Google Hangouts for Group Interaction

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Information about Google Hangouts for Group Interaction

Published on March 7, 2014

Author: suebeckingham



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.

Hangouts for Group Interaction Sue Beckingham | @suebecks Sheffield Hallam University Google Apps for Learning and Teaching (GALT) conference

Introduction to Hangouts A 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 people

2. Public Hangout on Air auto broadcasts publicly on air

3. Invited Hangout Send an invite to a specific person/people

Case Study 1 Distance Learning Postgraduate Students who are IT professionals Tutor had never encountered Google + or a hangout so this was completely unknown waters

The Problem 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. Normally, in traditional modes of delivery, the discussions in seminars brings out some of the ambiguity of the domain of strategy. For distance learners Blackboard is used and interaction is enabled by an (asynchronous) discussion board, however interaction is lacking the depth needed.

Scaffold and Fade • Need 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 other • b) the more knowledgeable other (MKO)

The Hypothesis • H1 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 key 1. Setting up a Google+ account 2. Familiarisation using the hangout tool

Invited hangouts Recorded (with permission from the students) using Screencast-o-matic

Shorter follow-ups/personal tutorials continued

Student Feedback • Scaffolding the introduction of new technology was an important part of the learning process • Learning new digital skills was valued • Introducing free tools that could be used independently outside of taught time was considered very useful • Both group work and subsequent one to one feedback interactions using the hangouts were appreciated

Tutor Feedback • The 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.

Outcomes • The '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 2 Undergraduate First Year Computing Students

The Problem

Interpersonal Skills As 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 Feedback • Learning new digital skills that could be applied across their course was valued • Introducing 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 Feedback • Tutors from other modules could see the value being applied • Increased collaborative and organisation skills

Outcomes • The screencasted recording motivated the students to hold professional meetings • Reflective blogs allowed them to consider their contribution and how this could be enhanced • The students developed new digital collaboration skills • This was just the beginning of what needs to continue to be a scaffolded journey

Embedding Digital Skills into Education Increasing Employability and Lifetime Prospects Sue Beckingham | @suebecks Sheffield Hallam University

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