Using live virtual technologies to support communities of practice: The impact of extended events

Peter J. Scott, Eleftheria Tomadaki, Kevin A. Quick

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Physically dispersed Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) communities often require support for collaboration over extended periods of time, in what are effectively very long meetings. While there are a wide range of support systems for foreground interactions, such as phone calls and short meetings, and a similar range of tools for 'background' interactions, such as email and instant messaging. This paper presents data from a virtual ethnographic study of a working TEL community using the FlashMeeting videoconferencing application and the Hexagon ambient video awareness system, over month of active at-a-distance project planning. The study is a naturalistic insight into the use of online synchronous communication to support extended synchronous interaction between a working community of practice. Over an extended working period it seems that a complex mix of planned and opportunistic interactions require a new set of working tools, managing the trade-off between awareness and disruption. Switching between foreground and background 'meeting activity' remains a very big challenge.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-106
    Number of pages10
    JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event2nd International Workshop on Building Technology Enhanced Learning Solutions for Communities of Practice, TEL-CoPs 2007 - Sissi, Lassithi - Crete, Greece
    Duration: 18 Sep. 200718 Sep. 2007


    • Ambient video awareness
    • Backchannel
    • Extended meeting
    • Foreground channel
    • Synchronous communication
    • TEL communities of practice
    • Videoconferencing


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