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Page history last edited by Mike 15 years ago
Interaction Activities
The selection of an appropriate agenda topic has limited value unless Web 2.0 conferencing participants really understand it, and real understanding of a specific topic comes when participants have opportunities to interact with each other regarding their perceptions of the topic. To help virtual conferencing participants interact with each selected topic, strategies must be designed that support the identified purpose for topic selection: group awareness, knowledge acquisition, attitude development, the identification of present practices, or the prioritization of knowledge.
For example, interaction strategies that support identifying present practices could require the participants to organize information, to check their understandings, and/or to compare the information to their own personal experiences. Without interactive strategies, the virtual conference can become densely informational, which will put participants in a position of sustained passive participation. Because the limit of working memory is about seven items of information, a highly technical presentation should present no more than five important facts before participants have a chance to interact in order to process the data. For less fact-intensive topics, processing time could occur at regular fifteen to twenty minute intervals.
Keeping participants' brains attentive and focused in a Web 2.0 conference is an important reason for developing interaction activities. Presenters need to be aware of possible attention lapses and be ready to implement attention-focusing interaction activities.
Small-group interactions are the basic building blocks for interactive presentations because they keep participants focused and help them to construct meaning from their experiences. Small-group interaction activities involve two or more persons and are traditionally set as quads with preferably no more than five persons per group.
Small-group activities in a Web 2.0 virtual conference have a number of advantages:
  • They provide for the relatively easy and certain involvement of everyone.
  • They permit and encourage meaningful participation in a low-risk, threat-free way.
  • They provide participants an opportunity to learn from peers and to test out the validity of their own ideas.
  • They can provide the diversity of views essential for good problem solving.
 The virtual conferencing presenter will need to make decisions on when it is most effective to use a small group process for interaction and then select an appropriate interaction strategy. A list of small group interactive strategies is posted below.
  • Small Group Brainstorming
  • Prospectus Building
  • Small Group Discussion
  • Talking Tokens
  • Cooperative Checkup
  • Jigsaw
  • Co-op
  • Focus Worksheet



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