Real-Time Social Communications Environments for Online Class Engagement and Peer to Peer Learning
From The Theme
DIGITAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
What if we could understand how different tools and methods of online course interaction can influence student outcomes?
WHAT WE SET OUT TO DO
We set out to investigate how different types of digital communication tools affect student/student and student/instructor interactions online. Researchers considered the impact of different types of online interaction on factors such as student engagement, class completion rates, academic performance, enrollment persistence, and student perceived class value.
WHAT WE FOUND
We investigated the effects of replacing asynchronous discussion boards with a real time multi-dimensional communication tool. Specifically, we modified an existing social communication software platform (sococo.com) to provide students with multiple virtual spaces for interaction using real-time audio, video, chat and screen sharing. Researchers examined how the real time social communications environment effected real-time interaction, impromptu communication and class engagement.
Transformative Learning Technologies Laboratory
PEOPLE BEHIND THE PROJECT
At the time of the project, Paulo Blikstein was an Assistant Professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education where he directed the Transformative Learning Technologies Lab and the global FabLearn Program. Blikstein’s research focuses on how new technologies can deeply transform the learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. He creates and researches cutting-edge educational technologies, such as computer modeling, robotics, digital fabrication, and rapid prototyping, creating hands-on learning environments in which children learn STEM disciplines by building sophisticated projects and devices. As of 2018, Dr. Blikstein is the Associate Professor of Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design in the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology.