Case Study 3: Web-conferencing to develop microscopic tissue analysis and interpretation skills (group questioning)

Face-to-face student view

Face-to-face student view

Remote student view

Remote student view

In this design Lucy Webster from Charles Sturt University used Adobe Connect to bring together on-campus students in a computer laboratory and distance education students participating from off-campus locations to perform an interactive review of medical science (histology) material for an upcoming exam. During the first part of the lesson, the lecturer, wearing a microphone to allow her speech to be audible to remote students through Connect, presented a series of multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Students (on campus and remote) answered the questions using the Adobe Connect student-response tools. Summaries of responses were presented graphically, and the lecturer explained why each answer was correct or incorrect. Students asked clarifying questions either verbally (on-campus students) or using the text chat tool in Connect (remote students). During the second part of the lesson, students were grouped in pairs and asked to complete tissue image identification and labelling tasks in breakout rooms within Connect. Group members reported back on the task and the lecturer supplied feedback and clarification. During the first of those tasks, on-campus students were grouped with on-campus students and remote with remote, whereas during the second task on-campus students were grouped with remote students. Communication between on-campus students was noticeably smoother than that between remote students, with the absence of an audio channel apparently making it difficult to coordinate the labelling task for some groups. The whole-group aspects of the lesson (questions at the beginning and reports back at the end) proceeded smoothly, with the lecturer able to effectively monitor the face-to-face classroom and web-conferencing environment and respond to questions and comments from students in both modalities.