Supporting Student Interaction through the use of Digital Backchannel Discussions
Thursday, March 29 10:35-10:55 AM Location: Edison B
Presider: Nance Wilson, SUNY College at Cortland, United States
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the influence of the use of digital backchannels on student interactivity during an in-class discussion within a teacher education environment. Data were collected from six backchannel discussions that took place in three different teacher education courses and from participant interviews of seven students who were enrolled in the participating courses. The outcome of the research indicated the content chosen for backchannel discussions and the particular structure of the backchannel activity influenced student interactivity as described by Moore (1989). Specifically, the content analysis indicated there was limited variation in the amount of dialogue dedicated to discussing the subject matter. Furthermore, a high level of student interaction with content was apparent in all six class sessions, with evidence of students building knowledge, drawing conclusions, and asking additional questions throughout the front channel and backchannel discussions.