Asynchronous Back Channelling

Links for Reference:

Class Information
Class Recording 9/24/09

Two Wikispaces for review courtesy of Mike and Chris
Educon Wiki
KTI 2009 Wiki

Tips and Tricks for using Wilispaces
Wikispaces Info
Embedding a Google Docs Form into a webpage: Brief Tutorial
Google Docs Tutorial
Google Docs
Cover It Live


Contact Information

Mike Baker mbaker@sssd.k12.pa.us
Chris Champion chris@champion.net

Additional Resources
Definition of Back-channeling - by wikipedia
Multi-tasking and the Backchannel: Powerful learning or more noise - article discussing if backchanneling is more learning or not

Research Findings
Amy’s Findings

When we began talking about this project, I was not familiar at all with back channeling. I had heard about it but other than that, at least for me, it was a completely new

We made the decision as a group to cover the topic of asynchronous back channeling. Another group was going to cover the topic of synchronous back channeling.

The group consisted of myself, Sue Beck, and Lisa Lucas. We created a Wiki to keep track of our research and to share our information with each other. Originally we planned to begin a Wiki (which is also new to me since I have never created/edited one before), research then document our findings, and then to add our thoughts to our pages.

We originally were going to split up the work in the following:

Amy – the tools – the applications and documentation
Sue – the data – types of information available to our asynchronous search
Lisa – the communication – integration of information

As Sue and I continued with our research, we relayed what we learned via the Wiki, emails, and by phone.

I was surprised by the many ways in which back channeling is spelled. In addition to this, it is apparent that the use of the word is predominantly used to mean the synchronous form. It was a lot harder to locate research which was done on asynchronous back channeling.

After researching this topic, I can see that some speakers would rather not present their material when there is synchronous back channeling going on. I once worked with a woman who would get so upset whenever she was to train a new class, that she would be physically sick before each class. I could only imagine the stress that synchronous back channeling could cause a speaker.

It’s disheartening that individuals in these conferences or trainings could easily turn a back channel session into something abusive. The examples that we have found show that a presentation can go from bad to horrendous in a matter of moments.

Likewise, I had never contemplated that someone would hack into a back channel session with the sole purpose of sabotage in mind. But, obviously this is being done to some degree.

I was not surprised by the findings that men and women respond differently in back channel sessions. I can see that women respond to indicate that they are paying attention and that men respond to agree or disagree with a point made.

Overall, this was a great research project. Both Sue and I learned a great deal. I feel that this is an up and coming topic that will only get hotter as time goes by. One thing that I do want to point out is the need for some sort of ethics for back channeling. At this point in time, there are no set boundaries for the use of back channeling.