Case Study 4: Web-conferencing for participation in statistics tutorials (collaborative problem solving)

Face-to-face student view

Face-to-face student view

Remote student view

Remote student view

Nicola Jayne

Nicola Jayne

In this design Nicola Jayne from Southern Cross University used the Blackboard Collaborate web-conferencing system to enable remote students to participate in introductory statistics tutorials. The teacher logged into the Collaborate session via her tablet computer so that she could write on the slides in the web-conferencing environment. The screen was projected at the front of the face-to-face classroom so that students who were physically present could see the visual material as well as the list of participants who were attending remotely. The teacher then presented a series of slides that led students through the logic of hypothesis testing, annotating the slides to model problem-solving processes. A range of skills required to solve the problems was demonstrated, including how to select the correct test from a decision chart, how to lookup p-values from a table of critical values, and how to run statistical tests using a spreadsheet package. The teacher regularly asked both face-to-face as well as remote students whether or not they understood or had any questions. She then provided time for students to solve problems of their own. Face-to-face students worked individually or in pairs, and remote students worked in breakout rooms using text chat. The teacher sporadically repeated spoken conversation from the face-to-face classroom into the lectern microphone so that students at home could acquire a sense of the on-campus discussion. Although the face-to-face students did not have extensive interaction with the remote students, the blended synchronous learning approach did not to appear to compromise the learning experience for either group to any substantial extent.