Google Hangouts for Group Interaction

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A presentation for the Google Apps for Learning and Teaching (GALT) conference #galtshef. Two case studies on how Google hangouts have been used to enhance the learning experience.

Transcript of Google Hangouts for Group Interaction

Google Hangouts for Group Interaction

Hangouts for Group Interaction

Google Apps for Learning and Teaching (GALT) conference

Sue Beckingham | @suebecksSheffield Hallam University

Introduction to HangoutsA space to have voice and video conversations from your computer, laptop, tablet or phone

1. Open Invite Video Hangouts

First to respond - up to 10 people2. Public Hangout on Air

auto broadcastspublicly on air

3. Invited Hangout

Send an invite to a specific person/peopleCase Study 1Distance Learning Postgraduate Students who are IT professionals

Tutor had never encountered Google + or a hangout so this was completely unknown waters The ProblemNormally, in traditional modes of delivery, the discussions in seminars brings out some of the ambiguity of the domain of strategy.Strategy is taught on the MSc and MBA programmes and is a very significant ingredient of the postgraduate diet in the area of the management of technology.For distance learners Blackboard is used and interaction is enabled by an (asynchronous) discussion board, however interaction is lacking the depth needed.

Scaffold and FadeNeed to provide a scaffold for learning. This structure should fade as the individual has internalised the concepts (Vygotsky 1978)Need for synchronous communication so that there can be an exchange of thought, notion ideas and concepts with:a) each otherb) the more knowledgeable other (MKO)The HypothesisH1 The deep understanding of the area will be associated with the extent of synchronous discussion about contexts.H2 The principle of scaffolding and fade in the area of the proximal zone of development [Vygotsky 1978] can be more readily provided by synchronous on line discussion in a form that emulates face to face.Support was key1. Setting up a Google+ account 2. Familiarisation using the hangout tool

Invited hangouts

Recorded (with permission from the students) using Screencast-o-maticShorter follow-ups/personal tutorials continued

Student FeedbackScaffolding the introduction of new technology was an important part of the learning processLearning new digital skills was valuedIntroducing free tools that could be used independently outside of taught time was considered very usefulBoth group work and subsequent one to one feedback interactions using the hangouts were appreciatedTutor FeedbackThe discourse analysis of the interaction provided some support to the assertion that synchronous interaction enabled the acquisition of deep learning of the subject.The most significant aspect though is that scaffolding and fade can be more effectively deployed in this setting.

OutcomesThe 'hangout' provided an insight into the real progress the distance learners were making.Therefore, a more accurate assessment of the location of the proximal zone of development was enabled.This allowed more bonding between both student and teacher. It also afforded the direct interaction between peers.

Case Study 2Undergraduate First Year Computing Students The Problem

Interpersonal SkillsAs information technology and services become more embedded in everyday business and social life, IT & Telecoms professionals need to be able to deal with and better understand customer challenges and consumer choices. . With the rise of social computing, powered by a set of internet-based technologies, IT & Telecoms professionals need to apply social networking, interactive design and social/technical skills to these internet based channels.

Introduction of digital skills into a professional communication module

Integrated with a personal blog, students held group Google Hangouts meetings and these were captured using screencast-o-matic. Students then embedded the videos into their individual reflective journals.

Group Meeting

Sharing Google Docs

Screen sharing

Student FeedbackLearning new digital skills that could be applied across their course was valuedIntroducing free tools that could be used independently outside of taught time and university was considered very useful enabling interactions where and when it was convenient.Learnt from being able to replay the screencast to reflect on the interaction between themselves and peers.Tutor FeedbackTutors from other modules could see the value being appliedIncreased collaborative and organisation skills

OutcomesThe screencasted recording motivated the students to hold professional meetingsReflective blogs allowed them to consider their contribution and how this could be enhancedThe students developed new digital collaboration skillsThis was just the beginning of what needs to continue to be a scaffolded journeyEmbedding Digital Skills into Education Increasing Employability and Lifetime Prospects

Sue Beckingham | @suebecksSheffield Hallam University