Virtual classroom use in short learning courses: An exploratory study

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Abstract

Contemporary virtual classroom (VC) systems are promising tools for teaching in online and blended learning programs. They offer practicable means to facilitate complex learning and (academic) enculturation. This study evaluates a free-of-charge short learning course (called ‘micro module’) for (aspirant) teachers and educationalists that introduces and promotes VC-use in present-day educational settings. Central to this short course were four one-hour VC-sessions that addressed (a) utility and usability issues and (b) topics related to (complex) learning and teaching in VC-environments. The sessions were distributed over a one-week period; each day both an afternoon and an evening version of a session were organized. Approximately 280 persons signed-up for the program. Between 5 and 10 percent of these subscribers took part in one or more VC-sessions. The recordings of the sessions were viewed around 160 times in total (count one month after the program ended). Relatively low numbers of participation and recording views question the return of investment of delivering a VC-rich short learning course. However, those participants who took part in the VC-sessions highly valued its content and structure (M=7.9; Mdn=8; Mode=9; ten-point scale). Especially the hands-on VC-experience was appreciated. Results further show that organizing non-compulsory VC-sessions at fixed moments leads to a low turnout in these sessions. High quality content doesn’t seem to affect that. Additional research is necessary to confirm these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlended and online education within European university networks
Subtitle of host publicationThe Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference Proceedings, Hosted by UNED, Madrid (Spain)
EditorsGeorge Ubachs, Fenna Joosten-Adriaanse
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherEuropean Association of Distance Teaching Universities
Pages403-412
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9789079730414
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
EventOOFHEC2019: The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference: Blended and online education within European university networks - National Distance Education University (UNED), Madrid, Spain
Duration: 16 Oct 201918 Oct 2019
https://conference.eadtu.eu/

Conference

ConferenceOOFHEC2019: The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference
Abbreviated titleOOFHEC2019
CountrySpain
CityMadrid
Period16/10/1918/10/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • online learning
  • synchronous online learning
  • virtual classroom
  • short learning program

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  • Cite this

    Wopereis, I., Pannekeet, K., & Melai, T. (2019). Virtual classroom use in short learning courses: An exploratory study. In G. Ubachs, & F. Joosten-Adriaanse (Eds.), Blended and online education within European university networks: The Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education Conference Proceedings, Hosted by UNED, Madrid (Spain) (pp. 403-412). European Association of Distance Teaching Universities.