Social presence, Web videoconferencing and learning in virtual teams

Giesbers, Bas; Rienties, Bart; Gijselaers, Wim H.; Segers, Mien and Tempelaar, Dirk T. (2009). Social presence, Web videoconferencing and learning in virtual teams. Industry & Higher Education, 23(4) pp. 301–309.



The potential of information technology to facilitate collaboration in education has grown considerably in recent years. The use of Web videoconferencing, whereby learners in an online classroom can simultaneously collaborate using audiovisual communication tools, increases the learner's ability in social and emotional expression, thus improving communication which may enhance learning satisfaction. This paper compares two cohorts of students who attended the same online course in economics. Both could communicate via a discussion board and one cohort had the additional opportunity to participate in Web conferences. Contrary to expectations, learning satisfaction did not seem to increase with the introduction of Web videoconferencing. This finding leads to several questions for future research.

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