Presentations & Publications

 

Social Presence in Synchronous Hybrid Settings

Accepted (Paper Session) – November 2015

Abstract

This article reports the results of a study that examined learners’ perceptions of social presence and sociability in synchronous hybrid courses that employed both video teleconferencing and robot-mediated interactions. Social presence has been an important topic of study in online courses, with researchers finding that students with higher social presence were more involved in class discussions (Cobb, 2009) and more motivated (Yang, Tsai, Kim, Cho & Laffey, 2006). This study is among the first to examine social presence in synchronous hybrid learning. Using focus groups, we found that face-to-face and online students felt less social presence in technology configurations that involved a shared portal instead of a personal portal. The students suggested affordances that may have influenced social presence: independent participation through personal portals, autonomy of movement, ability to see nonverbal cues, development of unspoken policies, and off-task interaction.

Peterson, A., Cain, W., Bell, J. & Cheng, C. (2016). Social presence in synchronous hybrid settings. 2016 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.

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Media of Interaction and Transactional Distance in Synchronous Hybrid Learning Environments

Accepted (Roundtable Session) – November 2015

Cheng, C., Cain, W.,  Bell, J. & Peterson, A. (2016). Media of interaction and transactional distance in synchronous hybrid learning environments. 2016 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.

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New Models for Hybrid Learning: Using Robots to Increase Social Presence in Higher Education

Accepted (Poster Session) – November 2015

Abstract

A synthesis of over a decade of research on online learning suggests that blended or hybrid learning is the most promising approach for K-12 and higher education. However, students’ ability to establish social presence — shown to be so important to course satisfaction, students’ engagement, development of a community of inquiry and student learning outcomes — may be particularly challenging to establish in synchronous hybrid learning models. This paper explores the relationship between students’ embodiment, social presence, and their classroom experience when participating in synchronous hybrid learning in robot form versus conventional videoconferencing technologies. Results suggest that robot-mediated communication offers some distinct advantages for increasing social presence over videoconferencing. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Greenhow, C., Ratan, R., Cain, W. & Bell, J. (2016). New models for hybrid learning: Using robots to increase social presence in higher education. 2016 American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.

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Student Telepresence in Synchronous Hybrid Learning Classrooms

In review, November 2015

Abstract

This paper introduces the efforts of the CEPSE/COE Design Studio at Michigan State University to utilize robotic telepresence devices in synchronous hybrid learning classes for the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) Ph.D. program. Robotic telepresence devices are digital devices that can be piloted from a distance for the purpose of interacting with people in a remote location. Synchronous hybrid learning classes refer to classes in which online and face-to-face students interact during shared synchronous sessions. This paper describes the context, technologies, and strategies used to integrate robotic telepresence devices in a synchronous hybrid learning class format. We conclude by discussing the significance of using robotic telepresence devices in synchronous hybrid learning contexts and possible future directions.

Bell, J., Cain, W., Peterson, A., & Cheng, C. (in review). Student telepresence in synchronous hybrid learning classrooms. International Journal of Designs for Learning (pending).

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From “Seeing There” to “Being There” >>>

October 2015 – Presentation, Canada’s Collaboration for Online Higher Education and Research

Abstract

Making it possible for remote participants to see and be seen in face-to-face classrooms has created wonderful possibilities for access to learning opportunities that were previously unavailable to many people. Yet an important question to ask is the degree to which these online participants have really become comparable partners in the class. In other words, creating access is a great good, yet perhaps these students are benefiting less and contributing less than those students who are actually in the room.

This talk describes the research of the CEPSE/COE Design Studio at Michigan State University in utilizing robotic telepresence devices in graduate-level synchronous hybrid learning classes. Using the perspectives of social presence, embodiment, and self-efficacy, we have been studying the effects of different innovations that are intended to enable online students to go beyond seeing and being seen so that they think of themselves, and are thought of by face-to-face participants, as actually “being there” in the expanded space of the classroom where all participants are comparable contributors and beneficiaries.

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Bridging the Divide: Using Robots to Enhance Interaction in Synchronous Hybrid Courses

October 2015 – Presentation, Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2016

This presentation reports the results of a study that examined learners differentiated perceptions of interaction in synchronous hybrid courses that employed both video teleconferencing and robot-mediated interactions. Video teleconferencing enabled online students to see the face-to-face students and instructor, and also to appear on a large display in the face-to-face classroom. For robot-mediated interactions, each online student had his/her own device integrated into the classroom space, being able to turn the robot to look around the room as well as to speak and hear. We used two perspectives, transactional distance and social presence, to identify factors that influenced their interactions between face-to-face and online participants. This study examines learners’ differentiated perceptions of interaction, social presence, and transactional distance in synchronous hybrid courses using robot and web conferencing technologies. 

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Transforming Classrooms with Telepresence Robots >>>

August 2015 – Presentation, Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology Conference

Abstract

Designing new ways of transforming classroom boundaries with telepresence robots.

John Bell and William Cain of the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University are working closely with faculty and students to explore and research the use of telepresence robots for learning and instruction. Join them and Marcus Rosenthal, CEO of Revolve Robotics, for a lively conversation on the setup, and the research into new ways of transforming the traditional boundaries of the classroom. Find out how they have been using Kubi and other telepresence robotic devices to create synchronous shared learning experiences between online and face-to-face students and instructors.

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Synchronous Hybrid Learning Environments: Perspectives on Learning, Instruction, and Technology in Unique Educational Contexts >>>
March 2015

Abstract

This symposium addresses issues related to teaching and learning in synchronous hybrid environments (previously synchromodal learning environments). Synchronous hybrid environments are technology-rich learning environments that enable online and face-to-face students to interact synchronously with each other as well as with the instructor in a shared learning experience (Bell, Sawaya, Cain, 2014). A number of research perspectives will be discussed, including issues of design, transactional distance, social presence, and more. Presenters in this symposium will also describe the theoretical and pragmatic ways in which synchronous hybrid classes can be supported and researched. The goal is to bring fresh ideas and first-hand experiences to bear on questions of learning and instruction in these exciting and complex pedagogical contexts.

Publication

Cain, W., Bell, J., Cheng, C., Sawaya, S., Peterson, A., Arnold, B., Good, J, Irvine, V., McCue, R., & Little, T. (2014). Synchronous hybrid learning environments: Perspectives on learning, instruction, and technology in unique educational contexts. Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education 26th Annual Conference, 2015 ,Las Vegas

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Synchromodal classes: Designing for shared learning experiences between face-to-face and online students >>>
March 2013

Abstract

This paper introduces the efforts of the CEPSE/COE Design Studio at Michigan State University to design and implement synchromodal  classes for the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) Ph.D. program. Synchromodal classes refer to classes in which online and face-to-face students interact during shared synchronous sessions. Our efforts stem from the introduction of a hybrid Ph.D. program in the summer of 2010. In this paper, we describe the antecedents that led to the development of synchromodal classes. We then describe our strategy of a repeated cycle of designing, implementing, and adjusting our realization of synchromodal classes. We conclude by discussing the significance of synchromodal learning in the context of this case and possible future directions for our work.

Publication

Bell, J., Sawaya, S., & Cain, W. (2014). Synchromodal classes: Designing for shared learning experiences between face-to-face and online students. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 5(1).

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Introducing the Enhanced Personal Portal Model in a Synchromodal Learning Environment >>>
June 2013

Abstract
Traditional learning environments typically consist of face-to-face instruction, online instruction, or a combination of both approaches. The Educational Psychology and Educational Technology Ph.D. program at a large Midwestern university; however, is now offering courses where face-to-face and online students interact synchronously with each other. We refer to this type of learning environment as a Synchromodal Learning Environment. This best practice paper describes one model of implementing this type of learning environment: The enhanced personal portal model. In the enhanced personal portal model, online students shared their own physical space in the learning environment. As such, they were “beamed in” to the classroom. We describe how this model was conceptualized, how it evolved, the technologies used, the process of implementing this model, the design and implementation considerations made, and the lessons learned after a semester-long application.

Publication
Sawaya, S., Bell, J., & Cain, W. (2013, June). Introducing the personal enhanced portal model in a Synchromodal Learning Environment. Best practice paper presented at the annual meeting of the World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (EdMedia). Victoria, BC, Canada.

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Innovating the hybrid small group model in a Synchromodal Learning Environment >>>
June 2013

Abstract
This best practices paper will discuss the process of refinements and adjustments made by the instructional design team during the implementation of a Synchromodal Learning Environment for multiple hybrid small group interactions and discussions. A synchromodal design is one in which face-to-face and online students meet simultaneously with instructors for a single, shared learning experience. This paper will briefly introduce the concept and role of technology navigator (Tech Nav) and discuss in particular the technology support, pre-course arrangements, and the pedagogical and technological considerations for design and implementation that took place before, during, and after the completion of the course.

Publication
Cain, W., Sawaya, S., & Bell, J. (2013, June). Innovating the hybrid small group model in a synchromodal Learning Environment. Best practice paper presented at the annual meeting of the World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (EdMedia). Victoria, BC, Canada.

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Introducing the role of a Technology Navigator in a Synchromodal Learning Environment >>>
June 2013

Abstract
This paper introduces the new role of Technology Navigator to support instructors with the particular challenges of teaching face-to-face and online students in the same section at the same time. This role includes the technology tasks often associated with technology assistants, such as ensuring that the needed technologies are functioning for all students. It also includes the pedagogical tasks both in preparation for teaching and in the moment of teaching that have often been left to the instructor.

Publication
Bell, J., Cain, W., Sawaya, S. (2013, June). Introducing the role of a Technology Navigator in a synchromodal Learning Environment. Best practice paper presented at the annual meeting of the World Conference on Educational Media and Technology (EdMedia). Victoria, BC, Canada.