Student and faculty perceptions of telepresence courses

Posted on July 30th, 2015

In this report, three researchers from Minnesota State University surveyed faculty and students about their perceptions on teaching and learning with remote learners in a telepresence-enhanced classroom. Telepresence classrooms were built at the home campus, Minnesota State University, Mankato, as well as at remote partner locations across the state. The classrooms let students take synchronous classes at any location and connect to the instructor and students at the home location.

Although faculty and students indicated that they found telepresence courses useful, 70 percent of the instructors surveyed did not feel connected to their students in the remote sites. The authors suggested that professional development in the pedagogy for and training on the technology could help faculty address this concern and should be part of the resource investment for successfully integrating telepresence systems on campus. At UBC, the Sauder School of Business and the Faculty of Medicine are both currently using telepresence-enhanced labs and classrooms. As telepresence systems become more widely implemented, it will have implications in how we approach teaching and learning in these situations.