Exploring Digital Spaces and the Virtual Environment: Analyzing Higher Education Professionals' Experiences with Modern Video Conferencing at a Community College

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education moved almost exclusively to online operations, causing an unprecedented technological shift in college operations, teaching and learning, and professional and social interactions to the digital space of modern videoconferencing. Utilizing Prensky's (2001) digital natives and digital immigrants theory, this qualitative research case study with interview approach identified and examined the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and frustrations in utilizing modern video conferencing in instruction and college operations in the largest suburban community college in New Jersey with administration, staff, and faculty who skew towards Prensky’s definition of digital immigrants. Drawing upon ethnographic approach, the researcher interviewed fifteen higher education professionals to understand their experiences with video conferencing in their said role, the levels of social presence they demonstrated, how they engaged digital native students in video conferencing, and what challenges these digital immigrants faced in developing social presence to connect with digital natives. The research study found that higher education professionals' experiences with video conferencing caused them to consider how to create and maintain presence, persona, and social interaction and conversation in video conferencing. To address the lack of preparation associated with emergency remote teaching and operations, this research study examined the experiences of higher education professionals' use of modern video conferencing to formulate best practices for training in video conferencing.

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  • 01/31/2024
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