Lit Review: The educational use of videoconferencing in the arts faculty

Lit Review: This is a post in a series focusing on the research studies on videoconferencing.

Badenhorst, Z., & Axmann, M. (2002). The educational use of videoconferencing in the arts faculty: Shedding a new light on puppetry. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(3), 291-299. doi:10.1111/1467-8535.00264

Summary. This article summarizes a videoconference project where art students in South Africa videoconferenced with the Handspring Puppet Company in Cape Town, learned about the planning of an upcoming production, and then videoconferenced again immediately after the production was performed in Belgium.

The article describes each stage of the project. A detailed review of the different types of videoconferencing is included (but not IP H.323 videoconferencing because this was from 2002).

The article also reflects on the feedback from the learners and the assessement of the learning. The students were able to get immediate feedback to their questions and to see real-world applications of their learning.

They found that a well structured agenda with questions prepared ahead of time was crucial. Extensive preparation and organization was required to make the videoconference happen. This hints at the need for staff to coordinate and support videoconference. In addition, the authors suggest that a fixed room with appropriate lighting is best suited for the location of videoconference equipment. “There is justification for support personnel to maintain and run the eqiupment and leave the educators free to concentrate on the learning process” (p. 297).

Interestingly, this article defined Instructional Television (ITV) as two way audio and one way video. I haven’t see this definition before, but it makes sense and obviously at one point meant that. Shows how important terms can be, and how much they change.

Reflection: This article emphasized the importance of planning, organization and coordination, in addition to tech support. These are definitely important pieces for a successful implementation.

I wonder if they did any more VCs after this article, and what they are doing now!

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