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Collaborative learning in virtual classroom scenarios

: Allmendinger, K.; Kempf, F.; Hamann, K.


Cress, U.:
Learning in the synergy of multiple disciplines. Proceedings : 4th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, EC-TEL 2009. Nice, France, September 29-October 2, 2009
Berlin: Springer, 2009 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5794)
ISBN: 3-642-04635-5
ISBN: 978-3-642-04635-3
ISSN: 0302-9743
European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL) <4, 2009, Nice>
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Possibilities are described to affect the feeling of social presence and group awareness in desktop collaborative virtual environments, also known as virtual classrooms. Social presence is the feeling of being present with another person in a virtual environment. Awareness information of the activities of other group members serves as a background for one's own activities. In general, virtual classrooms allow various kinds of verbal and nonverbal communication between tutors and learners. The communication channels can be adapted according to the needs of the users in a specific collaborative learning situation. The article provides an overview of the representation of users (avatars) and the available communication channels in virtual classrooms. In particular, the possibility of conveying nonverbal information is addressed as it has the potential to affect the feeling of social presence and group awareness in learning situations.