Using Structured Pair Activities in a Distributed Online Breakout Room

Jeffrey Saltz, Robert Heckman


With the increasing availability of synchronous video-based breakout rooms within online courses, there is a growing need to understand how to best leverage this technology for enhanced online education. To help address this challenge, this paper reports on a case study that explored student activity within online video-based breakout rooms via a Structured Paired Activity (SPA) methodology. SPA, which is adapted from the concept of Paired Programming, defines a general way to structure roles and activities for the participants within the breakout room. Initial qualitative results suggest that the use of SPA in online breakout rooms increases student engagement and process effectiveness. These results are potentially applicable to a broad range of web-based synchronous online courses. 

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Copyright (c) 2020 Jeffrey Saltz, Robert Heckman

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