Can Online Students be Fully Integrated into Residential Courses via Web Conferencing? Lessons Learned from Two Pilot Courses at Columbia University
Concurrent Session 10
When online students attend on-campus classes via web conferencing, can they be fully integrated into the classroom community? What challenges does offering two modes of attendance introduce, and how might technology and careful course design offer solutions? This session will offer lessons learned from two pilot courses at Columbia University.
Institutions that offer both residential and online programs can allow residential students to enroll in online courses; the logistics are relatively simple. However, allowing online students to enroll in residential courses, without requiring them to travel to campus, is more complicated. While this can expand student choices regarding course topics, instructors, and scheduling, as well as build connections between online and residential students, enabling online students to attend residential classes via web conferencing creates challenges.
In the literature, in addition to the more common phrasing of telepresence or web conferencing to refer to this type of technology-enhanced communication (Tanaka, Nakanishi, & Ishiguro, 2014; Gleason & Greenhow, 2017), this type of course has also been called gxLearning because the classes are geographically extended (Verhaart & Hagen-Hall, 2012; Day & Verhaart, 2015; Day & Verhaart, 2016), hybrid because the classes include a hybrid blend of on-campus and remote students (Henriksen, Mishra, Greenhow, Cain, & Roseth, 2014), and synchromodal because online and residential students share synchronous sessions via different modes of attendance (Cain, Sawaya, & Bell, 2013; Bell, Sawaya, & Cain, 2014; Bell, Cain, Peterson, & Cheng, 2016; Cain & Bell, 2017). During the workshop, the presenters will share their literature review as a resource for participants who would like to learn more about the research in this area.
The bulk of the workshop will focus on sharing lessons learned from planning and teaching two Spring 2018 pilot seminar courses at Columbia University in which online social work students joined residential courses via Zoom web conferencing. The presenters will cover challenges and opportunities when planning residential courses that integrate both online and on-campus students, including:
- Logistical concerns that must be addressed prior to the start of the semester, such as student messaging, student registration, classroom setup and technology requirements, and instructor selection and training
- Considerations for designing activities and classroom materials that fully engage both online and on-campus students, including during small-group breakout activities, group presentations, and whole-class discussions
- Techniques for building one cohesive classroom community, rather than two segregated groups of students
- Methods for managing the technology in the physical classroom, or when taking online students along on a field trip off campus
The session will include the perspectives of the instructors, TAs, and online students involved in the two pilot courses.
Interactivity for the session will include informal hand-raise polls to gauge participants’ experiences and interests around the workshop topic, whole-group discussion questions to give the group the chance to share ideas, pair-share discussions to give participants the chance to consider how they might apply the workshop content to their unique work environments, and time for Q&A.
By the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:
- Describe the benefits, pedagogical challenges, and logistical concerns that accompany a decision about whether to allow online students who do not live near campus to register for residential courses
- Discuss ways to design classroom activities and materials that engage online and residential students with the coursework and with each other as one cohesive classroom community
- Share their experiences, tips, concerns, and questions around how to plan, manage, and teach this type of course
- Describe the existing literature about this type of course modality
Bell, J., Sawaya, S., & Cain, W. (2014). Synchromodal classes: Designing for shared learning experiences between face-to-face and online students. International Journal of Designs for learning, 5(1), 68-82.
Bell, J., Cain, W., Peterson, A., & Cheng, C. (2016). From 2D to Kubi to doubles: Designs for student telepresence in synchronous hybrid classrooms. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 7(3), 19-33.
Cain, W., & Bell, J. (2017, May). Navigating between Different Forms of Embodiment in a Synchronous Hybrid Doctoral Course. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 925-932). ACM.
Cain, W., Sawaya, S. & Bell, J. (2013). Innovating the hybrid small group Model in a synchromodal learning environment. In J. Herrington, A. Couros & V. Irvine (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2013 (pp. 1333-1339). Waynesville, NC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
Day, S., & Verhaart, M. (2015, October). Integrating cloud and mobile technologies in experiential learning: From reality to reflection. In Proceedings of the 6th Annual Conference of Computing and Information Technology Education and Research in New Zealand incorporating the 28th Annual Conference of the NACCQ, Queenstown, New Zealand, 6th (pp. 38-44).
Day, S., & Verhaart, M. (2016, July). Beyond Wi-Fi: Using Mobile devices for gxLearning in the field. In Proceedings of the 7th Annual Conference of Computing and Information Technology Education and Research in New Zealand incorporating the 29th Annual Conference of the NACCQ, Wellington, New Zealand, 11th (pp. 27-33).
Gleason, B., & Greenhow, C. (2017). Hybrid Education: The Potential of Teaching and Learning with Robot-Mediated Communication. Online Learning, 21(4), 159-176. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v21i4.1276
Henriksen, D., Mishra, P., Greenhow, C., Cain, W., & Roseth, C. (2014). A tale of two courses: Innovation in the hybrid/online doctoral program at Michigan State University. TechTrends, 58(4), 45-53.
Tanaka, K., Nakanishi, H., Ishiguro, H. (2014) Comparing video, avatar, and robot mediated communication: Pros and cons of embodiment. In T. Yuizono, G. Zurita, N. Baloian, T. Inoue, H. Ogata (Eds.) Collaboration Technologies and Social Computing. CollabTech 2014. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 460. Berlin: Springer (pp. 96-110).
Verhaart, M., & Hagen-Hall, K. (2012). gxLearning, teaching to geographically extended classes. In Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Conference of the Computing and Information Technology Research and Education of New Zealand Conference (Incorporating the 25th National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications Conference), Christchurch, New Zealand (pp. 7-10).