ChenChiang Chen, Dobinson & Kent

Students' Perspectives on the Impact of Blackboard Collaborate on Open University Australia (OUA) Online Learning

Julian ChengChiang Chen, Curtin University
Toni Dobinson, Curtin University
Sarah Kent, Curtin University


Blackboard Collaborate (BC), a synchronous, multimodal platform, has been incorporated into Open University Australia (OUA) students’ online learning experiences. This study sought to investigate the perspectives of 134 interdisciplinary OUA students via an online survey and follow-up interviews. Findings revealed students’ positive perceptions about BC as an engaging, real-time medium for feedback exchange, knowledge sharing, and virtual community building. Despite appreciating lecturers’ telepresence, some students preferred not to show faces or use voice chat and queried the expediency of the BC technology and the timing of lecturer feedback, however. This investigation highlighted the pedagogical implications of synchronous teaching in distance education.

Keywords: virtual community building, open universities Australia, blackboard collaborate, distance learning, synchronous mode, telepresence and copresence

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