Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 71–83 | Cite as

Facilitator’s Roles in a Videoconference Learning Environment

  • Ulf Hedestig
  • Victor Kaptelinin


The paper reports a study of a videoconference-based environment in decentralized university education and factors contributing to the success of teaching and learning in the environment. The focus of the paper is on the role of a person having the formal responsibilities of a technician. An ethnographic study conducted over the course of a year revealed that the contribution of this person far exceeded the scope of formal responsibilities. The person, who was acting in the setting as a facilitator, was found to possess expertise, which was critically important for supporting interaction between remote participants at several levels, such as attention management, time management, acquisition of setting-specific skills, and coordination within a larger institutional context. The findings suggest that “supra-situational” activities can be important factors for the successful functioning and development of emerging learning environments.

Key Words

videoconferences facilitation distance education decentralized education coordination activity theory distributed cognition 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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