NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ940665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-1741-5659
Introducing Backstage--A Digital Backchannel for Large Class Lectures
Pohl, Alexander; Gehlen-Baum, Vera; Bry, Francois
Interactive Technology and Smart Education, v8 n3 p186-200 2011
Purpose: This paper seeks to report on the conception of a novel digital backchannel, Backstage, dedicated to large classes, aiming at empowering not only the audience but also the speaker, at promoting the awareness of both audience and speaker, and at promoting an active participation of students in the lecture. In learning settings with a large and typically passive audience, the goal of Backstage is to foster active participation and facilitate collaboration akin to small-learning groups. Design/methodology/approach: The authors present the concept of a novel kind of digital backchannel that supports different forms of inter-student communication via short microblog messages, social evaluation, and ranking of messages by the audience. The backchannel further supports immediate concise feedback to the lecturer of selected and aggregated students' opinions, making it possible to strengthen the lecturer's awareness of students' difficulties. Findings: The concept is the outcome of a joint effort between computer scientists and educational scientists, and unifies technical and usability aspects with educational claims. Originality/value: The concept combines computer-mediated communication with elements of social media that not only foster active participation and collaboration among a large and otherwise passive audience, but also provide social means to self-regulation and management of the backchannel discourse. The design of the backchannel is strongly influenced by findings of educational sciences. (Contains 13 figures and 1 note.)
Emerald. One Mifflin Place Suite 400, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-576-5782; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A