Educators’ Perceptions of Uses, Constraints, and Successful Practices of Backchanneling
Keywords:web-based backchanneling, learning environments, professional development, networking
This qualitative study sought to explore participants’ perceptions of the impact of web-based backchanneling conversations in a variety of learning environments. Backchannels, forms of instant message conversations, take place during synchronous learning sessions. Online interviews with educators from Canada and the United States revealed their perceptions of the uses, constraints, and successful practices of backchanneling. Educators in the study saw backchanneling as a non-disruptive, non-subversive, collaborative activity that expanded participation and interactions; an approach applied with intentionality to enhance learning. Six themes emerged from the data: backchanneling for professional development and networking; backchanneling for engagement; constraints of backchanneling; changes in teacher and/or learner perspectives; examples of backchanneling in educational settings; and suggestions for successful backchanneling.
Keywords: web-based backchanneling; learning environments; professional development; networking
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