Question 25

25. How often during the collaboration did the classes engage each other on a classroom to classroom level using these synchronous tools?

How often were students expected to contact each other synchronously outside of class? Did they?


After students connected in real time for their interview, most used chat rooms to  continue to engage each other on a personal or collegial level to follow up on collaborative assignments.

Again, we just don’t know how many of the students actually participated in their skype team meetings.

At least 3 times during the course (introduction, midterm project discussion, and final project poresentations) / ULPGC : 2 synchronous sessions required and scheduled by both institutions. ULPGC students were not asked to demonstrate other synchronous contacts. They did so, but on a voluntary basis.

Classes were scheduled so to make synchronous contact between the classes possible during every class.  Daylight savings time changed that mid semester, forcing some activities and the schedule of classes to be altered.  Students were assigned regular group discussions, blogs, wikis and creative projects around various themes and readings.  The goal was to have group discussions summarized and reported for the class in synchronous sessions.  Despite ice-breaker activities and other efforts it took some time for groups to work together effectively.  Not all students were equally engaged with tasks and the notion of collaboration.

Each week there was one session of three hours (9:00-12:00 in Texas, 16:00-19:00 in Jena). In the course of the semester, students were given three assignments to collaborate on in small international groups of between 2-4 participants. For these assignments, the students were encouraged to make contact via Skype, but most preferred to rely on email instead. The reason given was chiefly the difficulties posed by the time difference between Texas and Jena.  At least one American student was personally opposed to direct contact via Skype. As opposed to the German students, who were perhaps more cosmopolitan in outlook, several of the American students were relatively recalcitrant, and there was a distinct division among them between three who gave the collaborative component of the course less effort, versus two who did their best to rise to the occasion.

For each case study, we met with the two classrooms together three times and had one face-to-face session in two separate classrooms. We had hoped students would meet synchronously when preparing group projects. For the most part, they handled preparation asynchronously, and in fact, all too separately. Here, the logistical issues proved a major hurdle. From the George Mason perspective, our students largely live extraordinarily busy lives--often taking a full course load with significant hours of employment or being full-time employees while taking significant numbers of courses (and not uncommonly, they combine “full-time” work with “full-time” student schedules.) As a result, they have relatively few unscheduled hours for synchronous meetings with other students, even when only among George Mason students. Then, when one adds in the 8/9 hour time difference with Moscow, the logistical impediment to synchronous meetings was usually too large to be overcome.. / Busy schedules were a huge problem for HSE students too. Many also work, some full time, and at some point during the course they had an exam session. In addition to this HSE buildings are scattered around Moscow, and it took some students up to an hour to get to the venue where classes were held: quite a big sacrifice on their part.

Once a week for 40 minutes (during daylight saving period) or for 90 minutes (After the daylight saving period) per class. When they could not finish their interview task within the time, they did contact outside of the class. Also, when they got their paper proofread, they had synchronous session individually outside of the class.

Once a week for the synchronous meetings. Students were expected to Skype at least once a week to brainstorm and nail down ideas for their scripts, and in almost every case exceeded that.

Students engaged each other about five times over ten weeks, with most of the synchronous activities occurring in the latter half of the course. Outside of class, students were expected to contact each other synchronously at least three times throughout the course.

Students engaged each other in the formal setting (during class time) three times.  For SJSU students this meant nine hours.  In two out of three sessions, students were giving introductions and adding photos synchronously while 6-8 students (3-4 on each side) used Skype and short conversations. / Varied. 

The class has conducted one Skype session and is planning a final one on April   Students were encouraged to contact each other synchronously via Skype, but to my knowledge that was not tracked.

The classes collaborated for 7-8 weeks and in that timeframe the classes collaborated twice by video conference.  Outside of class they were expected to access the Discussion Boards on NING and they did.  Most students were quite active on the discussion boards.

The classes met seven  times over a fifteen week period.

Video conference: Each campus communicated every week over video conference. If they weren’t able to participate in the video conference because they weren’t on campus, they were expected to watch the class session and participate in the conversations on Lore. / Yes, students at NCCU did connect synchronously online via chat with students from RAMA on Facebook, sharing song links, video links and comments.  Students were not instructed that this was necessary, but did it on their own accord.

Videoconferences were about every other week during the 8-week period. We advise them to get in touch once a week but we did not keep track of their usage.

We connected as classrooms approximately every other week.  As the semester progressed, students had increasing contact synchronously outside of class.  In the last few weeks of the course students were in contact at least once a week if not more.

We had four class-to-class video conferences. Outside of these conferences, students were only required to meet in real time with their teammates one time, via Skype.

We were to have done this 4 times, but only managed twice.