Video conferencing in Unisa social work practicals: structure and strategies
Schenck, Catherina (Rinie)
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This article describes participatory research by lecturers using video conferencing systems and an instructional designer. This research article sets out to describe a project during the consolidation stage of using video conferencing to support learners: the establishment of quality dialogue, strategies and methodologies in Social Work practicals at the University of South Africa (Unisa). The researchers found that this study confirmed the importance of a number of presentation aspects concerning lecturer-student "apartness and psychological distance". During this study, different types of video conference interactions emerged: those related to evaluation, needs analysis, guidance, discussion, and examination preparation of the students. The combination and repetition of these interaction sessions proved the contact via video conferencing to be succesful as a medium for focused guidance in social work studies. The experiences of lecturers and students are described. However, interaction has to be planned and deliberately implemented between individual students, student groups at a site, students at different sites, or students and the lecturer; it does not just happen, either in audio or video conferencing.