What type of learner learns most effectively through videoconferencing?


Eileen Sutherland

Durham University Business School


This paper will recount work done with a group of non-traditional learners based at two remote sites who were taught using videoconferencing.

The purpose of the project was to help two groups of people based in the Durham Dales and Bishop Auckland to generate business ideas. The teaching/facilitation was done by four members of staff at Durham University Business School using videoconferencing as the delivery mechanism. All of the staff met the participants face to face before the programme started.

At the beginning of the programme the Learning Style Inventory Activity (adapted from Kolb and McCarthy) was used to identify the participants learning styles.

The programme was two days long and involved synchronous and asynchronous training. Some of the time two sites were linked together by videoconferencing, at other times the three sites interacted simultaneously using a multipoint facility.

The participants learning styles were known to the teaching staff at the beginning of the programme and a decision was taken to attempt to customise the delivery to suit the group as far as possible. At the end of the programme the Learning Style Inventory Activity was administered again to the participants and any movement noted. A focus group of all participants was held to allow qualitative data to be gathered. The focus group provided an opportunity for all participants to physically get together in one place.

The conference paper will compare the data collected before and after the programme and will draw out information from the focus group , which may indicate that some types of people are more suited to learning by videoconferencing than others.

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