Video Chat Interactivity and Class Success: A Study of Student and Instructor Perceptions

Concurrent Session 11

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Brief Abstract

This education session presents effective instructional practices in  higher education by sharing the results of a qualitative study on the efficacy of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform to improve class success. Educators will learn how interactive, large group technologies can provide a more connected online student course experience. 

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Presenters

Dr. David Proudfoot is a career educator, he has a rich history of teaching, educational programming and administration. His personal and professional interests flow around studying innovative ways to improve the quality of teaching and learning in K-12, higher education, and corporate settings in online and face-to-face formats. The focus of his research has centered upon student-centered learning and instructional design. Dr. Proudfoot has been a faculty member of School of Advanced Studies at University of Phoenix for years and has supervised more than 18 doctoral students to complete their doctoral dissertations. He has taught research methods, leadership, and foundational doctorate courses with diverse student populations from across the globe. Dr. Proudfoot is a Research Fellow for the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research. He earned his B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida, M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, and his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Extended Abstract

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to explore the influence of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform on class success through the eyes of students and instructors. Class success was defined as perceived levels of satisfaction, attitude, and retention. With students and instructors generally being dissatisfied with interactive, larger group technologies, this work is an important step for instructors and students who lack familiarity and experience with the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform.

Rationale:

The use of technology inside the classroom is continuously growing. With an array of technologies available for students and instructors, it is important to view different technologies as learning tools based on their relationship to a broader course context defined in terms of a wide variety of possible instructional goals. For the purposes of this research study, technologies were grouped into two categories based on their functionality for teaching and learning. One category included small group technologies (Skype and Google Hangouts) while another category consisted of interactive, larger group technologies (Adobe Connect, Blackboard Collaborate, and WebEx). 

In order to establish a topic and context that encompasses the problem, 132 students and 12 instructors in higher education courses across the United States were surveyed about their experiences and familiarity with different types technologies. Data was collected prior to the introduction or any use of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform. Generally, users were satisfied with small group technologies and generally dissatisfied with interactive, larger group technologies. Instructors perceived features of the interactive, larger group technologies that they had used to limit their interactions with students, limit students interactions with others, and were difficult to operate. Therefore, it could be inferred that a gap existed between the needs of educated consumers and inefficiencies of their experienced interactive, larger group technologies. The following questions were used to guide this research: Research Question 1: What are instructors’ and students’ perspectives regarding the influence of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform on their satisfaction in higher education courses?, Research Question 2: What are instructors’ and students’ perspectives regarding the influence of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform on their attitudes in higher education courses?, and Research Question 3: What are instructors’ and students’ perspectives regarding the influence of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform on their retention in higher education courses?

Method:

The participants in this study included students and instructors in 12 different courses at higher education institutions across the United States. The sample consisted of 108 students and 12 instructors who were selected from a population of 411 students and 12 instructors. Participants completed a survey after the completion of a series of 3 to 5 interactive chats using the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform. Participants completed synchronous web-based learning activities over a series of 3 to 5 sessions using the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform. The instrument in this study included questions that required students and instructors to report on their perceived experiences with the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform in relation to three areas: satisfaction, attitudes, and retention. Upon completion of the survey, the data was analyzed using the frequency procedure of SAS to determine the overall frequency of responses to each question by course. The survey was analyzed using Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform as the fixed variable. The data obtained from the survey was combined for all 12 courses to provide a larger sample size that represented a larger population. 

Results and discussion:

The study found that the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform can influence the class success of students and instructors. At the completion of the implementation, the students were asked to report on how the use of the the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform influenced their level of satisfaction. Students (92.6%) indicated that the use of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform influenced their overall satisfaction with the course. The survey also assessed the perception of students’ attitudes. Students (95.4%) perceived that the use of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform positively affected their amount of collaboration with other students. Despite this promising finding, only 64.8% of students felt that the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform positively affected how often they came to class or other auxiliary components of in-person courses. Retention was the last area that the survey assessed. Students (93%), across all age groups, indicated that the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform positively impacted their learning in the course. When instructors were asked to rate their level of satisfaction with the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform, 91.7% indicated that the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform was an effective way to establish context and bonding between learners. Instructors perceived the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform to significantly influence satisfaction, attitudes, and retention when compared to other interactive, large group technologies. 

The findings suggest that use of the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform can provide a more connected online student course experience which has the potential to create a quality educational experience. Efforts by instructors to implement the Shindig Video Chat Teaching Platform can lead to increased levels of satisfaction, attitudes, and retention.