In the framework of videoconference classrooms at local learning centres in Sweden
Keywords:Videoconference, local learning centres, adult education, education technology
AbstractThis article explores the practice of videoconferencing and draws on interaction in class based on ethnographic ieldwork carried out at local learning centres in Sweden. The study is based on participant observations focusing on communication and the role of the teacher in a videoconferencing class. The results of the study shed light on different functions of the teachers' questions such as rhetorical, expanding and provocative. Further, talk in videoconferencing lacks systems of proper back-channel cues and communication often fails as a result of low feedback. The study also shows that there is a lack of balance in the distribution of utterances between the teacher and the students and that interaction is often one-way. The teacher becomes an actor in class reacting against low feedback. Questions and statements posed by the teacher are designed to break through the barriers of mediating technology. Also interaction patterns are impaired by misunderstandings and the practice is described as a learning space imbued with the rationale of communication technology.
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