I completely forgot that I had asked the students in the Semester in Government program what they thought about their experiences with videoconferencing. They had attended an Albany Law School class every Thursday evening at GW School of Law in DC.
Here’s are the comments from 3 of the 4 students:
On a scale of 1-5, how effective were the videoconferences? (How well was the content delivered)?
4. The video conferences were effective because they allowed me to interact with the professor and classmates in another state. Although I was not physically in the classroom, I was able to ask questions, listen to speakers and ask questions, and participate in classroom discussions.
3 or 4
On a scale of 1-5,how effective were the videoconferences technically, e.g., clear picture, clear sound? (How well the technology worked)
3. The video connection was clear, but we had problems with sound.
What do you like about using the technology?
• What I liked about the video conferences is that they allowed me to basically be in two places at the same time.
• It was impressive and a unique approach for academia
• The fact that we were able to participate in the class in real time rather than having to use the Internet or podcast all the time.
What are the benefits of using this technology?
• The benefit of using this technology is having all the elements of a classroom experience without actually being in the classroom.
• The benefits are obvious. The technology allows for students removed from campus to participate in a substantive law class.
• Same as above.
What do you not like about using the technology?
• What I do not like about using the technology is that the sound clarity is unpredictable.
• The video-conference is not nearly as engaging as when you are sitting in a classroom. Too easy to lose focus and work on other material.
• Delay in connection, hard to pay attention sometimes when we are removed from the class.
What would make the video conferences better?
• Better sound quality.
• Shorter classes. 3 hours is too long for such technology. Try sitting there and let me know how it goes.
• Easier to pay attention when we were forced to participate.
• Great experience.
• Prof. Bierman did a great job in trying to engage us.