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Student perspectives on videoconferencing in teacher education at a distance

Gillies, Donald (2008) Student perspectives on videoconferencing in teacher education at a distance. Distance Education, 29 (1). pp. 107-118. ISSN 0158-7919

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Abstract

This article reports the findings of a small-scale study exploring student views of the videoconference as a teaching and learning tool in teacher education. The context of this study is a distance education course, run primarily through videoconferencing, for prospective primary school teachers. The use of videoconferencing in this area has not yet been the subject of significant research and so the study aims to make a contribution to the field. The study is part of an ongoing action research project, aimed at improving the quality of the course in question. Taking account of literature on the videoconference format in distance education, the project used a questionnaire to gather student views of the perceived effectiveness and value of videoconferencing, with a particular emphasis on issues relating to teaching approaches and the active engagement of the learner. The article highlights some key findings regarding the efficacy of the format from a student perspective and raises some issues for future pedagogical practice.