• Blended Reality article recently published in British Journal of Educational Technology

    Recently the Blended Synchronous Learning team had an article relating to the ‘blended reality’ environment created in Case Study 7 published in the British Journal of Educational Technology.

    “Bower, M., Lee, M. J. W., & Dalgarno, B. (2017). Collaborative learning across physical and virtual worlds: Factors supporting and constraining learners in a blended reality environment. British Journal of Educational Technology, 48(2), 407-430. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjet.12435  “

    The article presents the outcomes of a pilot study investigating factors that supported and constrained collaborative learning in a blended reality environment. Pre-service teachers at an Australian university took part in a hybrid tutorial lesson involving a mixture of students who were co-located in the same face-to-face (F2F) classroom along with others who were participating remotely via their avatars in a three-dimensional virtual world. Video and sound recording equipment captured activity in the classroom, which was streamed live into the virtual world so the remote participants could see and hear their instructor and F2F peers; the in-world activity was also simultaneously displayed on a projector screen, with the audio broadcast via speakers, for the benefit of the F2F participants (see Figure 1).

    Figure 1. F2F and virtual world students jointly participating in a blended-reality lesson

    While technical issues constrained communication and learning in some instances, the majority of remote and F2F participants felt the blended reality environment supported effective communication, collaboration and co-presence. Qualitative analysis of participant evaluations revealed a number of pedagogical, technological and logistical factors that supported and constrained learning. The article concludes with a detailed discussion of present and future implications of blended reality collaborative environments for learning and teaching as well as recommendations for educators looking to design and deliver their own blended reality lessons.

  • Blended Synchronous Learning Update

    Hi everyone. I hope you had a good Christmas break and are gearing up for what promises to be another exciting year for learning and teaching innovation. A few items of news…

    The Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook recently won the 2014 Downes Prize. Stephen Downes writes:

    This text was a runaway winner this year. It’s reflective of a trend in these awards over the years – while something might catch the popular interest and spike briefly, it is the deep and insightful text with lasting import that attracts enough attention over the course of the year.

    The Handbook was also highlighted in the 2015 NMC Horizon Report – Higher Education Edition that was released recently. Note that if you would like a printed version of the Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook it is available at-cost from Amazon for approximately $16US. Of course the digital version is still freely available from our website.

    Have you heard about the new wave of telepresence robots such as DoubleKubi, and Vgo that are starting to infiltrate the education space? They certainly have potential to transform blended synchronous learning (again). We would be interested to hear from anyone who is using these in their classes.

    Congratulations to Steve Waymouth from the University of New South Wales who recently won an iPad mini for responding to the 2014 wearable technologies survey. Steve is a member of the Blended Synchronous Learning Collaborator Network, and counted this as practically the first time that he’s ever won anything. Thanks for participating Steve.

    Here’s wishing you all a great year ahead from the Blended Synchronous Learning team. We are looking forward to hearing about your innovations.

    Best wishes,

    Matt Bower, Gregor Kennedy, Barney Dalgarno and Mark Lee

  • Case Study Videos

    It has been wonderful to meet so many of the BlendSync Collaborator Network during our Australian workshop tour. You will be pleased to know that the videos for each of the blended synchronous learning Case Studies have been appended to each of the case study page (select the ‘Case Studies‘ tab above). Also, a summary video briefly outlining all seven cases has been placed on the Case Studies page (also provided below). Enjoy!!

  • Invitation: Blended Synchronous Learning Webinar 6/12/13 – The Final Phase

    As we are in the final phase of the Blended Synchronous Learning project we are holding one last important webinar for the year where we reflect on the outcomes of the project, call for leaders to help sustain the vibrant community that has been created, and consider how to best progress blended synchronous learning in the future.

    When: 12-1pm Friday 6th of December (Sydney time – for a time zone converter click here)
    To register: http://bit.ly/blendsyncwebinar06dec

    The registration link will be sent to participants after they have registered.

    Please come with suggestions, questions and ideas prepared, or even forward them through in advance! We look forward to reflecting upon outcomes of the project, considering ideas for the future, and hearing from interested community leaders.

  • Blendsync Australian Workshop Series

    The Blendsync team is pleased to announce their Australian workshop series. The workshop schedule is tabulated below. Participants can attend face-to-face or online (of course:-). For further details and to register please see: https://blendsync.org/workshops

    AdelaideFriday 25th October 2013, 1:00pm-3:00pmUniversity of South Australia, City West Campus
    BrisbaneFriday 1st November 2013, 1:00pm-3:00pm
    University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus
    Sydney IThursday 7th November 2013, 12:30-2:50pmUniversity of Sydney, Camperdown Campus
    HobartFriday 15th November 2013, 1:00pm-3:00pmUniversity of Tasmania, Sandy Bay Campus
    PerthFriday 22nd November 2013, 2:00pm-4:00pm
    Curtin University, Bentley Campus
    Sydney IIMonday 2nd December 2013, 4:30-6:30pm
    Macquarie University, North Ryde Campus
    MelbourneFirst half of February 2014TBA
  • Webinar 3 follow up

    Many thanks to our presenters Valerie Irvine and Lucy Webster for their engaging presentations at the BlendSync webinar on Thursday – it was a most engaging and thought provocative session. You can find a recording of the webinar at http://connect.csu.edu.au/p6wu6ey0fhq/ (note that the first three minutes of the webinar were not recorded – apologies).

    Please let us know if you have any requests for next webinar, and we look forward to your ongoing involvement in the blended synchronous learning community.

  • Third Blended Synchronous Learning Webinar on Thursday 25th of July 12pm-1pm (AEST)

    The Blended Synchronous Learning team would like to invite you to the third BlendSync Webinar.

    What: Blended Synchronous Learning – Experiences from the virtual field
    When: 12 noon to 1 pm on Thur 25 Jul (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
    Meeting URL: http://connect.csu.edu.au/blendsync/ (CSU Adobe link)
    First time Adobe Connect users: Please join us at 11.45 am to run an audio system check

    In this webinar we will be hearing from a BlendSync case-study partner (Lucy Webster, Charles Sturt University, Australia) and a BlendSync International Advisory Group member (Valerie Irvvine, University of Victoria, Canada) about their blended synchronous learning practices and investigations. The BlendSync team will also give a project update and invite your input on the latest and best in blended synchronous learning. Further details about the presentations will be provided closer to the event.

  • BlendSync Webinar Wednesday 3rd April 2013 – Follow Up

    Thank you to all of those who expressed interest in and participation in the Blended Synchronous Learning webinar last week – we greatly enjoyed discussing emergent themes with you. We are pleased to announce that both presenters have agreed to share their presentation, and the complete set of slides for the webinar is available from http://bit.ly/blendsyncw2slides. For those of you who missed the presentation a full recording is available at: http://bit.ly/blendsyncw2recording .

    Thank you once again for your continued involvement with the BlendSync Collaborator Network and we look forward to seeing you at our next webinar (planned for early in Semester 2).

    Best wishes, The Blendsync Team

    Postscript: There were a few people who expressed interest in attending the webinar but who did not receive the link to the room. If this is the case please check your spam box before future webinars as the bulk email is sometimes interpreted as junk mail. We are deeply apologetic for any inconvenience.

  • BlendSync Webinar Wednesday 3rd April 2013

    The Blended Synchronous Learning team would like to invite you to the second BlendSync Webinar.

    When: 3:30-4:30pm Wednesday 3 April (Australian Eastern Daylight Time – for a timezone converter click here)
    Meeting URL: provided upon registration

    In this webinar we will be hearing from a member of the BlendSync Collaborator Network about their blended synchronous learning practices, providing a project update on the case studies and conceptual framework, and tapping your brains about approaches for selecting and utilising blended synchronous learning technologies.

    If you would like to attend this webinar please email info@blendsync.org in order to reserve your place.

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Best wishes, the BlendSync team

  • Postponing BlendSync Webinar on Wed 14 Nov 2012

    We regret to advise that the BlendSync Webinar scheduled for Wed 14 Nov has been cancelled. The session will be rescheduled for a later date in 2012.

    We apologise for the short notice and invite you to contact our project manager if you have any questions (info@blendsync.org).

  • Blendsync Webinar 2: Sharing and conceptualising blended synchronous learning practice

    The Blended Synchronous Learning team would like to invite you to the second BlendSync Webinar.

    When: 3:30-4:30pm on Wednesday 14th of November (Australian Eastern Daylight Time – for a timezone converter click here)
    Meeting URL: http://webconf.ltc.mq.edu.au/blendsync

    In this webinar we will be hearing from two members of the BlendSync Collaborator Network about their blended synchronous learning practices, providing a project update on the case studies and conceptual framework, and tapping your brains about approaches for selecting and utilising blended synchronous learning technologies. If you would like to attend this webinar please forward this email to jacqueline.kenney ‘at’ mq.edu.au in order to reserve your place.

  • Recording of the first BlendSync Collaborator Network Webinar

    Thank you to all of those people who attended the first BlendSync webinar yesterday – it was wonderful to have such an interactive and collaborative session. For those who missed the webinar, you can find a recording at http://webconf.ltc.mq.edu.au/p5cty6cn187/ . It was particularly interesting to hear about the range of ways people were synchronously uniting remote and face-to-face students, and to share ideas about the important elements to consider when designing and implementing blended synchronous learning experiences.

    We look forward to the next session, which will be held in the second half of the year.

  • Upcoming Webinar

    The BlendSync team would like to invite you to participate in our first webinar from 2-3pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT+10) on Tuesday 3rd of April. Click here for a time-zone converter. The agenda for the webinar is as follows:

    1. Brief outline the scope of the project
    2. Sharing some preliminary results from our recent Australasian survey (fascinating!)
    3. Hearing from you about your latest experiences with blended synchronous learning
    4. Soliciting your feedback about what should be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of blended synchronous learning.

    If you would like to participate in this webinar then please indicate your intention when you sign up to the collaborator network on the website at https://blendsync.org/user/register . If you have already signed up to the website and would like to attend the webinar then please send an email to info ‘at’ blendsync.org .

  • Winner of the Blended Synchronous Learning Survey Prize

    Congratulations to Jenny Buckworth from Charles Darwin University who was the winner of the $300 shopping voucher for participating in our Blended Synchronous Learning survey. Jenny has indicated that she would like a JB-Hifi voucher and that this was a much needed boost for her at the start of semester.

    Over 1500 people responded to the survey, and results will be released in the coming months. For people who would like a sneak preview of some key findings, please feel free to attend our upcoming webinar which will be advertised momentarily.

  • Online Synchronous Learning Survey

    The Online Synchronous Learning Survey is open to all tertiary educators with experience or an interest in using synchronous tools such as web-conferencing, video-conferencing or virtual worlds for teaching. The survey takes approximately 15 minutes, provides participants with the opportunity to sign-up to a range of services and opportunities such as a collaborators network, and could win respondents a $300 shopping voucher of their choice. To take the online survey please go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/blendedsynchronicity

  • Blended Synchronicity Project Launch

    The official Blended Synchronicity project launch is occurring at this year’s Australasian Society for Computers In Learning In Tertiary Education (ASCILITE2011) annual conference in Hobart. The project will explore how synchronous technologies (desktop video-conferencing, web-conferencing, virtual worlds) can be most effectively utilised to unite remote and face-to-face university students. where the project team will be presenting the rationale and purpose of the project, as well as its benefits for participants. If you are attending ASCILITE2011 then please join our session Uniting on-campus and distributed learners through media-rich synchronous tools: A national project at 3pm on Monday 5th of December 2011.