New technologies, new structures: videoconferencing as a teaching tool

Year: 1993

Author: Aveling, Nado, Frylinck, Diana, Walsh, Betty

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Isolation from tutors as well as peers has long been a problem for students studying at a distance. Educational technologies, hailed as the method of choice by which distance can be minimised, are often underutilised for a number of reasons. Videoconferencing is a relatively new medium in distance education which, to date, does not appear to be used to its full potential as an instructional tool and little is known about the effects technologies other than print are likely to have on student learning. When using videoconferencing as an communication tool in an educational environment new teaching/learning strategies need to be developed. This paper is a description of, and reflection on a research project which implemented videoconferenced tutorials for internal and external students enrolled in teacher education programs. The research was carried out over a six month period, during which descriptive material was gathered. Further data was collected through questionnaires eliciting demographic, as well as attitudinal responses. These were administered to all participating students before and after they had exposure to videoconferenced tutorials.