Today we had a paper published online in the British Journal of Educational Technology, entitled: Exploring synchronous, remote collaborative interaction between learners using multi‐touch tables and video conferencing in UK primary schools. This paper builds upon previous work (for example, our related BERA2018 paper) with colleagues from Durham University looking at collaboration and interaction with multi-touch devices in educational settings; in this case, an experimental case study between two schools based in South Wales and North-East England.
Exploring synchronous, remote collaborative interaction between learners using multi‐touch tables and video conferencing in UK primary schools
Gary Beauchamp, Andrew Joyce‐Gibbons, James McNaughton, Nick Young and Tom Crick
This study explores remote, non‐collocated collaboration via multi‐touch table (SynergyNet) and video conferencing software (Skype). Twenty‐four participants (aged 10‐11 years) in two locations — primary school classrooms located 300 miles apart in the UK — engaged in simultaneous collaborative activity to solve a History mystery task. Audio‐video data recorded in the first minute of the activity were analysed to explore the emergence of collaborative working practices both within groups in the same location (resizing for shared reading) and between the groups communicating via video conferencing software and through the “flick” multi‐touch gesture (sharing clues between groups). The results indicated that most groups focused first on the establishment of intra‐group collaboration before reaching out to their remotely located partners. However, when the second data set was analysed, audio data from delayed interviews conducted after the original study, participants reported that the discussion between groups supported by the “flick” gesture was the most important and memorable feature of the activity. The study relates these findings to the existing literature on collaborative learning using multi‐touch tables and considers how teachers are best able to help support the emergence of collaborative practices.
(also see: Publications)