the instructor interview The course studied for this case was an entrepre neurial graduate level course in the College of Engineering which, covered Human relations for Technical Managers. This course was offered by the Florida Engineering Education Delivery System (FEEDS) the distance learning department in the College of Engineering. The course has access to all the resources this department offers which, is extensive. The main content delivery method is streaming video. This course has been taught since the 1980s and has used many different technologies throughout the years. Before this study, the course was being taught using a combination of streaming video over the Internet and online support systems. It is project base d and there are no exams. Students typically watch the video streams of the instructor’s lectures pre-recorded. They then interact using Blackboard in a mostly asynchronous manner. Prior to this semester, the class met via te xtual chat for two hours each week to discuss cases. The students work on cases and in grou ps throughout the semester. This process works, and the instructor did not see an y real challenges to teach ing this class. However, he was positive about trying something new that may make things even better. When asked during the interview what instructional strategies he anticipated using, the instructor mentioned that he “used case studies and team projects which prepare students to team work in the workplace”. Although he has used chat successfully in the recent past, he find s using audio and video a better approach as it allows him to listen rather than read, so he can hear voice inflections and they help him to understand the student’s status. He also felt that students learn more by hearing someone else’s rebuttal and responding to what he/she said. Since case study discussions were the main instructional strategy that would be used in the SWBCS, the process he planned to use was further explored. The instructor noted that he usually gets the students started in the discussion with the hope that th ey will interact on their own. If this does not happen quickly, he prods them, acting as a facilitator until th ey are interacting without him. He believes in a student centered approach were he is usually only involved in the discussion a small bit by the end of the first session. He sees this approach as a means of tying the class together. In addition to the instructional strategies mentioned by this instructor, he had some strong views on the future of technology and teach ing. He has and will continue to be an early adopter because he feels that technology allows us to offer courses that would not otherwise be possible and it is only going to get better. Students want one-on-one with the instructor live, to see you and hear you with two way communication, but many of them are not in a position to do this as they are place bound with their jobs. So, “asynchronous time unrestricted contact is becoming the delivery of choice (a trend) but the students still prefer live contact.” He hopes that by using tech nologies such as the SWBCS, some of these needs can be met without the added inconvenience of trave ling to campuses or other sites to participate.

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157 Other areas where the SWBCS might offer support for students in this instructor’s programs involve being part of a community. In previous years, this instructor was chair of his department where he promoted community by bringing students to campus for special time spent together. He feels that this tool will help bring students closer together in a similar manner. He also stated that the technology can only continue to get better with SWBCS becoming deliv ery of choice because they work. “We will need something like Elluminate to help us move ahead in the future.” The Class – Via classroom observations Sessions of this course were conducted via SW BCS ten times. After initial review, three were randomly selected for observation using the observation instrument. On average 7.5 (minimum of 4, maximum of 10) people participated in each session. Observations for this case were completed by five different observers for three of the ten instructional sessions conducted by this instructor. Each session was approximately three hours in length. After the resear cher reviewed an entire class session it was obvious that multiple cases were discussed in each class and the processes were the same for each case. It was determine that watching all three hours would not improve the observer’s ability to identify the elements in the observation instrument. Th erefore, after the first full observation, all others observed only the first case discussion in each session (approximately 1.5 hours each).The remainder of this section will discuss the resulting observations of the three sessions and the in structional approaches seen throughout this case. Pedagogy This case utilized case study methodology throughout the three synchronous sessions reviewed. Each session required students to r ead the cases before hand and review questions in preparation for the sessions. During the sessions, the instructor read questions from the text, and then all the students were expected to participate and share th eir opinions. The instructor provided analysis and real-life examples, which, encouraged interaction and repeated input from students. He played the role of facilitator, only calling on students to answer when the conversation lagged and they needed prompting. This case did not include the use of formal or visual presentation, opting instead for open discussion. However, it did seem to promote deeper thinking and good discussion that was relevant to the students and to real life situations.

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158 Table 72. Case 4: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable Pedagogical Strategy Instructor lectured – conveyed information through talking or demonstr ation Direct (telling, lecturing) whole group. x x x Instructor used interactive direction with whole group (posing questions a nd calling for answers) x x x Instructor questioned at different levels x x Individual students worked alone Students worked in pairs or small groups x Students acted as a whole class (ie. large class discussion, full class quizzing or polling, lecture, whole class project etc.) x x Other approaches Students read before class and then discussed case studies Pedagogy Judged Pe dagogical Strategy The teaching strategies utilized tools appropriate for the students’ level of skill with the technology and were well supported x x x Teaching methods were appropriate for the content x x x Lesson required student thought and participation– explain. x x x The teaching strategy included a problem solving activity– explain. x x x The Instructor set cognitiv e tasks for the students – explain. x x x Session required higher order (not route memory or just opinion) and/or critical thinking on the part of the students– explain. x x x Other approaches

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159 Table 72. (Continued) Case 4: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Summary of Pedagogy Used Summary of Pedagogy Case study methodology was used throughout this session. Students had previously read the cases and had the questions for preparation before class. Students had previously read case. Instructor read questions from the text, all students were invited to participate and share their opinions, and instructor provided analysis and real-life examples. This class was required to read case studies from their textbook and answer questions before class. During class the students discussed their findings and conclusions. The moderator (instructor was not present but had given the assignment and left the discussion questions with the moderator) posed the questions to the group. the students were given the questions ahead of time and were asked to give their views on it. they discussed the case in relation to the questions. The instructor used Elluminate to have the students participate in discussions on prior readings. He encouraged interaction and input repeatedly. If they did not participate, he would call on them. Interaction When looking at interaction, five areas were specifically noted: (1 ) Instructor-Learner interaction, (2) Learner-Instructor interaction, (3) learner-Learner interaction, (4) Learner-Content interaction and (5) Learner-Interface interaction. Table 73 shows that th e instructor initiated interactions with his students during all sessions.

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160 Table 73. Case 4: Results of Instructor-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable Instructor-Learner Interaction Checks student comprehension x x x Knows and uses student names x x x Responds to students as individuals x x x Praises students for contributions that deserve commendation x x x Criticizes student ignorance or misunderstanding Encourages questions, invol vement, debate and/or feedback x x x Encourages students to answer questions by provided cues and encouragement x x x Other Directly Observable I-L Interactions Judged Instructor-Learner Interaction Instructor Questions Instructor feedback is informative x x x Instructor Responses Instructor listens carefully to student comments and questions x x x Instructor feedback is informative and constructive x x x Instructor answers student questions clearly and directly x x x Overall Impression Good rapport with students x x x Treats class members equitably x x Encourages mutual respect among students x x x Respects diverse points of view x x x Recognizes when students do not understand x x Other Judged I-L Interactions The teaching method chosen by the instructor encouraged interaction between the instructor and the learners resulting in significant Instructor-Learner interactions. The instructor was trying to facilitate student centered learning, but in the sessions observed it took some time for the students to begin interacting with each other on their own. Therefore, the instructor used prompts and questions to get things started. Once the discussion really got underway, th e instructor initiated interaction decreased and the student initiated interactions (s ee Tables 73 and 74) increased.

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161 Table 74. Case 4: Results of Learner-Instructor Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable LearnerInstructor Interaction Students ask questions of the instructor x x x Students volunteer information x x x Students present information x x Student feedback is on topic x x x Other Directly Observable L-I Interacti ons The students were comfortable discussing the case studies with the moderator; providing additional information; one student corrected the instructor when she was not asking the assigned question. Student interaction with the cont ent was difficult to observe as most of the content was offered offline. However, students did interact with content by reading the cases, listening to the discussion and thinking about the case materials. The students were involved in comprehending and interpreting the case then were responsible for reacting to it. Students listened to one another and formed support or rebuttal comments. Table 75 shows the recorded observations of learner-content interactions. Table 75. Case 4: Results of Learner-Content Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable LearnerContent Interaction Reading x x Writing (i.e., on whiteboard, in chat, etc.) x x Presentation (i.e., verbal, graphical, etc.) x x Discussion x x x Responds x x x Participates in Poll Other Directly Observable L-C Interactions Judged LearnerContent Interaction Interpret x x x Comprehend x x x React x x x Listening x x x Other Judged L-C Interactions Although slow to start, Learner-Learner interacti ons played a significant role in the success of these sessions. Students became invol ved in the discussion of each case and participated throughout. This class was small and met each week, so by the end it looked as if the students were making better

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162 connections and beginning to feel more comfortable interacting with one another (Table 76). The students also seem to respect each other and have a good rapport. Table 76. Case 4: Results of Learner-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable LearnerLearner Interaction Students discuss the content of the session with each other (ontask academic conversation) x x x Students engage in conversation that is not related to the subject of the session but is related to the c ourse or other courses (off task academic conversation) x x Students engage in conversation that is not related to the course (social conversation) Students encourage other students’ questions, involvement, debate and/or feedback x x x Students criticize other student’s ignorance or misunderstanding Students use each others names x x x Other Directly Observable L-L Interactions Judged LearnerLearner Interactions Students answer questions clearly and directly x x x Students maintain a good rapport with each other x x x Students show mutual respect for each other (i. e. listening carefully, responding constructively, etc.) x x x Students treat class members equitably x x x Other Judged L-L Interactions Observations of Learner-Interf ace interaction were meant to de termine if the interface was a hindrance or a support for the students. In this case, students did not voice frustrations with the interface or show negative emotions. Students did not use all the tools provided in the SWBCS, but those that they did use did not cause problems. The main forms of interaction with the system as well as with others in the sessions were either chat or VOIP. Based on the demographics of this group of students, most were proficient in many computer applications, so that f act that there were few problems is not surprising.

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163 Table 77. Case 4: Results of Learner-Interface Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable LearnerInterface Interaction Work on whiteboard Use microphone x x x Exchange messages in chat x x x Raises hand x x Completes a poll Uses emoticons Troubles connecting x Troubles with microphone Unable to use tools Other Directly Observable L-Interface Interactions Judged LearnerInterface Interaction Did any students voice frustration with the interface? Shows emotion Other Judged L-Interface Interactions Overall, interaction in this course was signif icant especially between the instructor and the students and between the students themselves. The st udents seem very comfortable using the interface for audio conferencing and this allowed for significant and in-depth disc ussions to take place. Students took turns discussing the cases and resp onded to each others comments. Due to these livel y discussions the whole class was viewed as interactive. Structure For this case as for others, the structure of the sessions was important. The observations of structure included: (1) classroom management, (2) content organization and (3) presentation. The instructor in this case was a veteran teacher having taught this course for many years. He managed the class well and provided a significant structure. He usually started on time and seemed to be well prepared. He did not digress from the topic, rather kept things on track and prompted students to get involved. With this technique it was important to note that he provided sufficient wait time after asking a question or providing a prompt for the students to think and reply. Overall his classroom management was excellent (Table 78).

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164 Table 78. Case 4: Results of Classroom Management (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable Classroom Management Instructor began class on time in an orderly, organized fashion x x x Instructor digressed often from the main topic Instructor had readily available the materials and equipment necessary to complete the activity x x x Instructor gave prompt attention to individual problems x x Instructor maintained student attention x x x Instructor paused to allow students to interact and answer questions (wait time). x x x Provided opportunities for dialogue about the activity with peers and/or instructor x x x Instructor allowed opportunity for individual expression x x x Instructor provided practice time and sufficient time for completion Other Directly Observable classroom management Judged Classroom Management Instructor appeared well prepared for class x x Instructor had a clear organizational plan x x x Instructor clearly organized and explained assignments x x x Instructor provided clear directions or procedures x x x Instructor provided sufficie nt wait time (i. e. gave students enough time to respond to and ask questions) x x x Skills required during the session were not beyond reasonable expectations for this course and/or these students (were they struggling with any skills? Why?) x x x Instructor maintained cred ibility and control (i. e. Spoke about course cont ent with confidence and authority, used authority in classroom to create an environment conducive to learning, etc.) x x x Instructor is able to adm it error and/or insufficient knowledge x x Instructor respects constructive criticism x Instructor responds to distractions effectively yet constructively x Other Judged classroom management

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165 The content of the sessions observed here were case study discussions. Therefore the organization of the content was preplanned and effi cient. Students had read the cases and were prepared to discuss their findings. With this said, there was little required to the organization of these sessions to make them successful. However, the instructor did a good job of bringing in th e assigned course materials and readings, making the content relevant to real life situations and making sure the main ideas were clear (Table 79). These elements showed that the instructor has strong skills in organizing case studies and using them in a graduate level course discussion. Table 79. Case 4: Results of Content Organization (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable Content Organization Previewed lecture/discussion content x Introduced organization of the lecture x x Explained the goal or objective for the period x x Reviewed prior class material to prepare students for the content to be covered x Provided internal summaries and transitions x Summarized and distilled main points at the end of class (formally) Previewed by connecting to future classes (hinting at things to come) x Instructor incorporated student responses x x Integrates assigned course material into class presentation (readings, web sites, etc.) x x x Relates current course content to students’ general education x x Makes course content releva nt with references to “real world” applications x x x Explicitly states relationships among various topics and facts/theory x x Explains difficult terms, concepts, or problems in more than one way x x Presents background of ideas and concepts x Presents up-to-date developments in the field x x Other Directly Observed Content Organization Judged Content Organization Introduction captured attention x x Main ideas are clear and specific x x x Sufficient variety was provided to support information x x Relevancy of main ideas were clear x x x Other Judged Content Organization

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166 This case had very little actual presentation to observe as most presentation was done using audio only. No visual presentation was used and few outside resources besides the text book were utilized. For this reason, observers found it difficult to complete this section of the observation instrument commenting that most items were “not seen”. This does not constitute a bad session, just one that used a different form of presentation from the norm (Table 80). Overall what was observed was d eemed successful. However, most observers noted that this would be one place that these sessions could be improved. Table 80. Case 4: Results of Presentation (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable Presentation Articulation and pronunciation was clear x x x Absence of verbal pauses (speech fillers) x x Volume was sufficient to be heard x x x Varied pace x Included illustrations Presented views other than own when appropriate x Visuals were clear and well organized (large and legible) Visual aids were easily read Other Directly Observation Presentation Judged Presentation Instructor spoke extraneously Effective voice quality x x x Rate of delivery was appropriate x x x Communicates a sense of confidence, enthusiasm and excitement toward content x x x Speech is neither too formal nor too casual x x x Other Directly Observation Presentation Overall, the sessions were loosely structured, but well managed and effective. The pace of the lessons was consistent and appropriate. The class structure required students to preplan by reading the cases and coming prepared for discussion. St udents appeared to be well prepar ed for these discussions, creating an environment open to interaction with both the in structor and other students. In addition, this environment allowed students to respond to each othe r’s comments with additiona l information, at times disagreeing but always providing support for their arguments. Since this was the main goal the instructor seemed to have in mind for the sessions, observers agreed that he was successful in how he managed and organized the course.

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167 Learner Autonomy In graduate level courses especially learner autonomy is important. Often the amount of responsibility students take depends on the opportunities they are given to make choices. To examine learner autonomy, constructs were used as guidelines in observing the synchronous sessions (Table 81). In this case, the instructor required stud ents to read, review, and interpret ca se studies. The preparation for this was very autonomous, but the discussion tended to be instructor lead. As th e semester progressed the students were more involved and the learner autonomy increased as can be seen in Table 81. The second and third sessions observed were more studen t driven and less driven by the instructor. Table 81. Case 4: Results of Learner Autonomy Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable Learner Autonomy Activities such as self-guided reading, participation in groups, electronic dialogue s, or reflective writing activities were used in this session x x Instructor utilized dialogue with learners x x x Students are given options on how they will interact and learn the material Learning was “primarily” independent or interdependent, not dependent on the instructor x x Students take noticeable responsibility for various decisions associated with the learning in this session x Students discover information that they need for the session rather than being provided all of it x x The discussion in groups was dominated by one or two people x Students ask a lot of productive questions x x Students who struggle with the technology bounce back and become productive members of the class x x x Other Directly Observed Learner Autonomy Judged Learner Autonomy Strategy used provides for multiple learning styles Strategy used allows for l earner independence and/or interdependence x x Students seem to have positive attitudes about this learning experience x x x Students seem to enjoy discussion of ideas x x x Instructor provides challenge s that students seem to enjoy x x Other Judged Learner Autonomy

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168 The teaching method chosen by this instructor lends itself to autonomous learning. Observers felt that students enjoyed reading the cases, came prepar ed for class and portrayed positive attitudes. The strategy required the students to be responsible for their own learning to a certain extent; however, the instructor played a large role in keeping the discussions moving. All students were encouraged to participate and provide individual opinions and they di d this well. Many times students elaborated on what others said and offered alternative explanations which, they were requi red to support. By the last session observed, the students responded to each other without intervention from the instructor which, showed an increase in learner autonomy as well as an increase in the students’ comfort levels. One observer stated that “The students really had to think on their feet, and respond. They had to be responsible for material.” Overall, this case had a signif icant level of learner autonomy. Tool Use Tool use in this case was rather minimal, but su ccessful. The instructor in case 4 utilized tools for significant discussion of case studies among students in diverse locations. One of the students in this case was in Kabul, Afghanistan and the use of the tools in the SWBCS allowed him to participate in the case discussions in real time. The use of SWBCS allowed the students and the instructor to have long (1.5 hour) discussion on cases that were relevant to the content of the course. Each week, two case study discussions took place over a period of about three hours. The cas e study method is a good approach used in regular classrooms, but it is often difficult to carryout via distance technologies due to lack of immediacy of asynchronous methods and the difficulties encountered when using textual chat fo r long conversations. The use of VOIP was more natural and solved many of these issues. The next section of the observation instrument provided a means to record what was used and to summarize the effectiveness of the tool use. Table 82 shows the resulting tool use for all three sessions. Included in the table is a reporting of how often the tools were used. As can bee seen, only VOIP and chat were used extensively. When asked to judge the effectiv eness of the tool use, observers all agreed that the use was effective.

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169 Table 82. Case 4: Results of Tool Use Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Directly Observable Tool Use Textual Chat x x x Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Audio x x x Breakout Rooms Whiteboard Shared Browser Application Sharing Private Messaging Pace Meter Hand Raising x x Polling Emoticons Step away feature x Quizzing How often were the tools used? – describe ( ie. Used extensively, regularly, minimally, etc.) VOIP was used extensively and chat was used frequently. However, no other tools were used. – Hand raising was used extensively. VOIP was used extensively CHAT was used occasionally to support communication Only text chat and VOIP, and some hand-raising. VOIP and hand raising were used throughout, emoticons and text chat were minimal. A variety of the available tools were used to present materials Other Directly Observable Tool Use Judged Tool Use Use of tools was effective x x x Other Judged Tool Use The VOIP was effective for this class; however I thought that the class would have been enhanced if slides with the assignment and question were posted during the discussion. 2:08 One time a reference was made to a diagram that the students had made. Sharing their diagrams would have enhanced the discussion. like for a cse discussion, all thats required is audio.

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170 Overall tool use was summarized as good but mini mal. The instructor was able to accomplish the goals of the sessions with just a few of the tools, so it was deemed successful. However, comments were made that suggested use of visuals would have enhanced these sessions. Strengths, Weaknesses and Success Having observed the entire class session, each observer was asked to list the overall strengths and the weakness they observed. Table 83 contains the resulting comments from all observers for case 4. Table 83. Case 4: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Judged Overall Strengths and Weaknesses observations What strengths were observed? The discussions were good and students seemed to enjoy talking about the cases. The instructor kept things moving by prompting students throughout the discussions. The instructor called on students by name and made sure that all students were required to answer at least a few questions. Much student participation and involvement. The students were able to run their own discussion and interacted with each other. They seemed to enjoy the session and find it useful. They shared information from their experiences. the students seemed to enjoy the discussion. Good discussions. All students got involved by the end of the session. Instructor stayed on task after starting the content of the session. What weaknesses were observed? The use of tools was minimal. There were no visuals. The session was very long (3 hours), however, the students did not seem to lose interest. Lack of variety. No visuals Lack of use of Elluminate tools that could have added a different level of interactivity. limited use of the tools available. it was a long session of predominatly listening with no break. Based on all the constructs in the observation in strument, the observers were then asked to judge the success of the session. As stated before, this is of ten a difficult task as the observers have only a small picture of the entire educational environment the instru ctor has created. However, the observer’s comments are useful in determining how the session was perceived. When combined with student, instructor and producer perceptions, the overall picture should be clear. Table 84 shows the comments on success of the se ssion that each observer made for each session. As seen in other cases, this instructor should be commended for his successful use of a SWBCS as a venue for case study discussions with students in diverse locations.

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171 Table 84. Case 4: Results of Session Success Observation Constructs Questions 10 – 9/21/2004 4 -10/12/2004 11 – 11/16/2004 Summary of Session Success Success of the session This session was a successful use of synchronous software for the discussion of cases. Although it could have been improved with the use of more tools, it was overall very well done. Students appeared to enjoy the class. Instructor seemed satisfied that he was getting the students to participate. Overall the class was a success. The class was run by the moderator without the instructor. This was the first experience of this moderator with this class. The class seemed to be comfortable and familiar with the routine of the discussion. The students seemed to feel it was a worthwhile experience. I think this was a successful session overall. There was a good deal of participation by students and the Instructor really pushed for everyone to get involved. Successful. The instructor accomplished objective of having a meaningful discussion about the case studies that had been read by the students. The Class – Via Student Surveys To address the reasons students to ok the course, they were asked to rate the most important reason for taking the course. Four of the students reported that it was required for their degree. The only other response was work schedule (3). Since the class included a synchron ous element, students were asked if they were aware of this requirement before the class began. Five of the students responded no however, six also responded that they had allotted time in their schedules for the synchronous sessions. There were few problems reported by the students in preparing to take the course with items such as difficulty registering ( easy 2; very easy 2), difficulty getting an ID card ( easy 2; very easy 2) and difficulty of accessing the Internet ( very difficult 1; very easy 6) showing positive results. Items required to access the asynchronous portions of the course online include obtaining a NetID ( easy 2; very easy 2) and access the university servers ( easy 1; very easy 5). Other questions asked in the initial survey addressed instructions and materials for the course. One student reported that obtaining a syllabus was easy and six said it was very easy The majority of the students also felt that instructions for using technology in this course were very clear and the setup required for the courses was not difficult (5). In addition, the Synchronous Setup Wizard was considered to be easy (1) to very easy (4) to use. When students did experience problems, help was not difficult to get ( easy 2; very easy 3). The students were asked if they participated in a demonstration of the synchronous software before attempting their first session. None of the students in this case answered yes In conjunction with this, only 2 students reported feeling well prepared to participate in the sessions.

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172 Only four of the ten students answered the end of semester survey dealing with their perceptions of the synchronous sessions. The following sections report the results of this survey. All four students used the system 5 or more times with half of them participating in all 10 sessions offered. When asked how easy the system was to use, three ou t of the four students answered very easy one answered somewhat easy and no one answered not easy Half of the students (2) reported no problems connecting to the synchronous classroom with no one reporting major problems In addition, 100% of the students had no problem getting familiar with the new interface. The next section of the survey addressed issues students had with diff erent features of the synchronous classroom. As can be seen in Table 85, there were very few problems reported by the students with the tools they used. Table 85. Case 4: Student Report of Problems with SWBCS Features Feature No Problem Minor Problem Major Problem Not Applicable Text chat 4 0 0 0 Two-way audio 3 1 0 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 3 1 0 0 Whiteboard 2 0 0 2 Application Sharing 1 0 0 3 Breakout Rooms 0 0 0 4 Taking Polls or Quizzes 0 0 0 4 Guided Web Surfing 0 0 0 4 Other 0 0 0 4 After reporting on issues with di fferent features of the system, st udents were asked to report how they solved problems that occurr ed. Two students solved the problems themselves, one sought help from peers two from Elluminate and one from the producer or class assistant. To address technical issues; a few questions were asked that related to how they connected to the Internet and how their computer kept up with the se ssions. The means of connecting to the internet was previously reported; this question resulted in a similar breakdown. With most students connecting at higher bandwidth it was not surprising to see that most students (4) felt that their computers were able to keep pace during the sessions. When asked whether technical knowledge and skills were required to master the use of Elluminate Live! ™, 75% of the students in this case stated that these skills were rarely important. Most students (53% rarely ; 23% sometimes ) did not need technical assistance to complete the synchronous sessions. When they did need technical support, 25% said it was frequently available, 25% rarely and 50% chose N/A In

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173 addition, those who required technical support found that their problems were solved (25%, frequently ; 25% sometimes ; 50% N/A ). In order to determine the success of the tools used during the sessions, the students were asked how useful each feature was to them. Table 86 shows the results. Two-way audio (4), text chat (3) and the ability to raise their hand (3) were considered very useful features. Most others were either somewhat useful or not applicable as this case did not utilize all the features of the SWBCS. Table 86. Case 4: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students Feature Not Useful Somewhat Useful Very Useful Not Applicable Text chat 0 1 3 0 Two-way audio 0 0 4 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 0 1 3 0 Whiteboard 0 1 1 2 Application Sharing 0 1 0 3 Breakout Rooms 0 0 0 4 Taking Polls or Quizzes 0 0 0 4 Guided Web Surfing 0 0 0 4 In an effort to determine how the students perceived the quality of the synchronous software, students were asked to rate the quality of different f eatures. As can be seen in Table 87, most tools were rated good to excellent Table 87. Case 4: Quality of SWBCS Features as Reported by Students Feature Poor Fair Good Excellent Not Applicable Elluminate Presentation Space 0 0 1 2 1 Elluminate Audio 0 1 1 2 0 Elluminate Screen Layout 1 3 0 Ways to offer instructor and others feedback (i.e. emoticons, applause, hand raising, etc.) 0 1 1 2 0 Your connection to Elluminate 0 1 1 2 0 Collaboration tools (i.e. whiteboard, application sharing, breakout rooms, etc.) 0 0 2 0 2 The overall quality of the Elluminate experience 0 0 2 2 0

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174 When asked if they thought that taking this course was a good idea, all four students responded yes In addition they thought that the organization was logical and easy to follow ( almost always 100%). More importantly, 75% felt that synchronous sessi on activities and assignments facilitated their understanding of course content. 100% felt that the sessions were almost always aligned with the course objectives and 100% felt that the instructor’s approach to using Elluminate was almost always effective. Based on the theoretical framework of this study, interactions were also an important element to record. Therefore, questions were asked that addressed how students perceived interactions when using a SWBCS. In this case, 100% felt that interactions w ith their classmates and/or the instructor were almost always effective when using the synchronous software. 100% felt that synchronous discussions with their peers were almost always encouraged in the sessions and 100% felt that the instructor almost alway s provided opportunities for students to participate dur ing the sessions. As stated earlier, opinions on instructor feedback address both inst ructor interactions and also immediac y in the classroom. In this case, 50% of the students felt th at the instructor either sometimes or frequently provided constructive feedback during the synchronous sessions. The educational goal to increase st udent knowledge was addressed as well. In these sessions, 100% stated the sessions almost always allowed them to demonstrate their learning. Although concern for students with disabilities were considered important by the researcher, no students in this case felt it was important with 100% stating accommodations for disabilities were not applicable The goals of the instructor were to in some part build a stronger learning community so, students were asked if using the SWBCS made them f eel more connected to others in their class. 100% stated that they almost always felt more connected. In addition, 75% felt almost always more connected to instructor and the other 25% felt frequently more connected. Ideally, using technology should enhance the learni ng process rather than create more chaos. To address this, students were asked if the technology enhanced their learning. Half of the students responded that the technology used frequently enhanced their learning experience. Only one felt that the technology rarely made a difference. In a ddition, students felt that the use of this technology motivated then to learn with 75% choosing almost always and only one student choosing rarely/Not at all Students did not seem to be apprehensive about the technology, but rather they would consider taking a course that used synchronous technologies ag ain. 75% of the students in this case would consider this almost always while the other 25% would sometimes consider synchronous technologies in a course. When asked to compare this course to other cour ses they have taken, 25% stated the course was almost always excellent and 50% stated it was frequently excellent. Unfortunately, the other 25% stated that the course was not excellent showing they may have had issues.

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175 Producer Input The producer for this case was also the producer for case 5 and was employed by FEEDS as a support person for the overall delivery of these courses. Her role was limited, but did play a part in the success of the sessions. Many questions were asked duri ng the producer focus grou p to determine what role she played and her perspectives of the SWBCS as it wa s used in this case. As background information this producer had been working with online learning for tw o years in the FEEDS department. Prior to that, including her own collegiate studies, she had very little experience with distance education. Her experiences in synchronous technologies included produ ction of satellite (ITFS) classes that included one way video and two-way audio utilizing a phone bridge as part of her duties in the FEEDS department. In this capacity, she also had some experience with tw o-way audio and video such as ITV or PictureTel. Besides this, her experience was limited to some instant messaging in a study group in college. This producer participated in all of the traini ng sessions provided before the beginning of the pilot. She felt that other experien ce that helped her with her duties as a producer included her basic computer and connection knowledge and being computer savvy. The relationship with the instructors and the role that the producer played in the use of the SWBCS are important factors in how well the sessions went as well as the producers perspectives. When asked about the relationship she had with the instructor s, she stated that the in structor in case 4 is the director of the FEEDS department and, in effect, was her superior. For case 5, the instructor was a tenured professor in the College of Engineering that was intere sted in participating with this pilot. She knew and worked with both of these instructors in her job at FEEDS. The producer met with the instructors in cases 4 and 6 rarely (4, never; 6, once). There was little face-to-face communication. For case 4, the producer stated, “we never met, just jumped in feet first”. This producer viewed her role as support only and very different than what the pilot program outlined. She was mostly technical support for the students. In case 5, she helped the instructor get used to using the interface while assisting students online and in the computer lab. In case 4, she was technical support and, on a few occasions, actually acted as the instructor to start the case discussions. She commented that she “noticed both these professors had solid ideas of exactly what they were going to use this software for. This made materials [that were provided in the training] very difficult to introduce let alone implement with these instructors.” When asked if she thought that the instructors would now be able to conduct the same type of sessions on their own, without a producer, the producer said “Yes and no. Both professors I worked with quickly acclimated to using the soft ware and both said I wasn’t needed after the 3rd or 4th session. However, had they delved into any of the various capabilities of the program (the whiteboard, quizzing, application sharing, etc) I believe they w ould need a great deal of assistance.”

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176 Overall the producer felt that the SWBCS was very effective for teaching. She viewed the ability to get distance students involved as a strength, stating “Our distance stud ents appreciated this software for class projects; giving them an opportunity to have liv e chats with classmates was a huge plus”. However, “many on campus students weren’t receptive to using it and the instructors were singular about their uses for it (the instructor for case 4 only wanted to chat; the instructor for case 5 wanted it for the breakout rooms). Though this isn’t a weakness with the softwa re, per se, it is still a weakness” in how it was used. Pedagogically, she saw that both instructors used the software primarily for VOIP and conversational abilities. The instructor in case 4 us ed each session for a case study discussion and the instructor in case 5 used each session as time for studen ts to get together with their groups for a project they had to turn in at the end of the semester. However, when asked if it helped isolation and built community she replied that she did not think the students felt is olated because the instructors used the SWBCS as a group discussion area in which, all students were exp ected to participate, theref ore they felt connected. The requirement to participate was also how she felt the instructors mandated interaction among the students. Their grade hinged on participation throughout the semest er. She thought that this approach helped to make the sessions successful as students were motivated to participate. She felt that the way in which, the instructors used the system was the best approach for the students in these particular courses. This producer reported few problems were encountered, but stated that “distance students had various issues that I would have loved to help them with but couldn’t. Many had mic problems, some of them had firewalls that wouldn’t allow the software to work”. To solve these problems the producer did some troubleshooting and then referred students to support documents provided by Elluminate. At the end of the focus group, each producer was asked to share le ssons learned fo r new producers of synchronous sessions. This producer stated “Be prep ared and try to persuade the instructors to use the software to its full capabilities.” Overall this producer had a positive perspective of the use of the SWBCS for supporting distance education. Summary of Case 4 Based on Research Questions Analysis of the qualitative data from this case has been thoroughly discussed. To summarize the results of this data with respect to the research ques tions proposed in this study, the questions have been answered below. Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: instructor surveys, interviews and focus groups; observation instrument; and archival documents. Case 4 utilized case study methodology throughout all synchronous sessions. The course required students to read the cases and review questions in preparation for the sessions. During the sessions, the instructor read questions from the text, and then all the students were expected to participat e and share their opinions.

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177 The instructor provided analysis an d real-life examples, which, encourag ed interaction and repeated input from students. He played the role of facilitator, only calling on students to answer when the conversation lagged and they needed prompting. This case did not include the use of formal or visual presentation, opting instead for open discussion. Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. The instructor in this case utilized tools for significan t discussion of case studies among students in diverse locations. One of the students in this case was in Kabul, Afghanistan. The use of SWBCS allowed the students and the instructor to have long (1.5 hour) discussions on cases that were relevant to the content of the course. Each week, tw o case study discussions took place over a period of about three hours. The case study method is a good approach used in regular classrooms, but it is often difficult to carryout via distance technologies due to lack of immediacy of asynchronous methods and the difficulties encountered when using textual chat for long conversations. The use of VOIP was more natural and solved many of these issues. Q3. With access to a multitude of tool s available in a SWBCS, which, tool s do instructors choose to use? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews, and Fo cus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. Using a model that was different from most of the other cases, the instructor in this case used only a minimal set of tools to accomplish the goals he wa s trying to reach. VOIP was used extensively with chat and hand raising supplementing the conversatio ns that took place during case study discussions. Although it was determined by the observers that addition of visual tools might have improved the sessions, the overall use of tools was effective. Q4. Why do instructors use the tool s and strategies that they choose? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Group s. Although the instructor in this case did not feel that what he was currently doing with asynchronous methods and textual chat was problematic, he thought using the SWBCS would improve the course and the experience for the students. He has also always been a pioneer when it comes to technology use in the classroom and felt he should try this new system. Although he had used chat successfully in the recent past, he felt using audio and video was a better approach as it allowed him to listen and hear voice inflections rather than read, thus helping him to understand the student’s status. He also felt that students would learn more by hearing and responding to someone else’s rebuttal. The case study discussions were long (1.5 hours) with two cases discussed each session. This process would have been much more difficult with textual chat only. This process also let the instructor

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178 extend the reach of the course in a more natural manner, somewhat meeting the need he saw for students to have “live” (preferably face-to-face) in teraction with the instructor. For al l of these reasons, the use of the SWBCS met the needs of this instructor and his course. Q5. What perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents, and reflections from students. Although some of the pe rceptions in this case were lower than the first two cases, students portrayed positive perceptions toward th e ability of the software to increase the interaction they had with the instructor and others in the class. The majority of the students reported that the sessions provided opportunities for effective interactions with their classmates and/or the instructor, which, allowed them to make better connections with all involved. In addition, they stated that synchronous sessions helped to motivate them, enhanced their learning, and allowed them to demonstrate their knowledge. Overall the student perceptions were high in areas that are important in learning. The instructor’s perceptions were also positive and he plans to use the system in the future. Case 5 The instructor – Via the Instructor Interview This course was taught by an experienced instructor who has been teaching via distance technologies for quite some time. He holds the rank of Lecturer and has been teaching at the university for over 18 years. For the past 12 years he has taught via FEEDS using satellite broadcast and video tape. In the past couple of years, they have moved to a streaming video model over the Internet. This instructor has a heavy administrative load as well as a full course load. He is the undergraduate coordinator for the Industrial Engineering department and is launching an extensive recruiting plan. He also does research and oversees graduate students. The instructor interview provided information used to understand the instructor and how he feels about teaching in this manner. This instructor is always looking for new ways to improve the distance learning process. He feels that through the use of technology he can help students unable to physically be together feel more connected which, he feels is important. He was esp ecially concerned with encouraging deeper learning for graduate education by offering more opportunities for interaction. In this sense, he felt that using a SWBCS was an enhancement for his courses and would help him to be a more exciting instructor. He stated that “with a new set of tools I can be a stronger instructor”. The Class – Via the Instructor Interview The course studied for this case was an advan ced masters-level course in USF’s Masters of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) program. The thirty-three students enrolled in the course

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179 were located throughout Florida and in California and Pu erto Rico. The course was the capstone course for the MSEM curriculum and featured extensive team efforts. Students were divided into teams of 4 and the teams had two assignments for the semester. This course is currently taught with of the students in the studio and at a distance. It requires one face-to-face meeting at the end for all students even those at large distances. This 1 day meeting is used to present projects but also to socialize celebrate as a means give students a feeling of belonging to the program. The class has previously used Blackboard in conjunction with streaming video to accomplish the educational objectives. Previously, throughout the semester students communicated on Blackboard primarily through the discussion board. The instructor posted a new topic for discussion approximately every second week, giving a total of seven topics during the semester. Students were expected to visit the discussion board twice a week to read new comments and to add their own. This semester, students used Elluminate weekly for twelve weeks during the semester. Students logged into the Elluminate class site and the session began with the instructor discussing the results of that qu arter’s Threshold competition. This presentation was made verbally using VOIP. After a time for questions and general discussion, the students were placed into private “breakout rooms” so they could have strategy discussions in preparation for the submittal of their next quarter’s plans. Teams also had the option of using their Elluminate session to discuss progress on their industry reports. In addition, teams could set up other times to use Elluminate for a team discussion. Assessment in this course was facilitated through several tools such as the threshold game (30%) which, includes a participation (20%) grade, 10% of this is judged by the discussion (F2F) at the end of the semester about what they learned 10 % is judged throughout the semester. The remaining 10 % is a write up at the end of the semester – a diary of what was lear ned. Additional assessment (40%) is represented by a written Industry report and presentation at the end of the semester. The biggest challenge faced in this case prio r to the use of the SWBCS was communication among group members. It is always a burden for distance students to try to communicate with each other and this problem causes non functional teams. The instructor planned to use Elluminate Live! ™ during the class time to help with this. The class time was chosen as it is already reserved in most student schedules and would hopefully make it a good time for everyone. The Class – Via classroom observations Synchronous sessions for this course were conducted via SWBCS 10 times. A minimum of 11 students participated and a maximum of 29. Each scheduled session utilized breakout rooms and students were placed in separate rooms for group work. After initial review, thr ee of the ten instructional sessions conducted by this instructor were selected for observation using the observation instrument. Observations

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180 for this case were completed by five different observers. The next few sections show the results of the observation of the three sessions reviewed. Pedagogy This case used the SWBCS for group work only. Th ere was no lecture or formal presentation of materials. The instructor put students into separate breakout rooms so that they could communicate about weekly projects on which, the course was heavily based. Student’s had two semester long projects. One was a design project and the other a competitive game. This on-going competitive game called “Threshold” lasted all semester with each team working as a play er in the game. The synchronous system was used for the teams to communicate and plan strategy. Table 88 provides the observation summary for Pedagogical strategies.

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181 Table 88. Case 5: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable Pedagogical Strategy Instructor lectured – conveyed information through talking or demonstration Direct (telling, lecturing) whole group. Instructor used interactive direction with whole group (posing questions and calling for answers) Instructor questioned at different levels Individual students worked alone Students worked in pairs or small groups x x x Students acted as a whole class (ie. large class discussion, full class quizzing or polling, lecture, whole class project etc.) Other approaches Pedagogy Judged Pe dagogical Strategy The teaching strategies utilized tools appropriate for the students’ level of skill with the technology and were well supported x x x Teaching methods were appropriate for the content x x x Lesson required student thought and participation– explain. x x x The teaching strategy included a problem solving activity– explain. x x The Instructor set c ognitive tasks for the students – explain. x Session required higher order (not route memory or just opinion) and/or critical thinking on the part of the students– explain. x Other approaches

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182 Table 88. (Continued) Case 5: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Summary of Pedagogy Used Summary of Pedagogy Students were placed in small groups. The interacted with each other. One group used audio, another CHAT and Whiteboard, a third group used Whiteboard. Students seem to be engaged with some type of interaction within small groups of people the whole class. most of this session occured in the breakout rooms which, we can not directly observe. Answers in the comment sections show prior knowledge and intent of in structor gleanned from other instruments and earlier participat observations of this course by the reseacher (I was there in person and able to see the breakout rooms). Lecture only for 20 minutes on old material. Discussion of past assignments, and to make sure all grps had 'sales' information, Discussion was based on information gathered from previous class time. Interaction When looking at interaction, five areas were specifically noted: (1 ) Instructor-Learner interaction, (2) Learner-Instructor interaction, (3) learner-Learner interaction, (4) Learner-Content interaction, and (5) Learner-Interface interaction. Table 89 shows that th e instructor was only somewhat interactive with his students in this case. It was obvious that the minimal in teractions were due to the way in which, he chose to use the system. His method was very student centered and required little intervention from him.

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183 Table 89. Case 5: Results of Instructor-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable Instructor-Learner Interaction Checks student comprehension x Knows and uses student names x x Responds to students as individuals x Praises students for contributions that deserve commendation x Criticizes student ignorance or misunderstanding Encourages questions, invol vement, debate and/or feedback x x x Encourages students to answer questions by provided cues and encouragement Other Directly Observable I-L Interactions Judged Instructor-Learner Interaction Instructor Questions Instructor feedback is informative x x Instructor Responses Instructor listens carefully to student comments and questions x x Instructor feedback is informative and constructive x Instructor answers student questio ns clearly and directly x x Overall Impression Good rapport with students x x x Treats class members equitably x x x Encourages mutual respect among students x Respects diverse points of view Recognizes when students do not understand Other Judged I-L Interactions Did not see Instructor respond to anything, and all real work was done in groups. Due to the fact that most of the sessions took place in breakout rooms, it was difficult for the observers to see what occurred. In the second session th e researcher played a role as a participant observer and actually recorded the interactions within the breakout rooms as she moved from one room to another. This allowed the observers of this session to view a special recording in which, they could review what took place within the breakout rooms. The following discussion of interactions will be based on this one observation with the assumption that the re maining sessions were very similar.

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184 Table 90. Case 5: Results of Learner-Instructor Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable LearnerInstructor Interaction Students ask questions of the instructor x x Students volunteer information x Students present information Student feedback is on topic x Other Directly Observable L-I Interactions One learner was observed asking Dr. McCright a question in the public CHAT. There were many private CHATs that could not be observed. Judged LearnerInstructor Interaction Summary of Judged Learner-Instructor Interaction Were unable to see most interactions since most took place in breakout rooms, however, the instructor did visit each room in a rotating fashion and spend time with each group of students. Students did not ask questions of any sort in the main room. Most interactions initiated by the students pertained to the game that they were playing and the planning of their strategy. Students interacted with information that they shared among themselves and retrieved from outside sources. No content was provided by the instructor. Given the model in this course, student interaction with content and with each other sh ould be higher than interaction with the instructor. The results shown for the second session in Table 91 support this.

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185 Table 91. Case 5: Results of Learner-Content Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable LearnerContent Interaction Reading x Writing (i.e., on whiteboard, in chat, etc.) x x x Presentation (i.e., verbal, graphical, etc.) Discussion x x x Responds x Participates in Poll Other Directly Observable L-C Interactions Judged LearnerContent Interaction Interpret x Comprehend x React x Listening x x x Other Judged L-C Interactions Understandably, Learner-Learner interactions were significant in this case. Students were in the session to accomplish a team goal and therefore were required to engage in discussion with each other. Since the instructor was not present for the majority of the sessions, student interactions were the main use of the system. Both directly observable and judged learner-learner interactions were high (Table 92). Similar to case 3, this level of interaction is not surprising. The students in the breakout rooms were functioning as teams and had shared goals and objectiv es. These teams had been working with each other throughout the semester. The students seemed to work together well and have good rapport.

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186 Table 92. Case 5: Results of Learner-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable LearnerLearner Interaction Students discuss the content of the sessi on with each other (on-task academic conversation) x x x Students engage in conversation that is not related to the subject of the session but is related to the course or other courses (off task academic conversation) x Students engage in conversation that is not related to the course (social conversation) x x Students encourage other students’ que stions, involvement, debate and/or feedback x Students criticize other student’s ignorance or misunderstanding Students use each others names x x x Other Directly Observable L-L Interactions Judged LearnerLearner Interactions Students answer questions clearly and directly x Students maintain a good rapport with each other x x Students show mutual respect for eac h other (i. e. listening carefully, responding constructively, etc.) x x Students treat class members equitably x x Other Judged L-L Interactions As stated earlier, interaction between the students and the interface was inevitable. Observations in this area were meant to determine if the interface was a hindrance or a support for the students. Earlier comments from students in this case showed some levels of frustration with the system, but these were not evident to the observers. Students did not voice frustr ations with the interface or show negative emotions during the sessions. Some emotion was shown, but more in use of the emoticons than voiced objections. Students in this case did have a few issues with connecting and the use of the microphone as seen by the observers in the second session. However, the observers did not note that these problems were insurmountable or even affected the use of the SWBCS. Students used only a subset of the tools provided. Part of this is due to not having a moderator (instructor) present to turn on some of the more advanced features. This could have been avoided had the students been promoted to moderator status before the instructor left and may have encouraged more positive perspectives from the students.

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187 Table 93. Case 5: Results of Learner-Interface Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable LearnerInterface Interaction Work on whiteboard x x x Use microphone x x x Exchange messages in chat x x x Raises hand Completes a poll Uses emoticons x x Troubles connecting x Troubles with microphone x Unable to use tools Other Directly Observable L-Interface Interactions Judged LearnerInterface Interaction Did any students voice frustration with the interface? Shows emotion Other Judged L-Interface Interactions Throughout the sessions in this case, students interacted with each other in their small breakout groups. Most interactions seemed to be written but VOIP was also used extensively. In two out of three of the sessions the observers found that interactions were difficult to see as most took place in breakout rooms which, are not recorded. However, observers still voi ced opinions about the interactivity of the sessions stating “I don't think this was a very interactive session. The moderator left after getting students into breakout rooms. He briefly went to each room, and left before two students logged in late. They then could not get into a breakout room.” This situation made it problematic for students to utilize the system and therefore resulted in less interaction and lower perception of the usability and usefulness of the SWBCS. Structure As stated earlier, to accurately review the cla ss structure during a synchronous session it was divided into three sections that could be observed in different ways: (1) classroom management, (2) content organization and (3) presentation. First, the management of the classroom was observed during all three sessions. This was a very difficult area to review in th is case as the instructor did not use the system as a classroom, but rather as a group m eeting space where individual groups met to work on weekly projects. This was not a poor use of the system; rather it is one of the strong points for collaboration over the internet. However, the review of structure at this poin t is somewhat difficult. Even with these obstacles, the results for content management are positive (Table 94). The instructor was prepared, had a plan, was efficient in putting students into groups and most impor tantly provided a space for the students to

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188 collaborate. The first session observed rated higher in course management. This is most likely due to it being closer to the first use of the system (second time this class used the SWBCS). Since it was early on, the instructor needed to provide more direction than he did later in the semester. Overall the instructor did a good job of managing the classroom.

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189 Table 94. Case 5: Results of Classroom Management (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable Classroom Management Instructor began class on time in an orderly, organized fashion x x Instructor digressed often from the main topic Instructor had readily available the materials and equipment necessary to complete the activity x x Instructor gave prompt attention to individual problems x x Instructor maintained student attention Instructor paused to allow students to interact and answer questions (wait time). x Provided opportunities for dialogue about the activity with peers and/or instructor x x Instructor allowed opportunity for individual expression x x Instructor provided practice time and sufficient time for completion x x Other Directly Observable classroom management Judged Classroom Management Instructor appeared well prepared for class x x x Instructor had a clear organizational plan x x x Instructor clearly organized and explained assignments x x Instructor provided clear directions or procedures x x Instructor provided sufficie nt wait time (i. e. gave students enough time to respond to and ask questions) x x Skills required during the session were not beyond reasonable expectations for this course and/or these students (were they struggling with any skills? Why?) x x x Instructor maintained cred ibility and control (i. e. Spoke about course cont ent with confidence and authority, used authority in classroom to create an environment conducive to learning, etc.) x x Instructor is able to adm it error and/or insufficient knowledge x x Instructor respects constructive criticism x Instructor responds to distractions effectively yet constructively Other Judged classroom management

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190 Little directly observable content organization wa s seen since not much content was presented. However, the observers rated this instructor high in the judged organization elements (Table 95). Table 95. Case 5: Results of Content Organization (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable Content Organization Previewed lecture/discussion content x Introduced organization of the lecture Explained the goal or objective for the period x Reviewed prior class material to prepare students for the content to be covered x Provided internal summaries and transitions Summarized and distilled main points at the end of class (formally) x Previewed by connecting to future classes (hinting at things to come) x Instructor incorporated student responses Integrates assigned course material into class presentation (readings, web sites, etc.) x x Relates current course content to students’ general education Makes course content releva nt with references to “real world” applications x Explicitly states relationships among various topics and facts/theory Explains difficult terms, concepts, or problems in more than one way Presents background of ideas and concepts Presents up-to-date developments in the field Other Directly Observed Content Organization Instructor does think about content organization. The following is what could be seen before everyone was placed in groups. Instructor discusses the assignments to date and problems with corrupt file. Notes Group 2 is getting way up in point totals congratulations Group 7 in first place Encouraging words from instructor about the learning processes recaps f2f class Judged Content Organization Introduction captured attention x x x Main ideas are clear and specific x x Sufficient variety was provided to support information x Relevancy of main ideas were clear x x Other Judged Content Organization x

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191 Organization of content is only one of the elements of structure examined by the observation instrument. To have a sound learning environment, it is also very important to present content in a meaningful and effective way. This case did not really “present” content, so the data collected here is not significant however; Table 96 shows the observation results. Interestingly, the session where the observers actually were able to view the breakout rooms had the least amount of presentation elements. In this session the instructor put up a slide on the main room whiteboard stating “the instructor has nothing to say” and moved students into the breakout rooms right away Overall presentation was rated low for this case. Table 96. Case 5: Results of Presentation (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable Presentation Articulation and pronunciation was clear x x Absence of verbal pauses (speech fillers) x x Volume was sufficient to be heard x x Varied pace Included illustrations Presented views other than own when appropriate Visuals were clear and well organized (large and legible) Visual aids were easily read x Other Directly Observation Presentati on No visual aids used Judged Presentation Instructor spoke extraneously Effective voice quality x x Rate of delivery was appropriate x x Communicates a sense of confidence, enthusiasm and excitement toward content x x Speech is neither too formal nor too casual x x Other Directly Observation Presentation After reviewing all the aspects presented here, ob servers summarized the st ructure they observed in the sessions overall. Most observers were unable to really comment on this area as it was not possible to properly review the information. Observers commented “The class seemed to have sufficient structure for the task even though it was not a typical 'class' but more group work. For group work, this was structured accordingly.” Overall it was agreed that this instructor had met his goals, but that the sessions were not particularly well structured. Learner Autonomy The importance of Learner Autonomy has been discussed previously and this case was examined using the same constructs and definitions. The following describes the observed learner autonomy throughout all three sessions in this case. The model us ed by this instructor exemplifies learner autonomy.

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192 Students worked mainly within groups and were very responsible for what was accomplished. Therefore, observers felt that students had opportunities and took re sponsibility for a part of their learning during these sessions. The second session where ob servers were actually able to view the breakout rooms provided more opportunities for the observers to judge elements of learner autonomy and therefore resulted in more elements being seen. Judged learner autonomy portray ed positive student attitudes toward learning. Overall it was determine that the group work strategies used in these session provided ample opportunity for learner autonomy and students res ponded by being accountabl e for their learning. Table 97. Case 5: Results of Learner Autonomy Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable Learner Autonomy Activities such as self-guide d reading, participation in groups, electronic dialogues, or reflective writing activities were used in this session x x x Instructor utilized dialogue with learners x Students are given options on how they will interact and learn the material x x x Learning was “primarily” independent or interdependent, not dependent on the instructor x x x Students take noticeable responsibility for various decisions associated with the learning in this session x x x Students discover information that they need for the session rather than being provided all of it x x The discussion in groups was dominated by one or two people Students ask a lot of productive questions Students who struggle with the technology bounce back and become productive members of the class x x Other Directly Observed Learner Autonomy Judged Learner Autonomy Strategy used provides for multiple learning styles Strategy used allows for l earner independence and/or interdependence x x x Students seem to have positive attitudes about this learning experience x Students seem to enjoy discussion of ideas x Instructor provides challenge s that students seem to enjoy x Other Judged Learner Autonomy Tool Use This case stood out as a special case and accordi ngly had a different purpose for using a SWBCS. Since the purpose for this case was to facilitate group work, the instructor actually used a minimal set of

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193 tools. Breakout rooms are not recorded in the SWBCS, and since mo st of the interac tion took place in breakout rooms, it was difficult to be sure, what actually took place. Howe ver a special session recorded by the researcher in real time allowed for viewing of on e full session of breakout room use. In this session, students’ extensive uses of VOIP, whiteboard, and chat were significant. Other tools were not readily available for the students to use after the instructor (moderator) put them into rooms without giving them control over the elements of the system and left. In th is case, some adjustments to how the system was used might have improved the student’s use of the tools an d their perception of the overall experience. Table 98 provides a summary of which, tools were used in all three sessions. Included in the table is a reporting of how often the tools were used. As can be seen, VOIP, textual chat, breakout rooms and the whiteboard were used in every session. Of these tools, chat and VOIP were used by the students extensively along with some collaboration on the whiteboard. Since students were always in breako ut rooms, this use can also be seen as extensive. Although observers felt only a limited number of tools we re used, they all judge the tool use as effective. Tool use was summed up by one observer in a very succinct way. “For the goal of this class, the breakout rooms and group work, the tool use was appropriate even if minimal.” Overall the instructor and the students utilized the tools in the system to meet their needs.

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194 Table 98. Case 5: Results of Tool Use Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Directly Observable Tool Use Textual Chat x x x Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Audio x x x Breakout Rooms x x x Whiteboard x x x Shared Browser Application Sharing Private Messaging x x x Pace Meter Hand Raising Polling Emoticons x x Step away feature x x Quizzing How often were the tools used? – describe ( ie. Used extensively, regularly, minimally, etc.) Minimally. VOIP was the primary tool used. Others were minimal. Audio and chat were used extensively. Private CHAT and breakout rooms were used the whole class time. once in the groups the students seemed to make extensive use of the tools: VOIP, whiteboard, and text chat. It was difficult to determine the whole use of tools since most of it was done in breakout rooms. However, by watching the participant window icons, it is evident that the students used the tools available to accomplish their goals. Visual observation of chat, VOIP and whiteboard was seen. (see notes) minimally A variety of the available tools were used to present materials Other Directly Observable Tool Use Judged Tool Use Use of tools was effective x x x Other Judged Tool Use Strengths, Weaknesses and Success Having observed the entire class session, each observer was asked to list the overall strengths and the weakness they observed. Table 99 contains the resulting comments from all observers.

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195 Table 99. Case 5: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Judged Overall Strengths and Weaknesses observations What strengths were observed? was organized well to quickly present the night's activities then turn it over to groups. Groups seemed to operate efficiently. Students interacted. this session seemed to be very much learner driven. they were moved directly into groups where they seemed to interact quite a bit even though the recording did not capture their discussions. The students were in charge of their learning. They utilized breakout rooms extensively to wrok toward a group goal. The commumity seemed to be fairly strong. Group work works well with some learning styles. Students were required to work together on a common goal. What weaknesses were observed? Producer was slow moving people into groups. Producer used the whiteboard to type out questions to the group such as 'Are you having amy trouble?.' No direction from the instructor. This may not have been a weakness for this class, but it was for the observer to be able to know what was going on. the intro and logon seemed abrupt, but this may have been expected by the students who had completed several of these sessions previously. three students logged into the main room and were never moved into the groups over about 20-30 minutes they were in the session. It was not clear if they were the only members of their respective groups, or if there was some other problem. The instructor left before the students and some of them seemed to get kicked out. This may have caused some frustration, but it was not evident. Overall there were no real weaknesses. A Lack of interaction and tools was used. Based on all the constructs in the observation in strument, the observers were then asked to judge the success of the session. This was an especially hard task for this course as ob servers could only comment on what they had seen and most of the sessions took place in the break out rooms. However, even with this small picture the observer’s comments are useful in determining how the session was perceived. When combined with student, instructor and producer perceptions, the overall picture should be clear. Table 100 shows the comments on success of the session that each observer made for each session. All observers felt that all three sessions were successful based on the instructional goals of the instructor.

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196 Table 100. Case 5: Results of Se ssion Success Observation Constructs Questions 1 – 9/17/2004 14 10/22/2004 2 -11/19/2004 Summary of Session Success Success of the session Successful. The goal was to allows students to work together in groups. The session accomplished that. cannot say much. wasn’t able to see the activity in the breakout rooms. Strangest virtual class that I have seen yet. Successful. The goal of the session seemed to be to allow the students time to meet in thier pre-assigned groups. The students were moved into groups immediately upon signing in and worked there for 20-40 minutes depending upon the group. For the goals of the session it was probably successful. However, it is not really possible to observe the success as most was done in breakout rooms which, can not be recorded. Ok for a grp work assignment, but the lecture could have been more engaging. The Instructor could have used the opportunity to present some new information in the session, but did not. The Class – Via Student Surveys From the survey, a general understanding of elements of the course can be determined. In this case, three students thought that the course was only offered online and one did not know which, reflects their desire for an online format. With this in mind, six students said it was not likely that they would have taken the course had it not been offered online, while only one said they definitely would have taken the course. Five others reported that they would likely have taken it had it not been offered online. To address the reasons students took the course, they were asked to rate their most important reason for taking the course. Fifteen of the students reported that it was required for their degree. The remaining student chose class schedule as most important. Since the class included a synchronous element, students were asked if they were aware of this requirement before the class began. Nine of the students responded no however, all fifteen also res ponded that they had allotted time in their schedules for the synchronous sessions. There were few problems reported by the students in preparing to take the course with items such as difficulty registering ( easy 9; very easy, 7), difficulty getting an ID card ( easy 9; very easy, 3) and difficulty of accessing the Internet ( easy 7; very easy 8) showing positive results Items required to access the asynchronous portions of the cour se online include obtaining a NetID ( easy 11; very easy, 3) and access the university servers ( easy 5; very easy, 6). Other questions asked in the initial survey addressed instructions and materials for the course. No one had trouble obtaining a syllabus ( easy 5; very easy, 9). The majority of the students (11) also felt that instructions for using technology in this course were very clear while the setup required for the courses had mixed reviews, (11, not difficult ; 4 somewhat difficult ). In addition, the Synchronous Setup Wizard was considered to be easy (8) to very easy (5) to use. When students did experience problems, help was not difficult to get ( easy 6; very easy, 4 ).

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197 Students were asked if they participated in a demonstration of the synchronous software before attempting their first session. Eleven out of the sixteen students said no However, only one student reported they felt not prepared with the others feeling comfortable with the technology (5, s omewhat prepared ; 2, well prepared ; 1, very well prepared ). A total of seven students completed the end of semester survey. From the results of the second survey the students perceptions about the SWBCS used in their course were mainly positive but not as positive as in other cases. The students in this class used the system frequently (1, 1-4 times ; 5, 5 or more times ) however, not all students in this case participat e in all the sessions provided. When asked how easy the system was to use, three students answered very easy three answered somewhat easy and no one answered not easy Only five students commented on connecting to the synchronous classroom, having no problems. In addition, 66.7% of the students had no problem getting familiar with the new interface. The next section of the survey addressed issues students had with diff erent features of the synchronous classroom. Table 101 shows that there were very few to no problems reported by the students with the tools they used. However, from this reporting, many of the tools were not used ( N/A ) by the students in this case. Table 101. Case 5: Student Report of Problems with SWBCS Features Feature No Problem Minor Problem Major Problem Not Applicable Text chat 3 3 0 0 Two-way audio 5 0 1 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 3 0 0 3 Whiteboard 4 1 0 1 Application Sharing 1 1 1 3 Breakout Rooms 4 1 0 1 Taking Polls or Quizzes 0 0 0 6 Guided Web Surfing 1 0 0 5 Other 1 0 0 5 After reporting on issues they had with different features of the system, students were asked to report how they solved problems that occurred. One student solved the problems himself, two sought help from Elluminate two sought help from the class assistant and one reported other means of solving the problem. Other ways reported were “used email, did conference calls instead, purchased another copy of software.”

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198 To be sure technical issues were not creating significant issues for the students; a few questions were asked that addressed how they connected to the Internet and how their com puter kept up with the sessions. The means of connecting to the internet was previously reported; this question resulted in a similar breakdown as before with most students on a fast connection. Since mo st students were connecting at higher bandwidth it was not surprising to see that a ll students (6) felt that their computers were able to keep pace during the sessions. When asked whether technical knowledge and skills were required to master the use of Elluminate Live! ™, students had mixed feelings. However, 43% stated that these skills were important at least frequently Student’s need for need technical assistance to complete the synchronous sessions varied (43% rarely ; 29% sometimes; 14% frequently ). When they did need technical support, 14% said it was almost alway s available and 29% said it was frequently available. In addition, those who required technical support found that their problems were solved (43% frequently ; 14% almost always ). In order to determine the success of the tools used during the sessions, the students were asked how useful each feature was to them. Table 102 shows the results. Textual chat (83%) and two-way audio (67%) were considered somewhat useful features. The whiteboard was considered very useful by 50% of the students and breakout rooms were very useful for 100%. This is consistent with the tools that the students used in this case as most used breakout rooms, chat and VOIP only. Table 102. Case 5: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students Feature Not Useful Somewhat Useful Very Useful Not Applicable Text chat 0 5 1 0 Two-way audio 1 4 1 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 3 1 0 2 Whiteboard 1 2 3 0 Application Sharing 0 2 0 4 Breakout Rooms 0 0 6 0 Taking Polls or Quizzes 0 0 0 6 Guided Web Surfing 0 0 0 6 In an effort to determine how the students perceived the quality of the synchronous software, students were asked to rate the quality of different features. Table 103 shows that most tools were rated fair to good

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199 Table 103. Case 5: Quality of SWBCS Features as Reported by Students Feature Poor Fair Good Excellent Not Applicable Elluminate Presentation Space 0 1 3 0 2 Elluminate Audio 1 3 2 0 0 Elluminate Screen Layout 0 1 4 1 0 Ways to offer instructor and others feedback (i.e. emoticons, applause, hand raising, etc.) 0 2 1 0 3 Your connection to Elluminate 0 0 6 0 0 Collaboration tools (i.e. whiteboard, application sharing, breakout rooms, etc.) 0 1 4 1 0 The overall quality of the Elluminate experience 0 3 3 0 0 When asked if they thought that taking this course was a good idea, four of the students responded yes In addition they thought that the organization was logical and easy to follow ( frequently 42%; almost always 29%). Unfortunately, most students did not feel that synchronous session activities and assignments facilitated their understanding of course content (43%, rarely ; 14%, sometimes ; 14%, frequently ). 57% felt that the sessions were only frequently (29%, rarely ) aligned with the course objectives but 43% felt that the instructor’s approach to using Elluminate was almost always (43%, frequently) effective. This instructor felt that offering students a way to interact was important and the theory behind this study also supports this. How this worked in this case was an important element to review. In this case it was difficult to observe interactions as the breakout rooms utilized for most of the sessions were not able to be recorded. Therefore, the reporting of student’s perceptions were very important. In this case, 29% felt that interactions with their classmates and/or the instructor were almost always (57%, sometimes ; 14%, frequently ) effective when using the synchronous software. 57% felt that synchronous discussions with their peers were frequently encouraged in the sessions and 43% felt that the instructor almost alway s provided opportunities for students to participate during the sessions. Educational research shows that effective interacti ons with the instructor often take many forms. Student opinions about instructor feedback address both instructor interactions and also immediacy in the classroom. This instructor was not present for much of the time that the students actually used the SWBCS. Rather, he used it as a place for the student’s themselves to gather and work. Therefore it is not surprising that only 29% of the students felt that the instructor almost always provided constructive feedback during the synchronous sessions. Others felt selected frequently (43%) and sometimes (14%) but not selected almost always

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200 Educational goals include increases in student knowledge so some questions addressed student learning. In these sessions, 43% of the students reported that the sessions allowed them to frequently demonstrate their learning wh ile 43% stated the sessions sometimes allowed them to demonstrate their learning. In addition the use of sync hronous technologies for teaching at a distance is thou ght to allow for increased connections that build a stronger learning community. Therefore students were asked if using Elluminate made them feel more connected to others in their class. 14% stated that they almost always felt more connected and 29% said they frequently felt more connected, however, 29% also felt rarely connected. With the way in which, the system was utilized for this case, it is not surprising to find that connections to the instructor were not prominent with 29% choosing frequently 14% choosing sometimes and 43% rarely Technology should add value to education and not hinder learning. In this case, students did not feel that the technology was a large asset, with 57% stating that the technology rarely (14%, frequently ) enhanced their learning experience. An additional 29% felt that the technology was not applicable in enhancing their learning. In addition, students did not feel that the use of this technology was a motivating factor in their learning with 64% choosing rarely and 29% choosing sometimes As can be seen here, perceptions in this case were quite low, but even with this 57% (43%, sometimes ; 14%, frequently ) would consider taking a course that used synchronous technologies again. However, 29% would rarely consider another course using a SWBCS. When asked to compare this course to other courses they have taken, 43% stated the course was almost always excellent and 29% stated it was frequently excellent. In addition to the formal data collected, the instru ctor also collected perceptions from students by way of an asynchronous discussion board. The instruct or shared these results with the researcher and they were enlightening. This was a very open ended situatio n were student’s could say what they really thought about the use of synchronous technology in their course. Therefore, it is important that these results also be examined. Table 149 in Appendix F holds the entire results of this discussion in a color coded format. The table provides actual quotes from students in this case after their first synchronous session. Since the comments made by these students were both positive and negative, they were sorted based on these themes first. On further review of the comments additional themes emerged. The negative perspectives will be discussed first. Students were unhappy with the fact that they we re unable to share the program in which, the game they were playing was conducted (Threshold). Although this was problematic, it was not a limitation of the SWBCS as it was possible if the software had been implemented in a better manner. Another trend in dissatisfaction was the lack of video which, is a feature that has been include in the next version of this software. In addition, there were mixed feelings about how the half-duplex audio (click to talk) functioned. Some students wanted to have an open floor, while others liked that only one person could speak at a time, requiring the others to listen and offering everyone an opportunity to speak.

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201 Many students felt that they could have accomplished the same interactions with their groups without the complications of this software. This is a very important observation as for the most part they are correct. The manner in which, the software was used was limited in this case and therefore other tools may have been more appropriate and useful to the students. These other tools would also have been less expensive and less complicated. However, if the instru ctor had promoted one or more students in each breakout room to a moderator, then application sharing could have take n place and students may have been satisfied with the use of this software. This may also have helped with not having access to Threshold at all locations as only one member of the group would have needed access to share the application with the rest. The last negative theme was the time factor. Student s either were unhappy because of the need to be in the same time or the fact that they could not follow up later. This is an ongoing issue with synchronous distance education; however, had the groups not been in breakout rooms, but maybe in their own virtual spaces they could have re corded the sessions for those members not able to attend live. The fact that the breakout rooms are not record ed was an issue for this case. Most of the problems students encountered in this case were not due to limitations in the software, but limitations in the way it was implemented by both the instructor and due to limitations of concurrent seats available at the time of the study. If there had be en enough seats to allow each group an open room to be used at their convenience with all the features available, this may have solved some of the time factor issues resulting in more positive perspectives. For the most part the positive themes revolved around the ability to communicate and interact with others. For these students they felt that although th e software was not perfect, it made an impact on their ability to participate and work with their groups. Producer Input The producer for this case was also the producer for case 4. A complete discussion of her perspectives was already addressed during the discussi on of that case. Please refer back to case 4 for information on the producer in this case. Summary of Case 5 Based on Research Questions Analysis of the qualitative data from this case has been thoroughly discussed. To summarize the results of this data with respect to the research ques tions proposed in this study, the questions have been answered below. Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: instructor surveys, interviews and focus groups; observation instrument; and archival documents. As a contrast to most other cases, case 5 used the SWBCS for group work only. There was no lecture or

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202 formal presentation of materials. The instructor put students into separate breakout rooms to facilitate team communicate about weekly proj ects on which, the course was heavily based. Student’s worked on projects during this time. One project the students worked on was an on-going competitive game called “Threshold” that lasted all semester with each team working as a player in the game. In this case, the synchronous system was used as a collaborative tool where teams communicated and planned strategy, not for instructor lead instructional strategies. Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. This case did not utilize many of the tools available due to the instructional goals and the teaching strategies implemented by the instructor. The breakout rooms feature was used extensively to offer private space to each group for processing of information concerning the semester long “game” of running a company and other projects. Altho ugh the instructor began each sessio n personally and placed students into rooms, the sessions were very much student driven. Student use of the tools to accomplish their goals varied significantly and was difficult to observe as breakout rooms are not recorded. Students did not have access to all tools as a moderator was not available for most of the sessions. This may have limited the tools students were able to utilize. Q3. With access to a multitude of tool s available in a SWBCS, which, tool s do instructors choose to use? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews, and Fo cus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. This case was not typical and accordingly had a different instructional purpose for using a SWBCS. Since the purpose for this case was to facilitate group work, the instructor actually used a minimal set of tools. Breakout rooms are not recorded in the SWBCS, and since most of the interaction took place in breakout rooms, it was difficult to be sure, what actually took place. Howe ver a special session recorded by the researcher in real time allowed for viewing of on e full session of breakout room use. In this session, students’ extensive uses of VOIP, whiteboard, and chat were significant. Other tools were not readily available for the students to use after the instructor (moderator) put them into rooms without giving them control over the elements of the system and left. In th is case, some adjustments to how the system was used might have improved the student’s use of the tool s and their perception of the overall experience. Q4. Why do instructors use the tool s and strategies that they choose? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focu s Groups. Once again, this case stands out as the instructor used the SWBCS tools to meet the collabora tive need of groups of students, who are working in various distant locations, to have a place to meet, discuss, and complete the required on -going group work.

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203 However, the tool set available to students was not sufficient in this case as the students had many comments about how the system worked for them. Since the group rooms were not overseen by a moderator, and some of the students did not have access to the “game” software, they were often frustrated with how things worked. Solutions to most of these problems are readily availabl e to put into place for the next offering of this course. Q5. What perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents, and reflections from students. Unfortunately, the percep tions of students in this case were not resoundingly positive. The student perceptions were mixed and less positive, stating different aspects that did not work as well as they would have liked. The instructor was and continues to be positive about the use of the SWBCS, as “excellent for allowing interactions between professor and students and amongst students when they are located at a distance. I hope to integrate its use into more of my distance courses.” However, he only rated the use of the system in his course as “moderately successful” and would change the way in which, it was used the next time he uses it. Even with this said he was positive that he would use it next time. Case 6 The instructor – Via the Instructor Interview This course was taught by an instructor with ten years of extensive experience in distance education and technology. He currently holds the rank of assistance profes sor. He teaches two courses with approximately 25 students in each an d servers on numerous committees. He is in a tenure track position and is therefore continually researching and publishing. Although self reported, the information obtained from instructor interviews draws a good picture of the instructor and how he feels ab out teaching in this manner. This instructor is a leader in the use of technology, with many years of experience in distance technologies. He worked as an instructional designer in 1987 where he used IBM video conferencing extensively. He has also utilized satellite, both ITFS and landline. He was at one time a produ cer for numerous teleconferences th at helped people work on camera with WUSF Television. He has successfully used one-way and two-way audio as well as some online groupware in his teaching. Part of the reason that he volunteered for this study was that trying new technologies “allows me to do better work” in his teaching. This instructor carries a somewhat heavy servi ce load, but a lighter teaching load. He currently teaches two classes in Library and In formation Sciences, the one in this study and another on Television of schools and library. Both classes have approximately 25 students each semester.

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204 The class – Via the Instructor Interview The course studied in this case was a graduate leve l course in the College of Arts and Sciences in the department of Library and Information Sciences. It was on the topic of Information Architecture and Design and was described as a blended class with part of the course online and part of it face-to-face. The class was originally advertised as a full face-to-face cour se, however, they decide d to pilot synchronous software to see if this course could be taught at a distance and reduce student or instructor travel. To do this, some students were in the f ace-to-face classroom and some particip ated from a distance. This mixed group of students was a unique challenge for the instruct or. Before teaching in this manner, the course was a highly interactive course re sembling a doctoral seminar. Before use of the SWBCS the content of the course content was mainly conducted in a traditional model of face-to-face. Web resources were utilizing as content and examples, but the Internet was not used to interact with the students to any extent. Assessment in this course was facilitated through products consisting of weekly articles an d presentations stud ents brought to face-to-face sessions. The instructor had concerns that the class size for this course was not always optimum, often larger than ideal. He felt that a SWBCS might help w ith some of this. He was also interested in getting technology to help students with disabilities learn more. He stated that he knew at least one student was dyslexic and it was seen later that at least one student was also hard of hearing and one reported issues with ADHD. He also talked about the fact that his students are usually detail oriented, wanting exact answers to problems. He felt that the technology would help “break student’s assisted mentality and thirst for detail” like he does in the face-to-face classroom. In this sense the face-to-face course and the distance course should be taught similarly, which, he felt was diffic ult to do asynchronously, without real conversations. The use of the SWBCS would allow for audio interactions and faster students could use the text interactions. People in the class would be able to queue up to provide comments and the instructor felt he would be able to interact more efficiently with the st udents in this manner. In the future, he sees students volunteering to present their group presentations via th e SWBCS, but at this time there are not risk takers. The Class – Via classroom observations This course was a bit different than the others as most of the students were in a face-to-face class with the instructor while a few were at a distance. The observations for this class note some of the differences they saw due to this situation. Synchronous sessions for this course were conducted via SWBCS 3 times with one session used as a demonstration of the system. The instructor used different methods of instruction each time, catering to the in class students as well as the distance students. The three sessions conduct ed by this instructor were observed using the observation instrument. Observations for this case were completed by five different observers. The next few sections show the results of the observ ation of the three sessions that reviewed.

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205 Pedagogy Observation of the three class se ssion reviewed showed that this instructor used a variety of pedagogical strategies to conduct the sessions. The firs t session was part software demonstration and part class content. The later two sessions contained more content presentation and discussion, but often strayed to discussions of how the technology worked. Given the content of the course, Information Architecture and Design, it is possible that the discussion about how to use Elluminate Live! ™ might be considered course content. Students presente d information from assignments they had completed during the week and the instructor lectured. Some discussi on took place, but observers noted th at most of it did not require deep thought. Many of the discussions were considered to be social rather than academic. The instructor had a relaxed manner that some observers felt was not professional enough. Overall, this instructor was considered to use effective pedagogy for his student’s learning. Table 104 provides the observation summary for Pedagogical strategies.

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206 Table 104. Case 6: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable Pedagogical Strategy Instructor lectured – conveyed information through talking or demonstration Direct (telling, lecturing) whole group. x x x Instructor used interactive direction with whole group (posing questions and calling for answers) x x x Instructor questioned at different levels x Individual students worked alone Students worked in pairs or small groups x Students acted as a whole class (ie. large class discussion, full class quizzing or polling, lecture, whole class project etc.) x x x Other approaches Pedagogy Judged Pe dagogical Strategy The teaching strategies utilized tools appropriate for the students’ level of skill with the technology and were well supported x x Teaching methods were appropriate for the content x x Lesson required student thought and participation– explain. x x x The teaching strategy included a problem solving activity– explain. The Instructor set c ognitive tasks for the students – explain. x x Session required higher order (not route memory or just opinion) and/or critical thinking on the part of the students– explain. x x Other approaches

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207 Table 104. (Continued) Case 6: Results of Pedagogical Observation Constructs Summary of Pedagogy Used Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Summary of Pedagogy Pedagogy was sound. Large class discussion and small group work was utilized. Students were interactive and engaged. There were two sets of discussions. One was about the content of the lecture. A second on-going thread was about how the technology of Elluminate Live! ™ worked. Students participated in the discussion through sharing their experiences through Audio and CHAT. Dr. X used a pushed url as a basis and visual for his lecture. Dr. X uses mostly lecture. He has students present their findings from assignment that they did during the week and posted on Blackboard. He also opens the class to ask questions on diverse topics. Students use mostly CHAT to interact and respond during the lecture and presentations. lecture some students commented on mic about articles. Not all were given a chance and some were lost, but the Instructor continued ahead anyway. This instructor needs the help of a Producer The class session was an open discussion about Elluminate Live! ™; after expressing his opinion, the instructor permitted students to freely express their views while providing appropriate input and feedback. Students were prepared by previous survey. Discussion based class in which, the teacher facilitated instruction by posing questions, asking questions and commenting on student ideas. Interaction When looking at interaction, five areas were specifically noted: (1 ) Instructor-Learner interaction, (2) Learner-Instructor interaction, (3) learner-Learner interaction, (4) Learner-Content interaction and (5) Learner-Interface interaction. Table 105 shows that the instructor was fairly interactive with the students, initiating interactions in a variety of ways in most sessions.

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208 Table 105. Case 6: Results of Instructor-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 – 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable Instructor-Learner Interaction Checks student comprehension x x Knows and uses student names x x x Responds to students as individuals x x x Praises students for contributions that deserve commendation x Criticizes student ignorance or misunderstanding Encourages questions, involvement, debate and/or feedback x x Encourages students to answer questions by provided cues and encouragement x Other Directly Observable I-L Interactions Judged Instructor-Learner Interaction Instructor Questions Instructor feedback is informative x x x Instructor Responses Instructor listens carefully to student comments and questions x x Instructor feedback is informative and constructive x x Instructor answers student questions clearly and directly x x x Overall Impression Good rapport with students x x x Treats class members equitably x x Encourages mutual respect among students x x Respects diverse points of view x x Recognizes when students do not understand x Other Judged I-L Interactions The instructor asked for lots of feedback on the technology as he was trying it out. Dr. Terrell has very good rapport with this class. They are very interactive and proficient with the tools. Dr. Terrel is able to keep up with the content and discussion that occurs both in CHAT and text. He also comments about the social off task comments in CHAT as he lectures.

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209 Across the board, this instructor effectively initiated academic inte ractions with st udents. During these sessions he knew and used their names, responded to students as individuals, provided feedback as well as encouraged student interactions One observer stated that the instructor was able to keep up with all the conversations, noting that some were of a social nature and he responded to those as well. It was thought that he had a good rapport with the students. Table 106. Case 6: Results of Learner-Instructor Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable LearnerInstructor Interaction Students ask questions of the instructor x x x Students volunteer information x x x Students present information x x x Student feedback is on topic x x Other Directly Observable L-I Interactions Judged LearnerInstructor Interaction Summary of Judged Learner-Instructor Interaction Interactions initiated by the students with the inst ructor were also prevalent in all three sessions. The learners were encouraged to par ticipate and observers felt that they contributed to the discussions. The instructor often started the conversations, but the stud ents jumped in and asked questions on their own to satisfy their individual needs. From the observation reports, it is evident that students were comfortable interacting with the instructor and did so in a variet y of ways. Students initiated interactions with the instructor by asking questions, presenting and volunteering information. Other interactions initiated by students pertain to the actual session contents. During the sessions students interacted with the information provided by th e instructor through web sites and lecture. Table 107 shows the recorded observations of learner-content in teractions. When using technology, it is usually hard for students to use the tools and not interact with the content as long as content is being presented in some fashion. So, it is not surprising that the observers marked content interaction high in most cases.

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210 Table 107. Case 6: Results of Learner-Content Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable LearnerContent Interaction Reading x x Writing (i.e., on whiteboard, in chat, etc.) x x x Presentation (i.e., verbal, graphical, etc.) x x x Discussion x x x Responds x x x Participates in Poll Other Directly Observable L-C Interactions Judged LearnerContent Interaction Interpret x x Comprehend x x x React x x Listening x x x Other Judged L-C Interactions Learner-Learner interactions were also signifi cant in this case. Students tended to engage in discussion with each other as well as the instructor Both directly observable and judged learner-learner interactions were high (Table 108). The relaxed enviro nment set by the instructor as well as regular face-toface interactions allowed the students to have good ra pport with each other. Often conversations were not just academic, but also social in nature.

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211 Table 108. Case 6: Results of Learner-Learner Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable LearnerLearner Interaction Students discuss the content of the sessi on with each other (on-task academic conversation) x x x Students engage in conversation that is not related to the subject of the session but is related to the course or other courses (off task academic conversation) x x Students engage in conversation that is not related to the course (social conversation) x x Students encourage other students’ que stions, involvement, debate and/or feedback x x x Students criticize other student’s igno rance or misunderstanding x Students use each others names x x x Other Directly Observable L-L Interactions Judged LearnerLearner Interactions Students answer questions clearly and directly x x x Students maintain a good rapport with each other x x x Students show mutual respect for each ot her (i. e. listening carefully, responding constructively, etc.) x x x Students treat class members equitably x x x Other Judged L-L Interactions As stated earlier, interaction between the students and the interface was inevitable. Observations in this area were meant to determine if the interface was a hindrance or a support for the students. The tools used for interaction such as the emoticons, chat, the step away feature and raising hand were all used throughout the sessions. Students also interacted with the system when they used their microphones to add to the discussions. For some of the sessions, polling and whiteboards were used as well. Through the tools, the students had a high level of interaction with the interface in both session one and two, but the interactions dropped off a bit in session three. During sessions one and two, much conversation and use of the tools was exploratory in nature, with both the students and the instructor learning how the system worked. In one session observers felt that one student voi ced frustration with the system, but overall they seemed satisfied with how it functioned. For the most part the use of tools was not a problem except for minor issues with connections to the SWBCS and some microphone adjustments in the first session. One observer did note however that the instructor struggled somewhat with the system and would have benefited from having a producer present to assist him. The fact that the instructor was teaching in a faceto-face classroom and also at a dist ance through Elluminate Live! ™ concurrently may have been one of the reasons he struggled. His attention was usually divided between the face-to-face students and the distance students and it was difficult for him to pay attention to all involved.

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212 Table 109. Case 6: Results of Learner-Interface Interaction Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable LearnerInterface Interaction Work on whiteboard x x x Use microphone x x x Exchange messages in chat x x x Raises hand x x x Completes a poll Uses emoticons x x Troubles connecting x Troubles with microphone x x Unable to use tools x Other Directly Observable L-Interface Interactions Instructor had some difficulty with being overwhelmed. This was probably due to trying to hold a F2F class and pay attention to the online students as well. Judged LearnerInterface Interaction Did any students voice frustration with the interface? x Shows emotion x x x Other Judged L-Interface Interactions Overall the interaction observed in this case was at a high and positive level. Students seem to enjoy the sessions and participate freel y. The observers felt that much of the student to student interaction was social or related to presentations the students would be doing in class. They saw students sharing information back and forth through the tools. During the breaks, the instructor also participated in the social interactions. Observers saw a great deal of particip ation by the students who “expressed their opinions freely and had both positive and negative things to say about the system”. One significant use of the whiteboard noted in more than one session was that it wa s used not for presentation of material as much as for a place for the students to write, draw and interact during the session. This could be seen as both a positive and a negative use of the whiteboard depending on the purpose of the session. In this case, the students and the instructor felt comfortable with this off-task interaction throughout the sessions. Structure The next few sections of the observation instrume nt reflect the structure of the class sessions for this case. To accurately review the class structure during a synchronous session it was divided into three

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213 sections that could be observed in different ways: (1) classroom management, (2) content organization and (3) presentation. First, the management of the classroom was observed during all three sessions. The observers for this case report ed that the instructor managed his sessions well. He began most session on time in an orderly and organized fashion. Although he digressed a bit during one session, for the most part he had a plan and tended to followed it. Due to the nature of the course, the instructor had many distractions both with technology and because he was splitting his attentio n between the face-to-face students and the distance students. However, he recovered from most of these distractions quickly. The instructor was careful to provide opportunities for the students to participate, maintaining their attention, and pausing to allow them to reflect and answer questions. He was very friendly, sometimes bordering on too relaxed, but he was able to maintain control and credibility throughout. Overall his classroom management was excellent (Table 110).

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214 Table 110. Case 6: Results of Classroom Management (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable Classroom Management Instructor began class on time in an orderly, organized fashion x x x Instructor digressed often from the main topic x Instructor had readily available the materials and equipment necessary to complete the activity x x x Instructor gave prompt attention to individual problems x x x Instructor maintained student attention x x x Instructor paused to allow students to interact and answer questions (wait time). x x x Provided opportunities for dialogue about the activity with peers and/or instructor x x x Instructor allowed opportunity for individual expression x x x Instructor provided practice time and sufficient time for completion x Other Directly Observable classroom management Judged Classroom Management Instructor appeared well prepared for class x x x Instructor had a clear organizational plan x x x Instructor clearly organized and explained assignments Instructor provided clear directions or procedures x Instructor provided sufficie nt wait time (i. e. gave students enough time to respond to and ask questions) x x Skills required during the session were not beyond reasonable expectations for this course and/or these students (were they struggling with any skills? Why?) x x x Instructor maintained cred ibility and control (i. e. Spoke about course cont ent with confidence and authority, used authority in classroom to create an environment conducive to learning, etc.) x x Instructor is able to adm it error and/or insufficient knowledge x x Instructor respects constructive criticism x x Instructor responds to distractions effectively yet constructively x Other Judged classroom management

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215 Although the sessions were very similar in orga nization, more of the criteria used in the observation instrument were seen in sessions 1 and 3 (Table 111). Even so, the content used by this instructor was well organized in all three observed sessi ons. For the most part he previewed the lecture and introduced the lesson organization. In the last session he also explained the goals. During all three sessions the instructor demonstrated strong organizational strategies such as previewing content by hinting at things to come, incorporating student responses, integrating assigned course materials, and tying the content to general education and real world situations with up-to-date developments in the field. These strategies showed commendable skills in organizing content in an educationally sound manner. Table 111. Case 6: Results of Content Organization (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable Content Organization Previewed lecture/discussion content x x Introduced organization of the lecture x x Explained the goal or objective for the period x Reviewed prior class material to prepare students for the content to be covered Provided internal summaries and transitions x Summarized and distilled main points at the end of class (formally) Previewed by connecting to future classes (hinting at things to come) x x x Instructor incorporated student responses x x x Integrates assigned course material into class presentation (readings, web sites, etc.) x x x Relates current course content to students’ general education x x x Makes course content releva nt with references to “real world” applications x x x Explicitly states relationships among various topics and facts/theory Explains difficult terms, concepts, or problems in more than one way x Presents background of ideas and concepts x x Presents up-to-date developments in the field x x x Other Directly Observed Content Organization Judged Content Organization Introduction captured attention x x Main ideas are clear and specific x x Sufficient variety was provided to support information x Relevancy of main ideas were clear x x Other Judged Content Organization

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216 Organization of content is only one of the elements of structure examined by the observation instrument. To have a sound learning environment, it is also very important to present content in a meaningful and effective way. Therefore, the final pi ece of identifying the struct ure of the sessions was to observe aspects of the presentation (Table 112). Overall, this instru ctor presented content very well, although he did not use many visual aids, he had a clear voice with the verbal presentation properly paced. He showed confidence and enthusiasm for the subject matter. The instructor did speak extraneously in session two and the observers felt that his speech may have been too casual, but overall his presentation was rated very high. Table 112. Case 6: Results of Presenta tion (structure) Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable Presentation Articulation and pronunciation was clear x x x Absence of verbal pauses (speech fillers) x x Volume was sufficient to be heard x x x Varied pace x x x Included illustrations x Presented views other than own when appropriate x x Visuals were clear and well organized (large and legible) x Visual aids were easily read Other Directly Observation Presentation Judged Presentation Instructor spoke extraneously x Effective voice quality x x x Rate of delivery was appropriate x x Communicates a sense of confidence, enthusiasm and excitement toward content x x x Speech is neither too formal nor too casual x x Other Directly Observation Presentation After reviewing all the aspects presented here, ob servers summarized the st ructure they observed in the sessions overall (Table 113). Most of the comm ents made by the observers were positive, but they were also quite varied. Some felt that the instructor di d not have enough structure in the sessions and need a producer to assist with technical and social distractions. Others felt that the sessions went smoothly and were well organized. Each session seemed to have different positive and negative aspects. Overall it was agreed that this instructor had a well structured approach to using th e SWBCS for the purposes he chose.

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217 Table 113. Case 6: Summary of Structure Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Summary of Structure Structure Summary Although there was not a lot of formal structure to this class, it was well organized and well managed for the most part. The course objective was to discuss designing user interfaces and selecting and presenting changes to users. The format was lecture and discussion. In the middle there was a small group activity. I did not understand what they were doing in their groups. Class had several activities. Lecture while viewing websites; student presentations; student questions any topic; lecture on ethics. Students had been expected to do readings during the week to present in class and post of discussion board. There was a lack of structure with this c ourse. Not sure if Instructor was just unfamiliar with Elluminate Live! ™ tools, or didn't care. But, he needs a producer to field technical and social issues that plague his structure. Instructor introduced topic, allowed student discussion, provided additional input, and was very effective in maintaining student interest. There was much student discussion. Structure was appropriate for time allotted. The lesson has formal beginning and end and teacher facilitated the middle. Learner Autonomy The importance of Learner Autonomy has been discussed previously and this case was examined using the same constructs and definitions. The following describes the observed learner autonomy throughout all three sessions in this case. Observers felt that students had sufficient opportunities and took responsibility for a good part of their learning duri ng these sessions. Observer’s summary comments were mixed, but overall it was determine that the strategies used in the sessions provided ample opportunity for learner autonomy and students responded by taking responsibility for their learning. Judged learner autonomy portrayed positive student attitudes toward l earning. Each session seemed to have different attributes that the observers noted (Table 114).

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218 Table 114. Case 6: Results of Learner Autonomy Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable Learner Autonomy Activities such as self-guide d reading, participation in groups, electronic dialogues, or reflective writing activities were used in this session x x Instructor utilized dialogue with learners x x x Students are given options on how they will interact and learn the material Learning was “primarily” independent or interdependent, not dependent on the instructor x x Students take noticeable responsibility for various decisions associated with the learning in this session x x Students discover information that they need for the session rather than being provided all of it x The discussion in groups was dominated by one or two people x Students ask a lot of productive questions x x Students who struggle with the technology bounce back and become productive members of the class x x Other Directly Observed Learner Autonomy Judged Learner Autonomy Strategy used provides for multiple learning styles Strategy used allows for l earner independence and/or interdependence x x Students seem to have positive attitudes about this learning experience x x x Students seem to enjoy discussion of ideas x x x Instructor provides challenge s that students seem to enjoy x Other Judged Learner Autonomy Table 115. Case 6: Observer's Summary Comments on Learner Autonomy 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Learner Autonomy Summary The students mainly worked as a whole class. However, groups were made toward the end to allow them to work on some project. The learners of this class contribute a lot of their experiences to support the content. Even during the lecture these students took control of their learning by participating in dialogue about the lecture topic through CHAT. Learners did not have an opportunity to take responsibility for learning except for their brief comments on the articles they read before the session. When the floor was opened for student discussion, many participated and they piggybacked off one another. Opinions were expressed freely. Learners took responsibility for learning through their participation and enthusiasm.

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219 Tool Use Since technology use is a significant part of this research, the importance of it can not be understated. Therefore how the tools provided were used was recorded by the observers as they watched each session. Table 116 provides a su mmary of which, tools were used in all three sessions for this case. Included in the table is a reporting of how often the tools were used. As can be seen, VOIP, textual chat, and hand raising were used in every session. The whiteboard was also used, but most observers felt it was just for doodling and not constructive use of the tool. Among the interaction tools, emoticons and hand raising were used by the students along with regular use of chat and VOIP. During breaks, students and the instructor used the Step Away tool. The instructor ma inly used VOIP and some chat throughout. He also utilized the shared browser feature more than once. In this case, the majority of the observers did not judge the tool use as effective. Tool use was summarized as effective by some observers and in some session, but not in others (Table 117). The observers did mention that the instructor did not have a producer, but that he still managed to operate the class well. Considering that his attention was divide d between face-to-face students and distance students, this is most likely a sign of his ef ficiency and technical pr owess. Overall the instru ctor and the students utilized the tools in the system well.

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220 Table 116. Case 6: Results of Tool Use Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Directly Observable Tool Use Textual Chat x x x Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Audio x x x Breakout Rooms x x Whiteboard x x x Shared Browser x x Application Sharing Private Messaging x x Pace Meter Hand Raising x x x Polling Emoticons x x x Step away feature x x x Quizzing How often were the tools used? – describe ( ie. Used extensively, regularly, minimally, etc.) VOIP was used extensively, Chat was also very frequent. Hand raising was used often. Other tools were used minimally. VOIP was extensively used for delivering content. Student discussion was through VOIP and CHAT. Students also continuously use Whiteboard for doodles. Instructor pushed URLs for students to look at and discuss. VOIP, CHAT, Push URL, and then Whiteboard were used the most in this order. Raise hands was used for polling. Students used clapping and emoticons infrequently. text chat and whiteboard doodling used extensively, but not in any constructive way. Whiteboard was used extensively for doodling by students. Text messaging was used initially when microphones were being adjusted. A variety of the available tools were used to present materials x Other Directly Observable Tool Use Judged Tool Use Use of tools was effective x Other Judged Tool Use

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221 Table 117. Case 6: Observers Summary Remarks on Tool Use Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Summary of Tool Use Tool Use Summary VOIP was the main tools used here with support from a shared browser. Students also used chat and whiteboard, but the instructor did not. The VOIP was effective for delivering content information and for student questions and discussion. The push URL was effective for providing a visual and information to stimulate discussion. I thought that since the instructor had not prepared graphic organizers, the students tried to add content this way to have it more easily seen then the CHAT text. Students also used the whiteboard for collaborative drawings, but these were social and off task academically. This instructor did not have a producer. He was able to monitor his CHAT for student contributions, fix technical problems with breakout room, and lecture with URL push, answer student questions, and interact socially with his students with ease. Most students seemed to be very comfortable with the interface. Only one student had technical problems that the teacher had to stop the class to help. It was an effective use of break time. Since this was not a typical class session, tool use was limited. The text messaging was used effectively. The whiteboard was used only for doodling. The majority of the other tools were not used because this class was a discussion format. Tools were used sparingly. Students raised hands. The whiteboard was a huge collage throughout with a variety of drawings, marks and games. Strengths, Weaknesses and Success Having observed the entire class session, each observer was asked to list the overall strengths and the weakness they observed. Table 118 contains the resulting comments from all observers.

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222 Table 118. Case 6: Results of Strengths and Weaknesses Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Judged Overall Strengths and Weaknesses observations What strengths were observed? The student participation and interaction was high. They seemed to be interested in the topic and the instructor was knowledgeable. The instructor’s rapport with his students and his ability to use all the tools while teaching without the support of a producer was the greatest strength. The students were adept at using all of the tools. This class was taught with 9 people in a face-to-face environment in a computer lab with the instructor, while the other 6 students were remote; this seemed to provide support for students who were new to distance learning. There were many strengths in this class. The ease with which, the instructor and the students were able to utilize the interface and tools. The ability of both the instructor and the students to multitask and communicate through audio, and text in CHAT. The greatest strength was the rapport of the students with both the instructor and each other. A practice session at best. Good instructor rapport with students. Good instructor direction and feedback on discussion. Teacher had great rapport and fluid exchange with class. Enthusiasm for learning seemed high. Class was supportive of a diverse range of ideas. What weaknesses were observed? There were some distractions due to having some students face-to-face and some at a distance. This mainly affected the instructor and the F2F students. The use of the shared browser was good, but more visuals for the last section of the class would have helped. I missed graphic organizers for the content. There were many distractions. The whiteboard was often used for doodle during lecture and discussion. Several people did not have audio so participated only though CHAT; therefore, the instructor could not turn off the CHAT. This created two sets of dialogues: the audio and the CHAT. The instructor had to bring the comments that were occurring in the chat into the audio dialogue. Too much socializing between students and students Instructor. A real lack of focus on objectives. The Instructor came across as arrogant and flippant and not caring about students. None. The class might have been more structured and employed different pedagogical styles. Based on all the constructs in the observation in strument, the observers were then asked to judge the success of the session. This is often a difficult ta sk as the observers have only a small picture of the entire educational environment the inst ructor has created. However, the ob server’s comments are useful in

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223 determining how the session was perceived. When combined with student, instructor and producer perceptions, the overall picture should be clear. Table 119 shows the comments on success of the session made by each observer. For the most part, the observers felt that all three sessions were successful. Howeve r, there were some comments to the way the system was used and that the instructor may not have been completely prepared. Given the unusual situation of the combined face-to-f ace students and distance students, this is not surprising. However, the observers did reflect that the students felt if they were at a distance on a regular basis they would enjoy this method of instruction over a purely asynchronous model. In general the sessions conducted in this case were successful from the pe rspective of the observers. Table 119. Case 6: Results of Se ssion Success Observation Constructs Questions 13 10/12/2005 7 10/26/2005 3 11/30/2005 Summary of Session Success Success of the session Overall it was a successful session. Due to the newness of the technology, I do not think that the instructor used the time as well as he could or the technology. However, students did offer feedback indicating that the experience was useful and would be preferable to Blackboard if they were truly at a distance. This session seemed to be very successful. Although students commented that they preferred face-to-face classes, they thought that Elluminate Live! ™ would be very effective for the student who could not attend the face-to-face class. They like Elluminate Live! ™ better than Blackboard. This was a very successful class that demonstrated real on-line community. I do not feel this was a successful use of Elluminate Live! ™. The Instructor was not prepared, did not really know his material, did not practice with website push, and lost students along the way. For the purpose for which, it was run, it was successful: it provided the instructor with the information he sought re Elluminate Live! ™. The session was a success because students thought critically about how they learn. They noted their learning preferences and this type of metacognition is great. The discussion was ongoing and critical. Students expressed thoughts passionately and used their experiences to support ideas. The Class – Via Student Surveys To address the reasons students took the course, they were asked to rate their most important reason for taking the course The top two answers were class schedule (5) and learning – internet course (5). One student reported that it was required for their degree, one that it met their work schedule and one for personal safety reasons. Other reasons were the instructor and N/A Since the class included a synchronous element, students were asked if they were aware of this requirement before the class began. Twelve of the students responded no however, nine also responded that they had allotted time in their schedules for the synchronous sessions and five did not know There were few problems reported by the students in preparing to take the course with items such as difficulty registering ( easy 6; very easy 6), difficulty getting an ID card ( easy 5; very easy 6) and

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224 difficulty of accessing the Internet ( easy 5; very easy 9) showing positive results. Items required to access the asynchronous portions of the co urse online include obtaining a NetID ( easy 6; very easy 6) and access the university servers ( easy 7; very easy 7). Other questions asked in the initial survey addressed instructions and materials for the course. Three students reported that obtaining a syllabus was easy while nine said is was very easy The students had mixed feelings about the clarity of instructions for using technology in this course (2, not clear ; 6 somewhat clear 4 very clear; 3, N/A ). Most students found the setup re quired for the courses to be not difficult (7, not difficult ; 3, somewhat difficult ; 5, N/A). In addition, the Synchronous Setup Wizard was considered to be very easy (4) to very difficult (1) to use. When students did experience problems, help was not difficult to get ( easy 5; very easy 5).The students were asked if they participated in a demonstration of the synchronous software before attempting thei r first session. Thirteen students responded yes The majority also felt prepared for the synchronous session (1, not prepared ; 3, s omewhat prepared ; 9, well prepared; 1, very well prepared ). A total of 6 students completed the end of semest er survey. From the resu lts of the second survey the students perceptions about the SWBCS used in thei r course were positive. The students in this class used the system at least once. In addition, four of the six reporting used it 3-4 times. Four of the students participated in all the sessions provided. When asked ho w easy the system was to use, four out of the six students answered somewhat easy one answered very easy and only one answered not easy Four students reported no problems connecting to the synchronous classroom while one had minor problems and one had major problems In addition, 66.7% of the students had only minor problems getting familiar with the new interface. The next section of the survey addressed issues students had with diff erent features of the synchronous classroom. Table 120 shows there were very few problems reported by the students with the tools they used.

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225 Table 120. Case 6: Student Report of Problems with SWBCS Features Feature No Problem Minor Problem Major Problem Not Applicable Text chat 4 1 1 0 Two-way audio 3 3 0 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 5 0 1 0 Whiteboard 4 1 1 0 Application Sharing 3 0 2 1 Breakout Rooms 4 1 0 1 Taking Polls or Quizzes 2 0 1 3 Guided Web Surfing 2 0 2 2 Other 2 1 1 2 The “other” problems students reported dealt with loosing the ability to speak in breakout rooms, the sessions crashing their computer that was older an d had only 56K modem resulting in not being able to get the program to work, and finding it “very awkward and not easy to 'configure' the screen to display whiteboard, internet browser, etc.” After reporting on issues they had with different features of the system, students were asked to report how they solved problems that occurred. Two students solved the problems themselves, three sought help from the instructors and one reported N/A. To be sure technical issues were not creating significant issues for the students; a few questions were asked th at addressed how they connected to the Internet and how their computer kept up with the sessions. The means of connecting to the internet was previously reported and was similar at this point. Only one student reported using a dial-up modem. With most students connecting at higher bandwidth it was not surprising to see that five out of six students felt that their computers were able to k eep pace during the sessions. When asked whether technical knowledge and skills were required to master the use of Elluminate Live! ™, students had mixed feelings. However, 83% stated that these skills were important at least sometimes (3) or frequently (2). Student’s need for need technical assistance to complete the synchronous sessions varied (33% rarely ; 17% frequently; 17 % almost always ). In order to determine the success of the tools used during the sessions, the students were asked how useful each feature was to them. Table 121 shows that most tools were at least somewhat useful Two-way audio (50%), Whiteboard (50%), Breakout rooms (50%), and Guided Web Surfing (50%) were cons idered very useful. The ability to raise their hand was considered somewhat useful (50%). All other tools had very mixed reviews.

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226 Table 121. Case 6: Usefulness of SWBCS Tools as Reported by Students Feature Not Useful Somewhat Useful Very Useful Not Applicable Text chat 1 2 2 1 Two-way audio 1 2 3 0 hand raising and Yes/No (or check/X) 1 3 2 0 Whiteboard 1 2 3 0 Application Sharing 1 1 0 4 Breakout Rooms 1 1 3 1 Taking Polls or Quizzes 1 2 0 3 Guided Web Surfing 1 1 3 1 In an effort to determine how the students perceived the quality of the synchronous software, students were asked to rate the quality of different f eatures. Table 122 portrays that most tools were rated fair to good Table 122. Case 6: Quality of SWBCS Features as Reported by Students Feature Poor Fair Good Excellent Not Applicable Elluminate Live! ™ Presentation Space 0 3 3 0 0 Elluminate Live! ™ Audio 0 2 4 0 0 Elluminate Live! ™ Screen Layout 2 2 2 0 0 Ways to offer instructor and others feedback (i.e. emoticons, applause, hand raising, etc.) 0 2 3 1 0 Your connection to Elluminate Live! ™ 1 0 3 2 0 Collaboration tools (i.e. whiteboard, application sharing, breakout rooms, etc.) 0 1 4 0 1 The overall quality of the Elluminate Live! ™ experience 1 2 3 0 0 When asked if they thought that taking this course was a good idea, five students responded no and only one responded yes Students in this case thought that the organization was not particularly logical and easy to follow (rarely/not at all 17%; sometimes 33%; frequently 17%). However, 50% felt that synchronous session activities and assignments facilitated their understanding of course content ( sometimes 33%; almost always 17%). 50% felt that the sessions were frequently aligned with the course

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227 objectives (33% sometimes ) and 50% felt that the instructor’s approach to using Elluminate Live! ™ was frequently effective (33% almost always ). Concern for students with disabilities was consid ered important by the researcher and was specifically mentioned by the instructor. However, when the students were asked 100% stated accommodations for disabilities were not applicable Considering some of th e comments seen by the observers, this was surprising. Observer s’ comments will be discussed later. In accordance with the theoretical framework of this study inte raction was considered a very critical part of learning in these distance courses and this instructor encouraged student’s to interact in many ways. Knowing this, questions were asked that addressed how students perceived interactions when using a SWBCS. In this case, students had mixed feelings about interaction. 17% fe lt that interactions with their classmates and/or the instructor were rarely or not at all effective and 33% felt interactions were sometimes or frequently effective when using the synchronous software. 50% felt that synchronous discussions with their peers were frequently encouraged in the sessions and 50% felt that the instructor frequently provided opportunities for students to participat e during the sessions. Since this class was split between face-to-face students and distan ce students, these results are not surprising. The distance students may have still felt isolated and not felt they were able to interact at the same level as those in the face-toface classroom with the instructor. Along the same lines the use of sy nchronous technologies for teaching at a distance is purposed to allow for increased connections that build a stronger learning community. However, in this case 50% answered rarely or not all when asked if using Elluminate Live! ™ made them feel more connected, with only 17% answering either sometimes or frequently The same results were seen when asked if they felt more connected to the instructor. These results may well be due to the fact that this class normally met in a face-to-face environment, so community may already have been in place. Educational research shows that effective interacti ons with the instructor often take many forms. Student opinions about instructor feedback address both instructor interactions and also immediacy in the classroom. In this case, 66% of the st udents felt that the instructor either frequently or sometimes provided constructive feedback during the synchronous sessions. In addition, a student’s increase in knowledge is the goal of education so questions were asked that addressed this. In these sessions, 67% of the students reported that the sessions allowed them to sometimes demonstrate their learning. Technology used in education should be transparent, adding value not hindering learning. Students in this class felt that the technology used rarely (50%), sometimes (17%) or frequently (17%) enhanced their l earning experience. In addition, students felt that the use of this technology rarely (50%) motivated then to learn. The students in this case did not seem to be especially enthusiastic about the technology with 50% saying they would rarely consider taking a course the used a SWBCS again and the other 50% answering sometimes In addition, when students were asked to compar e this course to other courses they have taken,

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228 50% stated the course was frequently excellent and 33% stated it was rarely excellent which, offers a negative view of the course when compared to all the others in this study. Producer Input No producer was really present in the sessions fo r this case. One was available to the instructor and may have played a role behind the scenes, but none was visibly present. Summary of Case 6 Based on Research Questions Analysis of the qualitative data from this case has been thoroughly discussed. To summarize the results of this data with respect to the research ques tions proposed in this study, the questions have been answered below. Q1. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: instructor surveys, interviews and focus groups; observation instrument; and archival documents. This instructor also used a variety of pedagogical strategies to conduct his sessions. A combination of software demonstration and lecture made up a good portion of the sessions, however he also involved the students through question/answer an d discussion. On occasion, stude nts presented information from assignments completed during the week. The instructor often used the web push feature to bring content into the sessions as lecture material and occasionally used breakout rooms fro small group work. Q2. How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. This case was unusual in it contained both face-to-face students and students at a distance. For this reason, the tool use may have been a bit different than how others used the system. The instructor used audio and chat to communicate with the students in bo th the classroom and at a distance with those in the classroom having computers on which, they could participate. The pushing of web sites was used to portray content for all students and may have made this easier for all involved. Overall he used the tools in an exploratory fashion to determine if this type of situation was feasible. He tried to make connections between the face-to-face students and the distance stud ents as well as connec tions with himself. Q3. With access to a multitude of tool s available in a SWBCS, which, tool s do instructors choose to use? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews, and Fo cus Groups, Observation instrument, and archival documents. The instructor in this case used a combinatio n of the tools available as an exploratory exercise. As a result, he used a number of tools in his sessions ; including lectures that utilized both the VOIP feature

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229 and web push. Chat was used by both the instructor and students. This allowed the in class and distance students to make comments during periods when the instructor was speaking without interrupting the lecture. The breakout rooms were used to allow small groups to interact online. Q4. Why do instructors use the tool s and strategies that they choose? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups. This instructor was using the system to determine if he could move his face-to-face class to a distance format without sacrificing some of the elements he felt were important. He needed to “break student’s assisted mentality and thirst for detail” like he does in the face-to-face classroom and found this difficult in a purely asynchronous situation, without real conversations. Therefore he chose to use VOIP to implement conversations allowing for interactions between students and also with him. Q5. What perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? The results for this question u tilized the following data collec tion methods for triangulation purposes: Instructor Surveys, Interviews and Focus Groups, Observation instrument, archival documents, and reflections from students. Unfortunately, the students in this case did not have positive perceptions about the use of the SWBCS in their learning process. They had good perceptions about the software itself and were not thrown by the technology, but they did not feel it was helping them to learn or that the sessions were particularly useful to them. This may be due to the fact that the students were not truly distance learners, but were instead students playing at being distance students for the purposes of testing this system. The instructor had positive perceptions and plans to continue to use the system with his distance students. He may not however try a hybrid s ituation again without a great deal of practice and preplanning.

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230 Summary of Faculty End of course survey Of the eight active instructors using synchronous software this semester, five responded to the end of course survey. The survey consisted of both closed and open-ended responses. There were a total of 34 closed response items in five categories: (1) perceptions of overall student outcomes (7), (2) overall systemic issues (11), (3) overall satisfaction with cour se as a product (6), (4) overall satisfaction (2), and (5) tools used (8). Overall the responses to these qu estions were positive. Tables 123-127 show the final results. Table 123. Perceptions of student outcomes Question Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied 1. Your students' performance in the c ourse as a result of using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 0 40 (n=2) 60 (n=3) 2. The overall attainment of knowledge by the students as a result of using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 0 20 (n=1) 80 (n=4) 3. The students’ creativity/work produced as a result of using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 0 60 (n=3) 80 (n=4) 4. Your ability to interact with student s in the course as a result of using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 0 40 (n=2) 60 (n=3) 5. The ease for students to communicate with each other using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 20 (n=1) 20 (n=1) 60 (n=3) 6. The sense of community felt between the students as a result of using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 20 (n=1) 20 (n=1) 60 (n=3) 7. The relationships you have with your students as a result of using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 0 20 (n=1) 80 (n=4)

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231 Table 124. Overall systemic issues Question Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied 1. Your students’ ability to access the sync hronous technology. 0 20 (n=1) 20 (n=1) 60 (n=3) 2. The dependability of the synchronous technology. 0 0 60 (n=3) 40 (n=2) 3. The availability of technical s upport and assistance for Elluminate Live! ™. 0 0 60 (n=3) 40 (n=2) 4. The amount of training you received on using Elluminate Live! ™ in your online course. 0 20 (n=1) 60 (n=3) 20 (n=1) 5. The availability of producers to assist you in using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 0 20 (n=1) 80 (n=4) 6. The training you received to pr epare you for using Elluminate Live! ™. 0 20 (n=1) 40 (n=2) 40 (n=2) 7. The support provided by the Produ cers/facilitators in helping you conduct sessions. 0 40 (n=2) 0 60 (n=3) 8. The helpfulness of the Producers/facilitato rs you worked with. 0 0 20 (n=1) 80 (n=4) 9. The knowledge of the Producers/facilitators you worked with. 0 0 60 (n=3) 40 (n=2) 10. The innovative ideas/contributions of the Producers/facilitators. 0 0 60 (n=3) 40 (n=2) 11. The logistical support you had for the synchronous portion of this course, e.g., hardware, software, server space. 0 40 (n=2) 0 60 (n=3) Table 125. Overall satisfaction with course as a product Question Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied 1. The creative presentation possibilities of the SWBCS. 0 0 0 100 (n=5) 2. The ability to use graphics and audio components in the SWBCS. 0 0 40 (n=2) 60 (n=3) 3. The ability to use other components such as web push, breakout rooms, and application sharing in the SWBCS. 0 20 (n=1) 40 (n=2) 40 (n=2) 4. The effectiveness of the online synchronous environment in fostering learning. 0 0 0 100 (n=5) 5. The ease for students to interact and participate using the SWBCS. 0 0 20 (n=1) 80 (n=4) 6. The ease for you to provide feedback, interact, or provide other information to your students through the SWBCS. 0 0 0 100 (n=5)

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232 Table 126. Overall instructor satisfaction Question Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied 1. Working with the Producers/fac ilitators before and during your synchronous sessions. 0 0 40 (n=2) 60 (n=3) 2. Your overall technology teaching experience w ith Elluminate Live! ™. 0 0 40 (n=2) 60 (n=3) Table 127. Tools used Tool % Response Chat 100 Two-way VOIP 80 Application Sharing 40 Electronic Presentation Board 80 Breakout Rooms 60 Session Recording 60 Polling and Quizzing 40 Student interaction tools (hand rais ing, applause, pace meter, etc.) 80 There were also 12 open-ended questions dea ling with: (1) delivery of course, (2) teaching strategies, (3) realizations vs. expectations, (4) challe nges, (5) effectiveness, (6) support, (7) future plans, (8) overall perspective and (9) words of wisdom for others. Important insights into how the tools were used and the success of the synchr onous session were obtained from these answers. The instruct or survey helped to reinforce data that was seen in the student surveys and the classroom recordings. Open ended comments made by the instructors in the final survey provide insight into how the tools were used and what was most useful for teaching. For the most part all in structors felt that the twoway interaction tools such as VOIP and chat were the most important tools. These tools allowed both students and instructors to interact with each other about the cont ent of the sessions. When asked about the teaching strategies they used, instructors described their methods and pointed out which, were most succes sful. For example, “interactive cont ent with case study materials and web site review were very effective” and “mini lectur e presented more difficult concepts that would be hard to master through reading. Practice problems gave students opportunity to apply what they learned and receive feedback”. Only a few in structors noted the strategies that did not work as well and most were just thinking of ways that they could improve what they were already doing. Mo re extensive reporting of the results on teaching strategies discussed by instructors can be seen in Appendix G. Instructors also reported on the strategies they felt the students enjoyed most or least in their sessions. For this question most found that students enjoyed the interaction and connections that were possible through strategies such as group work an d question answer sessions. They felt students least

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233 enjoyed dealt mainly with technical issues or problems that they students faced within the system due to technical problems. Most instructors came into this project with exp ectations and determining if those expectations were realized or if other outcomes were apparent wa s important. Instructor’s reports were interesting. For example, “I think that the synchronous sessions were more valuable than I had anticipated to student feeling of connectedness and content exposure” and “It was quite easy to use the tools with the producers' help. The PowerPoint slides looked very good in Elluminate Live! ™. I liked the ability to push websites to students. The quiz feature offers a great way to uncover misconceptions by students. Students were a bit "shy" about using the mic -I'm sure that would change over time.” Along with realizations and expectations, the challenges faced by instructors were also addressed. Fo r the mot part, instructors reported challenges that dealt with the actual technology su ch as microphone issues and downloading software. Most of these challenges were solved in one or two sessions. The other issue that came up was the issue of scheduling live sessions for distance students which, will always be a challenge. The observers and the stud ent both had opportu nity to report on success and effectiven ess of the SWBCS. The instructors also reported their perspectiv e in the final survey. They were asked how they measured the effectiveness of the sessions and using this measure, to what extent were their sessions effective. The following tabl e summarizes the responses.

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234 Table 128. Instructor Responses on Effectiveness of Synchronous Sessions Student feedback and responses on open-ended questions. Students really enjoyed and appreciated the tool and recommended continued use in subsequent semesters Since use was connected to proj ect work, the usefulness of the system could be seen by how much the groups used it when given other options. About half the groups freely chose to use it. I would say this was moderately successful. Testing on Blackboard Students enjoyed the sessions and were able to learn new concepts. The polling, quizzing, and small groups provided excellent ways for me to communicate with the students and gauge their understanding as the class progressed. Faculty and student satisfaction both expresse d verbal satisfaction with the tool. Very effective student learning th e students mastered the materi al and produced good projects Very effective. One of the purposes of this study was to provide guidelines for others attempting to use SWBCS as a tool in distance education. Therefore instructors provided advice on how the support and training could be improved to encourage successful implementation of SWBCS. The majority said that more time for practice is an important element and that structured training would enc ourage this. In addition, many felt that a support structure or plan needs to be implemented to deal with the “last minute glitches” encountered when sessions begin. Over all the instructors were pl eased with the success of their courses and the use of SWBCS as a tool to work with their students. However, some apparent changes were mentioned by the instructors that they felt they could make to improve the experience. The table below shows the instructors comments on changes and refinements for the future.

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235 Table 129. Changes and Refinements Instructors Would Make I would make the specifics of tool use more clear in the syllabus and provide practice workshops for students. I would assign each group some virtual office time to use the system. I would also try to use it for some other purpose as well as group activity. Voice operated mike for the instructor. I would schedule a couple sessions at the beginning of the class so that the scheduling wouldn't be so challenging. I would let students know in the syllabus that they needed a microphone, speakers, etc., and how to test them out before the online course. I would plan a couple class sessions each semester that were especially appropriate for synchronous delivery (as opposed to asynchronous delivery). I will continue to use the software and would like to add a couple more sessions during the semester. I would like to use it for guest speakers as well. Lastly, instructors were asked if they would us e a SWBCS again in their classes and what words of wisdom they might be able to pass on to others thinking about trying synchronous sessions in their courses. The instructors unanimously st ated that they would use the system again which, is encouraging. In addition, the following words of wisdom were provided. Table 130. Instructor’s Words of Wisdom to Others This is a great tool that should be explored by any one who wants to use a synchronous portion to a distance delivered course. It is excellent for allowing interactions between prof and students and amongst students when they are located at a distance. I hope to integr ate its use into more of my distance courses. Students get the next best thin g to face-to-face teaching. It adds a crucial element of communication. Defi nitely enhances an online course -I think that if it were available, almost everyone teaching an online course would use it to some extent -some might use it only once a semester to get to know their students -others might teach completely in a synchronous manner. I would use a combination -seeking an appropriate balance of asynch ronous/synchronous deliver. The SWBCS is a great addition to web-based an d web-enhanced courses becasue it allows for more faculty-student and student-student interaction without having to travel. SWBCS can be used to actively engage the students in the learning process through discussion, Q/A, practice problems and group work.

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236 The overall perspective from in structors who answered the fina l survey showed a resounding positive out look on the use of SWBCS in their courses. Most understood that there was room for improvement and had plans on how to change their use of SWBCS to enhance their courses even more. Chapter Summary Taking all of the data sources into considerati on, the research questions were addressed for each case and have been individually discussed throughout this chapter. Overall, the data shows positive perspectives from instructors, producers, students and observers for mo st cases. This leads the researcher to believe that the use of SWBCS in distance courses is a positive addition to the tool set already available. Further research will be required to identify the most productive processes and the best pedagogical strategies, but the global perspective is that SW BCS can assist in enhancing distance education. Now that the review of the data is complete, conclusions can be drawn. At this point it can be seen that most sessions were successful on some level and by reexamining the results based on the theoretical structure of this study; conclusions of interest to the educational community can be made. Chapter five will provide a discussion of the conclusions and help to pull together the theoretical foundations of this study with the results as well as provide insigh t for future research and use of SWBCS.

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237 Chapter 5 – Conclusions Introduction This study examined five different cases in which, instructors used a SWBCS to enhance the learning experiences of their students. All instructors implemented the system based on their needs and the needs of their students, as well as their teaching styles and the content of their courses. This chapter will integrate the discussion of the data collected and analyzed with the theoretical underpinnings of the study to examine how these constructs relate to the use of a SWBCS for teaching in an online distance environment. Discussion of Findings for Research Questions In this study there were five research questions addressing tools, strategies and perceptions resulting from the use of the SWBCS. The tools and strategies instructors chose to use as well as how they were used were examined. Reasoning behind why instru ctors used the tools and the strategies were also reviewed. The resulting perceptions of the students, the instructors and the observers were taken into consideration when determining the success of the sessions. What types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement with the tools? To some extent this study builds on work done by Knolle (2002) in which, he offered insight into pedagogical strategies that can be utilized in the SW BCS environment. However, he did not evaluate how the instructors actually used the soft ware to support the pedagogical strategies and how well they worked. This study extended his research by observing the strategies in use during live synchronous classes (or from archived recording of the classes) pr oviding an opportunity for unbiased examination of the strategies used. This examination included a judged measure of success determined through the interactions, reactions, and feedback from the students and instructors during the sessions, followed by interviews and surveys. Overall, the instructors used strategies that th ey were comfortable with and that could enhance their classes. They used the collabo rative tools of the software to make the sessions active rather than passive. The next sections of this chapter will discuss the pedagogy used in more detail. Table 131 below summarizes the sessions for each case, showing how often they used each strategy, as recorded through the observation instrument. All three sessions observed are collapsed into one number resulting in a value from 0-3 for each category with 12 possible categories of pedagogical strategies in each case. A total score of 36 for overall pedagogical strategies would be possible if all strategies were seen in each session.

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238 Due to the small number of cases studied, it is diff icult to classify the different approaches. Most instructors used the system for only three to four se ssions (case 2, 3 and 6). Those who used the system continuously (cases 4 and 5) generally implemented similar strategies throughout the semester and did not expand these significantly from one session to another. From Table 131 you can see that in some cases the use of pedagogical strategies increased after the first session and stabilized once the instructors began to use the system for teaching content. From the same table, it looks as if a wide variety of strategies were employed by all instructors. Unfortunately, the results seen through the observation instrument alone do not show enough information about the strategies for a good picture of what actually happened. This is an obvious fault in the observation instrument as not enough parameters are used to show differences between classe s. This will be addressed in a later section as well as in discussion for future research. The observers’ comments on the other had do provide some additional insight into how the instructors advanced in their strategies or used the same strategies throughout. Table 132 shows the observers summary comments for each case.

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239 Table 131. Summary of Pedagogical Observations Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Sessions 1 2 3 Totals 1 2 3 Totals 1 2 3 Totals 1 2 3 Totals 1 2 3 Totals Directly Observable Pedagogical Strategy 18 options total 14 14 11 3 11 Instructor lectured – conveyed information through talking or demonstration Direct (telli ng, lecturing) whole group. x x x 3 x x x 3 x x x 3 0 x x x 3 Instructor used interactive di rection with whole group (posing questions and calling for answers) x x 2 x x x 3 x x x 3 0 x x x 3 Instructor questioned at different levels x x 2 x x x 3 x x 2 0 x 1 Individual students worked alone x x 2 x x 2 0 0 0 Students worked in pairs or small groups x x 2 0 x 1 x x x 3 x 1 Students acted as a whole class (ie. large class discussion, full class quizzing or polling, lectur e, whole class project etc.) x x x 3 x x x 3 x x 2 0 x x x 3 Pedagogy Judged Pedagogical St rategy 18 options total 14 17 18 13 11 The teaching strategies utilized tools appropriate for the students’ level of skill with the technology and were well supported x x x 3 x x x 3 x x x 3 x x x 3 x x 2 Teaching methods were appropria te for the content x x x 3 x x x 3 x x x 3 x x x 3 x x 2 Lesson required student thought and participation– explain. x x 2 x x x 3 x x x 3 x x x 3 x x x 3 The teaching strategy include d a problem solving activity– explain. x x 2 x x 2 x x x 3 x x 2 0 The Instructor set cognitive tasks for the students – explain. x x 2 x x x 3 x x x 3 x 1 x x 2 Session required higher order (not route memory or just opinion) and/or critical thinki ng on the part of the students– explain. x x 2 x x x 3 x x x 3 x 1 x x 2 Other approaches (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Summary of Pedagogy Used -total options 36 4 12 12 28 10 11 11 31 10 11 8 29 4 7 5 16 7 8 7 22

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240 Table 132. Summary of Pedagogical Observation Comments Case Session Summary of Pedagogy 2 1 An orientation session there was no real pedagogy. 2 Instructor lectured, used PowerPoint s lides effectively to illustrate presented many charts and graphs and had students ana lyze data 3 The pedagogy was sound and seemed appropriate. 3 1 Instructor used lecture, class discussion, and analysis an d interpretation of school technolog y data. – Instructor used lec ture and class discussion. She focused on concepts and information provided on web pa ges by having students read info rmation about their own schools and report back to the class their views. She focused students on the questions by posting them on the whiteboard. She made sure that all students were able to use the technology and worked indivi dually with each student to help them locate the information. 2 Instructor did an excellent job of di recting students to specific websites and a llowing students to explore and share findin gs, thoughts, and interpreta tions with other students. Group work and discussion. Students had to interpret findings and reports to their real world situation. 3 This was a small group lecture with a lot of interactive disc ussion on the part of both the instructor and the students. The re were only 3 students and the instructor in the session. This session was then followed by other sessions that sa me evening for other groups of students. The instructor lectur e in small chucks and then required participation from the students fo r class discussion of the topic. 4 1 Case study methodology was used throughout this session. Students had previously r ead the cases and had the questions for p reparation before class. Students had previously read case. Instructor read questions from the text all students were invited to pa rticipate and share their opinio ns, and instructor provided analysis and real-life examples. 2 This class was required to read case studies from their text book and answer questions before class. During class the studen ts discussed their findings and conclusions. The moderator (instructor was not present but ha d given the assignment and left the disc ussion questions with the moderator) posed the questions to the group. The students were given the questions ahead of time a nd were asked to give their views on it. Th ey discussed the case in relation to the que stions. 3 The instructor used Elluminate Live! ™ to have the students participate in discussi ons on prior readings. He encouraged int eraction and input repeatedly. If they did not participate, he would call on them.

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241 Table 132. (Continued) Summary of Pedagogical Observation Comments Case Session Summary of Pedagogy 5 1 No comments 2 Students were placed in small groups. The interacted with each other. One group used audio, another CHAT and Whiteboard, a third group used Whiteboard. Students seem to be engaged with some ty pe of interaction within small groups of people the whole class. 3 Most of this session occurred in the breakout rooms which, we can not directly observe. Answers in the comment sections show prior knowledge and intent of instructor gleaned from other instruments and earlier pa rticipant observations of this course by the researcher (I was there in person and able to see the breakout rooms). Lecture only for 20 minutes on old material. Discussi on of past assignments, and to make sure all groups had 'sales' information, Disc ussion was based on information gathered from previous class time. 6 1 Pedagogy was sound. Large class discussi on and small group work was utilized. Student s were interactive and engaged. Ther e were two sets of discussions. One was about the content of the lecture. A second on-going thread was about how the technology of Ellu minate Live! ™ worked. Student s participated in the discussion through sharing their experiences through Audio and CHAT. Us ed a pushed url as a basis and visual for his lecture. 2 Uses mostly lecture. He has students present their findings from assignment that they did during the week and posted on Bla ckboard. He also opens the class to ask questions on diverse topics. Students use mostly CHAT to in teract and respond during the lecture and presentations. Lecture some students commented on mic about articles. Not all were given a chance and some were lost, but th e Instructor continued ahead anyw ay. This instructor needs the help of a Producer 3 The class session was an open discussion about Elluminate Live! ™; after expressi ng his opinion, the instructor permitted st udents to freely express their views while providing appropriate input and feedback. Students were prepared by previous survey. Discussion based class in which, the te acher facilitated instruction by posing questions, asking questions and commenting on student ideas.

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242 From this a short list of actual teaching strategi es was formulated. This list can be used as a starting point for further research on the success of strategies used in online synchronous learning environments. Those strategies used duri ng successful sessions are listed below: Mini lectures combined w ith interactive exercises Structured group work Case study discussions Polling, quizzing and student interactions Dissemination of electronic content for immediate discussion, feedback or problem solving Reinforcement of ideas, concepts and knowledge Collaborative exercises Question and answer sessions How do instructors utilize the tools available in a SWBCS in a distance education environment? The instructors in this study used the SWBCS to enhance their courses in many ways. For the most part, each used the system to solve a problem or address and issue they saw in their current class format. Most of these were well supported by theories discussed in Chapter 2 and are encouraging to those wanting to solve similar problems or increase the quality and success of their distance courses. Some of the goals set forth by the instructors included : (1) increasing student satisfaction by adding more immediate and personal interactions in the class, (2) being more immediat ely available for student questions, (3) getting to know the students better, (4) assisting students in framing and assimilating information quicker, (5) helping students become more familiar with new technologies, (6) offering as close to a face-to-face experience as possible globally (7) preparing students for team work in the work place, (8) offering a more natural fo rm of dialog to support debate and discussion, and (9) their own personal development as teachers. The following lis t highlights the ways in which, the majority of the instructors implemented the tools to enhance the distance environment: Increase interaction using audio and interactiv e tools such as hand raising, polling and emoticons Increase two-way dialog using both two-way audio and textual chat Add immediacy and feedback channels using tools such as emoticons and hand raising in conjunction with audio and chat Increase student comprehension using planned exercises, web content, questions and answer sessions and often breakout rooms Conduct more natural discussion using the audio feature of the system over the use of textual

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243 chat Connect to students and have students connect to each other by offering multiple channels for communication in real time Group work using break out rooms and the communication tools available in the system More detailed discussion of the strategies used an d the theories that support them are included in the theoretical implications section of this chapter. With access to a multitude of tools available in a SW BCS, which, tools do instructors choose to use? Table 133 provides a summary of the tools that we re used in each case. The values seen in the table represent the number of sessions (out of the 3 ob served) in which, the observers saw the tool used. A more descriptive summary is provided in the following section in answer to th e research question about which, tools instructors used. Table 133. Number of Lessons in which, SWBCS Tool Use was observed Cases Tools 2 3 4 5 6 Total Tool Use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Audio 3 3 3 3 3 15 Textual Chat 2 3 3 3 3 14 Hand Raising 3 3 2 0 3 11 Emoticons 3 3 0 2 3 11 Whiteboard 2 3 0 3 3 10 Step away feature 3 1 1 2 3 10 Breakout Rooms 3 0 0 3 2 8 Shared Browser 2 2 0 0 2 6 Private Messaging 0 0 0 3 2 5 Polling 3 2 0 0 0 5 Application Sharing 1 0 0 0 0 1 Quizzing 1 0 0 0 0 1 Pace Meter 0 0 0 0 0 0 Totals for each case 26 19 9 17 24 A variety of the available tools were used to present materials 3 3 0 0 1 7 Use of tools was effective 3 3 3 3 1 13 When looking at the totals for tools used each cas e to accomplish the goals of the class, two cases (2 and 6) show a wide variety of tool usage (26 and 24) over the three sessions. Two (case 3 and 5) also show a moderate usage (19 and 17). Only one case shows a small variety of tools (9) being used. Examining this further by looking at the effectiveness of the tools as well as which, were used, case 2 and 3 used the most of the available tools at least once and were also found to be effective in their use while although case 6 had significant tool use, the case was no t seen as using the tools effectively. Case 4 used the least tools, yet was still considered effective in m eeting the needs of the course. This effectiveness was

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244 judged by observers, but when combined with the stud ent perspectives (see Table 134) of the class it is obvious that the instructors in cases 2 and 3 did a good job. Although observers saw moderate use of the tools in case 5 they were mainly used by the students and not the instructor. In addition, the observation instrument only required one use of the tool to get a “check” for that tool. To round out the data, the observer’s comments need also be considered (see Chap ter 4). To recap these comments, observers felt that the tool use was effective in most cases, but in some cases they felt that although the tools were used, the use of them was not significant and did not increase the student’s learning or their comfort levels. In case 4, they felt that the tools used were effectively, but cons idering the small amount of tool usage, additional tool use may have made the sessions better. These results are more prominent when examined in conjunction with the student perspectives (see Table 134) of the co urses which, show it is obvious that all instructors did not use the tools in the most effective ways. Overall, everyone used the VOIP tools for each se ssion, which, implies that this tool was very useful. Additionally, all instructors utilized the chat feature, which, shows that multiple modes of communication were considered available. Hand raisin g and emoticons were used in all but one case and the whiteboard was used for presentation or collaboration purposes in most sessions. Breakout rooms were also used quite frequently as a mean s for side conversations and to allow students to meet in small groups. Of the remaining tools, only the pace meter was not us ed at all, while some of the more advanced tools were used infrequently. This may be due to the short time frame and the learning curve required for proper use of some of these more advanced features. If this study were longer, these results might be different as the instructors were beginning to use more tools as th ey became more comfortable with the system. Overall most of the instructors used the tools to meet their needs and the needs of their students. It was also noted that those instructors who did not use all the tools and whose students did not perceive the use of these technologies as effective could have changed the approa ch they were using within the system. In at least two cases, more instructor training and guidance, along with some additional planning, could have made a significant difference the su ccessful use of the system. Why do instructors use the tools and strategies that they choose? Most instructors used the tools provided based on experience, the strategies selected, the needs of the class along with the amount of tr aining received. Most instructors had a problem to solve or a need that was not being met in their current distance environment. Some were just interested in the technology and how it could be used to enhance the distance environment. Below are some of the reasons stated for using the SWBCS: to provided clearer instruc tion on difficult concepts to allow students time to practice these concepts while the instructor was immediately available for feedback to push content from web sites that could be used for immediate discussion and problem

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245 solving to allow small groups to interact in real time to solve problems and work on projects to focus students on the content and guide them through it in an efficient manner to grow a learning community to encourage debates and discussion in a natural manner with voice rather than reading text to get a feel for the status of students’ content knowledge and understanding through questions and inflection of voice Overall the instructors used the tools to meet th e needs of their individual classes and did this successfully. Each instructor had a specific teaching st yle and a specific goal in mind before beginning the sessions. Throughout the semester, most of the reasons stated for us ing the SWBCSW were seen put into action in the sessions observed. What perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? Table 134 shows an overview of the perspectives students reported through the end of semester survey. As can be seen, overall the students had little pr oblems; they felt the system was of high quality and it assisted them in learning the ma terials presented in the class.

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246 Table 134. Student Perceptions on Using a SWBCS Case Course Technology Community Le arning Structure Interactions Quality Usefulness Problems 54% excellent 65% enhanced learning 80% more connected to students 62% Facilitated understanding 62% Logical, easy to follow 65%-effectve Good Excellent Somewhat – very useful Minimal none 2 54% motivated to learn 77% more connected to instructor 50% Demonstrate learning 73% Approach effective 77% encouraged 80% excellent 60% enhanced learning 60% more connected to students 100% Facilitated understanding 60% Logical, easy to follow 60%-effectve Good Excellent Very useful Minimal none 3 60% motivated to learn 60% more connected to instructor 60% Demonstrate learning 80% Approach effective 60% encouraged 25% excellent 25% enhanced learning 100% more connected to students 75% Facilitated understanding 100% Logical, easy to follow 100%-effectve Good Excellent Somewhat – very useful Minimal none 4 75% motivated to learn 75% more connected to instructor 100% Demonstrate learning 100% Approach effective 100% encouraged

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247 Table 134. (Continued) Student Perceptions on Using a SWBCS Case Course Technology Community Le arning Structure Interactions Quality Usefulness Problems 43% excellent 0% enhanced learning (57% rarely/not at all) 14% more connected to students (29% frequently ) 0% Facilitated understanding (43% rarely/not at all) 29% Logical, easy to follow 29%-effectve Fair Good Somewhat useful Minimal none 5 0% motivated to learn (43% rarely/not at all ) 0% more connected to instructor (29% frequently ) 0% Demonstrate learning (43% frequently) 43% Approach effective 14% encouraged (57% frequently) 0% excellent (50% frequently ) 0% enhanced learning (50% rarely/not at all) 0% more connected to students (50% rarely/not at all ) 17% Facilitated understanding (33% rarely/not at all) 33% Logical, easy to follow 17%-effectve Fair Good Somewhat – very useful Mixed Results Minimal 6 0% motivated to learn (50% rarely/not at all ) 17% more connected to instructor (50% rarely/not at all ) 0% Demonstrate learning (33% sometimes) 33% Approach effective 0% encouraged (50% frequently)

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248 In addition, the overall perceptions of the instru ctors were evident from the end-of-course survey that provided additional data to support the previous findings. There were five categories of multiple-choice items (perceptions of overall student outcomes, overa ll systemic issues, satisfaction with course as a product, overall satisfaction, and tools used) and 12 open-ended questions. Generally, the five instructors that responded to the survey were positive about the experience both for themselves and for their students. Table 135 shows the summary of results for each category in percentage. Table 135. Summary of results from Faculty end of course survey Category Very Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied Perceptions of student outcomes 0 6 (n=2) 31 (n=11) 63 (n=22) Overall systemic issues 0 13 (n=7) 37 (n=20) 51 (n=28) Satisfaction with course as a product 0 3 (n=1) 17 (n=5) 80 n=24) Overall satisfaction 0 0 40 (n=4) 60 (n=6) As can be seen, positive perceptions for overall st udent outcomes and satisfaction with the course as a product were reported. Overall instructors were very satisfied (60%) or satisfied (40%) with their technology teaching experience with Elluminate Live!™. More importantly, the open-ended responses showed that all five instructors intend to continue to use synchronous software in their online courses and will continue to expand their teaching strategi es to take advantage of these new tools. More in-depth review of the student perceptions for each case helped identify the approaches that students felt were productive and useful for their learning environments. Positive student results include: Students had positive perceptions about the ab ility of the SWBCS to increase academic and social interactions with the inst ructor and others in the class Students felt that the added tools provided more opportunities for connections and decreased transactional distance Most saw the tools in the SWBCS as high quality and very useful As the students became more comfortable with the new technology, they made comments about how well they liked this form of communication to support their learning. Students stated that synchronous sessions helped to motivate them, enhanced their learning, and allowed them to demonstrate their knowledge. However, these positive results were not unanimous. Some students felt that the certain features of the system did not work as well as they wo uld have liked and were therefore a bit frustrated. For example, the click to talk operation of the VOIP caused some discomfort as well as setting up the microphones. Other issues included problems with the download of the Java client, persistent cookies and firewalls that made it cumbersome to get logged in, and some issues with multiple windows opening during the use of the web push. However, overall most students and instructors were very positive about the use of the SWBCS in their course.

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249 Theoretical Implications As discussed in chapter 2, there are many differe nt theoretical constructs that can be addressed when researching online learning. In this study, the following constructs were examined and some conclusion can now be drawn about the cases in this study and how the SWBCS and these constructs relate to each other. Table 136 offers a brief overview of the th eoretical constructs examined as part of this study. Table 136. Overview of Theoretical Constructs Theory Constructs Importance of concept to this study Transactional Distance Theory Dialog (interaction) Structure Learner Autonomy Transactional Distance theory provides a basis for examining interactions in pedagogical appro aches that make them successful teaching strategies. Much of the data collected in this study addressed this construct and the different aspects of transactional distance. From this exploration, a good picture of the existence of transactional distance in the online classroom as we ll as ways in which, instructors deal with it have been provided. In this study it was also found that pedagogical frameworks are strongly tied to the structure built by the instructor into the class through course management, organization and presentation. Social Learning Theories Social presence Interaction Community Learning is usually a social process. Therefore understanding how social learning can be improved in a SWBCS will help to enhance strategies for teaching. The cases in this study have provided insight into social learning in an online synchronous environment. Pedagogical Frameworks What strategies worked a nd what strategies did not work is important information for other educators w ho are attempting to teach in an online environment. From this study some guidelines can be processed. The frame work for the study was complex, utilizing transactional distance theory along with other aspects (see Figure 25) which, included social learning theories, tool us e and pedagogical strategy success. The next few sections of this chapter address the diff erent elements in this framework with respect to the data analyzed and the theori es the work was based on.

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250 Figure 25. Observation Framework Transactional Distance Transactional distance theory plays an integral part in the design and successful implementation of distance education in any environment (Moore, 1993). W ith the added benefits th at a SWBCS can provide, dialog, structure, and learner autonomy can be adjusted to fit the needs of the instructor, the students, and the content of a course. In this study, discussions with instructors portrayed areas of concern in existing distance classes where transactional distance was sign ificant and caused discomfort about the quality of learning. These instructors used th e SWBCS to address many of the problems they faced in previous offerings of the courses and to improve th e quality of the learning taking place. For example, the instructor in case 2 felt that stud ents had a difficult time with certain concepts in her class when it was taught at a distance. In person she was better able to explain and expound on the subjects until students had a clear understanding. This instructor utilized the SWBCS to interact with her students on these difficult subjects, closing the gap that occurred due to physical separation. She was able to provide clearer instruction on difficult concepts an d allow students time to practice these concepts while she was immediately available for feedback. The use of VOIP, the whiteboard and polling tools allowed the students and the instructor to communicate on these di fficult subjects and resulted in faster feedback. The instructor in case 3 operated a very stud ent-centered course in which, students made significant decisions about what they wanted to learn and put their objectiv es into a learning contract. With this approach, it was difficult for the instructor to sh are all the content with students in the short time frame of the semester. She used the SWBCS to help students obtain their goals by breaking up the asynchronous Framework for Observations Communication variable Academic interaction Collaborative interaction Interpersonal Learning variable Learner autonomy Learner collaboration Teaching variable Content Expandability Content adaptability Visual Layout Interaction Factor Student Perceptions & Reflections Instructor Perceptions & Reflections Producer Perceptions & Reflections Observer Perceptions & Reflections Strategy Success Synchronous Tools Used Other Themes

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251 content with synchronous activities, which, allowed her to guide the students through the content in a more efficient manner. In both of these cases as well as others in the study, the psychological and physical separation between the students and the instructors were considered problems that were solved using interactive strategies through the SWBCS. The followi ng sections will discuss how the cases addressed transactional distance through interaction, structur e and pedagogical strategies and learner autonomy. Transactional Distance – Interaction The strength of using a SWBCS to enhance interaction comes from the various forms of two-way communication available. This study examined five different forms of interaction (instructor-learner, learner-instructor, learner-learner, learner-content and learner-interf ace) by investigating how instructors and students interacted within the SWBCS. Chapter 2 pr ovided a significant overview of the research on interaction in distance education. This study reinfo rced the views of many researchers (Chen and Willits, 1999; Chen 2000; Hillman et. al, 1994; Monson et. al., 1999; Moore, 1993) by showing that increasing interaction helped to close the gap between instructor s and students as well as students with each other. Many of the approaches seen in the study addre ssed interaction, immediacy, feedback, opportunity for dialog, and more. These real time interactions we re made possible by the use of a SWBCS. It increased not only the opportunities for learner-instructor interaction, but also the quality and variability of the interactions that took place. Strategies that encouraged interacti on included open discussion, small group work, question and answer sessions, polling and quizzing and the incorporation of content from resources within the SWBCS. Once course content was presented and reviewed by the student, most of the instructors in this study continued to engage the learner with stra tegies that encouraged all five types of interactions. Instructor-Learner and Lear ner-Instructor Interaction Examples of significant interaction between the in structor and the learners was seen in all the cases. Some instructors initiated more interaction than ot hers. In case 4, the instructor initiated interactions by starting the discussion for each case study. He then encouraged the students to par ticipate until they began to interact with each other, without his prodd ing. This facilitation of interactions between the instructor and the learners as well as the learners themselves was imperative to understanding of the content in this course. The process could have been accomp lished with other technologi es, but the use of VOIP made this a much more dynamic and natural approach to discussion of case studies at a distance. In cases 2, 3 and 6, the instructors initiated inter actions with their students in many different ways. They utilized the different tools provided by the SWBCS to get students’ attention and to encourage them to interact with the content, the in structor and with each other. This strategy took planning and hard work on the part of the instructor as well as a producer to assure that everything went smoothly. In these cases, the addition of VOIP, emoticons, polling and the ability to push web sites to students made a significant difference in the instructor’s ability to connect with the students and connect the students to the content.

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252 Learner-Learner Interaction In case 5, the goal of using the SWBCS was to pr ovide opportunities for students to interact with each other. This class had students at a distance and students on campus in mixed work groups. The tools provided by the SWBCS allowed them to work together in real time to solve problems related to their group projects. Although the actual interactions were di fficult to view, it was apparent that this interaction would have been more difficult if the students had to rely on asynchronous technologies to accomplish the tasks. Case 4 provided ample opportun ity for students to inte ract with each other and once the instructor got the discussion really moving, the students tended to interact freely on the case study topic. Case 2 encouraged interaction among the students with small group work and the use of breakout rooms. Case 3 began with small groups working with the instructor. These groups already had connections and interacted well in this environment. In all cases where learner-l earner interaction was planned and allowed to take place, students took advantage of th e tools and the time to interact. Learner-Content Interaction Many of the cases used the tools within the SWBCS for content dissemination. Some used small lecture approaches presenting visuals on the white board while lecturing through the VOIP capabilities; others pushed web sites to students to provide content. These approaches helped to focus the students on the content and the observers felt that in all cases th e students were interacting with the content being provided by the instructors. No instructor lectured for really long periods without breaking up the content with interactive approaches, so students remained engaged and did not appear to get bored. In case 2, the instructor found ways to use the tools to draw student’s attention to the content she was presenting, focusing them even more. The use of web sites wa s made possible through the tools and allowed the instructors to present a larger array of content than they might have otherwise. In addition, the web pages could be pushed out to students while the instructor was explaining the content rather than the student having to discover everything by themselves. The only exception to this would be in case 5 where students used the SWBCS as a group work area only. These stude nts were not provided with content that they would interact with during this time, but did interact with the content of the course nevertheless. These approaches were successful in all the cases and encouraged the learners to interact with the content. Interface Interaction In addition, the study re inforced the beliefs that interface inte raction can be a substantial problem when using complicated technologies but if it is addressed properly when beginning to use a new technology, it can be overcome and not hinder learning. This is similar to the findings of Hillman et. al. in 1994. They found that proper training and time to practice the use of the technological tools should be coordinated to make the interface more transparent, reducing the distr action and stress learner-interface interaction can cause. This was not only important for the learners, but also a significant issue for the

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253 instructors. Study data shows that although there we re problems with the technology initially, it did not cause significant frustration or anxiety as seen in the Monson et. al study (1999), especially in cases (2 & 3) where the instructor built in time for personal practice and practice for the students. In other cases, students were still visibly frustrated by the technology, but they also did not seem as comfortable with using it as the students who had time for demonstration and practice. As all students used the SWBCS more, they became more comfortable and able to utilize the tools in a more significant manner. As proposed in chapter 2, optimizing educational interactions using a combination of learnerinstructor, learner-learner and learner-content interactions, while lim iting problems due to learner-interface interaction, was seen to be the key to su ccessful use of a SWBCS for online learning. Transactional Distance – Structure and pedagogical frameworks Structure Structure is determined by the educational philosophy of those involved with creating and maintaining the course. It expresses the rigidity or flexibility of the course’s educational objectives, teaching strategies and evaluations methods and therefor e describes the extent to which, course components can be responsive to individual learner’s needs. Structure of a course is directly related to the pedagogical strategies an instructor incorporates into his/her course. For a more difficult or risky strategy, more structure is usually needed. In addition, Chen and Willits (1999) discussed that structure is made up of class organization and delivery and relates to the flexibility of the course. Research (Moore, 1993; Saba & Shearer, 1994) says that as struct ure increases and dialog decreases, tr ansactional distance increases. One result of this study is a close examination of both st ructure and dialog, which, shows that an increase in structure does not always result in a decrease in dialog. Rather, this study shows what happens to transactional distance when both structure and dialog increase. Structure was examined through the observation in strument and was made up of three categories of items: (1) classroom management, (2) content organization and (3) presentation. All three elements were important in determining the structure of the sessions. One important aspect of all these cases is that the instructors were all experienced educators and experien ced distance instructors. They were all pioneers in their field, having more significant thresholds for the frustrations and problems that use of technology creates. This may have played a role in their ability to manage, organize and present the required content and structure for their sessions. Observations of the synchronous sessions as well as other data collected in this study support the idea that structure is an important element in the success of teaching in a distan ce environment. Each instructor used the SWBCS in a way that met their educational objectives and go als for the course. Some used higher risk strategies and utilized more of the tool s. To do this successfully, they needed to plan better and be more prepared. Overall, prep lanning was found to be a significan t key to successful structure as well

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254 as successful use of the SWBCS. In addition, thos e who communicated and had open dialog with the students tended to have more successf ul sessions, especially when the di alog was part of the instructional plan. The instructor in case 2 worked ha rd in preparation for her sessions. She attended all the training provided, determined what her strategies would be well in advance and then practiced the use of the technology to accomplish her goals be fore meeting with her students. He r sessions were very organized and professional. She also utilized a producer and prac ticed with her producer. She encouraged/required her students to practice with the producer to assure th eir success. Her sessions were interactive with a continuous flow of two-way communication. Due to this instructor’s careful planning, her sessions were highly successful and she was able to utilize both the tools and the strate gies that she needed to accomplish her goals. Case 3 also had a very structured plan and the instructor was prepared. She planned for high levels of interaction and utilized two-way communicati on extensively. Her session s were highly successful, even when technology problems did arise. This instructor did not use a producer, but was able to manage the sessions well due to planning, prac tice and a well formulated approach. In contrast to these, case 5 was very unstructured. The instructor had a loose plan that involved giving the students access and then letting them work on their own. There was little or no dialog between the instructor and the students in the SWBCS. With a bit more planning and organization, this case could have been more successful. Case 6 involved the instru ctor more, but was still less structured and less well planned than cases 2 and 3. This instructor did not take sufficient time to practice and learn the technologies. In addition, the students had not been enco uraged to practice and were also seeing the system and the tools for the first time. The instructor did not use a producer, so it was necessary for him to manage all aspects of the session strategies and the technology by himself. Overall he was able to manage, but student perceptions show that it was not as successful as other cases. For case 4, there was a loose plan with instructor-led structure; how ever, in this case the dialog between the instructor and the learners as well as the learners with each other was quite high. This cas e used discussion as the only pedagogical strategy. This strategy met the needs of the course and the students had positive perceptions of the case study methodology and the technologies that were used to make it successful. The variability of the results on structure aligns with the percep tions and the perceived success of the use of a SWBCS in each of the cases This leads the researcher to belie ve that structure is important in the success of synchronous distance education. However, the mixture of flexibility and rigidity can still vary. What educators need to examine more closely is the planning, preparation and organization of the strategies and how best to use the tools and res ources available to meet the educational goals. Transactional Distance – Learner Autonomy In the case where structure is lo w, if dialog between the instructor and the learner does not increase, then transactional distance increases, which, results in the necessity for the learner to take more

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255 responsibility for his/her own learning (Moore, 1993; Sa ba & Shearer, 1994). This concept is called learner autonomy and relates directly to self-directed learners as well as immediacy. The elements that effect learner autonomy were important in this study. The SWBCS has many tools that can increase immediacy and feedback between students and between students and in structors. The lack of visual cues requires that other methods of feedback and teach er immediacy be adapted. Change s in feedback and immediacy can affect the dialog-structure continuum of the distance learning relationship. Therefore it was important to examine how the SWBCS was used to enhance the o pportunities for feedback and increase immediacy. Immediacy and feedback was addressed in most cases through the SWBCS two-way communication tools, increasing dialog between the instructor and the learners. The use of polling, emoticons and hand raising allowed for quick and easy feedback and increased the feelings of immediacy for the students and the instructor. If learner autonomy or the feeling of taking responsibility for learning increases with immediacy and feedback, then the cas es that utilized these tools had higher learner autonomy. However, this was difficult to observe. In some cases, the opportunity for learner autonomy was quite high, but the structure and instructor initiated dialog was so low that the learners struggled with the technology and the content and were unsuccessful in their use of the SWBCS for l earning on their own. For the most part, learner autonomy increased when instructors used strategies that required the students to take control of the situation. For example, most of the cases used some form of group work in which, the instructors put students into breakout rooms and gave them tasks to complete. This strategy worked well and was seen as having high learner autonomy. In some cases, the studen ts were then brought back to the class as a whole and continued to discuss what they had learned, requiring that they had come to some conclusions and could discuss the content. Other approaches that increased learner autonomy were individualized assignments such as polling and quizzing. This was used in many of the cases as a way for students to think about the content and assimilate its meaning. The results of the learner’s work could then be reviewed and discussed by the instructor, bringing closure to the learning process. In case 5, the planned learner autonomy was high. However, due to some obstacles, the sessions were not as successful as they could have been. In this case, the use of the SWBCS was strictly for group work and the students were in control of their learning In fact, once the students were in their groups, the instructor often left the session. Th is became problematic when students had technical issues and there was no one in the session with the administrative rights to assist them. In addition, since there was no one in the system with permission to turn on and off certain tools, these tools were not used. The comments collected from this group of students show that had they been able to use certain tools such as application sharing, they might have been more successful in the completion of the tasks. The subject of learner autonomy has not been extensively studied here and could easily be the focus of a more detailed review of a SWBCS. However, in the cases studied it was obvious that as students

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256 became more familiar and comfortable with the use of the technology, they would be more apt to enjoy and profit from approaches that provide opportunity for learner autonomy. Social Learning Theories Vygotsky’s theory maintains "that instruction is most efficient when students engage in activities within a supportive learning environment and when they receive appropriate guidance that is mediated by tools" (Vygotsky, 1978, as cited in Gillani & Relan 1997, p. 231). Lave also argued that learning is a function of the activity, context and culture in which, it occurs (i.e., it is situated). These social theories guided some of the data collection in this study to determine if a SWBCS would assist in the social aspects of learning that are often lacking in a distance environment. Social presence and community were examined as well to determine if thes e aspects were present. Overall this aspect of the research needs to be extended in much greater detail and over a longer period of time in order to obtain specific results. However, some evidence of social learning was seen and can be attributed to the use of the SWBCS. Social Presence Social presence is the extent to which, a learner or instructor is perceived as ‘real’ and is directly related to the concept of immediacy with immediacy defined as behaviors that enhance closeness to and nonverbal interaction with others. Immediacy is one place where the SWBCS was able to assist both the instructors and the students. Due to the real time nature of the sy stem and the two-way communication features, most courses saw an increase in the imme diacy of communication between the learner and the instructor as well as the learners with each other. As Gorham stated (1988), “the concept of teacher immediacy can be expanded to include other behaviors such as talking about experiences that have occurred outside class, adding humor, calling students by name, and praising students' work or comments help to increase social presence.” These behaviors we re evident in many of the cases studied here. In addition, social presence is reported to be “the degree of feeling, perception, and reaction of being connected” (Tu & McIsaac, 2002, p. 140). Students responded to questions about feeling connected to both the instructor and other students after using the SW BCS and the results in most cases were positive. The use of the SWBCS allowed for increased opport unities to build social presence in meaningful, rich ways that positively affected th e learners. As Newberry (2001) foun d, this may be due to the richness of the media used in the SWBCS where a more natu ral auditory communication and a visual element can be utilized. As VOIP was used in all cases, these find ings support suggestions that raising social presence in online classes is facilitated by media which, a llows for the use of voice for students as well as instructors. It also creates a greater social presence by providing chat or audio conferencing for appropriate activities, and the ability for persistent student groups to work together online. The inclusion of emoticons and immediate feedback tools provides additional means fo r students to feel a part of the class. Newberry also pointed out that raising student social presence in an online class may help to better replicate some

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257 subjective impressions of quality of experience on the part of the student. Although more study is required to determine how much social presence was built in these classes through the SWBCS and how much resulted from other methods used in the distance environment, it is apparent that connections were made through the use of the tools provided by the SWBCS. Social Interactions Chou (2002) discovered more interactive exchanges occurred in synchronous communication than asynchronous. This included an overa ll higher percentage of social-emotional (SE) interactions than task interactions where task interactions are those that relate directly to the content and are not usually emotional in context. In contrast, students spen t more time on academic interactions when using asynchronous discussions. Although data was collected on social versus academic interactions in this study, additional information would need to be collected to develop a social infrastructure of the courses and how the use of the SWBCS fits into this structure. In most cases, students had minimal social interactions. It is not clear if these interactions were due to the SWBCS or previous relationships. Since most cases used group work, it is possible th at the connections required for social in teraction were already in place before using the SWBCS. However, what can be said is that the use of the SWBCS offered more opportunities for interactions to occur as well as a space fo r groups to interact in real time. Most cases used the system for group work and we re successful. Due to the inability to record the breakout rooms, the interactions in these rooms were not extensively studied. However, it was evident that the collaborative interface wa s a good tool to use for groups to accomplish tasks in shorter time frames than using asynchronous tools. Doing tasks in the synchronous environment was thought to encourage both talking and doing in the same meeting. Feedback from students also pointed out that it was easier to “talk” using a two-way audio system than a chat system. In addition, the dual modality was found to be useful for concurrent ideas and input. Some students felt that th e half-duplex VOIP was annoy ing because they had to click to talk and share the floor while others felt this was a good thing as only one person could talk at a time and then everyone was forced to listen, adjusting the normal group dynamics. Community Social interaction between people with shared goa ls or ideas is the basis and the nature of community. Time spent sharing goals and ideas allow relationships to be formed and communities are built. Unfortunately it is not clear if the use of the SWBCS was the reason fo r increased feelings of community. The overall structure of the course most likely played a large role in this. However, students did give positive feedback when asked if using Elluminate Live! ™ made them feel more connected to both the instructor and other students. As researchers of community discuss, much of this feeling of connection is due to the shared goal of learning. In the cases studied here, the instruct ors created successful online learning environments by

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258 including means and mechanisms through which, online social interactions were fostered. Many of them used approaches similar to those discussed by Burge and Howard (1990), which, included: (a) avoiding online lecturing and promoting student-student inter action on and off-line; (b) creating conditions to promote feelings of being successful; and (c) employi ng facilitators who are person able, keep control, and give regular feedback. In cases 2 and 3 this was accomplished very well. In cases 5 and 6, some social interaction was noticed, yet students did not feel as connected. This may be due to the nature of these classes as they were more a blended model in which, some students re gularly attended a face-to-face class while others participated at a distance. Connec tions in these classes may not be due to the SWBCS, but rather other contact students have with each other. In case 4, students were truly geographically dispersed and seemed to build a learning community online that satisfied their needs for connections. Learning communities require both the social and academic interactions that sustain learning. This study just touched the surface of the complex rela tionship between these interactions and how they combine to create a successful lear ning environment. However, eviden ce was found to support the concept that social interactions in the distance education envi ronment can lead to learners’ development of a sense of community and that the use of a SWBCS makes this easier. Other Implications and Guidelines In order to make sense of the large amount of data collected in this study, it is important to find a way to visualize the results as a whole. The following summary provides a reduction of data collected from the observations and student survey s for many of the important aspect s studied. For each case, all three sessions observed are collapsed into one number resultin g in a value from 0-3 for each question and then tallied for each subsection of the observation instrument. Each area is then split into four equal levels for easier comparison between cases and with the student perceptions. These levels ar e based on the following scales. Table 137. Levels for Comparison Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Summary of Pedagogy Used: Total possible observations 36 0-9 10-18 19-28 29-36 Summary of Interactions 151 total options 0-37 38-75 76-112 113-151 Summary of Structure 153 total options 0-38 39-77 78-116 117-153 Summary of Learner Autonomy 42 total options 0-11 12-23 24-35 36-42 Summary of Tool Use 45 total options 0-11 12-23 24-35 36-45 Summary of Session Success Low Medium Medium-high High Student Perception 0-25% 26-50% 51-75% 76-100%

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259 For student perceptions, percentages of those st udents who answered th e survey are shown for four of the most important concepts: (1) overall opinion of the course, (2) technology for learning, (3) sense of community, and (4) perception of learning. The pe rcentages shown indicate students who answered at the top of the scale (i.e. almost always ). These results are categorized fu rther into four equal levels for comparison between cases and with observation results (see table 137). The results can not be generalized from this study, but a few conclusions about the study method and results as well as guidelines for others considering using SWBCS in their distance education prog rams can be extrapolated.

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260 Table 138. Summary of Classroom Observations and Student Perceptions by Case using four levels for comparison Observation Results Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Scores 28 31 29 16 22 Summary of Pedagogy Used total options 36 Levels 4 4 4 2 3 Scores 109 128 110 70 115 Summary of Interactions 151 total options Levels 4 4 3 2 4 Scores 117 129 101 64 102 Summary of Structure 153 total options Levels 4 4 3 2 3 Scores 29 28 26 23 24 Summary of Learner Autonomy 42 total options Levels 3 3 3 2 3 Scores 32 26 12 22 26 Summary of Tool Use 45 total options Levels 3 3 2 2 3 Observers Summary of Session Success Levels 4 4 3 3 2 Student Perceptions Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Scores 65% 60% 25% 0% 0% Technology Enhanced Learning Levels 3 3 1 1 1 Scores 54% 60% 75% 0% 0% Technology Motivated me to earn Levels 3 3 3 1 1 Scores 80% 60% 100% 14% 0% Felt more connected to students (Community) Levels 4 3 4 1 1 Scores 77% 60% 75% 0% 17% Felt more connected to instructor (Community) Levels 4 3 3 1 1 Scores 62% 100% 75% 0% 17% Facilitated understanding (Learning) Levels 3 4 3 1 1 Scores 50% 60% 100% 0% 0% Demonstrated Learning (Learning) Levels 2 3 4 1 1 Scores 54% 80% 25% 43% 0% Student Opinion of course (students chose almost always Excellent) Levels 3 4 2 2 1 Observation Results Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Scores 28 31 29 16 22 Summary of Pedagogy Used total options 36 Levels 4 4 4 2 3 Scores 109 128 110 70 115 Summary of Interactions 151 total options Levels 4 4 3 2 4 Scores 117 129 101 64 102 Summary of Structure 153 total options Levels 4 4 3 2 3 Scores 29 28 26 23 24 Summary of Learner Autonomy 42 total options Levels 3 3 3 2 3 Scores 32 26 12 22 26 Summary of Tool Use 45 total options Levels 3 3 2 2 3 Observers Summary of Session Success Levels 4 4 3 3 2

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261 Table 139. Summary of Classroom Observations and Student Perceptions by Case using four levels for comparison Student Perceptions Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Scores 65% 60% 25% 0% 0% Technology Enhanced Learning Levels 3 3 1 1 1 Scores 54% 60% 75% 0% 0% Technology Motivated me to earn Levels 3 3 3 1 1 Scores 80% 60% 100% 14% 0% Felt more connected to students (Community) Levels 4 3 4 1 1 Scores 77% 60% 75% 0% 17% Felt more connected to instructor (Community) Levels 4 3 3 1 1 Scores 62% 100% 75% 0% 17% Facilitated understanding (Learning) Levels 3 4 3 1 1 Scores 50% 60% 100% 0% 0% Demonstrated Learning (Learning) Levels 2 3 4 1 1 Scores 54% 80% 25% 43% 0% Student Opinion of course (students chose almost always Excellent) Levels 3 4 2 2 1 Observation Results Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Scores 28 31 29 16 22 Summary of Pedagogy Used total options 36 Levels 4 4 4 2 3 Scores 109 128 110 70 115 Summary of Interactions 151 total options Levels 4 4 3 2 4 Scores 117 129 101 64 102 Summary of Structure 153 total options Levels 4 4 3 2 3 Scores 29 28 26 23 24 Summary of Learner Autonomy 42 total options Levels 3 3 3 2 3 Scores 32 26 12 22 26 Summary of Tool Use 45 total options Levels 3 3 2 2 3 Observers Summary of Session Success Levels 4 4 3 3 2 Student Perceptions Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Scores 65% 60% 25% 0% 0% Technology Enhanced Learning Levels 3 3 1 1 1 Scores 54% 60% 75% 0% 0% Technology Motivated me to earn Levels 3 3 3 1 1 Scores 80% 60% 100% 14% 0% Felt more connected to students (Community) Levels 4 3 4 1 1 Scores 77% 60% 75% 0% 17% Felt more connected to instructor (Community) Levels 4 3 3 1 1 Scores 62% 100% 75% 0% 17% Facilitated understanding (Learning) Levels 3 4 3 1 1 Scores 50% 60% 100% 0% 0% Demonstrated Learning (Learning) Levels 2 3 4 1 1 Scores 54% 80% 25% 43% 0% Student Opinion of course (students chose almost always Excellent) Levels 3 4 2 2 1

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262 At the onset of this research, it was assumed that the data would show direct relationships between the elements of transactional distance (interaction, st ructure, and learner autono my) and perceptions of the students. If interaction (dialog) and structure fluctuate between cases, we should see a change in student perceptions that reflects this as we ll. In addition, the observer’s opin ion of success of the sessions should follow the trend as well. However from the results seen in table 139 and Figure 26, these relationships are not clear.

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263 Figure 26. Overview of Transacti onal Distance and Perceptions of Success As transactional distance is defined, case 5 ha s a low structure and a low dialog and should therefore have a high transactional distance. It follows that the student perceptions would be lower here as is the case. Although the observer’s r eactions were also lower, they were not as significant. In addition, the learner autonomy for this case should have rated high as almost all use of th e SWBCS was for group work where students worked on their own, yet it was reported as having lower learner autonomy than other cases. Case 5 More Less More LessDialog Structure High Transactional Distance Case 4 More Less More LessDialog Structure More Less More Less More Less More Less More Less More LessDialog Dialog Structure Medium Transactional Distance More Less More LessDialog Structure More Less More Less More Less More Less More Less More LessDialog Structure Low Transactional Distance Case 6 Case 2 Case 3 Student Opinion of Course Learner Autonomy Observer’s Summary of Session Success Learner Autonomy Student Perception Observer Perception Learner Autonomy Learner Autonom y Student Perception Observer Perception Student Perception Observer Perception Student Perception Observer Perception Student Observer Perception

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264 This is most likely due to the ambiguity of the observation instrument in this area and the difficulty to actually see learner autonomy taking place. Looking at the remaining cases, the theories of transactional distance continue to make sense as the medium levels of transactional distance (Cases 4 and 6) and the low levels of transactional distance (Cases 2 and 3) provide the corresponding perceptions that would be expected. In these cases, the variance in interaction and structure changed the transactional distance continuum and those with lower transactional distance had higher student and observer perceptions of success. These arguments are inconclusive however as the nu mber of cases do not provide enough data to generalize along these lines. Rather, by looking at the educational goals of the instructors as they entered the semester and the outcomes based on student perceptions at the end of the semester, a richer perspective on the success of using the SWBCS in these courses ca n be seen. For example, all instructors noted goals for the use of SWBCS in their courses in the initial in terview and most instructors met the goals that they were trying to reach. In order to see these trends, a graphical representation of student perceptions was mapped with the instructors’ original goals. The resulting graph shows how well the goals were met based on student opinion (Figure 27).

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265 Figure 27. Instructor's Educational Goals and Students Perceptions Student Perceptions 0 1 2 3 4Case 2 Case 3Case 4 Case 5Case 6 Technology Enhanced Learning Technology Motivated me to earn Felt more connected to students (Community) Felt more connected to instructor (Community) Facilitated understanding (Learning) Demonstrated Learning (Learning) Student Opinion of course Summary of Session Success Did not provide a successful environment for Virtual Teams Did not create a successful model for blended courses Making Connections and increasing immedicacy Assisted Students to assimiliate information in an effective manner Created Community Facilitated Learning

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266 The instructors in cases 2, 3, and 4 had preset goals that they wish to accomplish based on previous experiences of teaching these courses via distan ce technologies. In case 2, the instructor wanted to make quicker connections with students and increase the immediacy of the course. Note in Figure 27 that the constructs dealing with connectedness each have a value of 4, while the other construct values are also high with demonstrating learning lowest at a level of 2 The student perspective of the course is at a level of 3 and the observers rated the success at a level of 4. It is obvious that the stud ents felt connected to the instructor and each other thro ugh this medium and were satisfied with the results of the co urse. Overall this instructor seems to have met the goals she was reaching for which, can be seen as a successful implantation of the SWBCS into her distance course. In case 3, the instructor was hoping to guide stude nts to assimilate the extensive course materials in a more productive manner. As can be seen in Figure 27, her approaches to using the SWBCS were seen by her students to facilitate their learning at a level of 4. In addition, the resulting perceptions of the overall course were high at a level of 4 for both the students and the observers. All other student perceptions were also high at a level of 3. Overall this instructor met the goals she set out with and the students were positive about the use of the SWBCS and the course. Case 4 was a small class in which, the instructor felt strongly about building community and helping students to reflect on the course materials. Fi gure 27 shows that the studen ts felt more connected to each other through the SWBCS (level 4) and also felt that the use of the SWBCS facilitated their understanding of the course content allowing them to learn (level 4). Overall success ratings were a bit lower here with students reporting a level of 2 and observers reporting a level of 3. Other constructs were reported at a level 3 except for the technology enha nced my learning which, only received a level 1. Overall, the general consensus was successful and the instructor seemed to have met his goals. However, the use of the SWBCS was limited here and other tools may have accomplished the same goals for this instructor. It cannot be shown conclusively that th e results in this case are due to the SWBCS. In the researchers opinion, the same results would have been seen with the use of two-way audio in conjunction with chat. Results for cases 5 and 6 were not as promising and these instructors do not seem to have met the goals that they intended. Reasons for this may be due to the way they used the system and how successful their sessions were. As can be seen in Figure 27 both the observers and the students had lower perceptions of success in these cases. The instruct or for case 5 intended the use of the SWBCS to assist in the building and functioning of virtual teams. The students in this class did not feel that the SWBCS had accomplished these goals (Figure 27) with all constructs at a level of 1. In addition, the student perceptions of the course were somewhat low at a level of 2 and the observers rated the success at a level of 3. In case 6, the instructor was attempting to model a blended learning situation with students in class as well as at a distance. The students in this case did not report positive outlooks on the use of the SWBCS in this situation. Student ratings were at levels of 1 for all constructs in cluding the overall course success.

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267 Observers rated the course a bit high er with a level of 2. These results show that this course was not a successful example of the use of a SWBCS for a blended environment, Another approach to looking at the results is to examine the differences and similarities between the cases (Figure 28). All cases but one (case 5) had high levels of interaction and structure, yet two of the cases still had very low student perceptions (case 4 and case 6). The results for cases 2 and 3 appear appropriate, but cases 4, 5 and 6 ar e somewhat different than would be expected based on some of the categories reported.

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268 Figure 28. Observation Results and Students Perceptions Observation Results and Perceptions of Success 0 1 2 3 4 Case 2 Case 3Case 4 Case 5Case 6 Pedagogy Interactions Structure Learner Autonomy Tool Use Student Opinion of course Summary of Session Success

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269 Looking at similarities, those cases with high stude nt perceptions used similar strategies and tools which, increased interactions not only between th e students but also between the students and the instructor. Almost all of the cases with high student perceptions used some form of lecture and discussion to engage students. These interactions seem to ha ve stimulated effective learning environments and increased the sense of community the students felt, resulting in higher student perceptions. All but one of the cases had significant structure to the sessions, wh ich, seemed to lend to their success. Generally, all cases that were successful met the requirements an d expectations of the in structors utilizing familiar strategies. Certain differences were also obvious, especially in the manner in which, the cases used the tools. Three of the five cases (2, 3, and 6) used the system tools extensively, capitalizing on the strengths of the synchronous classroom. Two of the six cases (4 and 5) although still deemed succes sful by obser vers, were noted by the observers to use a limited “variety” of t ools (see Table 133). In both these cases, observers felt the sessions could have been better by utilizing more of the features of the system. Case 5 had low student perceptions. In contrast, case 4 used the least tools, but had some of the highest student perceptions with 100% feeling they were able to demonstration learning. As noted before, this case had a simple structure and high dialog which, aligns with transactional distance theory. For cases 5 and 6, a probable reason for some differences in student perceptions is the actual structure of these courses. For example, case 6 was a blended course, not completely online with students in both the face-to-face classroom and online at the same time. Case 5 had a similar makeup with some students participating on campus and others from a distance. The student groups were made up of a combination of on campus students and distance students, but some actually attended lecture in person. Both of these courses show lower student perceptions. It is possible that the students in these courses did not need the additional resources that were provid ed by the SWBCS as much as those participating completely from a distance. Two cases stood out in their use of strategies th at encouraged more learner autonomy. This was not evident in the learner autonomy category of the observation instrument (see Figures 26 and 28), but discussion of case studies and extensive group work both require a great deal of learner autonomy. In both of these cases students engaged in student centered stra tegies with little or no prompting from the instructor while continuing discussions of case studies and using breakout rooms for completion of weekly and semester long group projects. The results of student perceptions are enlightening as the students in case 4 where the instructor was available and involved reported high perceptions. The students in case 5 in which, the instructor broke them into breakout rooms and then usually left the SWBCS had lower student perceptions. This would lead one to believe that the instructor is still very important, even in strategies that require high learner autonomy.

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270 As stated earlier, this was a small multiple cas e study and these results can not be generalized. However, they are encouraging and enlightening and provided areas for further research. In addition, these results point out some of the deficiencies in the observ ation instrument as it was designed for this study. It is the opinion of the researcher that the extensiveness of the observation instrument covered too broad a view diluting the results in this st udy. This did not allow the observ ers to delve deep enough into each element reviewed, giving superficial results. The following section on Methodological Implications will discuss the observation instrument and some adjustments or suggestions that should be considered by other researchers using the same approach. Future users of the observation instrument should consider the suggestions provided here. Methodological Implications First, the observation instrument used in this study was extensive. The instrument itself could be the topic of an entire research study. With this in mi nd, some suggestions on adjustments that need to be made to this instrument can be provided. The instrument was detailed and exhaustive. It would benefit others interested in the same types of data to focus the instrument and reduce the number of items used in each area. It might also be useful to divide the instrument into multiple instruments and concentrate further research on just one aspect. The obse rvers spent a great deal of time us ing this instrument for each session and although the data collected was significant to this study it might have been accomplished in a more efficient manner. When looking at categories such as pedagogy used, it is not evident from the observation instrument alone what transpired in the class sessions. This section needs to be more detailed and record both frequencies of strategy used as well as quality of use. Similarly, it is not clear from the summary results seen here that significantly different levels of structure were used in these cases. Since case 4, 5 and 6 had less structure, a larger difference should have been observed. This is probably due to too many different items in the structure category as well as not choosing the right items to delineate these differences. It is suggested that those interested in the structure of the synchr onous sessions examine this portion of the observation instrument carefully; making adjustments that better reflect the online environment. The collection of data on learner autonomy was not as accurate as first hoped due to the inability to record the breakout rooms. Case 5 should have a significantly higher learner autonomy score than the others cases as it was very student driven. In addition, these items also reflected the instructors’ planning for learner autonomy which, were somewhat difficult to deduce. In examining tool use, the observation instrument was “checked” if a tool was used in a course (at least once). How often the tool was used was judged, bu t not quantified exactly. In addition, the use of tools should be categorized by who is using them and who initiated the use. Quality of the application of the tools was addressed by asking observers to judge effectiveness and asking the student’s perceptions of

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271 effectiveness. However, further research might adjust the observation instrument in this section to address these questions more directly. Practical implications The following section will discuss more of the practical implications such as design features of the SWBCS and lessons learned by the in structors and the researchers. From this study a few conclusions can be drawn as to the features of a SWBCS that are important to students and instructors in the distance environment. Top on the list is the capability to engage in twoway communication easily and quickly. For this, students and instructors appreciated the quality and ease of use of VOIP. This tool is essential for proper intera ctions and engagement of all students. In addition, the ability to communicate in parallel with the instructor lecturing or other speaking was considered a good approach. To do this, the textual chat feature or other non-verbal communication tools (emoticons, hand raising, polling, and whiteboard) are needed. These tool s supplement the verbal and visual elements used by the instructor to increase the student’s ability to interact. Lastly, some form of group work tools are needed for most courses. These shou ld be easy to use and possibly student, rather than instructor, driven. Ideally, students would be able to schedule their own meeting times and have full access to all tools within the system to optimize collaboration and communication. At this time this is a weakness of the system used as well as the way it was deployed in this study. System improvements The system used in this study was a good one. It was reliable and had few technical issues that could not be solved quickly. The following section provides some suggestions for the future SWBCS. The interface in the product used in this study was in tuitive and did not cause significant issues for most participants. However, certain improvements would be useful. Some of these improvements have been made to the next version of Elluminate Live! ™ and have solved problems. For example, during this study the guided web browsing feature was not truly a guided feature. An instructor could take students to a site, but then were not able to control where they went. It was necessary to push (and open) multiple windows to navigate together through a web site. This has been improved in the new version and will make the use of web sites for content much more effective as well as helping to keep students from being confused by multiple external windows. In addition, some instructors wanted the ability to include video and multimedia. These have also been addressed in the new version. Other issues still present that need to be addressed by the software manufacturers are the inability to record breakout rooms and the inability to automatically have multiple moderators. This posed problems for the research team, the instructors and the producers. It would also be useful to have another level of user provided in the system. Currently only moderators and participants are available with each having a set of tools and permissions. Other roles that might be important include guest speakers, producers, and group

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272 leaders. These roles would expand the ability for others to assist in the sessions, but not give full control to anyone besides the moderator or instructor of the course. Lessons for Instructors and Producers The most significant guidance that can be provided to instructors and producers from this study is the importance of planning and practice. During this study, those who planned their lessons carefully and practice using the features of the system they wanted to use were more successful than those who did not. In addition, those who had a close relationship and op en communication with their producers and technical support people had better sessions overall. Due to the multifaceted rich environment th at a SWBCS provides multitasking becomes an important skill. For this reason, an other good guideline for success is to have assistance in order to effectively manage all the different tasks required. Although this may not be feasible for everyone wanting to use a SWBCS in their teaching, those who used producers were more successful than those who did not. Over time this might change as the students and the instructors become more familiar with the technologies, but at least at the beginning, it is important to have both technical support and some assistance with the behind the scenes even ts that occur in this live environment. A third important element to succes s is proper training and prepar ation for the instructor and the students. From the student perspective this is minimal with a half hour demonstration and time to try things out being sufficient for most. For the instructor, the amount of time needed will depend on the instructor’s technical prowess and well as what he/she wants to do with the SWBCS in the course. Instructors who make time for this will be much more successful. As with all technology, having a backup plan is a must. There will be times when things do not work and other forms of communication such as telephone numbers, email addresses and a plan will make this less painful for both the instructor and the students. Be sure you have a backup plan and those involved know how to execute it effectively. Those wanting to try enhancing their courses with the use of a SWBCS should prepare, but not be afraid to try something new. As these instructors found, the experience can be enriching and rewarding for both the instructors and the students. Directions for Future Research This study was exploratory in nature and therefore is just the starting point for additional research. As discussed throughout this chapter, there are many areas examined which, should be reviewed in more detail and in a more focused manner. The following section discusses a few of the directions research in this area should take.

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273 This study utilized a small sample size of 5 cases and because of the sample size is not generalizable to a large population. It would benefit edu cational research if this study was replicated with a large number of cases with more variety in the instru ctional strategies. Examining a larger range of courses over a longer period would lead to more evidence of successful strategies that could then be categorized and used as guidelines for other educators interested in utilizing sound pedagogical strategies in an interactive synchronous online environment. It would al so be important to examine a wide range of courses and make sure that each class or at l east the instructors had used the system at least four or five times as the instructors seemed to move to higher level strategies as their comfort level with the technology increases. Knolle (2002) attempted this, but all strategies were self reported and the instructors had difficulties separating those in the asynchronous mode and those in the synchronous mode. Therefore it would be best to restrict the data collection to only synchronous strategies and to have them observed as well as self reported for triangulation of data. The observation of these strategies would need to be more significantly focused on just strategies for teaching and learning rath er than the broad scope of this data collection in the observation instrument used in this study. In addition, the quality and quantity of strategies should be addressed. The study of social learning aspects needs to be addressed in a longer time frame and with attention given to other parameters in the design of the distance courses. A class should be followed throughout a whole semester in order to get a full pi cture of the social envir onment and resulting social learning that takes place. Although the use of the SWBCS made it easie r to interact socially, it was not clear where these connections began or how they were encouraged. In order to ex amine the social learning aspect properly, the entire class situation would need to be studied as a whole, both asynchronous and synchronous interactions. This would mean at least a semester long study that began on the first day and ended on the last day. In addition, the researcher would want to address previous relationships among students and also with the instructor before getting started. Concentrating on just the social aspects of the learning environment was difficult here as only short sessions were observed and only a small number of them in each case. More focused research needs to be conducted on each element of transactional distance to determine if student learning and success is related to transactional distance in the online environment. In addition, questions that address whether using richer more immediate mediums such as SWBCS to address the each element of transactional distance need to be ex amined. This is a very broad area of research and it is suggested that research in this area be very c oncentrated. For example one mi ght study the interactions between students and instructors and students among themselves in a whole class situation and determine which, tools they utilized for these interactions most successfully. Anot her approach might be to examine only group interactions (learner-learner) that occurred within the breakout rooms over a period of time to see if the interactions increase in quantity and quality as the students became more familiar with the technology and with each other. You might also look at whether the interactions were driven by tasks that

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274 needed accomplished or were social in nature. If looking at task oriented interactions the tools that were used to accomplish the tasks would be very important. La stly, Jung’s (2001) communication variable extended the variables in Moore’s (1993) transactiona l distance theory and might be a good starting point for a deeper look into the types of interactions th at take place in a synchronous online environment. After observing students interacting in synchronous environments for sometime the question arises as to the characteristics of a student that thrives in this environment, but also desires a distance based course. The dilemma of sc heduling synchronous events that face ma ny instructors in distance education versus the ability of the software to improve learning interactions is a big challenge. To determine which, students would thrive with this interaction and which, would be just fine with out it would help some programs and students make decisions on format. For example, the study (Lobel et. al., 2002) that reviewed attending and lurking in synchronous classrooms showed that it was not always the student who interacted (attended) or spoke out that found synchronous most beneficial, but sometimes the lurkers were just as successful. This leads the researcher to believe it is not just whether or not you need to interact with others, but possibly some other ch aracteristic that makes it successful. Since one of the problems that will always be face d in using synchronous technologies is the lack of technical experience students ha ve coming into a class, the study of student experience and anxiety levels would be interesting. The SWBCS is a multif aceted user interface with many things happening at once. Does this multitasking situation cause additio nal issues for those without significant technical experience? Does the multitasking environment increase the anxiety levels of the students? This was not examined in this study. Student’s self reported frus trations and evidence of frustration was noted during observations, but the anxiety levels were not measured. Monson, Wolcott, and Seiter (1999) did some research in this area, but it needs to be expanded to encompass SWBCS as well. Lastly, the study of groups using SWBCS would be interesting. For example if spontaneous use could be provided in which, groups would meet at their convenience and the environment could be recorded, then the dynamics of group work over the Internet could be extensively studied. This has been done in some cases, but with the newer technologi es, the tools available are much better and more extensive. It would be interesting to find out if dispersed groups would take the time necessary to learn the tools so that they could communicate and collaborate better. It would also be interesting to see which tools they used and how well they worked in accomplishing th e goals of the group. All of this is possible with existing systems and group studies have been conducted in the past. A study of this nature would be a replication of others work, but in a newer environment. Conclusion This investigation has focused on five research questions, but many more intriguing questions have arisen. The richness of data laid the groundwork for future investigations into the use of SWBCS in

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275 distance education from the perspective of effective teaching strategies and succes sful use of synchronous online tools. This research has provided a glimpse into the complex nature of technology used for two-way communication in a learning environm ent that is real time and multifacet ed. Hopefully these findings will lead us to additional discussion and research on best practices for using synchronous technologies for building learning communities and pr oviding successful distance educatio n courses with lower levels of transactional distance.

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278 Hackman, M. Z., & Walker, K. B. (1990). Instructional communication in the televised classroom: the effects of system design and teacher immediacy on studen t learning and satisfaction Hara, N., & Khling, R. (1999). Students' Frustrations with a webBased Distance Education Course. First Monday, 4(12) Harasim, L. M. (1990). Online education: perspec tives on a new environmen t. New York: Praeger. Hillman, D. C. A. (1999). A new method for analyzing patterns of interaction. American Journal of Distance Education, 13 (2), 37-47. from the ERIC database. Hillman, D. C., Willis, D. J., & Gu nawardena, C. N. (1994). Learne r-interface interaction in distance education: an extension of contemporary models and strategies for practitioners. American Journal of Distance Education, 8 (2), 30-42. Hofmann, J. (March 2000). Designing for a Synchronous Learning Session. Learning Circuits. Retrieved July 15, 2004 from http://www.insynctraining.com/Insync/pages/mar-plan.pdf. Hofmann, J. (May 2001). Designing for a synchronous learning session. Learning Circuits. Retrieved July 15, 2004 from http://www.learningcircuits.o rg/2001/may2001/ hofmann.html Hofmann, J. (2004). Teaching Online Is Like Teach ing After Lunch. Training and Development. T+D Magazine. (58)1, 19-21. Hyder, K. (2002). Teach in Your Pajamas: Becoming a Synchronous e-Trainer. The e-Learning Developers journal. November. Retrieved July 15, 2004 from http://www.elearningguild.c om/pdf/2/112502MGT-H.pdf Jancke, G., Grudin, J., & Gupta, A. (2000). Presenting to Local and Remote Audiences: Design and Use of the TELEP System. Proceedings of CHI 2000, 384-391. Retrieved July 15, 2004 from http://www.research.microsoft.com/res earch/coet/Telep/CHI2000/paper.doc Jensen, C., Farnham, S., Drucker, S., & Kollock, P. (2000). The effect of communication modality on cooperation in online environments. Proceedings of CHI 2000, The Hague, Netherlands, Jung, I. (2001). Building a theoretical framework of web-based instruction in the context of distance education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 32 (5), 525-534. Khan, B. H. (in progress). E-Learning Strategies (Publications in major languages of the world.) http://bookstoread.com/elearning/ Khan, B. H. (2001, December). A framework for e-Learning. E-learning magazine. http://www.elearningmag.com/elearning/ article/articleDetail.jsp?id=5163 Khan, B.H., (Ed.). (1997). Web-Based Instruction, Educational Technology Publications, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Kirby, E. (1999). Building interaction in online and distance education courses. SITE 99: society for information technology & teacher education international conference, 8. Knolle. (2000). Identifying the best practices for using Horizonlive to teach in the synchronous online environment. Unpublished Masters Thesis California State University, Chico. Kubala, T. (1998). Addressing Student Needs: Teaching on the Internet. T H E Journal, 25(8), 71-74.

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279 Lave, J. (1988). Cognition in Practice: Mind, mathemat ics, and culture in ever yday life. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Lewis, L., Snow, K., Farri s, E., Levin, D., Westat Inc., Rockville, MD, & American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC et al. (1999). Distance Education at Postsecondary Education Institutions, 1997-98. Statistical Analysis Re port. (NCES-2000-013 ed.). U.S.; Maryland: Lobel, M., Neubauer, Michael,Swedburg, Randy. (2002) Elements of group interaction in a real-time synchronous online learning-by-doing classroom without F2F participation. USDLA Journal, 16 (4), 9-31. Lockett, K. (1998). The Loneliness of the Long Distance Learners? Using Online Student Support to Decrease the Isolation factor and Increase Motiv ation. webNet98 World Conference, Association for Advancement of Computing in Education. Mark, G., Grudin, J., and Poltrock, S. E. (1999) Meeting at the desktop: An empirical study of virtually collocated teams. Proceedings of ECSCW?99. Miles, M.B., Huberman, A.M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis: An expanded Sourcebook (2nd ed.), Sage:London & Thousand Oaks, California. McIsaac, M. S. (1993). Economic, politi cal and social considerations in the use of global computer-based distance education. In R. Muff oletto, & N. Knupfer (Eds.), Computers in education: social, political, and historical perspectives (pp. 219-232). Cresskil, NJ: Hampton Press, Inc. McIsaac, M. S., & Guna wardena, C. N. (1996). Dist ance education [electronic vers ion]. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research for educational communications and technology: a project of the association for educational communications and technology (pp. 403-437). New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan. Retrieved July 15, 2004 from http://seamonkey.ed.asu.ed u/~mcisaac/dechapter/ McIsaac, M. S., Blocher, J. M., Mahes, V., & Vrasidas, C. (1999). Student and Teacher Perceptions of Interaction in Online Computer-Mediated Communication. Educational Media International, 36(2), 121-31. Merriam, S. B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc., Publishers. Monson, S. J., Wolcott, L. L., & Seiter, J. S. (1999). Communication apprehension in synchronous distance education U.S.; Georgia: Moore, M. G. (1989). Three types of interaction. The American Journal of Distance Education, 3 (2), 1-6. Moore, M. G. (1 990). Recent contributions to th e theory of distance education. Open Learning, 5 (3), 10-15. Moore, M. G. (1991). Editorial: dist ance education. The American Journa l of Distance Education, 5(3), 16. Moore, M. G. (1993). Theory of tr ansactional distance. In D. Keegan (Ed.), New York: Routledge. Moore, M. G., Anderson, W. G. (Eds). (2003). Handbook of distance education. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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280 Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (1996). Distance education : a systems view. Belmont: Wadsworth. Murphy, K. L., Drabier, R., & Epps, M. L. (1998). Interaction and collaboration via computer conferencing U.S.; Texas: Newberry, B. (2001). Raising student social presence in online classes. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.. Phipps, R., & Merisotis, J. (1999). What's the diff erence? A review of contemporary research on the effectiveness of distance lear ning in higher education. Rourke, L., & Anderson, T. (2002). Using web-based, group communication systems to support case study learning at a distance Rovai, A. P. (2002). A preliminary look at structural differences in sense of classroom community between higher education traditional and ALN courses. The Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 6 (1), 41-56. Rovai, A. P., & Lucking, R. (2003). Sense of commun ity in a higher education television-based distance education program. Educational Technology Research and Development, 51 (2), 5-16. Russell, T. L. (1999). The no significant difference phenomenon: as reported in 355 research reports, summaries and papers North Carolina: North Carolina State University. Saskatchewan Education. (1991).Instructional A pproaches: A Framework for Professional Practice. Retrieved July 15, 2004 from http://www.sas ked.gov.sk.ca/docs/policy/approach/index.html Saba, F. (1988). Integrated telecommunications systems and instructional transaction. American Journal of Distance Education, 2 (3), 17-24. Saba, F., & Shearer, R. L. (1994). Verifying key theo retical concepts in a dy namic model of distance education Sarason, S. B. (1974). The psychological sense of community; prospects for a community psychology. San Francisco,: Jossey-Bass. Schoenfeld-Tacher, R., & Persichitte, K. A. (2000). Di fferential skills and competencies required of faculty teaching distance education courses. International Journal of Educational Technology, 2 (1), 1-16. Sherry, A. C., Fulford, C. P., & Zhang, S. (1998). Assessing Distance Learners' Satisfaction with Instruction: A Quantitative and a Qualitative Method. American Journal of Distance Education, 12(3), 4-28. Short, J., Williams, E., & Christie, B. (1976). The social psychology of telecommunications (ed.) London: John Wiley & Son. Sivin-Kachala, J., Stanton, M., & Bowerman, D. (2002). Online Courses and Other Types of Online Learning for High School Students. New York, NY: Interactive Educational Systems Design, Inc. May 5, 2004,

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281 Spencer, D. H., & Hiltz, S. R. (2003). A field study of use of synchronous chat in online courses. Proceedings Of Thirty-Sixth Annual Hawaii International Conference On System Sciences, Hawaii, 36-46. Swigger, K. M., Brazile, R., Byron, S., Livingston, A., Lopez, V., & Reynes, J. (1999). Real-time collaboration over the internet: what actually works? Trotter, A., & Skinner, R. (2002). Technology Counts 2002: E-Defining Education. Education Week, 21(35), May 5, 2004 Retrieved May 5, 2004, from http://www.edweek.org/sreports/tc02/ article.cfm?slug=35execsum.h21 Tu, C. H., & Corry, M. (2002). eLearning communities. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3 (2), 207-18. Tu, C. H., & McIsaac, M. (2002). An examination of social presence to increase interaction in online classes. The American Journal of Distance Education, 16 (3) Tu, C. H., & McIsaac, M. (2002). The relationship of social presence and interaction in online classes. The American Journal of Distance Education, 16 (3), 131-150. Vrasidas, C., & McIsaac, M. S. (1999). Factors Infl uencing Interaction in an Online Course. American Journal of Distance Education, 13(3), 22-36. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Wagner, E. D. (1994). In Support of a Functional Definition of Interaction. American Journal of Distance Education, 8(2), 6-29. Waits, T. & Lewis, L. (2003). Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 20002001, NCES-2003-017. National Center for Education Statistics (ed.). Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Education. White, Gupta, Grudin, Chesley, Kimberly, & Sancocki. (2000). Evolving Use of a System for Education at a Distance. Proc. HICSS-33, CD-ROM, 10 pages. Retrieved July 15, 2004 from http://www.research.microsoft.com/res earch/coet/Flatland/HICSS/paper.pdf Wikipedia. (2004). Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 7, 2004, 2004 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_learning Willis, B. (1995). Distance Education Research Guide. University of Idaho, College of Engineering excerpted from Distance Ed ucation at a Glance. Retrieved July 15, 2004, from http://www.uidaho.edu/eo/dist1.html. Yin, R. K. (1994). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc.

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282 Appendices

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283 Appendix A: Description of Synchronous Technologies Audiographics Audiographics is a form of technology facilitated instruction that usually incorporates networked computers generating graphics on a “co mmon screen” with audio interaction facilitated by speaker phone, and hard copy exchange by facsimile, scanner or other technologies. The “common screen” feature enables the use of collaborative learning methods involving learners at remote locations in real-time. This technology uses specifically designed telecommunications software allowing the user to create computer graphics and text which, is transmitted synchronously from one computer to another over regular telephone lines. This is a site based technology where equipment is located at both the host site and the receiving site. While audiog raphics was popular a decade ago, it is an older technology that has been replaced by more recent technological advances. Audio and video conferencing (not web Based) Audio conferencing is a voice only communication medium using the regular telephone. This technology has been used quite extensively in distance education, mos tly in conjunction with other technologies. Most recently it is used with streaming video on the web and audio conferencing for two way interactions. Audio conferencing can accommodate a large number of locations or individuals for a conference usin g an audiobridge. The audiobridge connects individuals or sites by allowing them to dial into the conference using a regular telephone. Audio conferences are relatively inexpensive and can be set up on short notice. Although additional equipment can be added to the audio system for graphics and video, the audio channel is the primary mode of communication. Video conferencing systems transmit voice, graphics an d images, usually of people. This ability to show images of people allows video conferencing to creat e more of a “social presence” approximating face-to-face interaction. Video conferencing can utilize fully interac tive systems that allow for two-way video and audio or oneway video and two-way audio. During video conferences, audio, video, and data signals are transmitted to distance sites using a single combined channel such as a fiber op tic line. Two-way audio is most often transmitted over a regular telephone line using audio conferencing technologies. Currently both analog and digital transmissions are still in use. These transmission signals can be sent vi a satellite, microwave, fiber optics, coaxial cable or a combination of these technologies. Interactive Instructional Television (ITV) is often pl aced in a different category from video conferencing but will be included here for discussion purposes. Most interactive instructional television (ITV) systems are locally controlled cooperatives made up of three to six locations li nked together electronically in which, the instructor is in one location (usually a classroom or st udio) and students are at distant sites. Students from each site and the instructor can see and hear each other during the scheduled time by using the technologies included in the ITV system. This allows students to interact with their instru ctor as well as see, hear and communicate freely with their classmates at different sites. These technologies include low power television, microwave signal, fiber optics, coaxial cable and digital compression. Other categories that define videoconferencing include full motion video

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284 conferencing and compressed video conferencing. These two broad areas of video conferen cing are classified by the technology they use for transmission. Audio and video conferencing (Desktop) Integrated desktop video teleconferencing combining audio, video and data is becoming increasingly popular. This technology allows user s to see each other, speak to each other, transfer application files and work together on such files at a distance using their computer a nd an internet connection. An instructor could conceivably present material to the entire class “live”. In some inst ances, video is streamed to the desk top and audio is still handled through the telephone, but this requires that students have two phone lines or another form of internet connection to participate. Video over the internet also requires more bandwidth than other technologies and fast connections are usually required. This technology continues to expand and improve and we will soon see extensions that will incorporate laptops and cellular phones. Textual chats, MOOs and MUDs Textual Chat is a form of online instant communicati on where users log on to a common server and post short messages to a common viewing area by typing messages that appear on each users screen. The screens usually refresh automatically allowing for simula ted real time conversation. The effect is that of a conversation, with the group watching the stream of messages pass by and occasionally making a comment or posting some longer text. Some systems use digitized audio or video, but most use text only communication. MUDs (Multiple User Dimension, Multiple User Du ngeon, or Multiple User Dialogue) and MOOs (MUD Object Oriented) are real time computer environments, similar to chat, wher e groups come together at the same time to discuss common issues. MUDS are more sophisticated than textual chat as a MUD facilitates exploration of a virtual environment. Each user takes control of a computer ized persona or avatar. The environment allows a user to walk around, chat with other characters, explore the vi rtual areas, solve puzzles, and sometimes even create their own space, descriptions and items. A MOO is a kind of MUD that utilizes an object-oriented programming language. Many consider MOOs to be the most advanced MUDs because of the kind of software development a user can accomplish. A large body of research has been conducted on synchronous chat, MUDs and MOOs and their uses in Distance Education over the years. Some of this re search is pertinent to this study and will be discussed in detail in later sections. Other Synchronous Technologies Other categories of synchronous techno logies that are important to this study include electronic meeting places, groupware and low end synchronous systems using a udio and/or video with other supporting tools. These are the predecessors of SWBCS and are the closest to having the same features. Although these systems have been around for some years, the technology is only now becoming main stream. This may be the reason that only a small amount of research was found on these types of systems. Most research discovered deals with the system’s

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285 usability, which, can be related to interface interaction, bu t is not directly related to this study. These systems combine many of the features discussed above into one web based interface. For example, they might contain options for audio and/or video conferencing with added textual chat. Other features may include a whiteboard area for presentation or sharing graphical materials and file sh aring or application sharing for collaborative work. These systems usually have the capacity to connect small groups of people synchronously. The next generation of this technology is the SWBCS.

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286 Appendix B: Instructor Interview Protocol Synchronous Instructor Interview Thursday, July 21, 2005 Name Department Course Titles Are there any questions before beginning? Background/Experience 1. How long have you taught distance courses and which, technologies have you used? a. How long have you taught online? 2. Is your course a full distan ce course or is it a blended course wh ere part of it is conducted face-to-face? a. Will the SWBCS be replacing or supp lementing the face-to-face sessions? 3. Besides the training and experience provided by the pilot project, have you had any training or experiences in using synchronous tools in an online course before? If yes, what were those experiences? a. Synchronous chat b. Instant messaging c. Satellite or TV classes (one way video, maybe in conjunction with a phone bridge) d. One-Way Audio e. Audiographics f. Two-way audio or video such as ITV or PictureTel g. Online groupware h. Others? 4. What is the rest of your teaching load this semester? What research commitments do you currently have? Service commitments? What is the enrollment in your course? 5. Why have you volunteered to participate in this pilot study for synchronous software at USF? a. What would you like to accomplish? Anticipations/Experiences (so far) about Course Design and Delivery 6. What would you say are the biggest challenges of offering this course online? a. Do you think using SWBCS will help? 7. How do you see using SWBCS in your class? b. Do you have any special ideas about pedagogical strategies that you might implement? c. How might your teaching strategies/pedagogy change in the transition to using SWBCS for online delivery? d. Are there specific aspects about the use of SWBCS in this course that you are really excited about? 8. What forms of assessment are you using in this online course? Will you use the tools in SWBCS to facilitate assessment? If so, what types? 9. What techniques are you currently employing to help build a learning community and reduce feelings of isolation? How do you see doing this in the SWBCS?

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287 10. How do you currently interact with your students and get them to interact with each other? How do you see doing this in the SWBCS? 11. Are there other advantages you foresee with using SWBCS for online delivery of this course in comparison to a face-to-face delivery? In co mparison with an asynchronous (non-blended) online delivery? 12. Are there other challenges you foresee with using SWBCS for online delivery of the course? 13. Have you incorporated synchronous sessions into your syllabus so students are aware of the requirements for being present at a certain time? 14. Have you incorporated instructions for students in your class on how to use the SWBCS?

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288 Appendix C: SWBCS Online Student Survey I. Orientation: Getting Started SWBCS Pilot Online Student Survey 1 – Beginning of Semester Welcome! If you have not filled out the Internal Revi ew Board Consent Form for this study, pleas e take a moment to do that by clicking o n the link below. Then continue to the survey by clicking on the Next link at the bottom of the page. Thank you! IRB Consent Form Orientation: Getting Started USF is moving into the future, and we welcome you to one of our new web-based educational projects! We have had fun choosing th e synchronous tools you will be using in this c ourse, but we need your persp ective as an enrolled student to help us refine the p arameters for our selection of tools, ensuring the quality of education you expect at USF. Your input will help your department, faculty, and cou rse developers understand your perspectives and needs. You can help us in this development endeavor by completing two surveys this semester, o ne at the beginning near orientation and one near th e end of the term when you have a good pe rspective on the quality of the instruction and the tools you have used. Your responses to this survey are anonymous and no information a bout you individually will be identified or used in any way. Co mpleting this survey is voluntary. In order to link your responses across the te rm, please provide the first two letters of your first name a nd your date of birth. Thank you. 1. First two letters of your first name: 2. Select birth month: 3. Select birth day: 4. Select birth year: Biographical Information 5. What is your major area of study? 6. Select the course in which, you are enrolled: 7. Who is your professor for this course? 8. What is the format of this course? Select all that apply. Online Satellite Traditional classroom Videotape Other 9. If you selected "Other", please explain:

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289 10. How many web-based or Internet course s have you taken prior to this semester? 0 1 2 3 4 or more 11. Select the item that best describes y our previous web-based or Internet courses. Primarily on campus with web support A mixture of online and on campus At least 85% online 12. Have you ever taken an online course that used synchronous software such as, chat, video, conferencing, or two-way audio? No Yes Don't know 13. If so, select all the tools that you have used. Text chat Two-way audio Twoway video Application sharing A full synchronous online classroom 14. How clear are the course instructions about the technology used in the course? Not clear Somewhat clear Very clear N ot applicable 15. How difficult was it to set up the technology required for using Synchronous Web-Based Course Software (SWBCS)? Not difficult Somewhat difficult Very difficult N ot applicable 16. How many miles do you currently live from the USF campus? 0-9 miles 10-29 miles 30-60 miles Over 60 miles 17. If your course is online, what is the likelihood that you w ould have taken this class if it were not offered over the Inter net? Not likely Likely Definitely N /A 18. Was the online format the only one available for this class? No Yes Don't know 19. Were you aware that this class required a sy nchronous (real-time) online participation component? No Yes Don't know 20. Have you allowed time in your schedule to pa rticipate in real time sessions with your class? No Yes Don't know

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290 21. For which, of the following reasons have you chosen to enroll in this course? N o Partially Yes N ot Applicable Course is required Class schedule Work schedule Family obligations Physical challenges Learning challenges (such as, Dyslexia, ADHD) Observance of religi ous/cultural beliefs Personal safety Driving distance Learn more about Internet courses 22. Of the reasons you selected in Question #21, which, is the most important one? Accessing the Course 23. How difficult/easy were the following tasks rela ted to accessing the online components of this course? Very difficult Difficul t Easy Very easy N ot Applicable Obtaining the USF ID card Obtaining a NetID Learning about the availability of the course (course catalog, OASIS, etc.)

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291 Accessing the Internet (e.g., dial-up, Road Runner) Accessing the course on the USF server Obtaining a syllabus Contacting someone for help Going through the synchronous set up wizard 24. Did you have a demo session with a person (live) at the other end? No Yes 25. If so, how well did it help you to feel prepared? I am still very uncomfortable N ot Prepared Somewhat Prepared Well Prepared Very Well Prepared 26. Where do you plan to access the online components of this course? 27. What kind of computer do you own? PC Mac Do not own a computer 28. If you own a computer, approxi mately how old is the computer? 0-2 years 3-5 years 5 years or more N ot applicable 29. If you own a computer, which, of the following features does your computer have? N o Yes Sound card Speakers or headphones Microphone Web Cam Printer/Scanner 30. What type of connection do you plan to use to access the online components of this 31. Please rate your level of profic iency using the following technology: Beginner Intermediate Advanced

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292 Word processing Spreadsheets Presentation E-mail Instant messaging/Chat Software for creating web pages (e.g., FrontPage, Dreamweaver) Audio/Video programs Web browsers

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293 Appendix D: SWBCS Online Student Survey II. End of Course SWBCS Pilot Online Student Survey 2 – End of Semester Welcome! If you have not filled out the Internal Revi ew Board Consent Form for this study, pleas e take a moment to do that by clicking o n the link below. Then continue to th e survey by clicking on the Next link at the bottom of the page. Thank you! IRB Consent Form Orientation: Getting Started USF is moving into the future, and we welcome you to one of our new web-based educational projects! We have had fun choosing th e synchronous tools you will be using in this c ourse, but we need your persp ective as an enrolled student to help us refine the p arameters for our selection of tools, ensuring the quality of education you expect at USF. Your input will help your department, faculty, and course developers understand your perspectives and needs. You can help us in this development endeavor by completing two survey s this semester, one at the beginning near or ientation and one near the end of the term when you have a good perspective on the q uality of the instruction and the tools you have used. Your responses to this survey are anonymous and no information a bout you individually will be identified or used in any way. Completing this survey is voluntary. In order to link your res ponses across the term, please provide the first two letters of y our first name and your date of birth. Thank you. 1. First two letters of your first name: 2. Select birth month: 3. Select birth day: 4. Select birth year: 5. What is your major area of study? 6. Select the course in which, you are enrolled: 7. Who is your professor for this course? Use of SWBCS 8. Approximately how many times did you use Elluminate Live! ™ in your course? 0 1-2 3-4 9. Did you participate in all of the sessions conducted? No Yes 10. How easy was the Elluminate interface to use? Not easy Somewhat easy 11. Describe in your own words how your class most often used E lluminate Live! ™. (ie. groupw ork, discussions, lecture, a combination of ways, etc.)

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294 12. To what extent have you experienced technical problems with the following? No Problem Minor Problem Major P Connecting to the classroom Getting familiar with the interface Using the text chat area Using the two-way audio feature Using tools shuch as hand rais ing and Yes/No (or check/X) Using the whiteboard Using the Application Sharing feature Using the Breakout Rooms Taking Polls or Quizzes Using the Guided Web Surfing feature Other 13. If you experienced other technical problems please explain them below. 14. If you experienced other technical problems please rate them. No Problem Minor Problem Major Problem N ot a p 15. If you had technical problems, how did you solve these problems? (Select all that apply.) Solved them myself Sought technical help from peers Sought technical help from instructor Sought technical help from Elluminate Live! ™ Sought technical help from Producer/Class Assistant 16. If you selected "Other" for the item above, please specify. 17. What type of Internet connection did you primarily use to access Elluminate Live! ™? Dial-up modem DSL Cable modem LAN 18. Did your computer system seem to keep pace with the presentation? No Yes 19. How useful have you found the follo wing features of Elluminate Live! ™? N ot Useful Somewhat useful Text chat area Two-way audio feature Hand raising and Yes/No (or Check/X) Whiteboard Application Sharing

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295 Breakout Rooms Polls or Quizzes Guided Web Surfing 20. Please rate the quality of the following: Poor Fair Good Elluminate Live! ™ Presentation Space Elluminate Live! ™ Audio Elluminate Live! ™ Screen Layout Ways to offer instructor and others feedback (i.e. emoticons, applause, handraising, etc.) Your connection to Elluminate Live! ™ Collaboration tools (i.e. whiteboard, appli cation sharing, breakout rooms, etc.) The overall quality of the Elluminate Live! ™ experience Overall Impressions 21. Do you believe that taking th is course online was a good decision? No Yes 22. Please explain your answer to the above question. 23. How do you feel about the use of Elluminate Live! ™ in your course? 24. If you could change one thing about Elluminate Li ve! ™, what would it be? (Please explain your answer.) 25. For each of the following items, plea se indicate your choice by selecting a sing le response option. If a particular quest ion does not apply, please select "Not applicable". Rarely/Not at all Sometimes Frequently Organization of the sessions was logical and easy to follow. Synchronous session activities and assign ments facilitated my understanding of course content. The sessions were aligned with course objectives. Interactions with classmates and/or the instructor were effective using Elluminate Live! ™. Technical knowledge and skills were require d to master Elluminate Live! ™. Synchronous discussions with peers were encouraged. The instructor provided students wi th opportunities to participate during synchronous sessions. The instructor provided constructive feedback during synchronous sessions. The sessions allowed me to demonstrate my learning. Session accommodations for disability adequately met my needs. The instructor's approach to using Elluminate Live! ™ was effective.

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296 Using Elluminate Live! ™ made me feel mo re connected to others in the class. Using Elluminate Live! ™ made me feel more connected to the instructor. I needed technical support to complete the synchronous sessions. Technical support was available when I needed it. When I accessed technical support, my problems were solved. The technology used in the sessions enhanced my learning experience. The technology used in this course motivated me to learn. I would consider taking anot her course that used synchronous technologies like Elluminate Live! ™. Compared with other courses, this course was excellent. 26. Please use this space to provide any additional comments about using Elluminate Live! ™ in your course. Please feel free to speak openly and voice your opinions. 27. We would like to interview a few students to get more detail on how the synchronous software worked in your class. If you would be willing to be interviewed online using Elluminate Li ve! ™, please provide your email address and a phone number where we can contact you below. This is completely voluntary and will take only about 30 minutes. Thank you.

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297 Appendix E: The Students: Snap Shots for each case Case 2 Thirty-three students responded to the initial survey providing background information and demographics for the study. Accordingly, the student ages ranged from 20 to 54 with the majority (27%) in the 25-29 age group (Figure 29). Frequency 012345678910 20-24 years 25-29 years 30-24 years 35-39 years 40-44 years 45-49 years 50-54 years 55-59 years Figure 29. Case 2: Frequency Student Age Range As would be expected for a course in Nursing, all 33 students listed their major area of study as Nursing. Students distance from ca mpus varied (Figure 30); however, all 33 stated they would access the course from their home computers. The age of thes e computers ranged from 0 to 5 years old, but the majority (19) of students were using newer machines in the range of 0-2 years old (Figure 31). Interestingly, a significant number of the students al so had fast connection speeds with 16 using a cable modem and 10 using DSL. Only 6 students were planning to use a dial-up connection (Figure 32).

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298 Frequency 02468101214 0-9 miles 10-29 miles 30-60 miles Over 60 miles Figure 30. Case 2: Frequency Distance Students Live From Campus Frequency 02468101214161820 0-2 years 3-5 years 5 years or more Figure 31. Case 2: Frequency Age of Computer Student Used

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299 Frequency 024681012141618 Dial up modem Cable modem DSL LAN Other Figure 32. Case 2: Frequency Type of Internet Connection When asked which, features were available on the computers the students were to use for the class, the results showed that most computers were adequately prepared (Figure 33). 3030.53131.53232.53333.5 Sound_card Speakers Microphone Webcam Printer_ScannerComputer FeaturesFrequency Figure 33. Case 2: Frequency Features Reported on Student Computers Although the experience levels varied, the major ity of the students were experienced with online courses with 48% having participated in 4 or more courses online and 25% more having experienced 3 (see Figure 34). Of these, 73% de scribed their online courses as at least 80% online rather than blended or on campus

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300 Frequency 024681012141618 0 1 2 3 4 or more Figure 34. Case 2: Frequency Number of Online Courses Previously Taken The levels of proficiency with various types of software were self reported. The table below reflects the proficiency levels students identified. Table 140. Case 2: Student Self Reported Technical Proficiencies Software Type Beginner Intermediate Advanced Word Processors 2 24 7 Spreadsheets 22 10 1 Presentation software 17 13 3 Email 0 14 19 Chat 5 16 12 Web Page Creation 26 7 0 Audio & Video programs 17 15 1 Web Browsers 7 19 7 In order to obtain additional baseline information, students were asked to report what synchronous tools they had previously used. The results for this case are presented in Table 140. As can be seen here, there was little previous experience before this course for students in this class. Table 141. Case 2: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions Tools Used Frequency Text chat 4 Two-way audio 1 Two-way video 2 Application sharing 1 A full synchronous online classroom 2

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301 Case 3 Three students from this case responded to the initial survey providing background information and demographics for the study. Two students were in the 25-29 age group while the other was in the 35-39 age group. Two students were in the Educational Leadership program and one was in Physical Education and Health. Student’s distance from campus varied (Figure 35); however, all 3 stated they would access the course from their home computers. Frequency 00.20.40.60.811.2 0-9 miles 10-29 miles 30-60 miles Over 60 miles Figure 35. Case 3: Frequency Distance Students Live From Campus The student’s computers were all between 0 and 2 years old. Interestingly, all student’s that responded also had fast connection speeds with one using a cable modem and two using DSL (Figure 36). Frequency 00.511.522.5 Dial up modem Cable modem DSL LAN Other Figure 36. Case 3: Frequency Type of Internet Connection When asked which, features were available on the computers the students were to use for the class, the results showed that most computers were adequately prepared (Figure 37).

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302 00.511.522.533.5 Sound_card Speakers Microphone Webcam Printer_ScannerComputer FeaturesFrequency Figure 37. Case 3: Frequency Features Reported on Student Computers This class reported a very low level of experience in taking online courses (see Figure 38). This is not out of the ordinary for this course as it is one of the first technology related courses that a student in these programs might take. All the students described their online courses as on campus reiterating the fact that they had little online course experience. Frequency 00.511.522.5 0 1 2 3 4 or more Figure 38. Case 3: Frequency Number of Online Courses Previously Taken The levels of proficiency with various types of software were self reported. Table 141 reflects the proficiency levels students identified. Most students were in the beginner to intermediate range.

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303 Table 142. Case 3: Student Self Reported Technical Proficiencies Software Type Beginner Intermediate Advanced Word Processors 0 2 1 Spreadsheets 1 2 0 Presentation software 2 0 1 Email 0 1 2 Chat 1 1 1 Web Page Creation 2 1 0 Audio & Video programs 2 0 1 Web Browsers 1 1 1 In order to obtain additional baseline information, students were asked to report what synchronous tools they had previously used. The results for th is case are presented in Table 142. There was little previous experience before this cour se for the students in this case. Table 143. Case 3: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions Tools Used Frequency Text chat 1 Two-way audio 1 Two-way video 0 Application sharing 0 A full synchronous online classroom 0 Case 4 The class studied in this case was a small graduate level course with 10 students enrolled. Of these 10 students, seven students responded to the initial survey providing background information and demographics for the study. Accordingly, the student ages ranged from 25 to 39 with the majority (71.4%) in the 25-29 age group.

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304 Frequency 0123456 20-24 years 25-29 years 30-34 years 35-39 years Figure 39. Case 4: Frequency Student Age Range As would be expected for a graduate level course in Engineering, all 7 students listed their major area of study as Engineering. Students distance from campus varied (Figure 40); however, 5 out of 7 of them stated they would access the co urse from their home computers. The age of these computers ranged from 0 to 5 years old, with the majority (5) of students using machines in the range of 3-5 years old. Interestingly, a significant number of the students al so had fast connection speeds with 6 using a cable modem and 1 using a LAN. No students were planning to use a dial up connection. Frequency 0123456 0-9 miles 10-29 miles 30-60 miles Over 60 miles Figure 40. Case 4: Frequency Distance Students Live From Campus When asked which, features were available on the computers the students were to use for the class, the results showed that most computers were adequately prepared (Figure 41).

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305 012345678 Sound_card Speakers Microphone Webcam Printer_ScannerComputer FeaturesFrequency Figure 41. Case 4: Frequency Features Reported on Student Computers The experience levels varied, with the majority of the students having little or no experience with online courses. 57% had participated in no online classes while 15% have participated in 4 or more (see Figure 42). Of these, 72% de scribed their online courses as at least 80% online rather than blended or on campus Frequency 00.511.522.533.544.5 0 1 2 3 4 or more Figure 42. Case 4: Frequency Number of Online Courses Previously Taken The levels of proficiency with various types of software were self reported. Table 143 reflects the proficiency levels students identified showing that stud ents in this case had fairly high (intermediate to advanced) levels of proficiency.

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306 Table 144. Case 4: Student Self Reported Technical Proficiencies Software Type Beginner Intermediate Advanced Word Processors 0 0 7 Spreadsheets 0 0 7 Presentation software 0 0 7 Email 0 0 7 Chat 0 3 4 Web Page Creation 5 1 1 Audio & Video programs 2 3 2 Web Browsers 0 0 7 In order to obtain additional baseline information, students were asked to report what synchronous tools they had previously used. The results for this case are presented in Ta ble 144 which, shows little previous experience before this course for students in this case. Table 145. Case 4: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions Tools Used Frequency Text chat 2 Two-way audio 1 Two-way video 0 Application sharing 1 A full synchronous online classroom 0 Case 5 Sixteen students from this case responded to th e initial survey providing background information and demographics for the study. The student ages (Figure 43) ranged from 20-44 years old, with the majority falling in 25-29 years range (37.5%) and 30-34 years (32.3%) range.

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307 Frequency 01234567 20-24 years 25-29 years 30-34 years 35-39 years 40-44 years Figure 43. Case 5: Frequency Student Age Range As would be expected for a graduate level course in Engineering, all 16 students listed their major area of study as Engineering. Students distance from ca mpus varied (Figure 44) and where they planned to access the course was evenly spread with six at home, four at work and six on campus. The age of these computers ranged from 0 to 5 years old, half (8) of students were using newer machines in the range of 0-2 years old. Frequency 012345678 0-9 miles 10-29 miles 30-60 miles Over 60 miles Figure 44. Case 5: Frequency Distance Students Live From Campus Interestingly, a significant number of the students also had fast connection speeds with seven using a cable modem, three using DSL and four on a LAN. Only two students were planning to use a dial up connection (Figure 45).

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308 Frequency 012345678 Dial up modem Cable modem DSL LAN Other Figure 45. Case 5 Frequency Type of Internet Connection When asked which, features were available on the computers the students were to use for the class, the results showed that most computers we re adequately prepared (Figure 46). Figure 46. Case 5: Frequency Features Reported on Student Computers This case reported a significant spread of experi ence levels in taking online courses (see Figure 47). Students also reported a blended format for th e course studied in this case with multiple formats selected (Figure 48). 024681012141618 Sound_card Speakers Microphone Webcam Printer_ScannerComputer FeaturesFrequency

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309 Figure 47. Case 5: Frequency Number of Online Courses Previously Taken Figure 48. Case 5: Frequency Format of Current Course The levels of proficiency with various types of software were self reported. Table 145 reflects the proficiency levels students identified. Students in this case fall in the intermediate to advanced categories of proficiency. Frequency 01234567 0 1 2 3 4 or more 02468101214 Online Satellite Traditional Class Video Tape Other Frequencies

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310 Table 146. Case 5: Student Self Reported Technical Proficiencies Software Type Beginner Intermediate Advanced Word Processors 0 2 14 Spreadsheets 0 3 13 Presentation software 0 2 14 Email 0 3 13 Chat 3 6 7 Web Page Creation 10 4 2 Audio & Video programs 5 6 5 Web Browsers 0 7 9 In order to obtain additional baseline information, students were asked to report what synchronous tools they had previously used. As can be seen in Table 146, there were some previous experiences with chat and two-way audio, but little other experience was reported. Table 147. Case 5: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions Tools Used Frequency Text chat 5 Two-way audio 4 Two-way video 0 Application sharing 2 A full synchronous online classroom 1 Case 6 Fifteen students from this case responded to the initial survey providing background information and demographics for the study. The student ages ranged from 20-44 years old, with the majority falling in 25-29 years range (33.3%) and 30-34 years (26.7%) range. Figure 49 shows the overall spread.

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311 Frequency 0123456 20-24 years 25-29 years 30-34 years 35-39 years 40-44 years Figure 49. Case 6: Frequency Student Age Range As would be expected for a graduate level course in Library Science, all 15 students listed their major area of study as Library Scie nce. Students distance from campus varied (Figure 50). Eleven students planned to access the course from their home computers, while three accessed it on campus. Frequency 012345678 0-9 miles 10-29 miles 30-60 miles Over 60 miles Figure 50. Case 6: Frequency Distance Students Live From Campus The age of the student’s computers ranged from 0 to 5 years old, with the majority (8) of students were using machines in the range of 3-5 years old (Figure 51). A significant number of the students also had fast connection speeds with six using a cable modem, three using DSL and one on a LAN. Only one student was planning to use a dial up connection (Figure 52).

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312 Frequency 0123456789 0-2 years 3-5 years 5 years or more Figure 51. Case 6: Frequency Age of Computer Student Used Frequency 01234567 Dial up modem Cable modem DSL LAN Other Figure 52. Case 6: Frequency Type of Internet Connection When asked which, features were available on the computers the students were to use for the class, the results showed that most computers were adequately prepared (Figure 53).

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313 02468101214 Sound_card Speakers Microphone Webcam Printer_ScannerComputer FeaturesFrequency Figure 53. Case 6: Frequency Features Reported on Student Computers This class reported a mixed of level of experience in taking online courses (see Figure 54). The Library and Information Sciences department has many on line offerings, so this is not out of the ordinary for a group of students from this department. Three students in this case described their online courses as on campus five said they were blended and seven listed online reiterating the mixture of experiences with online courses. Frequency 01234567 0 1 2 3 4 or more Figure 54. Case 6: Frequency Number of Online Courses Previously Taken Overall, the students reported intermediate to advanced proficiencies with software except for higher end applications such as web page creation and audio/video. Table 154 reflects the proficiency levels students identified.

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314 Table 148. Case 6: Student Self Reported Technical Proficiencies Software Type Beginner Intermediate Advanced Word Processors 0 3 11 Spreadsheets 7 4 3 Presentation software 4 5 5 Email 0 2 12 Chat 4 3 7 Web Page Creation 5 7 2 Audio & Video programs 7 7 0 Web Browsers 3 4 7 In order to obtain additional baseline information, students were asked to report what synchronous tools they had previously used. The results for this case are presented in Table 148. As can be seen, textual chat had been used by about half of the students, bu t with most other applications there was little previous experience before this course. Table 149. Case 6: Student Report of Tool Use in Synchronous Sessions Tools Used Frequency Text chat 7 Two-way audio 1 Two-way video Application sharing 4 A full synchronous online classroom 1

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315 Appendix F: Student Reflections Table 150. Case 5: Student Open Ended Comments on the Use of Synchronous Software Positive Comments Negative Comments Legend: Click to Talk – Aqua, Other tools are better – Purple, Scheduling – Orange, Video conferencing – Blue, Outside the scope of Elluminate Live! ™ – Green With the lack of screen sharing, I found Elluminate Live! ™ no better than a conference call and instant messaging. Actually it was worse, the click to talk technology is very weak and the webpages hung up sometimes. Elluminate Live! ™ was great even for the students who sat side by side and discuss their ideas. Elluminate Live! ™ can be a nice feature for the university to have. It is very user frie ndly, similar to that instant messaging but with a talk feature. The problems lay with the fixed hours and Elluminate Live! ™'s availability after hours. Th e hours are not flexible. It can be more useful if everyone can meet at the assign time. Because most of the students have prof essional careers and personal obligations, it maybe difficult to get everyone together at the assigned weekly meeting time. The limited hours are due to the current trend in software companies trying to charge a usage fee on an ongoing basis. Not only do you have to purchase a computer program but now you also have to pay a continuing license fee. I think that is outrageous. I understand the need for profitability but there has to be some concern for the customer. I think any tool that can be used to help students communicate is a benefit in my opinion. We must remember that we had students all over Fl orida and even Puerto Rico. Could that have even been imagined without this technology? I don't think so. FEED S is distant learning, but it is an "isolated" distant learning. With Elluminate Live! ™, the students in remote loca tions can take an active part in the class. Excellent. (Response to above comment) Good point. Although the software is not perfect, it did help a lot during the semester. I think students who are in remote locations were highly benefited by the software. As any software in the market it needs some improvement and we as customers are giving the tips to enhance the application. (Response to above comment) I agree. I am in a remote location and I found it benefici al. The software is good and useful, but not perfect. I am sure that improvements will continue to be made to the so ftware, like any software, and as a result be much more useful in the future. It may even

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316 incorporate video conferencing f eatures in a future version as well as other improvements. I was a work for most of the Elluminate Live! ™ sessions. My office is basically and open cubical. This made it hard for me to communicate through Elluminate Live ™ verbally because I would need to speak rather loudly and I would disturb the other people in my cubical. For this reason I stopped using the microphone and I would just listen and type my responses to everyone. This made getting real communication and decision making very difficult. For this reason I think it is great especially to save the far off classmates the expense of long distance phone calls. I just think it would be better if you could talk at once and did not have to wait just to hear someone affirm what you said. (Response to same comment above) You make a very good point. I think that any tool th at allows better communication between team members is a real asset. Since our teams are made up of people from diffe rent locations, Elluminate Live! ™ is useful in allowing real-time communication and facilitates better sharing of in formation. Conference calls and email are two other ex cellent tools for team communications. If I was making the purchasing decision, I'm not sure I would recommend purchasing Elluminate Live! ™. I think our team was successful using mostly email. I'm not sure that Elluminate Live! ™ provides enough additional capability to make its purchase worthwhile. Elluminate Live! ™ is useful, but does it really provide added value over email/conference ca lls. Sounds like we need a trade off analysis. I agree Elluminate Live! ™ is a good tool, but like most of my colleagues are saying it has its problems. In my case I'm in Puerto Rico and it was really hard sometimes to be at the scheduled hours. Also, some programs like MSN Messenger have the capabilities of Web Cam, live audio and also typing board. It maybe not that advance like Elluminate Live! ™ were you can actually write with a pen if you have the pen board, but it is FREE. It is possible to add a lot of people to a conversation and share files and is a lot faster than Elluminate Live! ™. Sometimes when I tried to speak it froze my computer and block everyone else in my group. There are more software available in the market that probably are cheaper and more efficient that can help a lot to FEEDS and local students to communicate in a more efficient and productive way. I found Elluminate Live! ™ to be a very interesting tool. Even though people are right by saying that it is no different to a conference call, there is a lot of useful tools like the graphing calculator, the board and many other that we did not really get the chance to use. My group opted to meet in person since we did not have access to the threshold software so I can't really say mu ch about it. Only that it is a step towards improvement in educational tools for distant learners. I think that Elluminate Live! ™ is a good tool for communication. However I find easier to use one of the messengers in which, you can have voice and camera. The idea is really nice behind the Elluminate Live! ™ but it is more complicated that other options for time constraints.

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317 When three or more people are trying to Elluminate Live! ™, unless they have different co lors it gets confusing. Other point is that two people can overlap what they write. This happened a lot to our group. And in that case you have to move your text or write again. Like everthing new technology,there are some bugs in the early stage. It is important to use a demo type approach to exercise in real world in orde r to identify all the bugs. While Ellimunate offers a good option to communication it still has to be fine tuned. You may have a setting issue with your computer hardware. I don't recall having hangup issues at USF, at work or at home. Maybe I was just lucky. Overall, I also did not like the click-to-talk feature. I have found Threshold very useful. But, I agree with Michelle. It would be better if everyone within a group could be on a conference call within Threshold. This would make communicating much more effective. I think Threshold combine with some type of conferencing would be ideal. Our team found it beneficial to meet for each quarter and develop our decisions. Having communication capabilities as part of the simulation package would have helped by reducing the number of meetings. Elluminate Live! ™ was the sec ond option to meeting in person, however it lacked the video conferencing capabilities. Click and talk is better, when you talk there is no interuption. For me this was the only draw back to the program. If the program allowed a conference call instead of a one person at a time protocal this would have been a perfecct tool for use to use. For me this was the only draw back to the program. If the program allowed a conference call instead of a one person at a time protocal this would have been a perfecct tool for use to use. Elluminate Live! ™ has been very useful for our team. One of our team member is in Orlando and the other one is in California. Elluminate Live! ™ in conjunction with e-mail, and phone made our work less complicated. Thanks for this initiative. Interesting perspective. I guess it does allow you to "take the floor", without having othe rs interrupt your train of thought. I can see this software working where members live in different geographic areas. I liked the whiteboard feature, although it did have limitations. The headphones should be wireless and more comfortable, but I'm sure you can buy that for a price. Overall, it's better than nothing. The Elluminate Live! ™ system has worked very well for our group. We have used the sessions to plan our Threshold strategies and to discuss our group project. However, I do not like the fact that one has to press the “talk button” to speak. If everyone could co mmunicate similar to a conference would be great.

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318 I agree I hated the talk button I think Elluminate Live! ™ is a good option to work in virtual groups. The software obviously has some limitations but we can not pretend that it is perfect at this time. I guess that for the next version of the software it will have a teleconferencing feature and others. Probably people who take this class next year will have those options. We (my team) used Elluminate Live! ™d all the time for our meetings and we could share the information we needed. I actually didn't feel uncomfortable with the headphones although I think headphones a nd other devices are not relevant when evaluating the Elluminate Live! ™ software itself. I thought Elluminate Live! ™ was a nice alternative to email, however, the time limitation really hindered my group from using it. The one time we made plans to meet on Elluminate Live! ™ over the weekend, it took half the session to get everyone logged on Also, the click to talk feature made communicating difficult I agree. I see the usefulness in Elluminate Live! ™, but I encountered various problems using it. As you know, I would get locked up in Elluminate Live! ™ and need to reboot my computer. Each time, this wasted ten minutes. I am just not sold on Elluminate Live! ™ being better than email/conference calls. Before purchasing Elluminate Live! ™, I think someone needs to explain the advantages of Elluminate Live! ™ versuses email/conference calls. Why add a ne w tool if it isn't better than existing technology??? They have a new version alrea dy, and will probably be used as early as next semester. The FEEDS lady did not go into the specifics of what new feat ures are included, but I would expect at least some of what we suggested will be included in the new version. Yes, I also spoke with her a nd she did say that they are incorporating video conferencing in the next version as well as other new features. Yes, even though if the headphones were not working you still have the instant messanger and blackboard options to continue the discussion as we did last week.Learning: If something has limitations, look the positive side and it will work for you, then be part of the solution and improvements. The good thing about the Eluminate is that we could type or write on the board, that will be good for engineering discussion in case we need to draw some schematics. Personally I don't like Eluminate as it has a limitation of one person talk at a time. My phone has a teleconference function and our group benefited by making group discussi ons using this feature and of course I have to do a little more dialing job to let everyone in. The "Talk" feature on Elluminate Live! ™ is not so bad, it similar to the Nextel's walkie-talkie feature. This way everyone has to hear what each group member has to say. I really didn’t like the headsets though.

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319 I believe that Elluminate Live! ™ is a great tool. I have used for another class. I thought that discussions could be easily carry, when a meeting was well planned with a specific agenda. I like Elluminate Live! ™ but it is hard to use it for this cla ss because of the fact that Threshold cannot be installed on the computers that we are using. If each group member were able to look at all of the information at the same time, we would not need to meet at all. That's true, I forgot about th at point. It would make life easier if threshold was installed on the lab computers. We would probably be able to use Elluminate Live! ™ more if we all had access to threshold when we were online. I have a labtop but I dont like to bri ng it because it would have to sit in my car when I am at work and I know extreme temps arent really good for it. I agree with the fact that the Thre shold software is useless unless we can use it in multiple locations. I al so understand that they control the usage, and they want to make sure they maximize their profit. I had to buy two copies of the textbook, just so that I could install Threshold at work and at home. I think the Threshold is a very good and useful program. They have to do like because of copy right problem. By the way Elluminate Live! ™ is very useful too. One thing I don't like about Elluminate Live! ™ is time limit. We can use it only when we have class. So we can not discuss more on our holiday. True, true, true... We should be ab le to use the Elluminate Live! ™ anytime we need so it would be easier to meet for those groups that can't do that personally. I found it very usefull, it has the advantages of instant messages plus conference call. I think it was a great tool for groups this semester I agree with you. Some may critizice the click to talk when only one person can talk, this is due to the lack of patience and this is one of the reason that meetings are waste of time. Everyone want to talk at the same time. We are humans and Elluminate Live! ™ was a challenge to our patience. It is great when you can hear someone else without interruption. Well I don't know if that is becau se of lack of patiente or something else but I do think that it is nice when everybody has his/her opportunity to talk (with out interruptions) and then listen to every one's ideas. I'd leave the "click to talk feature as it is now. I got to say that the overall pe rformance of the Package is very good, but the only problem with is the time. For distance learning students, meeting on the right time is a cumbersome. For example, I was on the road twice and I could not meet on the ellumince session. This meeting was a waste for me. It would be much nice, if we can post our meetings summary in a folder, wh ere we can go back and refer to

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320 them. Also, I hate interactive teaching style. I personally think it is bogus. It may help some to understand sometimes but it is not optimal. I have been seeing it over and over. I believe in competition but not sharing. Get the best out of you for learning. Some might argue, that in companies sharing and team effort is important and I ag ree with that. But that is in companies which, is different from academia. That is my opinion The Work Groups option in the blackboard menu is very useful when working in groups. You can upload files and have discussions with the members of your group without disturbing others. I think this option could be a good complement when groups are assigned in a class. Blackboard is very useful however it has some of the same limitations that Elluminate Li ve! ™, no video, plus others like voice conferencing. My recommendations like many other students would be that Elluminate Live! ™ look into adding video conferencing to their software. True. We have been using this option with our game. It has been great for the rest of the members to read and make changes to the decisions as soon as you send them. Part of our education at USF should be to learn software that we will use in the "real world". I'm almost positive there is no company out there that uses Elumniate as th eir collaboration software. Every company uses conf. calls and software such as Sametime, WebEx, Netmeeting, Placeware, or eRoom to collaborate and screen share. Learning one or more of these tools in the classroom will give students a leg up when real jobs come around. You are probably correct that companies don't use Elluminate Live! ™. I guess the other software packag es may be too cost prohibitive. The positive aspect about illuminate is that it integrates different communication tools into 1 software. Therefore if one where to overlook the initial development glitches, it is safe to say that overall the program provides a convenient method of file sharing and communication. However it would be nice if illuminate where to incorporate a videoconferencing feature that would allow users to see each other. One of the problems I see with Elluminate Live! ™ is that it does not offer much more than programs such as Microsoft Messenger or AOL’s Instant Message Both of those programs offer video conferencing with sound, which, in my opinion is better than Elluminate Live! ™ The best part of those two programs is that they are free. They are both secure and can get the job done just as well as Elluminate Live! ™. I believe the video conferenci ng would also help out a lot because you get to see teammates. We use video conferencing at work and we find the communication is much better than having a teleconference because you can

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321 see body language. I agree with you. I think it would be very usefull to have video conference. Though video Cameras are relatively inexpensive and can be used. A lot of times, it is not effective in real world meetings. Everyone has to be connected to a computer with a cameras. It is still much cheaper and easier with a simply telephone conference call. I don't know how feasible is to have the threshold competitor installed in the co mputer lab but I think it would be a great idea for improving efficiency during the sessions. Having the posibility of runing the simulation during the meeting could help in the decision making process, even more if there is a posibility of sharing th e image of the game screens among the team members. I think that one of the advantages of Elluminate Live! ™ is that only your group is in the session. At least in the case when we use it. Elluminate Live! ™ can be improve d in several ways: better speed, better writing areas and more user friendly.

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322 Appendix G: End of Semester Instructor Survey Results Delivery of the Course Usefulness of the SWBCS Tools Which, tools did you feel were most useful? Why? 1. I felt to VOIP was very useful and meaningful to the students. The interactive features were very useful and the chat was particularly important particularly when the VOIP became inactive. 2. Chat and VOIP allowed good one-to-many and one-to-one interactions. Breakout rooms were excellent to allow project groups priv acy to discuss their own projects. 3. Student Interaction 4. All of above. 5. The two way VOIP allowed for verbal explanations from the instructor and Q/A with the students. It also allowed for more networking and sharing of ideas among the students. The application sharing was also helpful for teaching students how to navigate specific websites. The polling allowed for more active participation, practice and formative feedback. Teaching Strategies What teaching strategies did you use that you felt were most effective? Why? 1. The interactive content with case study material s and website review were very effective. 2. I primarily used Elluminate Live! ™ to allow my project groups to meet to share information and make decisions regarding their projects. 3. Case Study method. Students learned from e ach other not just from the instructor. 4. Audio-enhanced lecture Small group breakouts Quizzing Whiteboard 5. Mini lecture presented more difficult concepts that would be hard to master through reading. practice problems gave students and opportunity to apply what they learned and receive feedback group work used breakout rooms for students to work on their group projects. This allowed them to use the 2 way VOIP and work more efficiently Q/A gave students the opportunity to clarify the muddiest point. What teaching strategies did you use that you felt were least effective? Why? 1. I used groups instead of meeting with the entire class and I think in the future I would meet with larger groups or the entire class. 2. None 3. Large group discussions What teaching strategies did your students enjoy the most? Why? 1. Student enjoyed the ability to connect both to their peers and the instructor. 2. Groups varied in how much they liked to meet using Elluminate Live! ™. About half of the groups chose other methods of meeting when given the option. 3. Student interaction 4. Breakout groups (although they had trouble getting started) Audio-enhanced lectures 5. The ability to practice problems, ask questions and get immediate feedback. They also liked having the time to work with their groups to complete the group project using the SWBCS. What teaching strategies did you use that you felt your students enjoyed the least? Why? 1. The flexibility of moving around screen views was difficult for many of the students. They hadn't had experience with working with multiple windows and when attempting to integrate the webpush feature, they felt lost when they couldn't find the Elluminate Live! ™ window. 2. None 3. quizzes -because they did not understand the ob jective (because I was not able to communicate with them due to technical issues)

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323 4. They didn't like the amount of start-up time it took to get everyone logged in and mikes tested. Realizations vs. Expectations In what ways was your delivery of synchronous sessions different from your expectations? 1. I think that the synchronous sessions were more va luable than I had anticip ated to student feeling of connectedness and content exposure. 2. I thought the students would enjoy using it more than they did. It seemed a little slow to log on. Students reported some difficulties getting logged in. 3. None 4. It was quite easy to use the tools with the producers' help. The PowerPoint slides looked very good in Elluminate Live! ™. I liked the ability to push websites to students. The quiz feature offers a great way to uncover mis-conceptions by students. Students were a bit "shy" about using the mic I'm sure that would change over time. 5. It took longer to learn the software than I exp ected. There were more technical problems than I expected but we were able to get through them. All in all, for a pilot, I think it went very well. Challenges What significant challenges or obstacles did you encounter during the synchronous sessions of this course? How did you overcome these challenges? 1. Student download of software was difficult for some. Also, when technical problems cropped up during a session their was no one to call to offer on the spot support. Also, the tight scheduling of Elluminate Live! ™ did not offer student flexibility to meet before hand to test the equipment and familiarize themselves. Students also reported need ing some training prior to the use as a content tool. 2. None 3. Forgetting to turn my mike off. Learning to turn the mike off. 4. Technical issues -could not conn ect at the last minute. Producers took over, but needed a more systematic plan for how to deal with last-minute glitches. Some students had the wrong signin ID due to confusion between Blackboard ID and WebCT ID. Some microphones did not work -students were able to chat but did not feel as much a part of the class. Was very difficult to bring notes from breakout room back into the Main room for discussion. Although I guess this is possible, it seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. Scheduling was a challenge for courses that are completely online and do not have a scheduled meeting time. Some students tried to monopolize the mic -same as in a regular class. 5. Technical problems with getting students logged in were handled by the producer. By the second session we had everyone on. Effectiveness How did you measure the effectiveness of your synchronous sessions? Using this measure, to what extent were the synchronous sessions effective? 1. Student feedback and responses on open-ended questions. Students really enjoyed and appreciated the tool and recommended continued use in subsequent semesters 2. Since use was connected to project work, the usefulness of the system could be seen by how much the groups used it when given other options. About half the groups freely chose to use it. I would say this was moderately successful. 3. Testing on Blackboard 4. Students enjoyed the sessions and were able to learn new concepts. The polling, quizzing, and small groups provided excellent ways for me to communicate with the students and gauge their understanding as the class progressed.

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324 5. Faculty and student satisfaction both expressed ve rbal satisfaction with the tool. Very effective student learning the students ma stered the material and produced good projects Very effective Support What support and assistance did you receive during your delivery of this course for using the SWBCS? 1. Prior training session. Producer should be available during session delivery. 2. Producer assisted me for first 2 weeks. 3. T/A help and connection help with the students. 4. The support was excellent -couldn't have worked without VITAL support. I"m sure I'd be able to do it alone after a few more sessions, but it was great to have the support in trying a new technology. 5. Support from the trainers training sessions and one-one sessions. They participated in the first pilot class and gave very helpful feedback on how to better facilitate the session and use the software. How can the training and support provided for synchronous online course delivery be improved? 1. Students paid for synchronous support time to ensure availability during delivery times. 2. Training was pretty good. I needed to participate in some Elluminate Live! ™ sessions prior to using it, which, I did not do because I was too bus y to spend that time. However, I can see that I would have had more confidence and more creative ideas had I used it some before the course began. I'll be better prepared now. 3. Formal class room training to learn the ins and outs of what Elluminate Live! ™ can do. 4. Need some plan for last minute glitches in technical issues -such as a phone number to call, etc. Need more systematic "releases" -postings for th e students as to what th ey need to get ready, sign-on, test equipment, etc. 5. Provide more training on how to be the moderator and include practice sessions. Future Plans Further Course Development If a SWBCS was available to you in the future, what changes/refinements would you make for this course, based on your experiences with the SWBCS? 1. I would make the specifics of tool use more cl ear in the syllabus and pr ovide practice workshops for students. 2. I would assign each group some virtual office time to use the system. I would also try to use it for some other purpose as well as group activity. 3. Voice operated mike for the instructor. 4. I would schedule a couple sessions at the beginning of the class so that the scheduling wouldn't be so challenging. I would let students know in the syllabus that they needed a microphone, speakers, etc., and how to test them out before the online course. I would plan a couple class sessions each semester that were especially appropriate for synchronous delivery (as opposed to asynchronous delivery). 5. I will continue to use the software and would like to add a couple more sessions during the semester. I would like to use it for guest speakers as well.

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325 Overall Perspective on SWBCS Given your overall experiences with this project, would you do this again? 1. I plan to use this in the future. 2. Absolutely. I hope it will be available next fall. 3. Yes hopefully next semester. 4. Yes -I am hoping that there is a solution for next semester. I will definitely use it. The students really enjoyed it and benefited from it. 5. YES! Words of Wisdom What would you tell others (faculty or administrators) about the usefulness of a SWBCS for enhancing your distance or face-to-face courses? 1. This is a great tool that should be explored by any one who wants to use a synchronous portion to a distance delivered course. 2. It is excellent for allowing interactions between prof and students and amongst students when they are located at a distance. I hope to integrate its use into more of my distance courses. 3. Students get the next best thin g to face-to-face teaching. 4. It adds a crucial element of communication. Definite ly enhances an online cour se -I think that if it were available, almost everyone teaching an on line course would use it to some extent -some might use it only once a semester to get to know thei r students -others might teach completely in a synchronous manner. I would use a combination -seeking an appropriate balance of asynchronous/synchronous deliver. 5. The SWBCS is a great addition to web-based an d web-enhanced courses becasue it allows for more faculty-student and student-student interaction without having to travel. SWBCS can be used to actively engage the students in the learning process through discussion, Q/A, practice problems and group work.

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326 Appendix H: Synchronous Web Based Course Observation Instrument This instrument is to be used for observation of recorded synchronous class sessions. The purpose is to determine the overall success of the session based on pe dagogy applied, interaction levels, session structure and learner autonomy. These constructs come from theories of transacti onal distance and social learning. Each section of the instrument has a set of guiding items that should be used as a means of understanding the concepts to be observed. These are only guidelines and may vary from sessions to session as different themes are detected, but these guiding items shou ld help everyone start from the same place. General Session Information 1. Please select your last name to record wh ich, team member is making the observation. _________________________________ Instructions: Please fill out the following information for the session you are observing. 2. Please select the instructor whose class you are observing.____________________ 3. If a producer(s) was present during the session, sel ect them from this list (select all that apply). _________________ 4. If Other, please specify: ___________________ 5. Please select the name, date and time of the course session you are observing: ____________________ 6. Number attending (including instructors and producers): _______________________ 7. Recording observed covers the following time codes (when the session actually started and stopped): __________________________ 8. What URL did you view the recording from (hint: cut and paste the url of the link that opened the recording)? _____________________________________ Notes taken by observer Instructions: Use this area to take notes when observing the recording. Be sure to use time codes when things are important so they can be found and referred to later. The notes taken here will be the basis used for filling out the observation instrument. Good notes will make it easier to record your findings and will require less repeated observa tion of the session later. 9. General Notes: Pedagogy Pedagogy is often defined as the art and science of teaching. It is a rath er vague concept that we shape with our teaching philosophies and strategies It contains many elements, many of which, will be seen in themes discovered during the observations of these synchronou s class sessions. At the end of this study, a solid definition of the pedagogy used in a SWBCS should be formed. The next few sections of the observation matrix will cover Pedagogy. Directly Observable Pedagogical Strategy Instructions: Pedagogical strategies can often be observed in a classroom. Record any strategies you see during the synchronous session by noting the roles the instructor and students played. If you do not see this type of strategy mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here.

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327 10. Instructor lectured – conveyed information thr ough talking or demonstration Direct (telling, lecturing) whole group. ___ Yes ___ No 11. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 12. Instructor used interactive direction with whole group (posing questions and calling for answers) ___ Yes ___ No 13. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 14. Instructor questioned at different levels ___ Yes ___ No 15. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 16. Individual students worked alone ___ Yes ___ No 17. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 18. Students worked in pairs or small groups ___ Yes ___ No 19. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 20. Students acted as a whole class (i e. large class discussion, full cl ass quizzing or polling, lecture, whole class project etc.) ___ Yes ___ No 21. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 22. Other approaches (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Pedagogy Judged Pedagogical Strategy Instructions: Some pedagogical strategies can not be directly observed, but are rather a judgment call. From your experience as a student, an instructor or an instructional designer, record your impression of the following items about pedagogy in this session. Remember the items listed here are just guidelines, record what you see and/or feel! If you do not feel this type of strategy is present mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 23. The teaching strategies utilized tools appropriate for the students’ level of skill with the technology and were well supported ___ Yes ___ No 24. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 25. Teaching methods were appropriate for the content ___ Yes ___ No 26. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 27. Lesson required student thought and participation– explain. ___ Yes ___ No 28. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 29. The teaching strategy included a problem solving activity– explain. ___ Yes ___ No 30. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate

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328 31. The Instructor set cognitive tasks for the students – explain. ___ Yes ___ No 32. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 33. Session required higher order (not route memory or just opinion) and/or critical thinking on the part of the students– explain. ___ Yes ___ No 34. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 35. Other approaches (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Summary of Pedagogy Used Instructions: Use this area to summarize in a few sentences what you observed and recorded above about the pedagogical strategies of the session 36. Summary of Pedagogy Interaction Interaction as defined by Wagner in 1994 is “recipro cal events that require at least two objects and two actions. Interactions occur when thes e objects and events mutually infl uence one another” (Wagner, 1994, p. 8). Moore’s (1989), discussions on interaction between students and content have long been recognized as a critical component of both campus-based and distance education. For purposes of observation during synchronous sessions, a reciprocal event that occurs be tween the learner and the in structor, the learner and another learner, the learne r and the content, and the learner and the interface should be recorded. These should then be categorized as eith er social, academic or technical in teractions based on the definitions below. A=Academic S=Social T=Technology Instructions: When recording interactions, place an X in the Yes or No column if you can make a determination. It is OK to leave rows blank if you do not feel comfortable making a decision (ie. Did not see this but not sure it is applicable). If Yes is chosen, then also mark the type of interaction (A= Academic/content related, S= Socia l/interpersonal, or T = Technical/Problem related). It is possible to have interactions that cover more than one type. If you chose Academic and the interaction is a collaborative one, please note this in the description. Directly Observable Instructor-Learner Interaction Instructions: These are directly observable interactions with the learner that were initiated by the instructor. Use "other" if what you see is not represente d here. If you do not see this type of interaction mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 37. Checks student comprehension ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 38. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 39. Knows and uses student names ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 40. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 41. Responds to students as individuals ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T

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329 42. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 43. Praises students for contributions that deserve commendation ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 44. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 45. Criticizes student ignorance or misundersta nding ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 46. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 47. Encourages questions, involvement, debate and/or feedback ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 48. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 49. Encourages students to answer questions by provided cues and encouragement ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 50. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 51. Other Directly Observable I-L Interactions (Des cription or explanation with approximate time codes) ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T Judged Instructor-Learner Interaction Instructions: These interactions are a bit ha rder to record because they re quire your judgment and are not directly observable. Make a decision based on whether you feel the instructor initiated this type of interaction with the learners. There are three categories of questions in this section, Instructor Questions, Responses and Overall Impressions. If you do not feel this type of interaction took place mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you feel is not represented here. Instructor Questions 52. Instructor feedback is informative ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 53. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate Instructor Responses 54. Instructor listens carefully to student comments and questions ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 55. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 56. Instructor feedback is informative and constructive ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 57. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 58. Instructor answers student questions clearly and directly ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 59. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate Overall Impression 60. Good rapport with students ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 61. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 62. Treats class members equitably ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T

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330 63. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 64. Encourages mutual respect among students ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 65. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 66. Respects diverse points of view ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 67. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 68. Recognizes when students do not understand ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 69. Description or explanation with time codes if appropriate 70. Other Judged I-L Interactions (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Directly Observable LearnerInstructor Instructions: These interactions are learner driven and directly observable. If you see a learner interact with the instructor as noted here, mark yes and then determine what type of interaction it was. If you do not see this type of interaction mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 71. Students ask questions of the instructor ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 72. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 73. Students volunteer information ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 74. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 75. Students present information ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 76. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 77. Student feedback is on topic ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 78. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 79. Other Directly Observable L-I Interactions (Des cription or explanation with approximate time codes) Judged LearnerInstructor Instructions : These interactions are a bit harder to record because they require yo ur judgment and are not directly observable. Make a decision based on whether you feel the learner initiated this type of interaction with the instructor if so, mark yes and then determine what type of interaction it was. If you do not feel this type of interaction took place mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you feel is not represented here. 80. Other Judged L-I Interactions (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Directly Observable LearnerContent

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331 Instructions : Learners can interact with course content in many ways we can directly observe. If you see a learner interact with the content as noted here, mark yes and then determine what type of interaction it was. If you do not see this type of interaction mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 81. Reading ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 82. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 83. Writing (i.e., on whiteboard, in chat, etc.) ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 84. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 85. Presentation (i.e., verbal, graphical, etc.) ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 86. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 87. Discussion ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 88. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 89. Responds ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 90. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 91. Participates in Poll ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 92. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 93. Other Directly Observable L-C Interactions (Des cription or explanation with approximate time codes) Judged LearnerContent Interaction Instructions : These interactions are a bit harder to record because they require yo ur judgment and are not directly observable. Make a decision based on whether you feel the learner initiated this type of interaction with the content if so, mark yes and then determine what type of interaction it was. If you do not feel this type of interaction took place mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you feel is not represented here. 94. Interpret ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 95. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 96. Comprehend ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 97. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 98. React ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 99. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 100. Listening ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 101. Description or explanation with approximate time codes

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332 102. Other Judged L-C Interactions (description or explanation with approximate time codes) Directly Observable LearnerLearner Interaction Instructions : In classes, learners often inte ract with each other. If you see a learner interact with another learner(s) as noted here, mark yes and then determine wh at type of interaction it was. If you do not see this type of interaction mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 103. Students discuss the content of the session with each other (on-task academic conversation) ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 104. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 105. Students engage in conversation that is not related to the subject of the session but is related to the course or other courses (off task academic conversation) ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 106. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 107. Students engage in conversation that is not related to the course (social conversation) ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 108. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 109. Students encourage other students’ questions, involvement, debate and/or feedback ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 110. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 111. Students criticize other students ignorance or misunderstanding ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 112. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 113. Students use each others names ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 114. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 115. Other Directly Observable L-L Interactions (Des cription or explanation with approximate time codes) Judged LearnerLearner Interactions Instructions : These interactions are a bit harder to record because they require yo ur judgment and are not directly observable. Make a decision based on whether you feel the learner initiated this type of interaction with another learner if so, mark yes and then determine what type of interaction it was. If you do not feel this type of interaction took place mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you feel is not represented here. 116. Students answer questions clearly and directly ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 117. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 118. Students maintain a good rapport with each other ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T

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333 119. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 120. Students show mutual respect for each other (i. e. listening carefully, responding constructively, etc.) ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 121. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 122. Students treat class members equitably ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 123. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 124. Other Judged L-L Interactions (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Directly Observable LearnerInterface Interaction Instructions : Whenever we use technology to teach, it is possible and sometimes necessary for learners to interact with the technology. This is called interface interaction and it can be both positive and negative in nature. If you see a learner interact with the interface as noted here, mark yes and describe the interaction noting if it was positive or negative. If you do not see this type of interaction mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 125. Work on whiteboard ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 126. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 127. Use microphone ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 128. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 129. Exchange messages in chat ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 130. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 131. Raises hand ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 132. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 133. Completes a poll ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 134. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 135. Uses emoticons ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 136. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 137. Troubles connecting ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 138. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 139. Troubles with microphone ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 140. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 141. Unable to use tools ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T

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334 142. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 143. Other Directly Observable L-Inte rface Interactions (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Judged LearnerIn terface Interaction Instructions : Along with interface interaction we can see, th ere is sometimes interactions that we judge. These interactions are a bit harder to record because they require your judgment and are not directly observable. Make a decision based on whether you feel the learner initiated this type of interaction with the interface if so, mark yes and describe the interaction noting if it was positive or negative. If you do not feel this type of interaction took place mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you feel is not represented here. 144. Did any students voice frustration with the interface? ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 145. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 146. Shows emotion ___ Yes ___ No ___ A ___ S ___ T 147. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 148. Other Judged L-Interface Interacti ons (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Summary of Interactions Instructions: Based on the information you entered in this section and what you know about interactions in education, summarize in a few sentences what you observed and recorded above about the interactions that took place in the session. Then, note how interactive you felt this session was overall. 149. Summary of Interactions Structure Structure contains multiple dimensions, such as course organization, Course design and course delivery. It is determined by the educational philosophy of those involved with creating and maintaining the course. In part, it expresses the rigidity or fl exibility of the course’s educationa l objectives, teaching strategies and evaluations methods and therefore describes the extent to which, course components can be responsive to the individual learner’s needs. Structure of a course is directly related to the pedagogical strategies an instructor incorporates into his/her course. For a more difficult or risky strategy, more structure is usually needed. For example, instructors can provide structure in a SWBCS by having students do pre-work, making sure instructions are clearly defined for the activities, have visual or textual materials (i.e. slides or instructional text) prepared that will be used in the session, have planned for proper support to make the session successful yet be flexible enough to change plans if needed. Overall, preplanning is the key to successful structure in a SWBCS. Directly Observable Classroom Management Instructions : While observing this session, note different methods that the instructor used to manage the classroom. If you see those listed below, mark yes and describe what was done. If you do not see a management approach mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here.

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335 150. Instructor began class on time in an orderly, organized fashion ___ Yes ___ No 151. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 152. Instructor digressed often from the main topic ___ Yes ___ No 153. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 154. Instructor had readily available the materials and equipment necessary to complete the activity ___ Yes ___ No 155. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 156. Instructor gave prompt attention to individual problems ___ Yes ___ No 157. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 158. Instructor maintained student attention ___ Yes ___ No 159. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 160. Instructor paused to allow students to interact and answer questions (wait time). ___ Yes ___ No 161. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 162. Provided opportunities for dialogue about the activity with peers and/or instructor ___ Yes ___ No 163. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 164. Instructor allowed opportunity for individual expression ___ Yes ___ No 165. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 166. Instructor provided practice time and sufficient time for completion ___ Yes ___ No 167. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 168. Other Directly Observable classroom management (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Judged Classroom Management Instructions : Judging classroom management is more difficult than direct observation. So, while observing this session, make a decision based on whether you feel the instructor used the classroom management methods listed below. If appropriate, mark yes and describe the method used. If you do not see a management approach mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 169. Instructor appeared well prepar ed for class ___ Yes ___ No 170. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 171. Instructor had a clear organizational plan ___ Yes ___ No 172. Description or explanation with approximate time codes

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336 173. Instructor clearly organized and explained assignments ___ Yes ___ No 174. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 175. Instructor provided clear directions or procedures ___ Yes ___ No 176. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 177. Instructor provided sufficient wait time (i. e. gave students enough time to respond to and ask questions) ___ Yes ___ No 178. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 179. Skills required during the session were not beyond reasonable expectations for this course and/or these students (were they struggling with any skills? Why?) ___ Yes ___ No 180. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 181. Instructor maintained credibility and control (i. e. Spoke about course cont ent with confidence and authority, used authority in classroom to create an environment conducive to learning, etc.) ___ Yes ___ No 182. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 183. Instructor Is able to admit error and/or insufficient knowledge ___ Yes ___ No 184. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 185. Instructor respects constructive criticism ___ Yes ___ No 186. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 187. Instructor responds to distractions effectively yet constructively ___ Yes ___ No 188. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 189. Other Judged classroom management (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Directly Observable Content Organization Instructions : While observing this session, note different methods that the instructor used to organize content. If you see those listed below, mark yes and describe the content organization approach. If you do not see an organization approach mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 190. Previewed lecture/discussion content ___ Yes ___ No 191. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 192. Introduced organization of the lecture ___ Yes ___ No 193. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 194. Explained the goal or objective for the period ___ Yes ___ No

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337 195. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 196. Reviewed prior class material to prepare students for the content to be covered ___ Yes ___ No 197. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 198. Provided internal summaries and transitions ___ Yes ___ No 199. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 200. Summarized and distilled main points at the end of class (formally) ___ Yes ___ No 201. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 202. Previewed by connecting to future classes (hinting at things to come) ___ Yes ___ No 203. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 204. Instructor incorporated student responses ___ Yes ___ No 205. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 206. Integrates assigned course material into class pr esentation (readings, web sites, etc.) ___ Yes ___ No 207. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 208. Relates current course content to students’ general education ___ Yes ___ No 209. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 210. Makes course content relevant with references to “real world” applications ___ Yes ___ No 211. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 212. Explicitly states relationships among various topics and facts/theory ___ Yes ___ No 213. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 214. Explains difficult terms, concepts, or problems in more than one way ___ Yes ___ No 215. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 216. Presents background of ideas and concepts ___ Yes ___ No 217. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 218. Presents up-to-date developments in the field ___ Yes ___ No 219. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 220. Other Directly Observed Content Organization (Des cription or explanation with approximate time codes)

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338 Judged Content Organization Instructions : Judging content organization is more difficult than direct observation. So, while observing this session, make a decision based on whether you feel the instructor used the content organization methods listed below. If appropriate, mark yes and describe the method used. If you do not see a management approach mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 221. Introduction captured attention ___ Yes ___ No 222. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 223. Main ideas are clear and specific ___ Yes ___ No 224. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 225. Sufficient variety was provided to support information ___ Yes ___ No 226. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 227. Relevancy of main ideas were clear ___ Yes ___ No 228. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 229. Other Judged Content Organization (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Directly Observable Presentation Instructions : While observing this session, note different methods that the instructor used to for presentation. If you see those listed below, mark yes and describe the presentation approach. If you do not see a presentation approach mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 230. Articulation and pronunciation was clear ___ Yes ___ No 231. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 232. Absence of verbal pauses (speech fillers) ___ Yes ___ No 233. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 234. Volume was sufficient to be heard ___ Yes ___ No 235. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 236. Varied pace ___ Yes ___ No 237. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 238. Included illustrations ___ Yes ___ No 239. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 240. Presented views other than own when appropriate ___ Yes ___ No 241. Description or explanation with approximate time codes

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339 242. Visuals were clear and well organized (large and legible) ___ Yes ___ No 243. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 244. Visual aids were easily read ___ Yes ___ No 245. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 246. Other Directly Observation Presentation (Descriptio n or explanation with approximate time codes) Judged Presentation Instructions : Judging Presentation is more difficult than direct observation. So, while observing this session, make a decision based on whether you feel the instructor presentation method are listed below. If appropriate, mark yes and describe the method used. If you do not see a presentation approach mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if wh at you see is not represented here. 247. Instructor spoke extraneously ___ Yes ___ No 248. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 249. Effective voice quality ___ Yes ___ No 250. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 251. Rate of delivery was appropriate ___ Yes ___ No 252. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 253. Communicates a sense of confidence, enthusiasm and excitement toward content ___ Yes ___ No 254. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 255. Speech is neither too formal or too casual ___ Yes ___ No 256. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 257. Other Directly Observation Presentation (Descriptio n or explanation with approximate time codes) Summary of Structure Instructions: Based on the information you entered in this section and what you know about structure, summarize in a few sentences what you observed and re corded above about the stru cture of this session. Then, note how structured you felt this session was overall. 258. Structure Summary Learner Autonomy Learner autonomy is about student’s taking more control over their learning. This does not mean that autonomous learning is synonyms with word such as self-instruction, se lf-access, self-study self-education, or even distance learning. These terms basically describe various ways and degrees of learning by yourself, whereas autonomy refers to abilities and attitudes. Many scholars feel that the autonomous learner

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340 understands the purpose of learning explicitly accepts respon sibility for learning, sh ares in the setting of learning goals, takes initiatives in planning and execu ting learning activities, and regularly reviews learning and evaluate its effectiveness (cf. Holec 1981, L ittle 1991). Saba and Shear determined that learner autonomy was comprised of both independence and interdependence. The theory of transactional distance uses learner autonomy as a variable affecting the psychological distance between the learner and the instructor or the learner and other learners. Therefore it is important to examine how pedagogical strategies used in the SWBCS account for learner autonomy. This can most easily be done by examining the roles and relationships that all participants have with each other, but most specifically, the ro les of the instructor and the students. Directly Observable Learner Autonomy Instructions : While observing this session, note different ways learners takes control over his/her own learning. If you see those listed below, mark yes and describe the learner’s approach. If you do not see an autonomous approach mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 259. Activities such as self-guided reading, participatio n in groups, electronic dialogues, or reflective writing activities were used in this session ___ Yes ___ No 260. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 261. Instructor utilized dialogue with learners ___ Yes ___ No 262. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 263. Students are given options on how they will interact and learn the material ___ Yes ___ No 264. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 265. Learning was “primarily” independent or interdependent, not dependent on the instructor ___ Yes ___ No 266. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 267. Students take noticeable responsibility for various d ecisions associated with the learning in this session ___ Yes ___ No 268. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 269. Students discover information that they need for the session rather than being provided all of it ___ Yes ___ No 270. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 271. The discussion in groups was dominated by one or two people ___ Yes ___ No 272. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 273. Students ask a lot of productive questions ___ Yes ___ No 274. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 275. Students who struggle with the technology boun ce back and become productive members of the class ___ Yes ___ No

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341 276. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 277. Other Directly Observed Learner Autonomy (Des cription or explanation with approximate time codes) Judged Learner Autonomy Instructions : Judging learner autonomy is more difficult than direct observation. So, while observing this session, make a decision based on whether you feel the learner took control of his/her own learning in the following ways. If appropriate, mark yes and describe the method used. If you do not see a learning autonomy approach mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 278. Strategy used provides for multiple learning styles ___ Yes ___ No 279. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 280. Strategy used allows for learner independen ce and/or interdepen dence ___ Yes ___ No 281. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 282. Students seem to have positive attitudes about this learning experience ___ Yes ___ No 283. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 284. Students seem to enjoy discussion of ideas ___ Yes ___ No 285. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 286. Instructor provides challenges that students seem to enjoy ___ Yes ___ No 287. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 288. Other Judged Learner Autonomy (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Summary of Learner Autonomy Instructions : Based on the information you entered in this section and what you know about learner autonomy, summarize in a few sentences what you observed and recorded above about the learner autonomy of this session. Then, note how you felt the learners took responsibility for their own learning during this session. 289. Learner Autonomy Summary Tools Tools are available in a SWBCCS wh ich, are somewhat unique. Therefore it is important that we examine which, tools are used and why. For this purpose we will be examining use of the following: Textual Chat, VOIP, Breakout Rooms, Whiteboard, Shared Browse r, Application Sharing, Private Messaging, Pace meter, Hand Raising, Polling, Emoticons, Step away f eature, Quizzing, as well as any other tool use that catches the eye. Directly Observable Tool Use Instructions : Please note the tools that were used during the session.

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342 290. Textual Chat ___ Yes ___ No 291. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 292. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) Audio ___ Yes ___ No 293. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 294. Breakout Rooms ___ Yes ___ No 295. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 296. Whiteboard ___ Yes ___ No 297. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 298. Shared Browser ___ Yes ___ No 299. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 300. Application Sharing ___ Yes ___ No 301. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 302. Private Messaging ___ Yes ___ No 303. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 304. Pace Meter ___ Yes ___ No 305. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 306. Hand Raising ___ Yes ___ No 307. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 308. Polling ___ Yes ___ No 309. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 310. Emoticons ___ Yes ___ No 311. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 312. Step away feature ___ Yes ___ No 313. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 314. Quizzing ___ Yes ___ No 315. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 316. How often were the tools used? – describe ( ie. Used extensively, regularly, minimally, etc.)

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343 317. A variety of the available tools were used to present materials ___ Yes ___ No 318. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 319. Other Directly Observable Tool Use (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Judged Tool Use Instructions: Judging tool use is more difficult than direct observation. So, while observing this session, make a decision based on how you feel the tools were used. If appropriate, mark yes and describe the method used. If you do not see a tool use mark No, do not leave it blank. Use "other" if what you see is not represented here. 320. Use of tools was effective ___ Yes ___ No 321. Description or explanation with approximate time codes 322. Other Judged Tool Use (Description or explanation with approximate time codes) Summary of Tool Use Instructions: Based on the information you entered in this section and what you know about the tools in a SWBCS, summarize in a few sentences what you observed and recorded above about the use of tools in this session. Then, note your feelings about the use of tools was during this session. 323. Tool Use Summary Success Success will be hard to define as it is subjective and depends greatly on the observers perspectives. For this reason the observation instrument will collect the st rengths, weaknesses and overall perspectives of the session. A summary of any thoughts about the success of the session as seen by the observer or mentioned by any participants can be included in the summary section. This will help to esta blish the success of the session and overall success of the how the course uses the SWBCS will be gleaned from the observations of multiple sessions as well as instructor, producer and student perceptions obtained from additional instruments. Judged Overall Strengths and Weaknesses observations Instructions: Judging success difficult and subjective.. So, while observing this session, make a decision based on how you feel. What were the strengths and the weaknesses of the session? Record your thoughts in the space provided. 324. What strengths were observed? 325. What weaknesses were observed? Summary of Session Success Instructions: Based on the information you entered about the strengths and weaknesses of this session and what you know about education and SWBCS, summarize in a few sentences how successful you felt this session was. 326. Success of the session

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344 Appendix I: Producer Focus Group Protocol Producer focus groups or individual interviews were conducted at the end of the study to determine if the plans originally made were successf ul. These sessions were either cond ucted in a face-to-face setting or using Elluminate Live! ™ Live! ™. The following is the protocol that was used for these sessions. The protocol addresses the following categories: A. General information about the focus group B. Background information about producers C. Overall impressions on using a SWBCS for teaching D. Pedagogical strategies that the instructors chose to use E. How successful were the strategies F. Usability of the SWBCS and Problems encountered G. Thoughts on future use of SWBCS for teaching H. Words of wisdom A. General information about focus group 1. Do you mind if this is recorded for later review? __Yes ___ No 2. (unless there are No answers, start recording here) 3. Date and time of session __________________________________ 4. Who is present? _________________________________________ 5. Have you provided informed consent for this rese arch project yet? If not, please take just a moment to read this (I will push/send a web page to you – online http://www.surveymonkey.co m/s.asp?u=91476612535 ) and provide consent. B. Background information about producers 1. Describe your previous experience (before the pilot study) with online learning 2. Training was offered before the semester began. Did you participate? If so, which sessions did you attend? i. Face-to-face Orientation ii. Interactive Lecturing with Elluminate Live! ™ (Horizonlive) iii. Active Learning with Elluminate Live! ™ (Horizonlive) iv. Working with Groups using Elluminate Live! ™ 3. Besides the training and experience provided by the pilot project, have you had any training or experiences in using synchronous tools in an online course before? If yes, what were those experiences? i. Synchronous chat ii. Instant messaging iii. Satellite or TV classes (one way video, maybe in conjunction with a phone bridge) iv. One-Way Audio v. Audiographics vi. Two-way audio or video such as ITV or PictureTel vii. Online groupware viii. Others? 4. What other experience might have helped you with this project? 5. What was your relationship/arrangement w ith the instructors that you assisted? 6. How often did you meet with the faculty members during the semester to work on synchronous? 7. What were the major duties that you performed for the faculty members? 8. In your judgment, will the instructors be able to do these things on their own now or will they still need some technical assistance? C. Overall impressions on using a SWBCS for teaching 1. What are the strengths of SWBCS for teaching? 2. What are the weaknesses of SWBCS for teaching?

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345 D. Pedagogical strategies that the instructors chose to use 1. In the sessions in which you assisted, describe some of the teaching strategies that were used [lecturing, group work, active learni ng, case studies, polling or Q/A, etc.] 2. Did you practice these strategies with the instructor before using them? 3. What techniques were employed to help build a learning community and reduce feelings of isolation? 4. How was interaction with students encouraged and how did the instructor get them to interact with each other? E. How successful were the strategies 1. Which strategies did you feel were most successful? Why? 2. Which strategies did you feel were least successful? Why? 3. Given the content and the students, were th ese the best strategies to have used? F. Usability of the SWBCS and problems encountered 1. What problems have you encountered with the software? 2. How have you solved them? 3. What tools did you use? How frequently? 4. What tools worked well? 5. What tools did not work well? G. Thoughts on future use of SWBCS for teaching 1. Are there specific aspects about the use of SWBCS in teaching that you are really excited about? 2. Are there other advantages you foresee with using SWBCS for online delivery of courses in comparison to a f ace-to-face delivery? In comparison with an asynchronous (nonblended) online delivery? 3. Are there other challenges you foresee with using SWBCS for online delivery of courses in the future? H. Words of wisdom 1. Do you have any "lessons learned" that you would like to share with new producers or instructors planning on using SWBCS?

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End Page About the Author Shauna J. Schullo holds a position as the Assistan t Director for Instructional Technology in the Center for 21st Century Teaching Excellence at the University of South Florida (USF). Before this she was the Director of VITAL Services in the Florid a Center for Instructional Technology at USF. Shauna has been a member of the USF acade mic community since 1988. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chem istry in May of 1990. After that she continued her education in the field of Engineering, obtaining her Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in December of 1995. Shauna is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Instructional Technology at USF where she teaches two graduate level courses on Distance Learning. Shauna has worked in both private industry and academia. She has held full time faculty development positions at USF since 1995. This experience has helped her to understand the application of online technology to learning from multiple perspectives. She plans to pursue research and employment in the areas of instructional technology and distance educatio n. To learn more about Shauna visit her web site at http://www.schullo.com


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An analysis of pedagogical strategies
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by Shauna J. Schullo.
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[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
2005.
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2005.
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Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
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ABSTRACT: This study investigated a synchronous web-based course system (SWBCS) as a supplement todistance learning courses. Although challenges exist (such as the complex interface and potentialtechnological problems); these systems hold the potential to enhance the distance learning experiencethrough increased interaction, immediacy, social presence, group work, and collaboration.Using a rigorous blend of research methods, the study investigated the following questions: (1) what types of pedagogical strategies do instructors implement, (2) how do instructors utilize the tools, (3) which tools do instructors choose to use, (4) why do instructors use the tools and strategies that they choose, and (5) what perceptions do students and instructors have about using a SWBCS? A total of five unique cases were examined using surveys, interviews, focus groups, analysis of archival documents and extensive classroom observations.The classrooms observations were essential to answering the research questions; a comprehensive observation instrument was developed and validated during this research. Results show instructors implemented familiar strategies based on their teaching styles. The most successful strategies were: (1) mini lectures with interactive exercises, (2) structured group work and collaborative exercises, and (3) case study discussions. Each instructor used the tools in the synchronous system to solve a problem or address an issue, such as lack of immediacy or the need to guide the assimilation of information. Most instructors used a wide variety of the tools, including: (1) VOIP, (2) textual chat, (3) white board, (4) hand raising and emoticons, and (5) breakout rooms. Although some tried many tools, most chose to use tools based on training, experience, the teaching strategies selected and student needs.
590
Adviser: Dr. Ann Barron.
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Distance learning.
Synchronous online learning.
Web-based learning.
Interaction.
Social learning.
Transactional distance.
Community building.
Immediacy.
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