913 Effects on the Promotion of Students' Research Using Video Conferencing between Two Universities in Japan and in China Isao MIYAJIa, Zairong LIb, Kouji YOSHIDAc, Yoshinori NARUSEd a Faculty of Informatics, Okayama University of Science, Japan b Northeast Normal University of China, China c Shonan Institute of Technology, Japan d Toyama National College of Maritime Technology, Japan firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract: In this paper we measure the effects of the exchange using the students’ respective mother tongue for international exchange with overseas universities by a simple video conferencing system. Students from a university in Japan and a university in China presented the contents of their research in the conferencing. Subsequently, the students in both countries agreed that the exchange with students in a foreign country provided them with useful information. Their consciousness related to their abilities increased as a whole. Students in Japan began to feel that their abilities to communicate with others, collect information, study independently, and complete research had been improved. Similarly, students in China felt that their abilities to perform detailed investigations, clarify problems, understand others' explanations, and create, improved. Keywords: graduate research, master’s research, cooperative learning, change in ability, consciousness, video conferencing. Introduction Students’ knowledge and information are enhanced by computers and networks. Students are able to communicate with other students in remote locations through video conferencing over the Internet or ISDN. This technology enables learning that can not be conducted in a classroom. Herein, the first author facilitated the exchange of information using a simple video conferencing system for 6 years between two schools in Japan. The author reported that ability to give a presentation, more aware of how to actively choose their careers is increased, ability to create simple explanations, deepening of understanding knowledge, interest to one's research and so on are improved, respectively. Several video conferences have been conducted between foreign countries. Sakamoto et al. (2005) reported on conducting English classes using e-mail, video conferencing, and face-to-face classes in a collaboration between a domestic university and an overseas university. It was found that students' motivation to learn English increased and that students demonstrated an interest in learning about other countries. They also reported that the international exchange gave students an opportunity to observe their own culture from an outside perspective. Oura et al. (2005) reported continuously high levels of satisfaction after the implementation of remote seminars for one year though it is difficult to grasp the 914 situation of the partner. Sakamoto (2005) reported that subjects’ motivation and degree of satisfaction increased significantly. Video conferencing is an effective means of exchanging information with overseas students who can not otherwise be reached. Initially, a request for a video conference exchange was received from Northeast Normal University of China. We decided that the Japanese students would use Japanese and the Chinese students would use Chinese for the video conferencing. The purposes of this paper find out for international exchanges with an overseas university to be able to be conducted using a simple video conferencing system and measure the effects of the exchange using the students’ respective mother tongue. The international exchanges using a mother tongue bring more exchanges than the case otherwise. 1. Conference Contents and Method Video conferencing between Okayama University of Science and Northeast Normal University of China was conducted four times from December 6th to 21st, 2007. The exchange plan and contents are shown in Table 1. Participants were five students from the Miyaji laboratory in Okayama University of Science and 12 students in the master’s program at Northeast Normal University of China. The purposes of the research are to deepen the understanding of research by asking questions after listing to presentations of the research contents, to expand the range of research interests, and to learn about differences in ideas by exchanging information with foreign students. Furthermore, students could understand the differences between the cultures by learning about the exchange partner's culture and customs, and increase students’ consciousness related to their research. A simple video conferencing system was used in the video conferencing. The implementation method is as follows. The first author sent a PowerPoint file containing the contents of the graduate research of students in the Miyaji laboratory to the second author in China. The second author translated the file into Chinese, printed the file, and distributed it to the students in China. The identical procedure was conducted for the research contents of the students of the master’s program of Northeast Normal University of China. During the video conferences, students listened to the explanation of the research while viewing the manuscript translated into the appropriate language. During the question and answer session, the second author translated questions from the Japanese students into Chinese. The responses were translated into Japanese. Similarly, the second author translated questions from the students in China into Japanese and translated the responses into Chinese. Using this method, linguistic differences were adjusted prior to the video conference. Since there are no established methods for conducting such international exchanges, the effect is measured by devising the exchange. Table 1 Exchange Plan and Contents No. Presentation Contents of Students in Okayama University of Science Date 1 Development of support system for learning geography in high school 6-Dec 2 Analysis of blended classes in an introduction to computer course 13-Dec 3 Analysis of the experiment reports using "TRUSTIA" 17-Dec 4 Current state of Okayama and how to have the holidays at Christmas and a New Year 21-Dec No. Presentation Contents of Students in Northeast Normal University of China Time Strengthening the IT literacy of teachers in primary and 1 15:30～17:00 secondary schools 2 Additional explanation. Current state of Changchun and campus life in China 16:00～17:00 Improving the quality of teacher training for educational 3 15:30～17:00 technology competence in primary and secondary schools Instructinal design for improving problem-solving skills in primary 4 school English classes on use of IT. International comparison and 11:00～12:30 applied research on course management system 915 Each conference lasted 1.5 hours. More than five questions and answers were exchanged for each presentation. All students were active in the exchange of information. After participating in the video conference, students were asked to evaluate themselves using the 43 items shown in Table 2 to improve the effects of the video conferencing. 2. The State of the Conferences In this chapter, we describe contents of conferences and some of the students' reactions. We found that students in both countries were interested in the research conducted overseas. Furthermore, the conference deepened their understanding of both cultures. (1) Contents of the First Video Conference At the beginning of the first video conference, all participants introduced themselves. For the first conference, two students at Okayama University of Science explained their graduate research on "the development of study support system for learning geography in high school" and answered seven questions from the students in China. The presentation was cooperative research. Next, a student of Northeast Normal University of China explained the contents of a master’s degree study on "strengthening the IT literacy of teachers in primary and secondary schools" and answered five questions from the students in Japan and the first author. The subsequent discussion addressed the increasing use of PCs, the use of PCs by teachers, and the IT policy of the government in both countries. (2) Contents of the Second Video Conference A student in Japan explained "analysis of blended classes in an introduction to computers course" and responded to questions from six students in China. The student presented the results after analyzing statistically educational information collected during the classes. This sparked an interest in statistics among the students in China. The student presented in the first time in China made an additional explanation. Several students explained the current state of Changchun with a focus on campus life in China and getting a job. The students then responded to questions from the students in Japan. This made them feel a sense of closeness with China. After receiving an explanation of the state of Japan, the students in China also asked questions. This exchange deepened students’ understanding of both countries. (3) Contents of the Third Video Conference A student in Japan explained "analysis of the experiment reports using TRUSTIA" and responded to questions from six students in China A student in China explained "improving the quality of teacher training for educational technology competence in primary and secondary schools" and responded to five questions. (4) Contents of the Fourth Video Conference Two students in China explained "instructional design for improving problem-solving skills in primary school English classes on the use of IT" and "international comparison and applied research on course management system", respectively. They responded to 4 to 5 questions from Japan respectively. The Chinese students asked also about winter in Okayama and how Japanese has the holidays at Christmas and New Year. Although this was the last exchange, it is expected that a reunion will be conducted. 3. Consciousness Survey and Results To clarify the educational effects of video conferencing, students who participated in the conferences completed self-evaluations using a 43-item questionnaire before the first 916 conference and after the fourth conferences. The questionnaire items addressed the interest in conference, and students’ thoughts about explaining research contents to other students. Students rated their abilities on a nine-point scale (superiorly demonstrated, 9; strongly demonstrated, 7; somewhat demonstrated, 5; slightly demonstrated, 3; fail to demonstrate, 1). Responses from five students at Okayama University of Science and 11 students at Northeast Normal University of China were analyzed, respectively. The t-test of paired-difference was conducted between before the first exchange and after the last exchange in order to analyze differences in the 43 items. Factor analysis was conducted for the 30 items related to abilities using principal axis factoring method and varimax rotation. Four factors were extracted as shown in Table 2. The contribution ratio was 72.7% in total. Factor 1 was interpreted as “Understanding and Interest about a Computer” because it related to the items of ‘( 1) Interest in computers’, ‘( 2) Understanding of computers’, ‘( 3) Technical skills with computers’, etc. In the same way, Factor 2 was interpreted as “Back accomplishment sense which has solved problems”. Factor 3 as “Ability related to others”. Factor 4 as “Ability related to oneself”. (1) Significant Test Results for Students at Okayama University of Science Significant differences were observed for the mean scores of 43 items before the first exchange and after the last exchange (p<0.01). This indicates that the students’ consciousness was raised as a whole. Next, the t-test was conducted in order to compare the mean value for each item before the first exchange and after the last exchange. Significant differences were observed for 19 items at the 0.05, 0.01 and 0.001 level of significance. These indicate that the students’ consciousness for the items was raised. They said that Senses of (24) fulfillment and (25) accomplishment raised by explaining the contents of their research. (2) Significant Test Results for Students at Northeast Normal University of China Significant differences were observed for the mean scores of each item before the first exchange and after the last exchange (p<0.001). This indicates that the students’ consciousness was raised as a whole. Table 2 The Factor Loading of Abilities and Consciousness after Varimax Rotation Items Factor 1 2 3 4 ( 2) Understanding of computers 0.855 0.163 0.156 0.136 ( 1) Interest in computers 0.779 0.270 0.093 0.076 ( 3) Technical skills with computers 0.725 0.095 0.440 0.004 (17) Ability to communicate with others 0.710 0.454 0.325 0.234 (13) ability to express by the others except sentences 0.665 0.334 0.214 0.299 ( 9) Ability to collecte information 0.611 0.317 0.301 0.395 ( 8) Ability to study independently 0.594 0.588 0.197 0.166 (15) Ability to give a presentation 0.591 0.436 0.097 0.470 ( 4) Methods of computer use 0.574 -0.005 -0.014 0.262 (16) Ability to understand about others' explanations 0.525 0.307 0.522 0.315 (22) Ability to complete research perfectly 0.501 0.488 0.385 0.335 (30) Interest to one's research 0.419 0.268 0.361 0.148 (26) Ability to solve one's own problems 0.189 0.831 0.248 0.328 (27) Ability to compose knowledge 0.213 0.758 0.143 0.326 ( 7) Deepening of understanding knowledge 0.468 0.690 0.164 0.007 (25) Sense of accomplishment 0.237 0.651 0.465 0.137 (29) Ability to create 0.119 0.616 0.395 0.511 (14) Ability to create simple explananations 0.569 0.584 -0.064 0.370 (19) Ability to accurately judge the others' opinions 0.109 0.041 0.809 0.389 (24) Sense of fulfillment 0.250 0.626 0.632 0.117 (23) Ability to work and study cooperatively 0.160 0.475 0.612 0.244 (28) Ability to think by oneself 0.304 0.569 0.592 0.176 ( 5) Ability to clarify problems 0.221 0.452 0.581 0.294 ( 6) Ability to map out 0.283 0.458 0.543 0.374 (12) Ability to express self-opinion by sentences 0.163 0.136 0.076 0.641 (21) Ability to perform detailed investigations 0.296 0.246 0.347 0.627 (20) Ability to change the self-opinions 0.046 0.437 0.488 0.625 (18) Ability to accurately judge the self-opinions 0.169 0.379 0.472 0.625 (10) Ability to sort information and necessary data 0.326 0.229 0.393 0.619 (11) Ability to analyze information 0.430 0.085 0.474 0.613 917 Next, the t-test was conducted in order to compare the mean value for each item before the first exchange and after the last exchange. Significant differences were observed for 28 items (p<0.05, p<0.01 and p<0.001). These indicate that the students’ consciousness for the items was raised. They said that (5) Ability to clarify problems and (41) Hearing others' research broadens my idea raised by hearing the contents of their research. 4. Conclusion We conducted video conferencing between Okayama University of Science and Northeast Normal University of China and reported on the methods and the effects of the conferences. Students of both universities presented their research contents, asked questions, and answered questions in their respective mother tongue. We verified the effects of the trial. The students in China admitted significantly that such conferences are useful for exchanging opinions with foreign students. The students in Japan trended to recognize it. We found that both students' consciousness related to their abilities was raised as a whole. Since the number of seminars in China is fewer than Japan and master's students have more motivation to conduct research than graduate students, the Chinese students' consciousness related to their abilities improved considerably more than that of students in Japan. The opportunities to exchange information with an overseas university through a video conferencing system are expected to increase. We showed that it is possible to improve the effects of such conferences by using a video conferencing system with simple equipment. We also showed that participants could receive the effects of international exchanges while using their mother tongue. When there are no common languages available and a translator, students can understand the research contents of a partner by speaking and listening using their respective mother tongue. We would like to continue studies in effective exchange between overseas students using video conferencing. Acknowledgements The authors thank Miss K. Mizuhara, a student at Okayama University, for her assistance with the translation of the communication contents during the conferences. We appreciate the support of the Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, foundation study (C) given by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, of Japan for this research. References  Miyaji I., Naruse Y.: "The Trial for Fostering the Course Consciousness of College Students by an Exchange Study between Schools Using Video Conferencing", Transactions of Japanese Society for Information and Systems in Education, Vol.23, No.4, pp.197-203 (2006).  Naruse Y., Miyaji I.: "The Educational Effects of an Exchange study between Schools Using Video Conferencing", Japan Journal of Educational Technology, Vol.27, Suppl., pp.217-220 (2003).  Naruse Y., Miyaji I.: "The Effects of Joint Presentations between Schools Using Video conferencing-A Collaborative Work between University Students and College Students-", Journal of Multimedia Aided Education Research, Vol.2, No.1, pp.1-10 (2005).  Naruse, Y., Miyaji, I.: "Encouraging Graduate Research through Remote Exchange: A Trial Study between Two Schools Using Video Conferencing,” SITE2008--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, pp.572-578 (2008).  Oura H., Tatsuta R., Akabori K.: "The Change of Students' Consciousness in a Long-termed Practice of Distance Learning Seminar", Proceedings of the 20th annual conference of Japan Society of Educational Technology, pp.893-894 (2004).  Sakamoto T., Yoshida S., Honda A., Katayama T.: "Collaborative Distance Learning Using the Internet, TV Conference System, and Face-to-face Exchange between Ristumeikan University and Ristumeikan Asia Pacific University", Proceedings of the 21st annual conference of Japan Society of Educational Technology, pp.661-662 (2005).
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