InClass-RTD: Providing Support for Real-Time Threaded Discussions in the Classroom
Groupware applications that provide support for in-class collaborative knowledge construction are becoming an important research topic for the CSCW and CSCL communities. They provide support for lightweight interaction among participants, and for these participants with an increasing set of pervasive features of augmented classrooms, thus creating new opportunities to teach, learn and collaborate. Regarding in-class interaction, however, most current technologies focus on providing support for participation that is demanded by the lecturer (which we term Requested Participations), and that is limited to short interactions. Thus, support for Spontaneous Participation, or for longer interactions is limited or absent. In this paper, we present InClass-RTD, a system that provides support for spontaneous participation in the form of threaded discussions during the lecturer’s presentation. We present scenarios that motivated its development, and its design and implementation as a service of an Augmented Classroom. Additionally, results from a 3-month preliminary trial showed that InClass-RTD allowed the participation of 80% of the group, with an average of 8 spontaneous participations per student from a group of 10. We also found that the system allowed an average of 54 participations per hour. Future work considers the development of additional visualization techniques, and performing in-depth analysis to evaluate it’s pedagogical in-class potential.
KeywordsInClass-RTD Real-time threaded discussions In-class requested and spontaneous interactions CSCL
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