Telepresence as Educational Practice in the Third Teaching-Room: A Study in Higher Music Education

Karin Levinsen, Rikke Ørngreen, Mie Buhl

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The use of Video Conferencing (VC) in educational settings is presently taking off and most research and case studies report that participants (teachers and learners) easily find themselves comfortable in the mediated context. However, as the use of VC becomes more common, challenges emerge that affects both the participants’ experience of closeness and contact - also called telepresence - and the learning outcome in negative ways. We have found that some challenges to telepresence appear to the participants as opaque and intangible and leave them without appropriate prerequisites to act in useful and meaningful ways. During 2011 and 2012 we have conducted a research and development project: Telepresence as educational practice in the Royal Danish Music Academy (RDAM) educations in collaboration with RDAM and their international partners within VC-based teaching and learning in the domain of higher music education. The presented study draws on specially designed teaching scenarios with experienced teachers who are novices to VC-based learning. The instruments involved are piano, cello and vocalist singers. The scenarios include iteration of a series of designed activities, which allows experiments with interventions in order to develop VC-based designs for learning in collaboration with teachers and technicians at the RDAM-end. We used various data collecting methods such as: written reports from students, MindTape sessions, and Skype interviews, focus group interviews via video conference, video recordings and observation of both video conference- and conventional sessions. All though the study aims at higher music education, we find that the project and our findings are of relevance for VC-based teaching in general. Our findings suggest that telepresence encompass the technicians practise when facilitating the teaching sessions, while the concept displays shortcomings regarding the interpersonal relations and the interaction between teacher and student(s). In order to encompass the VC-based teaching situation we introduce the concept the third place. Additionally we have found that VC-based teaching may not only affect the teacher-student relation and agency in the third place but may also challenge the teachers’ practice in conventional settings. In this paper we present our research findings and theoretical development regarding telepresence and third place as they relate to video conferencing in teaching situations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 12th European Conference of E-learning
EditorsMélanie Ciussi, Marc Augier
Number of pages8
Place of PublicationSonning Common
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)9781629933191
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-909507-85-2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventEuropean Conference on E-learning - Sophia Antipolis, Sophia Antipolis, France
Duration: 30 Oct 2013 → …


ConferenceEuropean Conference on E-learning
LocationSophia Antipolis
CitySophia Antipolis
Period30/10/2013 → …

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