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Action research to improve methods of delivery and feedback in an access grid room environment. (English)
Int. J. Math. Educ. Sci. Technol. 42, No. 8, 1041-1060 (2011).
Summary: This article describes a qualitative study which was undertaken to improve the delivery methods and feedback opportunity in honours mathematics lectures which are delivered through Access Grid Rooms. Access Grid Rooms are facilities that provide two-way video and audio interactivity across multiple sites, with the inclusion of smart boards. The principal aim was to improve the student learning experience, given the new environment. The specific aspects of the course delivery that the study focused on included presentation of materials and provision of opportunities for interaction between the students and between students and lecturers. The practical considerations in the delivery of distance learning are well documented in the literature, and similar problems arise in the Access Grid Room environment; in particular, those of limited access to face-to-face interaction and the reduction in peer support. The nature of the Access Grid Room classes implies that students studying the same course can be physically situated in different cities, and possibly in different countries. When studying, it is important that students have opportunity to discuss new concepts with others; particularly their peers and their lecturer. The Access Grid Room environment also presents new challenges for the lecturer, who must learn new skills in the delivery of materials. The unique nature of Access Grid Room technology offers unprecedented opportunity for effective course delivery and positive outcomes for students, and was developed in response to a need to be able to interact with complex data, other students and the instructor, in real-time, at a distance and from multiple sites. This is a relatively new technology and as yet there has been little or no studies specifically addressing the use and misuse of the technology. The study found that the correct placement of cameras and the use of printed material and smart boards were all crucial to the student experience. In addition, the inclusion of special tutorial type sessions were necessary to provide opportunities to students for one-on-one discussion with both lecturer and other students. This study contributes to the broader understanding of distance education in general and future Access Grid Room course delivery in particular.
Classification: D45 D35 D25
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