Facilitating learning with web conferencing recommendations based on learners’ experiences

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Abstract

This paper reports some of the findings from a study undertaken to obtain an insight into the experiences of learners engaging with web conferencing. A small group of work-based adult learners with substantial experience of learning in a virtual classroom provided accounts of and reflections on their experiences using a blog and group interview. Qualitative analysis of data led to findings which support some existing best practice guidelines for facilitators and also provide additional insight into issues that impact on learners’ experiences. This paper presents recommendations for facilitators and explores some of the issues raised by learners which are not commonly addressed in other guidelines, including the effective use of breakout rooms, the management of minimalist learners and the need to respect learners’ privacy. A facilitation approach which allows learners to develop autonomy and exert control in the virtual classroom and which acknowledges diversity of learning preferences is suggested. Whilst the recommendations made may not be appropriate in all learning contexts, they are presented as a starting point to help other facilitators review and develop their own practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-285
Number of pages11
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date18 Dec 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013

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Keywords

  • web conferencing
  • virtual classrooms
  • learners’ experiences
  • guidelines for facilitators

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