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ERIC Number: EJ1079902
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1179-7665
Inside the Virtual Classroom: Student Perspectives on Affordances and Limitations
Falloon, Garry
Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, v16 n1 p108-126 2012
Research indicates learners studying at a distance can experience perceptions of isolation and lack of "belonging" and support, which can adversely affect their learning experience and performance. Recently, the advent of affordable, accessible and reliable high-speed broadband has meant that a whole new array of digital tools to support synchronous interaction between students and tutors engaged in online learning have become viable, thereby potentially helping to address some of these issues. This paper presents findings from a study involving postgraduate students using the Adobe Connect and Wimba Live virtual classrooms to present a series of seminars as part of Waikato University's Postgraduate Diploma in Education. It explores students' perspectives of the value of the classrooms for building relationships and supporting communication and interaction, and examines factors that influenced this. Results show that while virtual classroom use was viewed favourably, its value was influenced by task, communication tools, multimedia usability and technical/logistical factors--some of which were beyond student control. These factors will be explored and discussed, with recommendations being presented for teachers considering using virtual classrooms to support their online distance learning programmes.
DEANZ: New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning. Open Polytechnic, 3 Cleary Street Private Bag 31914, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand. Tel: +64-3-345-8246; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand