Convenience and Community? An Exploratory Investigation into Learners’ Experiences of Web Conferencing

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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study into the experiences of a small group of learners who have made extensive use of web conferencing as part of their studies over the academic year 2009/10. The paper outlines the design of the programme and structure of web conferencing workshops. It draws on findings from a post-programme questionnaire survey and interviews to explore learners’ experiences. Two key themes are discussed: technological issues and issues associated with engagement in a virtual classroom. The key advantage of using web conferencing was the flexibility offered and convenience of studying from any location. However, learners also valued the opportunity to communicate with peers and tutors. This paper considers these issues and provides some recommendations for others who hope to use web conferencing to build effective learning communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-283
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Interactive Learning Research
Volume24
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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