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Aim For Better Student Learning: Best Practices For Using Instant Messaging And Live Video To Facilitate Instructor Student Communication

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Feedback and IT: Improving Student Learning

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

11.165.1 - 11.165.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/847

Download Count

28

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Paper Authors

biography

James Ledlie Klosky

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Dr J Ledlie Klosky, P.E., is an Associate Professor and Director of the Mechanics Group at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He earned a B.S. and M.S. degree from Virginia Tech in 1987 and 1989 and his PhD from the University of Colorado in 1997. He is the winner of the national ASEE 2004 Best Zone Paper award and is editor of the McGraw-Hill website www.handsonmechanics.com.

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Decker Hains U.S. Military Academy

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Major Decker B. Hains, Ph.D., P.E., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He earned a B.S. degree from USMA in 1994, M.S. degrees from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1998 and the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1999 and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University in 2004.

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Jason A. Evers U.S. Military Academy

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Major Jason A. Evers, P.E., is an instructor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Gonzaga in 1995 and a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington in 2005. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Washington.

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Jared B. Erickson U.S. Military Academy

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Major Jared B. Erickson, P.E., is an instructor in the Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He earned a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from North Dakota State University in 1994, an M.S. degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1999, and an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University in 2004. He is a member of ASEE and a registered professional engineer in the State of Missouri.

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Stephen Ressler U.S. Military Academy

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Colonel Stephen J. Ressler, P.E., is Professor and Vice Dean for Education at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY. He earned a B.S. degree from USMA in 1979 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University in 1989 and 1991. He is a past Chairman of the ASEE CE Division and is a recipient of the ASEE Mid-Atlantic Section Distinguished Educator Award, the Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware, and the EDUCOM Medal for application of information technology in education.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

AIM for Better Student Learning: Best Practices for Using Instant Messaging and Live Video to Facilitate Instructor-Student Communication

Abstract

As bandwidth continues to expand, and wireless connections propagate to the point of becoming ubiquitous, the nature of communication, both formal and informal, is undergoing a real transformation. This transformation is reflected within the student bodies of colleges across the nation as text messaging, live personal video and internet voice communication become more evolved technically and entrenched in the psyche of our students. Student comfort levels with instant messaging, documented by these authors in previous papers, is only one sign of the coming wave of communication tools and attitudes which will truly blur the line between actually there and virtually there.

In this paper, the authors document their experiences with instant messaging, video-based one- on-one student instruction and internet telephony. Further, best practices are recommended for the use of these technologies in the engineering classroom. In general, the authors have found that students are extremely comfortable with these technologies, that using these technologies has become radically easier in just the last 18 months, and that student learning and excitement can be greatly enhanced through the judicious use of chat, one-on-one video conferencing and internet telephony. These have also allowed us to expand the reach of instructors at USMA, with one-on-one teaching across great distances becoming simple and efficient.

Introduction

A student walks into a computer lab where the plotter is located, logs into the computer, and downloads a simple piece of free software. She then pulls an inexpensive webcam out of her backpack and plugs it into the machine. She clicks on the icon for her design team member who is working the dead afternoon shift at the student union and is on wirelessly. They chat briefly, with live video, about the objectives for that evening’s design, exchanging ideas verbally, nonverbally and with sketches. They shut down the video but not the text chat window and work on two aspects of the project, text chatting when needed and otherwise ignoring that the chat function is even open. A snag occurs and they are not sure how to proceed. Checking, they see that the instructor is logged in (he is not always on, but they are in luck) and they ask a quick question. Using video, the professor explains to both students at the same time what is what, and the students drive on with the project, validated, happy and highly productive.

This is not science fiction, but current best practice for collaboration. As Robert Farmer wrote in EDUCASE, “IM is a relatively simple form of communication. It is also—by its very nature—a collaborative communications tool.”3 This collaborative nature makes IM ideal for educational and learning environments. Farmer also states that collaborative communications tools create “a more engaging learning environment for students, most of whom have already adopted the readily available IM tool and use it prolifically.”3 Given its collaborative nature and prominent

Klosky, J. L., & Hains, D., & Evers, J. A., & Erickson, J. B., & Ressler, S. (2006, June), Aim For Better Student Learning: Best Practices For Using Instant Messaging And Live Video To Facilitate Instructor Student Communication Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/847

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2006 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015