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From video-conferencing to holoportation and haptics: How emerging technologies can enhance presence in online education

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Abstract

Video-conferencing, if used effectively, can support learning and teaching in online and distance learning serving the human need to communicate, and to learn by watching, and interacting with teachers and learners from anywhere. The demand for a more human approach to online education drives technologists and software developers to investigate new ways of being present online while connected with others, thereby making the experience as real-life as possible. This chapter discusses the implications of using emerging synchronous technologies in online education and explains why educators need to develop their teaching practice and understand the role of presence in online teaching in Higher Education. Drawing on the Tele-Community of Inquiry model, embodied cognition and research into ‘honest signals’ we examine the potential of emerging technologies such as holoportation, holograms, and haptic devices used in augmented learning environments. Innovative examples from Higher Education are presented to illustrate creative ways in which emerging technologies are beginning to be used in teaching practice. Technological advances continue to increase the potential for how synchronous communication technologies can support and improve presence online and enhance virtual and real-time interactions in online education. As these technologies are still emerging there is a great need for further educational research and some directions are highlighted.