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The value of internet video calling and desktop sharing (VCDS) as a research method

Hidson, Elizabeth (2019) The value of internet video calling and desktop sharing (VCDS) as a research method. In: BERA 2019, 10-12 September 2019, Manchester, UK.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Video calling in research is a relatively recent phenomenon and one that can be seen as a ‘methodological frontier’ (Weller, 2015).

Video calling was used in a recent small-scale doctoral study designed to explore the lesson planning processes of teachers responding to the 2014 national curriculum change from ICT to Computing in England (Hidson, 2018). As a consequence of the geographical spread of participants, the video-recording of desktop sharing during internet calls was used to complement traditional co-located interview data collection methods.

This method facilitated the video-recording of actions and dialogue generated throughout the internet call and during desktop sharing, such as participants' reflections on developing a programming technique in advance of teaching it to a class. The method captured the participants' engagement in dialogue with the researcher, and in a live think-aloud explanation of pedagogical practice. One benefit of this approach is that it generates abundant data that can be revisited, “enabling a richer focus on the minutiae” (Weller, 2015, p.41).

Two central case studies captured through the video-recorded internet calling and desktop sharing method will be presented. One explores the dialogic nature of the research interview and the immersion of the researcher and participant in developing a shared understanding of the phenomenon under investifgation: the impact of the curriculum change on the teacher's practice. The second case study shows the potential of the video-recording of this process to capture the verbalised thoughts and observable actions of another teacher as they developed their own skills in computer programming.

The video data collected resulted in a rich audiovisual record of the lesson planning process in action. This presentation aims to share the approach taken, exemplify the quality of data captured and critically reflect on the affordances, limitations, and implications of internet video calling and desktop sharing as a method for exploring teachers’ interactive thoughts (Reitano, 2006). It is argued that this approach opens up new digital possibilities for pedagogical research methods.

To conclude, this presentation will share an original digital methods research framework for video-recorded internet calling and desktop sharing that is currently being refined prior to wider dissemination.

Keywords: video calling; desktop sharing; digital methods; reflective practice; lesson planning


Hidson, E. F. (2018). Challenges to Pedagogical Content Knowledge in lesson planning during curriculum transition: A multiple case study of teachers of ICT and Computing in England. Durham: Durham University.
Reitano, P. (2006). The value of video stimulated recall in reflective teaching practices. In Social Science Methodology Conference (pp. 1–12). University of Sydney, Australia.
Weller, S. (2015). The potentials and pitfalls of using Skype for qualitative (longitudinal) interviews (No. 4/15). Southampton: NCRM.

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Depositing User: Elizabeth Hidson


Item ID: 11303
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ORCID for Elizabeth Hidson: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2019 12:37
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2020 17:01


Author: Elizabeth Hidson ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education


Education > Educational Research
Education > Learning Technology

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