Category Archives: Research

Anne Frank Confronts Queen Isabella: Learning Phenomena in Historical, Cultural and Social On-Line Simulation Games

Session Title: Anne Frank Confronts Queen Isabella: Learning Phenomena in Historical, Cultural and Social On-Line Simulation Games

Chairs: Jennifer Killham and Miriam Raider-Roth (University of Cincinnati)

I’m at the AERA Conference 2012, and finally getting to blog a conference since I started my new job. My first session is on online simulation games. It started with an argument between two of the presenters dressed and acting as Queen Isabella and Anne Frank (shown posed after the session). 

They have a site called Place Out of Time (POOT) – and has a sister project called Jewish Court of All Time (JCAT). The JCAT project grew out of POOT and attempts to create the same type of opportunities for Jewish day schools.

It’s a great project based at the University of Michigan (yay connections to my roots), and is also a partnership between higher ed and K12 (always exciting!) and a partnership with the Center for Studies in Jewish Education and Culture at the University of Cincinnati (yes! Distance cross-institution collaboration!).

They have lots of people involved: project directors, middle school students, action researchers…

From the University Professor’s View

Presenter: Jeff Stanzler, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Paper Co-Authors:
Michael Fahy, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor; Jeff P. Kupperman, University of Michigan – Flint)

These are Interactive Communications and Simulations at the University of Michigan. They are trying to create web-based writing projects and simulations that have challenging and dynamic environments.

Courses taught at the U of M and the U of Cincinnati with a university course that accompanies it. The undergraduate and graduate level students are mentoring the middle/high school students in the interaction. How cool is that?! So many possibilities and ideas are coming to mind.

All of the scenarios are based on a trial scenario and each participant comes as a historical, literary or invented characters – and to use the wisdom of history to do purposeful intellectual work. There is a dynamic story built with public and private discussions / interactions among the students. This scenario also includes evaluation of historical evidence. Interaction!! Need some ways to build interaction into online learning? Good ideas here!

Important points to make this scenario / simulation work includes learning communities and self as learner – students work through identity issues looking at who they are and who their character is – and need to do that in a safe way. It’s also important to have a playful  spirit while trying on different voices; and to experience the work of the historian.

If students are portraying a character talking to another character out of time, there is no way they can find the right answer. It generates serious moments of original research to try to imagine what they might say to each other based on historical evidence.

Reference: R.G. Collingwood: using historical imagination. (That’s not the actual reference but an interesting analysis of it.)

In the weekly meetings, the professor and students discuss where the learning moments are.

In working through portraying characters, they start with discussions that have them describe what items their character has brought. Then they examine issues (such as reparations for a historical wrong), and then examine a primary source document of historical evidence – to think from the character’s point of view.

These discussions are all done in an asynchronous discussion board – their pictures are representing

In the class, Jeff works with the mentors (graduate/undergraduate) to have them think through how to get the students to respond in a way that is more thoughtful – and to build on the comments students have had so far.

From the Communication Researcher’s View

Presenter: Jonathan D’Angelo, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Paper Co-Authors:
Susan Kline, The Ohio State University

Reflecting on the simulation scenario: Online educational games are becoming an increasingly popular way to increase students’ subject knowledge while engaging them in critical thinking. Students these days aren’t very good at arguing, but these are important skills. This scaffolded interaction is a way to push them harder. So for example – the conversations are actually between a middle/high school student and the undergraduate/graduate student – this way students are talking with someone a bit smarter than them to push them harder in their conversation.

The research part of this project was hypothesizing that students would express greater awareness of other perspectives and that their argumentation skills would increase. As might be expected, they  found a significant increase in awareness of other perspectives and argumentation skills over the 10 weeks of the course/project.

Theoretical explanation: “Cognitive apprenticeship is taking place… instruction is mediated by mentors who engage in conversation via online communications – the mentors are showing students rather than explaining how to perform in an argument.”

Teachers don’t generally use Place Out of Time to teach argumentation – they use it for world history. But this skill seems to be a by-product.

We are thinking of rewriting the Griggs History of World Civilizations classes, and this type of simulation would be an excellent format to include or to base the class on.

From the Teachers’ View

Presenter: Aimee DeNoyelles, University of Central Florida

Paper Co-Author: Miriam B. Raider-Roth, University of Cincinnati

The teachers participating in this project were from Canada, Florida, and other locations across the country. In addition to the simulation, they had an online learning community for the teachers who were using JCAT in their classroom. Almost all of them had never even used a simulation in their classroom or tried to integrate it in their curriculum.

They used a WordPress site to host an online asynchronous discussion (JCAT Talk) for teachers to talk to each other as well as Adobe Connect for realtime conversations (they used video, poll, collaborative note taking, and chat. The teachers voted on the topics they would discuss each time. Adobe Connect was nice for live; but it was incredibly hard to get the time zones lined up. A few mic issues were challenging also.

Because they tried both, they had some questions about which method was better, so they did an action research project to think about their process. They did a mini-cycle of research – analyzing each week’s communication – both JCAT Talk and Adobe Connect – and used that for the research as well as to plan the next week’s interactions.

Teachers reflected on “self-as-teacher”: juggling their roles as character and identity, as well as teacher responsibilities – how it works; and to discuss the challenges.  Challenging and practical reflection happened more often in Adobe Connect. Teachers also reflected as the “students-in-relation”. Connect allowed for immediate feedback when discussing issues such as how to help students maintain their characters’ voices. Teachers bridged between the mentors and the students.

They recommended using the Connect and Talk (synchronous and asynchronous) to be complementary – not duplication. Some people preferred the Connect and some preferred the JCAT Talk. Connect was where they shared challenges more than in the asynchronous JCAT Talk. I’m really interested in this comparison and use of both synchronous and asynchronous and people who are thinking through which to use  when and what the challenges are for each.

From the Action Researchers’ View

Presenters: Jennifer Elaine Killham, Susan P. Tyler, University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati’s contribution to this project is the action research of the mentoring relationship – particularly from the mentors’ perspectives. They started the research as participant observers, then analyzed the posts, interviewed mentors, and then did detailed analysis.

The mentors were University of Michigan pre-service teachers.  Interesting that the researchers are at one university and the participants are at another. This is the type of cross-institution collaboration that I’m seriously interested in!

Mentors were encouraged to bring a complex subject such as geopolitical conflict to the playground where students could understand: fair and not fair. Same concept – at a level that students can understand.


  • For research formats and presentations at AERA: That one project can have three research projects examining different angles of the rich online community.
  • A little thing: interesting to see what seemed to be an age difference in the look of the PowerPoints. The younger researchers seem to be influenced by Presentation Zen in how their Powerpoints look. And from a newbie perspective – how a PowerPoint of just visuals makes you listen more carefully because the words aren’t there in bullets where you can read them faster than the presenter can talk.
  • Creative destruction: the idea of using new high end technology rich learning environments to destroy other low end teaching practices.  (via Discussant Jeremiah Isaac Holden, University of Wisconsin – Madison)
  • Wow! For my first 2012 AERA session, I’m super inspired and my brain is swimming with ideas.
  • Thinking about a small private university where I work (Andrews University), do we have the support and resources to pull off a collaboration like this between multiple universities and supporting many K12 schools? I hope when things settle down with our merger that we could do at least one major project like this that we run and improve every year.
  • In looking at where all the presenters and paper authors that work, I’m thinking about collaboration: There are two “heavyweights” in the collaboration whose work spaces make room for significant time on the projects – U of M and U of Cinncinati. But around them are many others contributing – and there is mentorship going on with the professors and doctoral students, as well as the relationships with the K12 schools/teachers.
  • Every “situation” that arises out of the scenarios is seen as an opportunity. An opportunity for learning. Every student has an adult keeping an eye on them as mentorship.


Papers presented at this session were

1.    Mentoring in Online Simulation: Shaping Preservice Teachers for Tomorrow’s Roles Jennifer Elaine Killham, University of Cincinnati; Susan P. Tyler, University of Cincinnati; Miriam B. Raider-Roth, University of Cincinnati

2.    Being an “Agent Provocateur”: Utilizing Online Spaces for Teacher Professional Development in Virtual Simulation Games Aimee DeNoyelles, University of Central Florida; Miriam B. Raider-Roth, University of Cincinnati

3.    Argumentative Discourse Skill Development in Online Educational Simulations: How George Carlin Can Teach Critical Thinking Jonathan D’Angelo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Susan Kline, The Ohio State University

4.    “A Placement at Masada”: Supporting Novice Teachers in the Jewish Court of All Time Project Michael Fahy, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor; Jeff P. Kupperman, University of Michigan – Flint; Jeff Stanzler, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

VC Research Study: Using VC to teach folk lore

For your review, an interesting dissertation on using videoconferencing to connect students in India and Pennsylvania to teach folk lore to immigrant children in PA.

Ethnographic videoconferencing, as applied to songs/chants/dances/games of South Indian children, and language learning
by Miller, Eric, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2010 , 676 pages; AAT 3429159

Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation presents ethnographic videoconferencing as an evolutionary development of ethnographic photography, and ethnographic film and video making. Ethnographic videoconferencing enables the people of a culture under study to speak for themselves. Young people of such cultures (who may already be competent in the scholar’s outsider spoken language) may be pivotal figures in ethnographic videoconference processes, as the scholar may especially communicate with them; they may communicate with their elders (in the local spoken language); and then they may be able to speak directly to outsiders via videoconference. In the process, these young people may increase their competence in literary and electronic media as they deepen their knowledge of their elders’ oral-centric cultures; and they may also develop ongoing community multimedia cultural resource centers.

A case study is presented: The primary fieldwork subjects are members of the Kani people, an aboriginal tribe, living in a mountain forest area of southwestern Tamil Nadu, south India. The scholar’s primary research method is ethnographic fieldwork with participant observation. The type of folklore studied is children’s songs/chants/dances/games. A hypothesis is that these play activities teach taken-for-granted social behavior and assist with language acquisition, especially through repetition with variation, the simultaneous saying and enacting of words, and question-and-answer routines. Two post-fieldwork ethnographic videoconferences occurred between a site in Chennai, the state capital (where some Kani people, and the scholar, were among the participants); and a site at the scholar’s university in Philadelphia, USA (where some Tamil emigrants and their children were among the participants).

The dissertation offers a plan for reviving and developing folk cultures, and presumes that folk cultures can enrich and transform mainstreams. But finally, it points toward the application of its principles of development to cultures in general–those having any conventions whatsoever. Conjured is the ideal of global teletopia, featuring fully-functioning public spheres and helping to overcome of two of contemporary society’s most vexing problems: loneliness and unemployment.

An Appeal for the K12 IVC Listserv

Take a step back with me, and consider the history of videoconference listservs, and the current state of listservs for videoconferencing.

Bottom line: Get on the K12 IVC Listserv! Here’s why…

Listserv History

For the last decade or so, we’ve had several great listservs to use to discuss videoconferencing, share ideas with each other, advertise videoconferences to each other, and share research surveys.

  • Collaboration Collage or “edvidconf”, the oldest listserv for videoconferencing
  • The K12 IVC Listserv, started by NIERTEC
  • Megaconference Listserv, mostly higher education
  • Megaconference Jr. Listserv, mostly Internet2 sites
  • TWICE listserv, mostly Michigan sites

When I did my own dissertation research survey in the spring of 2008, these were the numbers on each listserv:

  • Collaboration Collage: 2,300 subscribers
  • K12 IVC listserv: 300 subscribers
  • TWICE: 290 subscribers
  • Megaconference Jr.: 30 subscribers

You can see from this list, that the largest number of subscribers were on the Collaboration Collage listserv. When I first got started with videoconferencing in 1999-2000, I remember how much I learned on that listserv.

  • People discussed technical issues
  • Ideas were shared for providing support
  • People advertised content provider programs and collaborations
  • I remember Dan Gross’ particularly long and detailed posts to the listserv. I learned so much from those messages!

In September 2010, the Collaboration Collage listserv closed down. I don’t know if anyone else feels the loss, but I feel so sad that we may have lost contact with those 2300 people!

The K12 IVC Listserv

This listserv was born out of the 2002 K12 National Symposium of Interactive Videoconferencing. From that symposium, a listserv was created, along with a literature review, and a website with case studies. Since funding was cut for the Regional Educational Technology research organizations, these resources have all gone offline.

Thankfully CILC offered to take over this listserv and so it still exists. You can sign up here. Here’s why you should be on it:

  • It’s the last remaining place to post live real-time posted (unmoderated) announcements for K12 videoconferencing nationally and internationally.
  • It’s the last email place to discuss any issues or ask questions.
  • It’s the easiest one stop place for graduate students to ask research questions about videoconferencing. We all want research on videoconferencing, but we need to make it easy for research to be done!
  • Content providers need a place to send announcements about their programs.

But… are listservs dead?

You might be thinking that listservs are a thing of the past. It’s true that some functions of the videoconferencing listservs are no longer occurring on a listserv:

But, what about these functions:

  • How do we get research surveys on videoconferencing out to a large audience? How does a graduate student access the K12 videoconferencing community for research?
  • How do content providers advertise their programs to a wide audience? What if they want to advertise beyond just the “new” advertising that comes from and Established providers have their own email lists, but what about the new providers?
  • Can you think of others?

The K12 IVC Listserv

So, don’t you agree?! People interested in videoconferencing need to be on the K12 IVC Listserv! I am super grateful that CILC has hosted it and left it unmoderated. We need access to each other! This listserv seems to be the main way to do that.

What do YOU think? Are listservs dead? How should researchers and content providers get access to K12 videoconferencing educators??

I Have an AAT Number!

I have an email alert set up with ProQuest Dissertations and Theses on the word “videoconference”, so I can get an alert when any new studies are published about videoconferencing.

I was pleasantly surprised to get an alert for my dissertation in July!

It’s published with “open access” which means that you can download the PDF.

So, if you’re interested, check it out! I know, you probably don’t care! But anyway, more research published about VC in K12!

By the way, the AAT number (3410311) is the last piece I was waiting for to get the full citation for my dissertation. Hence the excitement.

New Videoconferencing Research

Just found an alert in my inbox this morning for a new dissertation on videoconferencing. Here’s the abstract. I highlighted some lines that I thought were interesting.

by Mountain, Leigh A., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2009, 219 pages; AAT 3387116

Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of access to videoconferencing on student achievement, affect and behavioral measures. Student achievement was defined as students’ scores on assessments, while affect was defined by students’ responses to survey questions which measured student interest. Behavioral measures were defined as on-task and off-task behaviors students engaged in during the lesson. Prior knowledge and affect items were used as covariates during the analyses. The sample for this study included college, middle school, and elementary school level classes. Students who were part of the treatment group either had access to a videoconference provided by an external content provider or participated in a collaborative classroom project as part of their topic of study. Students who received a traditional lesson taught by the regular classroom teacher were part of the control group. Data were collected from observations, student and teacher affective surveys, student assessments, measure of prior knowledge, and a content provider interview. The design utilized for this study was a quasi-experimental posttest-only design with nonequivalent groups. The analyses conducted on the data included ANOVA, ANCOVA, MANOVA, MANCOVA, descriptive statistics, and chi-square test. Findings from the studies related to affect showed that at the college level a significant difference by access to videoconferencing was found for the overall construct of affect. No significant difference was found in student assessment scores by group except for in the college study after covarying for affect items. Student behavior varied across the studies. Gagne’s nine events of instruction were explored in relation to how they were implemented in the videoconference lessons in these studies. It was found that when the events were successfully implemented it led to a stronger lesson. Further studies need to be conducted determining the amount of exposure necessary to impact student affect and achievement, what types of teaching styles are best suited for videoconferencing, and how to effectively motivate students to be actively involved. It was also determined that in practice teachers need training and support in the use of videoconferencing.


  • Interestingly, the advisor was Dianna L. Newman, one of the authors of the recent textbook on videoconferencing, and author of some videoconferencing articles, including this one.
  • I think it’s great that they are trying to find an impact on student achievement from a videoconference with a content provider or another class. But, I’m not surprised that after just one videoconference, it is difficult to find a measurable change in student achievement. Can one hour actually change student achievement? It takes more than that! Does that mean it’s not worth doing? Of course not.
  • An interesting finding is that when successfully implemented, the videoconferences led to a  stronger lesson. It would be interesting to know how “stronger lesson” was defined. I also would like to know more about the “nine events of instruction.”
  • Student behavior, achievement, and affect (motivation/feeling) all varied. Have you noticed this too? Some VCs are AWESOME; and some, less than awesome. Wouldn’t that also explain varying student behavior, achievement, and affect?

I’m reminded of this great Einstein quote:

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

What do YOU think of this study?

Transactional Distance in Videoconferencing

This post is part of a series examining articles on the communication aspects of videoconferencing.

Reference Chen, Y. J. (1997). The implications of Moore’s theory of transactional distance in a videoconferencing learning environment. Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations. (AAT 9802605)


This study compared Moore’s (1972) theory of transactional distance to the use of videoconferencing for teaching at a distance. The theory is that transactional distance (the distance of understanding and perceptions) has to be overcome by the teachers & learners for effective learning to occur. Moore suggested that lower structure and higher dialogue would yield less transactional distance.

Chen studied 121 participants in twelve videoconferencing classes in several subject areas. Results included that dialogue includes in class verbal communication, face to face interaction outside the class, and communication via email. The structure of the course included the design or organization of the class and also the delivery and implementation. Chen found that Moore’s theory isn’t specific enough in these areas of dialogue and structure.

The students perceived greater learning from greater frequency of in-class discussion. The greater the reported transactional distance between teacher and learners, the less the perceived learning.

Those were the only two factors that made a difference in perceived learning.

The study also found that out of class electronic communication was not supported as an effective practice; however, by the sounds of it, the use wasn’t required and therefore was low. If deliberate, interactive, engaging discussions were set up, would this result be different?

Suggested Strategies for Teaching Via VC

  • Additional training for teachers and students before courses occur
  • Planned class section where all sites meet in person at the beginning of the semester
  • Setting up a listserv for online communication
  • Creating group dynamics and a collaborative learning environment
  • Building consensus between/among sites through interaction among peers


  • It’s interesting how important the in-class discussion was in this study. How do YOU create discussion across sites? Good models are GNG‘s Pulse programs; some of the Jazz interactions; what else?
  • Don’t you think that many other Web 2.0 tools if chosen carefully and used deliberately could be more effective than a listserv? Of course this was published in 1997 which is seriously old in Internet time.
  • What other things do you see as important to a videoconferencing class?

Media Richness Theory

Media Richness Theory

Media Richness Theory

Isn’t this a cool little theory?! It shows the richness of the communication – how personal, how interactive, how effective.

Let’s ask ourselves though, does effective mean more synchronous? does effective mean more asynchronous?

Compare Media Richness Theory to this chart by Wesley Fryer:

What other comparisons can be made? What framework do you find for thinking about these tools? How do you decide which one to use for which purpose? Have you seen any similar comparisons? Please share!

Videoconferencing Implementation

This post is part of a series examining articles on the communication aspects of videoconferencing.

Reference Baber, J. R. (1996). Re-visioning corporate communication: A case study of videoconferencing implementation. Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations. (AAT 9700122)


This study was more on the implementation of corporate communication via videoconferencing than on the actual communication. Still useful and interesting.

Baber (1996) offers the Culture-Process-Technology approach as a framework for the successful implementation of videoconferencing in the corporate environment. The framework recommends:

(1) that organizations should ensure that managers at all levels are willing to support the implementation process; (2) that videoconferencing “champions” be found to administer the system at the project level; (3) that operator training programs be developed to create a wide base of skilled end users; (4) that conference schedules be published regularly to inform end users of meeting times and to sustain ongoing interest in videoconferencing; and (5) that use of videoconferencing system features be consistently modeled to encourage the use of innovation and the re-invention of technology. (p. 128)


Do you have these principles in place in your school?

  1. Do you have a principal/ administrator supporting the implementation of videoconferencing in your school? What does that support look like?
  2. Do you have a champion for VC in your school? (probably you!)
  3. Are a lot of people getting skilled with using VC? Can your teachers mute & unmute? Can they use presets (if they are set for them ahead of time)? Can they dial if they are given the IP?
  4. How do you organize and publish schedules? Is your system working for you?
  5. Are interesting and innovative ways of using VC celebrated and communicated?

What else do you think is important for implementation?

Desktop VC Tasks

This post is part of a series examining articles on the communication aspects of videoconferencing.

Reference Slovacek, C. L. (2003). Desktop video-conferencing tasks: The effects of telepresence and teledata on cognitive load, conversational repair, and satisfaction. Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertation. (AAT 3113579)


This interesting little study examined what people pay attention to in a desktop point to point videoconference. They found that while people are more satisfied when they can see their partner, they focus most of their attention on the object, task, or document that they are working together on. They are also more focused on listening to the person at the other side. The author suggests that audio & data streams are more important than the video stream.


  • I certainly agree with audio being more important in a videoconference. You can live with a little video breakup, but if you can’t understand the other site, you may as well give up.
  • It’s interesting that in this case they found the data as critical as well. In this study the participants were working together on a document or task, so that certainly makes sense.
  • The author talks about cognitive load – especially increased when seeing yourself. Do you ever notice someone who’s distracted by the videoconference? That’s higher cognitive load. Those of us who are used to VC can handle quite a mess on the screen and keep going with our presentation. But not as easy for newbies. Too much cognitive load. Brain working too hard!
  • When the participants reported higher cognitive load, they were less satisfied. So what can we do to reduce the extra thinking that happens in early use of videoconferencing?

Your Turn: It seems again that turning off the picture and picture for students in a videoconference would help them focus more on the content. What do you think?

Videoconferencing Across Cultures

This post is part of a series examining articles on the communication aspects of videoconferencing.

Article Reference Dustdar, S., & Hofstede, G. J. (1999). Videoconferencing across cultures – a conceptual framework for floor control issues. Journal of Information Technology, 14(2), 161-169. doi:10.1080/026839699344656


What are you things that you do in a face to face meeting that are hard to do in a videoconference multipoint videoconference meeting?

  • Stand up, pace or gesture menacingly if you want to impress authority on others
  • Fidget to signal that you want to talk
  • Hum or gesture to indicate support or criticism

Floor control is who gets to speak and what mechanisms are used to see who can speak in a meeting. These meeting norms may also be different based on cultures.

This article was considering desktop videoconferencing where people pay for the videoconference and want a quality meeting experience. Only one person can have the floor (permission to speak) in an electronic meeting.

Cultural differences noticed in this study are Hofstede’s 5 Dimensions: power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, competitiveness vs. cooperativeness, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term vs. short-term orientation.  (Take a moment to just read the quick wikipedia overview. It’s interesting!)

Differences in culture can affect what method of getting floor control is used. Maybe the person with high prestige is the person who says who gets to talk. Or everyone just jumps in and sometimes talks on top of each other. Floor control becomes more & more important the larger the meeting is. The differences in culture can lead to severe communication breakdowns that are magnified by the videoconference.

Other challenges in a videoconference meeting include:

  • Saying yes or hmm mm, or mm to let a listener know that you agree or are hearing. With all the sites muted, you can’t get this feedback.
  • You can’t turn to your neighbor for a side conversation. (This can make meetings get done faster! On the TWICE board which meets only twice a year face to face, many of us also use Skype, so we can Skype chat with each other if we have a side comment. )
  • There might be other people in the room listening to what you have to say that you can’t see. In my opinion, it’s really rude to be part of a meeting and let someone listen who isn’t part of the group. They should be shown on screen & introduced.

Suggestions for applying culture understanding to cross-cultural meetings:

  • Individuals from low power distance cultures should get used to waiting for a silence before they talk. Wait time!
  • With a variety of power distance cultures, one should make sure that all participants are invited to give their feedback.
  • Laying out the rules of the meeting up front will be helpful for everyone. Who will get to talk & when? If you want to talk, how do you get permission? Figure it out and tell everyone!
  • Make sure the participants know who is in the “meeting room” and something about them. It should not be “on the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog.” People only feel comfortable when they know something about the other people in the meeting.
  • Plan to orchestrate the meeting more than a face to face meeting.
  • Be sure to stay within the stated time length of the meeting.

Suggestions for designing software include having all these capabilities:

  • A way to indicate you want to interrupt
  • A way to show people’s responsibilities
  • A way to grant floor privileges to others
  • A way to know more about the other participants
  • A way to have a side-chat
  • A formal protocol

In my opinion, without software, these can be designed by the meeting leader with a little thought and creativity.


  • This article had great tips for meetings, whether cross-cultural or not. If the meeting leader considered these ahead of time, it would make for a smoother videoconference meeting.
  • It would be so interesting in a high school international videoconference to discuss the five dimensions of culture and compare notes. This would help raise students’ awareness beyond “what do you eat” and “what music do you listen to” so that they have a deeper understanding of cultural differences.
  • Raising awareness of these issues before an international videoconference may make students and teachers alike more sensitive to the needs and perceptions of the other class.

Your Turn: What do you think? What tips do you want to apply in your next videoconference meeting? What about in your next international videoconference?