Aktuelle eksempler på social læring online – #skolechat og #itddchamp webinar

I en ny serie af blogindlæg genbesøger jeg ideer, begreber, koncepter og designovervejelser fra min phd og opdaterer med ny viden, hvor jeg finder det relevant og i øvrigt kan finde tiden og overskuddet til det.  Det første indlæg var blot en introduktion til nogle af de emner, som jeg vil komme nærmere ind på. I dette indlæg #2 vil jeg fremhæve et par aktuelle eksempler på social læring online og sætte dem i relation til nogle af mine egne phd-tanker.

  • Det første eksempel er synkron chat, sådan som det aktuelt foregår et par gange om ugen under #skolechat på Twitter
  • Det andet eksempel er synkrone webkonferencer (fx gennem Zoom, Teams, Google Meet o.l.), sådan som det aktuelt foregår i regi af rigtig mange uddannelsesinstitutioner

Jeg begyndte at anvende Twitter tilbage i 2008 via min originale, engelske profil. I første omgang handlede det mest om at have en backup-kommunikationskanal til Second Life (der ofte gik ned). I starten havde jeg noget vanskeligt ved ellers at se formålet med Twitter, men lidt efter lidt opsøgte jeg de mere generelt teknologiorienterede fællesskaber, der opstod i synkrone chats fx under #edtech. Omkring 2009/10 begyndte jeg at lægge mærke til tre danske brugere, som var særligt aktive under #edtech; hhv. Trine Juul Røttig (@Trinejr), Mathias Poulsen (@mathiaspoulsen) og Ove Christensen (@oveucsj). Trine, Mathias og Ove havde/har en fantastisk, smittende energi og stod bag mange nye tiltag som det danske #skolechat og lidt senere de såkaldte EdCamps, hvor den første danske EdCamp foregik i 2013, hvilket Mathias har skrevet om her. I mange år var der ugentlige synkrone chats under #skolechat, hvor danske uddannelsesfolk livligt debatterede store og små spørgsmål – ofte, men bestemt ikke altid, relateret til anvendelse af teknologi i undervisnings- og læreprocesser. De senere år har #skolechat dog mest fungeret som et askynkront ‘sted’, hvor der stadig deles erfaringer, tips og tricks og debatteres.

Webkonferencer har også eksisteret i mange år, og aktuelt er det især betegnelsen webinar, der har vundet indpas. Typisk foregår webinarer synkront med både lyd og live billeder (af deltagere og materialer), og mange programmer giver også mulighed for, at deltagerne kan tekstchatte undervejs. Ofte optages og arkiveres webinarer mhp. efterfølgende repetition og bearbejdning.

Synkron chat under #skolechat er for nylig blevet genoplivet og foregår i øjeblikket to gange om ugen. Mathias, Ove og Thomas Dreisig (@thomasdreisig) skriver her om, hvad der kan komme ud af at deltage i sådanne chats. Og i dette indlæg nævner Anne Hammer (@AnneAnneAnneH), hvordan hun bla. gennem deltagelse på Twitter og #skolechat finder inspiration og hjælp til sin aktuelle nødundervisning.

Typisk varer en synkron chat en time, og der vil være en moderator(-gruppe), der har forberedt et par spørgsmål, som kan inspirere og sætte gang i diskussionerne og udveksling af erfaringer – se fx her. Man behøver ikke at tilmelde sig, men dukker bare op og bidrager. Ofte vil diskussionerne bevæge sig i mange forskellige retninger og bidragene kommer i en lind strøm. Udover at være tekstbaserede, så er sådanne synkrone chats altså karakteriseret ved høj hastighed og ukontrolleret turtagning. Ifm. chatten d. 19/03 skrev Ove eksempelvis, at der var omkring 45 tweets på 1 time med 9 tweets i gennemsnit pr. deltager. Det er udtryk for stor aktivitet, og det kan være vanskeligt at følge med i det hele. Derfor vil der ofte også være twitter-brugere som blot følger med på sidelinjen (lurker) uden at deltage aktivt, men som stadig bliver inspirerede og klogere af de øvriges bidrag. Hertil kommer, at moderator ofte er så venlig at opsamle diverse tweets – se fx her – så man kan få et overblik og evt. vende tilbage senere.

Synkrone webinarer kommer i mange forskellige udgaver, men her vil jeg for eksemplets skyld fremhæve de webinarer som Rikke Toft Nørgaard (AU) og en række nuværende og tidligere studerende fra uddannelsen It-didaktisk design gennemfører i øjeblikket. Jeg har ikke selv deltaget i nogle af disse webinarer, men jeg har deltaget i mange andre og typisk vil det være sådan, at der er en moderator el. koordinator, som har forberedt et emne og sat nogle rammer op, som det er tilfældet herunder:

Her er der også udarbejdet en opsamling. Som det fremgår af programmet, er der både et kort oplæg og en efterfølgende åben dialog, hvor deltagerne kan byde ind og diskussionen således kan gå i mange retninger. På visse områder minder det om synkrone chats, dog er min erfaring, at webinarer typisk er karakteriseret ved en mere kontrolleret turtagning. Lyden i webinaret gør det vanskeligt at forstå, hvis der ‘tales i munden på hinanden’, mens den tekstbaserede kommunikation i chatten bedre kan holde til, at der ‘skrives i øjnene på hinanden’.

Både den synkrone #skolechat og det synkrone #itddchamp-webinar er for mig at se rigtig gode eksempler på, hvordan der kan designes mhp. at skabe betingelser for social læring online. Det vender jeg tilbage til. Der er heller ikke tvivl om, at de to designs kan noget forskelligt og har hver deres styrker og svagheder – fx. også ift. hvem, de appelerer til og hvilke (sociale og faglige) behov, de kan understøtte.

I min phd udarbejdede jeg nedenstående oversigt over de forskellige typer af Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs), der var relevante for mit arbejde:

Riis (2016, s. 51)

Oversigten kan sagtens udfordres, men her og nu vil min pointe være, at den giver et overblik over nogle af de ligheder og forskelle, der er mellem de forskellige teknologier. Her under karantænen, hvor så mange undervisere pludseligt har skulle transformere deres undervisning til noget, der kan give mening online, er det ikke overraskende, at vi har set i boom i anvendelsen af det, jeg i oversigten kalder ‘Desktop VC’, hvorunder webinarer ville høre til. Det er den type teknologi, der umiddelbart bedst kan understøtte det, vi genkender fra ansigt-til-ansigt undervisningen. I denne type teknologi deltager vi som hele mennesker (som regel typisk kun med hoved og overkrop, men pointen er, at der er ‘krop’ med i kommunikationen). Der er også mulighed for at få navne vist forskellige steder på skærmen, og her er det ikke uvæsentligt, at man kan bruge sit eget, ‘rigtige’ navn (det giver en vis troværdighed). I disse teknologier kommunikeres der gennem tale og typisk i et ‘normalt’ tempo, og således er det i en vis udstrækning muligt at afkode, hvad andre mener via tonefald, mimik og gestik. Altsammen elementer, der er med til at skabe genkendelighed og dermed tryghed.

Kigger vi derimod på Twitter, hører den teknologi til under ‘Social Networking Sites, SNSs’. På Twitter er det ikke alle brugeres, der vælger at identificere sig med navn og/eller et vellignende foto, og mange vil opleve, at der er meget lidt ‘krop’ i kommunikationen. Typisk for Twitter er, at kommunikationen er tekstbaseret og den foregår tidsforskudt, dvs. asynkront. Umiddelbart er det således en meget anderledes kommunikationsform, end den vi er vant til, og derfor ser vi også, at mange brugere supplerer med fx emojis, gifs og billeder for at kompensere for de manglende muligheder for at afkode budskabet. Netop fordi kommunikationen er asynkron, kan der gå lang tid inden man får en respons, fx et like eller en kommentar, og i mange tilfælde kan det opleves som om man sidder og taler ud i et tomt rum. Når Twitter så bruges til synkron chat, ændrer denne oplevelse sig markant (for de fleste) idet, der nu pludselig er masser af respons.

Når min vurdering er, at både chatten og webinaret er gode eksempler på, hvordan man kan designe for social online læring – også trods forskellighederne – så hænger det sammen med det overordnede perspektiv på læring, som jeg læner mig op ad. I min phd, og i megen af min forskning i det hele taget, er jeg inspireret af sociokulturelle teorier om læring, ikke mindst sådan som det kommer til udtryk i Wengers (1998) sociale teori om læring i praksisfællesskaber. Jeg vil ikke i dette indlæg gå i dybden med teorien, men blot fremhæve enkelte centrale aspekter, hhv. domæne, fællesskab og praksis:

Oversat fra Riis (2016, s. 127)

Wenger, McDermott & Snyder skriver om praksisfællesskabet, at det

… er en unik kombination af tre fundamentale elementer: et domæne af viden, som definerer et problemfelt; et fællesskab af mennesker, som kærer sig om domænet; og den delte praksis som de udvikler for at være effektive ift. domænet. (Wenger, McDermott & Snyder, 2002, s. 27 – min oversættelse, opr. fremhævelse)

Pointen er her, at fx ift. #skolechat, så deltager brugerne i et fællesskab gennem tweets mhp. at udvikle deres viden og praksis fx om, ‘hvordan man skaber et socialt rum, når undervisningen foregår online’, sådan som vi så det i Mathias’ indledende tweet ovenfor. Og ift. #itddchamp-webinarer vil man kunne hævde det samme. Det vil sige, at i begge tilfælde, er der umiddelbart skabt betingelser for, at deltagerne kan lære noget i fællesskab.

Alligevel vil det være min antagelse, at deltagerne i de to forskellige, digitalt medierede praksisfællesskaber oplever deres deltagelse (og dermed også udbytte) meget forskelligt, hvilket bla. hænger sammen med, at der er tale om to fundamentalt forskellige kommunikationsformer. Min forskning viser, at noget af det, der er meget væsentligt for at kunne føle sig som del af et praksisfællesskab online er, hvorvidt teknologien giver oplevelse af hhv. (self-)presence (tilstedevær af en selv) og co-presence (tilstedevær af andre). Det er to begreber, som jeg vil vende mere udføreligt tilbage til fremadrettet, men når man kigger på, hvad der karakteriserer hhv. chatten og webinaret, så er der fx forskel på, hvordan og hvorvidt, de giver oplevelse af ‘krop’, hvilket for mange mennesker er væsentligt for, at de kan føle sig tilstede og sammen med andre. Oplevelse af ‘krop’ (embodiment) er imidlertid ikke det eneste aspekt, der har indflydelse på oplevelsen af tilstedevær. Hurtig respons, sådan som det foregår fx i chatten, kan også give den oplevelse og vedvarende respons som i den alm. asynkrone twitterbrug kan give det samme. Men det er og bliver en anderledes måde at kommunikere på, og derfor er det også noget som typisk kræver en del tilvænning, før man oplever, at det kan have værdi.

Jeg opfatter undervisning, hvad enten den foregår onsite eller online, som et kommunikativt og dermed relationelt fænomen, og set i denne optik, er det altså ikke overraskende, at så mange undervisere aktuelt føler sig pressede ifm., at de har skulle transformere deres undervisning. Social læring kan sagtens fungere online, men det kræver tid, tilvænning og i mange tilfælde også en redidaktisering, hvis det virkelig skal give mening og værdi.

/Marianne

Grokking Virtual Worlds

On Edudemic‘s site I read about a new tool called instaGrok – a search engine targeted at education – that I decided to try out.

About instaGrok


Start “grokking”

You can start “grokking” immediately, but to be able to use the features properly, you need to log in, and so I decided to log in and do a search on Virtual Worlds;

Search for Virtual Worlds

  1. You can adjust the level of difficulty/detail via the slider
  2. The users’ search history is saved
  3. Search results are shown as Key Facts, Websites, Videos, Images, Quizzes, and Concepts. Key Facts and Quizzes enable clicks on “more” information leading to original sources. Results can be pinned and will show on the graph, in the journal, and under the visited tab.
  4. There are 3 displays to choose from
  5. You can share by e-mail or Twitter (currently there seems to be a bug though; my tweet showed a dead link). Sharing is apparently limited to the original query – not the one you’ve pinned?
Click on the nodes to increase the search
Journal display
Edudemic highlights the quizzes, but I have to admit that I’m not a fan of quizzes – not here, not in general. The questions generated from the search seem to result in some rather strange questions that test the user’s grammatical skills, rather that his/her general knowledge of the topic;

Examples of quizzes

Apart from the quiz section, I think it’s a rather nice tool. I like the fact that you can visualize your queries and the journal feature could also be very useful. Edudemic predicts that Google will buy instaGrok, and that seems very plausible. I think the tool has the potential to evolve into something very useful. Some of the improvements I’d like to see would be:

  • View History without having to do a search first – make available the History tab once the user logs in
  • A “save” tab – it saves instantly, but for the UX I think a tab would seem reassuring (he, but that could be just me ;-)
  • Ability to download the different displays
  • Ability to share pinned queries
  • Ability to co-create
  • More image examples
  • Some sort of ” summarized result” for the quizzes to increase the gamification element
  • Improved search results – i.e. the first pin/example under Key Facts in my search is a wikipedia article on Virtual world language learning …

Anyways, I think instaGrok is a tool to keep an eye on :-) Follow here on twitter.

/Mariis

Student perceptions of Presence in a Virtual World

Together with Ross McKerlich, Terry Anderson, and Bard Eastmann I have a paper out in the Journal of Online Learning and Technology (JOLT). The paper is entitled Student Perceptions of Teaching Presence, Social Presence and Cognitive Presence in a Virtual World, and is based on research collaboration we started back in 2009. Back in January 2099, I participated in a Master Class on Learning 2.0 and Knowledge Media at Aarhus University, where Terry Anderson (Athabasca University) was one of the guest lecturers. When Terry learned about my research in SL, he invited me to participate in a research project that was aimed at investigating the use of the Community of Inquiry (COI) model in 3D environments.

The COI model was developed in the late 1990’s as framework for evaluating educational experience in text-based online environments by D. Randy Garrison, Terry Anderson, and Walther Archer. Given the COI model’s wide spread use in different educational settings it is by no means coincidental that one of the original founders, Terry, has found it important to explore the applicability of the model in new online environments such as the 3D virtual world, SL. Together with Ross McKerlich, Terry conducted a preliminary, qualitative exploratory study in SL in 2007, and basically confirmed that the model also can be used in assessing educational experience in 3D virtual environments (McKerlich & Anderson. 2007).

As part of our collaboration, Terry & Ross, participated in one of my in-world classes with the MIL09 students – something both the students and I appreciated very much.


Terry explaining about the COI-model in the MIL09 class


Discussing different COI concepts in the MIL09 class

Anyways, after such a long time, it is great to finally see our paper published, and I want to thank Ross, Terry, and Brad for the collaboration – it was a very good experience :-)

Here’s the abstract of our paper:

Presence – or having a sense of active participation – in distance education has increased with the expanding use of and affordances of communications technologies. Virtual worlds have been on the forefront of popular and education technology in the last three years and innovative methods of teaching and learning are emerging in these contexts.  Using the recently validated community of inquiry (COI) instrument, this study focuses on students’ perceptions of teaching, social and cognitive presence in virtual world contexts. The authors examine whether the COI Instrument can effectively be applied to virtual world learning events. The results are exciting: in a diverse sample, virtual world learners perceive teaching presence, social presence and cognitive presence.

/Mariis

High student satisfaction in SL

On June 16th, 22 students graduated from the Master’s Program on ICT & Learning (MIL) at Aalborg University, and this is where I’ve been running courses on SL for my PhD-project since 2007. As always, graduation day was an exciting day combining student anxiety and great relief and joy. After all the exams, there was a reception where the Masters received their diplomas, the daily manager of MIL, Ulla Konnerup and the Dean of Humanities, Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld spoke about the students’ achievements and their new roles as “ambassadors of ICT & Learning”. Finally, we finished off the day with a wonderful dinner/dance at the Utzon Center, downtown Aalborg.


22 very happy Masters of ICT & Learning 2011.

As something new, the steering committee behind the MIL Program had decided to award the Program’s “Teacher of the Year”. All courses/modules are anonymously evaluated by the students, and based on these evaluations; I was fortunate to receive this award :-)


1 happy Teacher of the Year 2011 and 1 happy Dean (right).

Ironically, I’ve not (yet) seen these particular students evaluations, however, based on the evaluations the students and I did as part of the SL course, I do have a few ideas as to why the students find teaching and learning in SL so satisfying. To understand this a little background information is necessary. In my PhD-project, I’ve conducted 4 research cycles, spanning from 2007-2010. Each cycle consisted of designing, implementing, and evaluating a 6-8 week online course on ICT and instructional design based in SL and a conventional 2D VLE. From a theoretical point of view, I’ve been inspired especially by Wenger’s (1998) social theory on learning as participation in Communities of Practice (CoP), Schroeder’s (2011) ideas on presence and co-presence, and Bolter & Grusin’s (1999) concept of remediation. From a methodological point of view, I’ve been inspired by Insider Action Research (Coghlan, 2007), and ethnographical methods such as longitude participant-observation (Boellstorff, 2008). 53 adult MIL-students (majority are educators) in total have participated in my study. The table below provides a brief overview of the research cycles.


PhD-overview – July 2011.

Based on my data, I’ve been able to identify 3 analytical units that will inform the answering of my research question; namely what it means to learn via 1) a new, virtual environment, via 2) a new, virtual body, and finally via 3) new, virtual activities. The picture below shows the 3 units and the related topics that emerged in all four research cycles.


3 analytical units; virtual environment, virtual body, and virtual activities.

In this short post, I will not go into details with the units, but my findings show that being remediated as avatars in a new, virtual environment where it is possible to participate in a variety of new virtual activities greatly influenced the students’ perceptions of presence and co-presence, and from a Distance Education perspective this is one of the most valuable contributions SL has to offer. Conveying a sense of “being there together” as Schroeder puts it, is essential in Distance Education, not only in terms of student satisfaction, but also in terms of learning outcome. Further, SL also provides the participants with unique opportunities of “doing things together”, and as such it is possible to attribute some of the students’ satisfaction to SL’s affordances. I would, however, like to stress that relevant affordances do not necessarily guaranty satisfaction, and though this holds true for all technology, especially in a complex system like SL, the instructional design becomes pertinent. Basically, my PhD-work has been about designing for optimal learning via SL, and in this respect, I’ve found great inspiration in Wenger’s four dimensions of learning;

  • Learning as a process of experiencing – outcome: changed meaning
  • Learning as a process of becoming – outcome: changed identity
  • Learning as a process of belonging – outcome: changed community
  • Learning as a process of doing – outcome: changed practice
Even though, I’ve not designed exclusively for the creation of a community of practice in SL, e.g. by solely using Wenger’s proposed design principles*, the ideas of the theory are part of my, and the MIL Program’s general pedagogical foundation, and I do believe that SL is a medium that offers very good opportunities for creation of communities of practice, both in educational and other settings. Looking at my data, I’ve found a distinct connection between elements from CoP-theory and presence/co-presence as shown in the figure below.


Connected elements of presence and CoP-theory in 3D-remediated learning.

In short, the figure shows how the sense of presence facilitates the creation of meaning and identity, while the sense of co-presence facilitates the creation of community and practice. In practice, the elements overlap, and it is in fact the oscillation between the elements, which constitutes the dynamics of SL as teaching and learning environment as seen from a CoP-perspective. Based on the findings from my study, I believe that the combination of a social pedagogical strategy and the use of a medium that affords a strong sense of presence/co-presence and which is rich in terms of co-creative possibilities, actually can promote student satisfaction. Evidently, this is a very brief description of my work … more details will follow in my forthcoming dissertation that is due in September.

/Mariis

*) For an excellent example of integrating Wenger’s principles and ideas in design for teacher development in an online community, please have a look at my (now former) colleague Dr. Mayela Coto’s PhD-work.

Different aspects of Being There Together

On February 1oth Dr. Ralph Schroeder of The Oxford Internet Institute will be giving a talk entitled ” Being There Together: Social Interaction in Virtual Environments” on the CAVE island at 9AM SLT.

The talk is organized by the Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning Special Interest Group (ARVEL SIG) as part of their ongoing in-world discussions.

This talk will be of particular interest to me given that different ways of being there together are some of the core concerns in my PhD, and the first book I read in relation to my PhD research was in fact “The Social Life of Avatars” (2002) edited by Dr. Schroeder. Since then I’ve been following Dr. Schroeder’s work, and especially some of the articles he has published in The MIT Journal, “Presence – Teleoperators and Virtual Environments“. In my opinion the different ways of being there together are closely connected to different perspectives of the perception of presence that humans potentially get when interacting with computers (the HCI perspective), and in this regard I think it is possible (at least in an analytical sense) to distinguish between

  • a sense of being – related to self-presence
  • a sense of there – related to tele-/or virtual presence
  • a sense of togetherness – related to co-presence

In so far as you define a “virtual environment” to include the affordance of creation, I would add a sense of doing, which then in turn also could relate to doing together (co-creation), and then could relate to social presence. However, these are my preliminary thoughts, and it is important to stress that there is no consensus in the literature as to neither definition nor use of the terms of presence. When I’m done with the final analysis of my data, I’m hoping to be more articulate on this matter. An interesting challenge here is also that I’m hoping to connect Wenger’s (1998) 4 components of learning (practice, community, identity, and meaning) to the different aspects of presence, and this will be tested in my analysis. Regardless of this outcome, I find it important to emphasize that when dealing with virtual environments such as 3D virtual worlds doing together becomes just as – if not more – important as being together. And I have a strong feeling (not very academic yet, I know ;-) that becoming together may be even more important … anyways, these are some of the issues I’m currently struggling with in my PhD-work.

As I understand it, Dr. Schroeder will focus on results from his latest 2011 book (with the same title as the talk) “Being There Together. Social Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments“, which I haven’t read yet. Nonetheless, Dr. Schroeder’s slides for the talk have already been put up for viewing on the island, and judging from these, the talk will include some of the ideas Schroeder expressed in a 2007 paper entitled “Virtual Environments and Other Media for Being There Together: Towards a Convergence of Technologies, Uses, and Research Agendas.” In this paper Schroeder compares “virtual environments” (VEs) with three other technologies: 1) videoconferencing, 2) online spaces for socializing and gaming, and 3) online awareness and social networking technologies. One of the things that puzzle me about this is the way Schroeder defines “virtual environments”:

VEs are defined as providing the sensory experience of being in a place other than the you are physically in, and being able to interact with that place [1, 2] A shorthand is to say that these are technologies for ‘being there’, and multi-user VEs for ‘being there together’ [3]. (Schroeder. 2007: 1 – see original for references)

And in the video below Dr. Schroeder repeats at least the first part of this definition of VEs :

It is in fact not so much the definition that puzzles me, but rather the way Dr. Schroeder uses it to differentiate between VEs and other media. In the 2007 paper Schroeder summarizes his comparison of the four technologies in this table below:


Figure 1 from Schroeder. 2007:5

When looking at this table actually a couple of things puzzle me. First of all, I’m wondering what kinds of technologies Schroeder would label as VEs? In the above mentioned 2002 book Schroeder links VR and VE tech closely, and that could perhaps explain the “face with limited expressiveness, and body” in the Appearance cell, but I’m honestly not sure … Secondly, when I look through my SL-avatar-based glasses, I guess a medium like SL would best fit in the column of “Online spaces for gaming and socializing”, but again I’m not sure. However, if this is where Schroeder would place SL it brings forward new questions/comments. As a general comment I would say that SL fits the definition of a VE in that it also gives the user the experience of being in another place, being able to interact in this place, and of being there with others. Schroeder does in fact point to an increasing overlap between different technologies, and so I wondering why he doesn’t reserve VE as an overarching concept or definition. In more specific terms related to SL I would comment on some of the claims in the column;

  • ad. Realism: judging from the rest of the paper I think Schroeder mainly refers to fidelity here, which would explain the “low” claim. However, whiter or not something is perceived “real” in psychosocial terms remains highly controversial.
  • ad. Object and environment interaction: here I’m simply not sure what Schroeder means by “restricted field view” – at least not if it refers to the user’s control over different POVs?
  • ad. Communication and interaction: while it is true that much communication in SL is synchronous (text/voice chat), the asynchronous aspect should not be neglected, and this is something that has improved with the Shared Media feature that enables users to communicate in web-based systems outside SL from inside SL, and this of course does not have to real-time.

I’m fully aware that a general comparison can’t and shouldn’t capture more system specific nuances, and Schroeder recognizes that this comparison may “be drawn too sharply – in reality many of them overlap” (2007:2). Even so, I’m really looking forward to meeting Dr. Schroeder in-world later this week, and I’m hoping that I get the chance to ask him to elaborate on some of these issues – and meanwhile I’m impatiently waiting for his new book to arrive :-)

/Mariis

Reference

Schroeder, R. (2007) Virtual Environments and Other Media for Being There Together: Towards a Convergence of Technologies, Uses, and Research Agendas. Proceedings of Presence 2007, Barcelona, Spain, October 2007.