Lisa Lane, over at her online teaching blog, pointed to a study in Management Science article/study about how people process information while attending a face-to-face versus an on-line meeting.
The study reports that:
...people in videoconferences tend to be more influenced by heuristic cues—such as how likeable they perceive the speaker to be—than by the quality of the arguments presented by the speaker.Lisa noticed the same thing I have when presenting using Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting or Elluminate; that if you want to get a task accomplished, you need to go to where the people are. I'm finding more and more that the webinar tools are great for information transfer, training and such - but if you need to get a who's doing what by when project going, you need to have those face-to-face interactions.
As I reflect on my own learning, I know that I don't process video-based presentations as effectively as I do with face-to-face ones. Visual cues, body language, all facial expressions all have meaning just below our consciousness level and make a big difference to our uptake.
I wonder if this study looked at how the digital generation responds versus we 'experienced' educators? I'll have to look into that.