This summer, the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) sponsored a Distance Learning Symposium held at the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, IN. While presenters will be turning their papers and presentations into chapters for an upcoming book, for now (how long?) they have posted the symposium papers for open review.
I attended and presented on (what else?) backchannel communication during the live web conferenced lecture session. I have attached my symposium paper and presentation to this post. While my paper considers the backchannel in terms of cognitive load (influence on germane, extraneous, intrinsic load), my presentation highlighted general observations from Dr. Alec Couros' Fall 2009 ECI 831 class at the University of Regina, specifically a session facilitated by Dr. Rick Schwier who also attended and presented at the symposium. As usual, it was interesting how few seemed to have experienced an active text-chat occurring simultaneously with a live lecture session. This could be due to the disconnect between those who "study" distance learning and those who regularly "practice" it .. or because distance learning is so often facilitated asynchronously.