Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat. Michael S. Jenks

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1 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 WHAMPOA - An Interdisciplinary Journal 61(2011) Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat Michael S. Jenks Department of Applied English, YPU Abstract This paper presents two part research on the use of video-based computer mediated communication (CMC) for teaching English at the university level in Taiwan. The first part of the research used video CMC to complete eight predesigned activity workshops that took students through synchronous and asynchronous language projects. The latter part of the research used the same video CMC to compare learning differences potentially created by the use of either synchronous or asynchronous video CMC. The first part used a pretest/posttest single group design to answer the question of learning gains using video CMC. The latter part utilized a pretest/posttest comparison group design to clarify the differential learning impact of the synchronous and asynchronous video CMC modes on measures for conversation, listening and 'video chat basics.' Results indicate positive learning gains for both video modes, but also show that synchronous video CMC participants performed significantly better on the conversation measure while showing no gains over asynchronous video CMC on the listening and chat environment measures. Key words: computer mediated communication, synchronous, asynchronous, pretest, posttest,

2 98 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 Video for education has been around for quite some time in the form of TV-like broadcasts (one-way or two-way), recorded video, broadcast digital video, and more recently as Internet-based digital video. The latter is especially impressive when considering that it can be had for relatively cheap prices with reasonable communicative quality. This paper is about research that utilized a video computer mediated communications (CMC) laboratory that was developed to enhance learning opportunities for English language students at a private university it Taiwan. The lab was specifically designed to facilitate 1-to-1 and 1-to-small class video conferencing settings using inexpensive 'off-the-shelf' video and computer components. The conducted research first examined the general effectiveness of the learning environment and obtained formative feedback from the students; then it compared asynchronous (recorded) and synchronous (live) video modes for differences in teaching/learning effectiveness. In other words: 1) Does the use of video CMC help students attain reasonable progress in English proficiency on a measure of 'video chat basics', 2) what can be done to improve the effectiveness of the video CMC environment, and 3) is there a difference in English improvement between students who complete assignments using synchronous video CMC and students who complete assignments using asynchronous video CMC on measures of conversation, listening and 'video chat basics'? To evaluate the general effectiveness of video CMC in this laboratory context, the study used a pretest/posttest single group design. Students completed eight predesigned activity workshops that used both synchronous and asynchronous video modes. The pretest and posttest tested the students for basic vocabulary and communicative structures as well as knowledge of the 'video chat basics.' To obtain feedback on this implementation of the video CMC, these students were given a follow-up survey of three questions encouraging them to give meaningful formative feedback regarding their learning experiences. The study used a pretest/posttest comparison group design to evaluate the potential learning differences between synchronous and asynchronous video CMC modes. Students in the synchronous group received live video homework assignments (scheduled communication with the instructor). Students in the asynchronous group were given video recording

3 Michael S. Jenks:Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat 99 assignments (they would record the video and send it to the instructor). This paper continues with a short overview of literature, a comprehensive detailing of the methodology, the results of the three-question survey and of both pretest/posttest designs, and a discussion of the results with implications. Literature Overview The researcher finds that there has not been any firsthand research conducted that is similar to the research described in this paper, until very recently. There is some discussion of different forms of real-time video in educational settings in the literature and quite a few descriptions of implementations in language classrooms. When comparisons are made, it is primarily to traditional classrooms with a teacher at the front, in person. But there are no empirical comparisons of different video modes in language education, and the researcher can find just one recent comparison in general post-secondary education. The literature review below first presents a general overview of live video in educational settings and then discusses specific uses of video in various classrooms. Two articles are then presented that discuss using video conferencing for language acquisition. This section concludes with the above noted recent comparison of synchronous video lecture with asynchronous viewings of the same lectures in a university setting. As the reader is certainly aware, using live video (usually labelled 'video conferencing') is not new to general teaching practice or to language instruction (Badenhorst & Axmann, 2002). Different types of video broadcasting for teaching and learning can go back decades. In many universities and colleges one can readily find special centers and classrooms connecting to remote instructors or specialists via satellite, microwave and closed circuit TV. More recently computer network technology-based broadcasts have been added to this sort of specialized distance education center. Live video is applied in a variety of teaching situations including large audience video-lectures, and one-to-one tutoring. Some traditional ways to create video conferences include expensive dedicated installations of full bandwidth analog video channels or digital channels. Interactive TV, where the audience can see and hear the presenter but can only communicate to the presenter with audio, was also a common setup (see

4 100 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 Badenhorst & Axmann, 2002, for further discussion). In recent years, less expensive and service intensive Internet technologies allow educators to explore teaching situations away from the dedicated videoconferencing centers and classrooms. Here are four examples from the literature. Ramirez (1998) outlines a project where Spanish students and ESL students met via videoconferencing. Jones and Sorenson (2001) describe the combining of a dedicated video conferencing studio with Internet facilities so that French students in Tennessee, USA could have live discussions in French with students at a university in France. Thurston (2004) used broadband video technology communication to promote cross-cultural understanding in primary school students. Howard-Kennedy (2004) discusses the ability of instructors to connect by live video to institutions such as museums and other centers of knowledge. In discussing the benefits of computer mediated communication (CMC), Sierra (1999) notes that the Internet offers the potential for students to produce in their study language; it also offers good interaction and an international context because it so readily extends beyond the borders of the classroom. Badenhorst and Axmann (2002) argue that, pedagogically speaking, recent CMC-type videoconferencing technology allows the typical constraints of time and distance to be alleviated, thereby allowing face-to-face teaching situations without being together in the same room. In other words, this technology has the potential of bringing learners and teachers together, virtually. Sometimes expense and time prevent students from meeting and communicating with speakers of the languages they study. However, as is the case for the project described by Ramirez (1998), interactive videoconferencing can bring students and native speakers together where otherwise they could never have communicated (ESL students at the University of Mexico branches in Texas held videoconferences with Spanish students in Texas). As can be seen in this brief review, there are good applications of video (not referring to passive video viewing) in education, including language education. Peer interaction for language learning was emphasized in the Ramirez (1998) study and in the Jones and Sorenson (2001) study. Cross-cultural understanding also is a ripe area for research, as seen in the work of Thurston (2004). But with regards to the

5 Michael S. Jenks:Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat 101 interaction of technology and language education, little to nothing has been done. A recent comparison of synchronous versus asynchronous viewing of lectures from a microeconomics course is very enlightening, and relevant to the research presented here. Figlio, Rush and Yin (2010) find that performance on a learning measure varied depending on whether students attended live video lectures or waited to view the same lectures online, viewable anytime. They suggest that language minority students (e.g., linguistically comparable to the students in this present study) may have a more difficult time following the meaning of recorded materials. Further, they suggest that live participants might be better motivated to really participate, helping them focus more attentively. For one reason or another, student performance is affected by whether or not the video is live. The research described below represents a unique approach to evaluating the utility of video for teaching and studying English. However, like the Figlio, Rush and Yin (2010) article, one can still only speculate on why live video appears to aid learning. Methodology This study used two different pretest/posttest designs along with a questionnaire of three open-ended questions to evaluate the video CMC environment. Additionally, comments of three different instructors were compiled and used for gaining further insight. The First Pretest/Posttest and Three Question Questionnaire For the first pretest/posttest, this study utilized a paired-sampling design (each participant s pretest and posttest were compared) to answer the question of whether or not there were useful gains in student knowledge of English language and video conferencing during the administration of one-to-one video conferencing workshops and completion of asynchronous video homework assignments. This stage of the study was essentially the formative stage. The pretest and posttest were identical. The posttest was given five weeks following the pretest (for a six week total program). The test consisted of twenty 4-item multiple-choice questions. Questions covered both the English vocabulary of the video CMC software and hardware, and the English vocabulary and phrases taught in worksheets completed during workshops. The posttest was followed by the

6 102 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 questionnaire consisting of three evaluative questions to be answered with verbatim answers (more than yes, no, or maybe!). These questions were given with the hope that the students could provide constructive feedback on how the workshops were run, and how helpful they thought the workshops were to their English learning. The questionnaire questions were given in both Chinese and English and the students were asked to answer in Chinese. Their responses were later translated into English. Here are the three questions: 1. How do you think the use of video chat facilitated your English learning? 2. How do you think the video chat course could better benefit your English learning? 3. Please state your basic ideas and comments on the face-to-face video chat training from your own experience. Participants and Attrition. It was considered important to maintain intact groupings in order to ease scheduling and completion of the workshops. This suited this first portion of the study perfectly because the students were being compared against themselves, and not to a larger population. The students came from three different English Conversation classes taught by the same instructor. All were non- English majors. The first was a group of 20 Food Science senior students who met on Tuesday. The second was a group of 15 Business Management senior students and 1 Computer Science freshman student who met on Thursday. The third was a group of 24 Business Management senior students who also met on Thursday. Of the 60 students in the three study groups, 51 were able to take both the pretest and the posttest. To support a paired-sample design, the pretest or posttest results of those students who did not complete both tests were omitted from the statistical analysis. Additionally, one of the 51 students missed two classes, did not complete homework assignments, and took the posttest a week late. When it was noted that this student s posttest was 5-points less than the pretest, against the average trend of the rest of the class, it was dropped from the analysis as well. Six other students also had lower scores on their posttests. However, because they had attended all the sessions and had completed their assignments, there was no rationale to omit their results from the

7 Michael S. Jenks:Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat 103 analysis. In the end, there was data from 50 students prepared for quantitative analysis. Workshop Sequence. The original workshop design involved two 2-hour workshops for all participants, handled by three instructors. The students would complete eight progressive video conferencing tasks (pre-designed worksheets) and homework assignments over a two week span. However, this workshop structure was modified to fit the students schedules. The methodological sequence is as follows. The students were asked to participate by letting them know that their performance would not impact their regular class grades. After a brief orientation to what the workshops would involve, the pretest was administered to the students. One week later the first workshop was given. The original two 2- hour sessions were changed to be 1-hour each and delivered over a 4-week period instead of in two weeks. Each of three groups of students was divided in half. Each week, an instructor would take one half of each group in the video CMC lab while another instructor would take the other half to a classroom to practice English dialog appropriate to the workshops. In the end, everyone received 2-hours of video CMC lab instruction and 2-hours of workshop English practice over a 4 week period. Additionally, three asynchronous video message assignments were given to the students to perform outside of the workshop time period. Attendance and assignment completion by the students were observed in case they might have bearing on the test results. The posttest was delivered one week after the time of instruction was completed. The students were then given the three openended questions (listed above) to answer. In addition to the test and questionnaire, subjective observations made by the instructors were noted as the workshops were being conducted and will be included in the discussion below. The Second Pretest/Posttest After adjusting the research program based on formative feedback from the preliminary work described above, a quasiexperimental pretest/posttest comparison group design was implemented. The two comparison groups are Live Video Group and Recorded Video Group. The researcher selected an intact freshman class of 44 English majors, further sub-dividing the students 'down the middle' into groups of 22. This split was based on the students selfselected seats (random assignment to groups was not performed). This obvious delimitation reduces the statistical

8 104 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 generalizability of the study, but was necessary to maintain intact groupings in a natural classroom setting. The researcher informed the students of the sequence of work assignments, promising the students that each would be able to do the other group's kind of homework in the following semester; this was done to help minimize the inevitable comparisons students would make about perceived workload differences. Students who needed them received highquality web-cams so that work could be done at home; students could complete the treatment assignments from home or from the established video CMC lab (see description below). The researcher assigned treatment work (homework) to the students every class period. Students that were part of the live video treatment signed up for open lab times with the researcher. Students that were part of the recorded video treatment signed up for available lab time (separate from live video treatment times) if they were not completing their work from home. Prior to the first video homework assignments, students were given three language pretests. The primary test was a conversation test, with a rubric to help maintain student-to-student consistency and pretest-to-posttest comparability. The rubric scaled from 1 to 50 points, with 10 points allotted to each of the following categories: Fluency and coherence, pronunciation, lexical resource, grammar, new/dynamic material. The two other tests were a video chat environment learning test and a general listening test. The chat environment test consisted of 20 multiple-choice questions about the video chat program, related vocabulary, and presentation phrases. It was identical to the test given in stage 1 (above). The general listening test consisted of 30 multiple choice questions, with 10 listening questions in each of the following sections: picture description, question and response, conversation comprehension. The week following the pretests, the students were given their first of 6 scheduled video assignments. A week after the completion of the 6 assignments (one each week), the three tests were given again. The total study period was 8 weeks, with 6 weeks of treatment. Video CMC Environment The video CMC workshops were conducted in a small computer lab environment. Twelve computers were available to the students and one computer was available to the instructor. Each computer is a full multimedia class Windows XP computer with high-speed

9 Michael S. Jenks:Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat 105 USB 2.0 connections. Each computer has a quality headset and a video camera functioning at 20 + fps (frames per second) at a 320 x 240 pixel frame size. The lab was connected into the campus network during Stage 1 and typically had kbps Internet download speeds and kbps upload speeds during periods of low network traffic. During peak traffic, it was possible for download speeds to drop below 100 kbps and upload speeds to below 60 kbps. For the initial workshops, the researcher was able to work around this problem. However, this Internet performance was inadequate for the quasiexperimental pretest/posttest comparison group design. Therefore, the lab Internet pipeline was given a dedicated ADSL connection, which allowed more students to chat or send video mail at the same time. Each computer has a free version of the SightSpeed video conferencing software. This software was chosen over more common video chat variants such as MSN, Yahoo Messenger and Skype because of its better voice synchronization and clearer display of facial expressions at lower network speeds. Results The First Pretest/Posttest and Three Question Questionnaire This stage of the research was designed to answer the question of whether or not there were significant gains in student knowledge of English language and video conferencing through the administration of a series of one-to-one video conferencing workshops. Regarding the pretest to posttest differences it was found the pretest mean was 8.70 (n=50) and the posttest mean was (n=50), where 20 was the highest possible score. This indicates a gain over the pretest of 2.72 points. The paired samples t- test indicates that this gain is significant (see Table 1). Table 1. A paired samples test. Difference SD t df Sig. (2-tailed) PRE -POST In examining the students scores more closely, it was found that 42 participant posttest scores increased, 2 stayed the same, and 6 actually went down. There was a positive correlation between the pretest and the posttest of.407 (see Table 2), indicating that the students performed similarly relative to each other on the pretest and the posttest (e.g., those who did better on the pretest generally did better on the posttest).

10 106 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 Table 2. Paired samples correlations. N Correlation Sig. PRE & POST Some other data to consider are that 12 students actually improved 5 or more points (3 students improved by 8 points), and when the 6 students (whose scores decreased) results are removed from the analysis the mean difference between the pretest and posttest is 3.34 points (n=44). Instructor Observations. Here are some instructor observations that are pertinent to better understanding participant performance. Two of the three workshop instructors noted that approximately 1/3 of the students would spend large amounts of time practicing their English before engaging in dialogue or delivering a 30 second video message to a teacher. This seemed to be the same between the two treatment groups. They would write, practice and revise during this time. In a particular example, three students from the Recorded Video treatment group were observed spending just over an hour in practicing and discussing their video messages before finally delivering their messages. In another example, one student practiced a message for about 30 minutes. During that time the instructor insisted that it sounded good and was ready to be submitted. However, the student kept studying, saying that it could be better. In another specific example, a group of five students spent around 40 minutes preparing and practicing their live video presentations. After about 20 minutes, two of the students had apparently completed their presentations and were seen coaching the remaining students in proper English and video presentation techniques. Qualitatively Speaking: Open-ended Responses. Fifty-two students responded to the questionnaire (see Table 3 below). The questionnaire covered three basic ideas: 1) How video chat might have helped students learn English; 2) How the video chat workshops could be improved; 3) Other comments relevant to the workshops. In response to question 1, the students most commonly indicated that the video chat gave them a new opportunity to express themselves. They wrote about this topic using expressions that translated into more interaction and speaking opportunities, or similar expressions. Other types of responses included comments on motivation, realism, loss of nervousness, technology use, convenience, and facial expressions. With regard to question 2, perhaps the most common desired improvement

11 Michael S. Jenks:Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat 107 requested for workshop improvement was more hours or more time. One student went so far as to say that just as soon as the students understood what to do and were ready to practice, it was time to stop and leave. Other desired workshop improvements were smaller class size, more live chat than video recordings, more relevant everyday content, more 1 to 1 time with the teacher, more facilitating by the instructor, more vocabulary study, and more reading practice to help prepare for speaking. At least three students indicated no change was needed in the workshop format. In answering question 3, some novel ideas were given along with statements of technology preferences. These include needing more equipment (i.e. more computer stations), having a more common chat program such as MSN or Yahoo Messenger, stating that video recordings do not help pronunciation correction where as live chat does help, and noting some students lack equipment at home Questions Types of Responses Table 3. Summary of questionnaire and types of responses. Q1 - How do you think Q2 - How do you think Q3 - Please state your the use of video chat the video chat course basic ideas and facilitated your English could better benefit your comments on the faceto-face learning? English learning? video chat training from your own experience. -Feels realistic -No change is ok (Some of these points -More interaction -Smaller class size were redundant. Only -Motivation to speak More new items are listed -Technology.. class hours below) -Prompt Error.. live chat correction.. everyday content -Need more equipment -Improvements.. facility access -Need to use more -Facial expressions.. 1 to 1 with teacher common chat -Interesting.. dialogs with other programs -Speaking opportunities students -Good equipment -Less Nervousness.. textbook/classroom - New

12 108 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 -Questions Answered -Improved expression -Convenient -Fun -Can do it at home content incorporation.. reading preparation.. interesting activities.. facilitating instruction.. vocabulary study.. study skills -Video recording does not help pronunciation correction -Full service (SightSpeed) costs money -Students lack equipment at home The Second Pretest/Posttest treatment (recorded video homework). Table This pretest/posttest stage of research 4 displays the pretest and posttest means of was designed to explore any differences on the three measures along with the adjusted three language skill measures resulting from means and F values resulting from an the use of either the synchronous (live video analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). homework) treatment or the asynchronous Table 4. Pretest and posttest means for both conditions with adjusted means and F values (ANCOVA). Measures Synchronous Asynchronous F Conversation Test (50 possible) Pre M Post M Adj M * Chat Environment Test (20 possible) Pre M Post M Adj M Listening Test (30 possible) Pre M Post M Adj M

13 Michael S. Jenks:Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat 109 * p <.05 M = mean, Adj = adjusted mean On the conversation measure, the synchronous means were to (7.86 difference, n=22) while the asynchronous means were to (4.96 difference, n=22). Using the pretest to adjust the posttest means, the analysis yielded a significant F value of (p <.05), indicating the synchronous homework had a greater impact on conversation performance than did the asynchronous homework. On the chat environment test, the synchronous mean went from to (difference 0.85, n=21) and the asynchronous mean went from to (difference 1.55, n=22). With the pretest as covariate, the analysis showed an F value of 0.755, which is not significant. On the general listening measure, the synchronous means were to (difference 1.40, n=20) while the asynchronous means were to (difference 1.64, n=22). With the pretest used to adjust the posttest means, the analysis yielded an F value of 0.013, which is not significant. Here are some other results that have bearing on the discussion below. The grand mean for the conversation measure went from to (out of 50 possible) for a difference of 6.41 points. The grand mean for the chat environment measure went from to (out of 20 possible) for a difference of 1.20 points. The grand mean for the listening measure went from to (out of 30 possible) for a difference of 1.53 points. Discussion The workshop results were generally positive. One instructor noted that in delivering the workshops, it would have been very helpful to deliver materials to the students for pre-workshop study. Also, throughout the workshops there were network bandwidth losses that affected the students ability to communicate via video. However, the improvement between the pretest and the posttest of 2.72 mean points indicates a positive learning environment. The reader should note that the pretest mean score of 8.70 of 20 shows a lack of previous knowledge about the tested content. The mean posttest score of of 20 is a marked improvement. However, it still indicates a less than 60% mastery of the

14 110 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 material on the test. Though this may be in part due to the English base of the test, the instructors were hopeful for better than 70% mastery of the material. Also, there is curiosity about the six students who did not improve on their posttests. Perhaps these six students could be evaluated in order to see if their English reading ability was sufficient to be taking an all-english test. If this were the case, a Chinese/English instrument could be given in order to alleviate such problems. The researcher is aware that, though the progress between the pretest and the posttest indicates a statistically valid change, the level of improvement was not very good from a teaching practice point of view. The small improvements probably relate to the short total duration of the workshops and whatever caused some students scores (six total) to go down. When the six students whose scores decreased are removed from the analysis, the improvement looks more like what the instructors hoped to find. In considering the qualitative returns on the 3-question questionnaire, it was gratifying to note that quite a few students felt they had learned noticeable amounts of English during the workshops. Also, several students pointed out that the workshops encouraged them to speak when they typically have no opportunities to do so in the classroom. Some students said that their nervousness or shyness was lessened. Some students found the live face-to-face aspect to be most important while at least one student found the video recordings to be effective because it caused him or her to speak, but on a convenient schedule. Not all went perfectly, however. The suggestions in response to question 2 (Table 3) showed that much improvement is needed. Longer ontask study time and smaller class sizes are common complaints in English-speaking classes that were also relevant to the workshops. The research design attempted to rotate more students through the workshops than there were computer work stations. Students obviously felt this crowding of the resources. Additionally, the suggestions of more 1 to 1 chat time with the teacher are also related to this issue. There is one suggestion that matches nicely with one of the suggestions made by an instructor. A student suggested dedicated reading exercises in preparation for the 1 to 1 conferences and video recording messages and the instructor suggested that materials should be delivered to the students prior to the workshops for pre-study. Combining these two suggestions in future workshops would help students get the most out of the workshops.

15 Michael S. Jenks:Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat 111 The pretest/posttest comparison group portion of this study is an attempt to see a differential impact on language learning. The three areas of language learning studied here were conversation skills, general English knowledge (chat environment), and general listening skills. The researcher had hoped that the asynchronous condition participants (recorded video mail) would show improvements similar to the synchronous (live video) condition, especially in the conversation skill-area. This hope was what launched this portion of the study in the first place. In the Taiwan context, language classes are often very large, even when the subject is conversation. The scheduling of students becomes very difficult. Therefore, can video mail advance language skills, within a given timeframe, as much as live conversation? Looking at the conversation results in Table 4, the answer would appear to be No. While the synchronous group moved from to (+7.86), the asynchronous group only moved from to (+4.96). In a comparison of the posttest means, a difference of 2.72 is statistically significant (actually, the statistical analysis was based on the adjusted posttest means of and 30.57, a difference of 2.86). From a practical, teaching standpoint as well, the results on the conversation measure would leave an instructor feeling like he is short-changing his conversation students if he must rely on only asynchronous video mail as homework. The recent comparison of live video lecture verses asynchronously viewed lecture (of the same lectures) appears to have relevance here (Figlio, Rush & Yin, 2010). There seems to be something extra engaged in the mind during synchronous viewing allowing for more complete communication. Of course, it could also simply be that, as appears to be the case in the Figlio, Rush and Yin (2010) research, a high percentage of those students who can put off work will put off work until nearly time for the test, failing to cram all that information in a way that helps on the test (Gabriel, 2010). The homework type appears to have had almost no impact, and no differential impact, on the results of either the chat environment measure, or the listening measure. This is especially interesting regarding the chat environment test. The pretest was given prior to any experience with the chat programs or any instruction in giving online presentations. The students completed, as part of the homework, 6 of the 8 worksheets detailed in first pretest/posttest

16 112 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 stage of this research and they were taught specific presentation phrases. And yet, their improvement on this measure in the second pretest/posttest stage (+1.20) was considerably less than what the first pretest/posttest group made on the identical measure (+2.72). Perhaps this is related to the front-loading of this material at the beginning of the study period, which may have allowed some students to forget. Or, perhaps the students really did not learn the English surrounding the chat environment because they merely memorized how to get their work done with no need for chat software and chat environment terminology. As noted above in the methodology section, the students in the second pretest/posttest stage were not randomly assigned to groups. Though this decision proved useful to the flow of the study, it is likely the source of some systematic bias. The groups were divided, by simply drawing a line down the middle of the seating arrangement, with equal numbers on both sides of the line. The students had selected their own seats. It was serendipitous that the pretest means on the three measures were very similar, the closest being the conversation measure (25.50 and 25.68). On these three measures, both treatment groups were nearly identical. Prior to the study, it had been decided to use the ANCOVA (with the pretest as the covariate) as a post hoc method of limiting the impact of the systematic bias potentially introduced by the non-random assignment method. In a study of this kind, it is quite difficult to control the actions of the student participants over the study period. Though the researcher and other instructors tried to observe possible outside impacts on the study results, the participants were never restricted from talking to each other, or from enlisting in extra English study. Be that as it may, the conversation results in stage 2 of this research suggest that live communication is more effective in advancing conversation skills than videomail. In a large classroom, maybe videomail can be relied on in a pinch, but, as it was used in this study, it may not be as effective as the real thing. References Badenhorst, Z. & Axmann, M. (2002). The educational use of videoconferencing in the arts faculty: Shedding a new light on puppetry. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33,3, Figlio, D. N., Rush, M. & Yin, L. (2010). Is it live or is it Internet? Experimental

17 Michael S. Jenks:Video-based Computer Mediated Communication for University-level ELT: Synchronous and Asynchronous Video Chat 113 estimates of the effects of online instruction on student learning. Working Paper of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Gabriel, T. (2010). Live vs. distance learning: Measuring the differences. The New York Times, 2010, 11, 05. Howard-Kennedy, J. (2004). Benefits of videoconferencing in education. Media & Methods, 41,1, 17. Jones, T. C. & Sorenson, K. (2001). Combining studio videoconferencing and the Internet to promote intercultural understanding. Paper present in the Proceedings of the Annual Mid-South Instructional Technology Conference, April 8-10, Murfreesboro, TN. Ramirez, M. (1998). Conversations from afar: Improving conversation skills and cultural understanding through videoconferencing. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Sunshine State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Sierra, J. (1999). Real linguistic experiences using chat sessions or videoconferencing. (Published as a guide for classroom teachers. Available as an ERIC document: ED ). Thurston, A. (2004). Promoting multicultural education in the primary classroom: Broadband video conferencing facilities and digital video. Computers & Education, 43,1-2,

18 114 黃 埔 學 報 第 六 十 一 期 民 國 一 百 年 大 學 英 語 教 學 電 腦 視 訊 應 用 : 同 步 與 非 同 步 視 訊 聊 天 詹 邁 克 元 培 科 大 應 英 系 摘 要 本 論 文 旨 在 呈 現 台 灣 大 學 院 校 應 用 電 腦 視 訊 同 步 與 非 同 步 兩 部 分 英 語 教 學 研 究 首 先, 本 研 究 使 用 電 腦 視 訊 進 行 八 項 預 先 設 計 的 工 作 坊 活 動 學 生 透 過 電 腦 視 訊 完 成 同 步 與 非 同 步 英 語 學 習 計 畫 第 一 部 分 研 究 實 施 單 一 組 前 測 與 後 測, 學 生 回 答 語 言 習 得 的 問 題 以 鑑 別 學 習 成 效 再 者, 本 研 究 使 用 相 同 的 電 腦 視 訊 學 習 計 畫, 比 較 同 步 或 非 同 步 電 腦 視 訊 英 語 教 學 的 差 異 第 二 部 分 研 究 以 對 照 組 設 計 前 測 與 後 測 以 驗 證 電 腦 視 訊 同 步 教 學 模 組 與 非 同 步 教 學 模 組 在 英 語 會 話 聽 力 與 視 訊 聊 天 方 面 的 影 響 差 異 結 果 顯 示 同 步 教 學 模 組 與 非 同 步 教 學 模 組 同 樣 正 面 影 響 英 語 學 習 成 果, 但 同 步 教 學 模 組 成 員 會 話 能 力 顯 然 較 強 然 而 非 同 步 教 學 模 組 成 員 聽 力 及 聊 天 能 力 方 面 無 顯 著 進 步 關 鍵 詞.. 電 腦 視 訊 同 步 教 學 非 同 步 教 學 前 測 後 測

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