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Evaluation of the Suitability of Distributed Interactive Videoconferencing for use in Higher Education

APPENDIX 6- Untreated data from participant questionnaires

Best things about session

Slides were good (C7, Berlin)
Cutting down the distances between participants (Berlin)
It was more relaxed, and avoided travelling (Berlin)
The idea that it was a distributed event (B4, Berlin)
The distribution (Berlin)
It was uninterrupted (Berlin)
Visibility is better, but the personal contact is missing (B4, Berlin)
It overcomes the physical distance problem; it gives more chance for conference and education (B4, Berlin)
Better quality (B4, Berlin)
Access to the knowledge of foreign speakers (C5, Madrid)
The opportunity to find out the opinions, and to approach people without travelling (C4, Madrid)
Remote access is possible, this isn't possible in traditional conferences (C4, Madrid)
It is more international (C4, Madrid)
The interaction between images and slides (B2, Madrid)
Technical reasons- to see future experiences (B2, Madrid)
No need to move (travel) to hear these interesting speeches (B2, Madrid)
The Summer School event is more spectacular (B2, Madrid)
Better interactivity (B2, Madrid)
Lower conference costs; it requires more efforts from the student to attend it (B2, Madrid)
More people can see it at less cost (A4, Madrid)
It is almost in real time (A4, Madrid)
It is multi-site (A4, Madrid)
ISDN networks have more delay (A4, Madrid)
The multiple interactions (A5, Madrid)
You didn't need to make long trips around Europe to get to these conferences. It's very comfortable for the user (A5, Madrid)
There are more mediums to be used (A5, Madrid)
The presenters seemed to be professionals (B4, Madrid)
The possibility to exchange ideas between people that would not otherwise have met, or even to talk to each other (Aveiro)
Mainly (or should I say only) the fact that lecturers and audience didn't have to spend the time journeying to the same place to attend the conference (B4, Aveiro)
It was made with simple audio visual means, but with creativity and imagination (Aveiro)
I saw results here with better quality (B4, Aveiro)
It was sufficiently real (B3, Aveiro)
The only real gain is the obliteration of distances (B4, Aveiro)
There is more interactivity and people don't feel so inhibited as in the traditional conference, however traditional conferences aren't so intimately linked with technology (A4, Aveiro)
Overall quality of slides, uniformly good (B4, Aveiro)
Reduced distance to travel, apart from that traditional conferences are still better (B4, Aveiro)
Interactivity between several sites (C1, Aveiro)
The geographical aspect, no need to travel, sharing know-how (B2, Aveiro)
No particular advantages (A4, Belgacom)
The reduction in travel, potential of more people to attend the event, it is more easy to justify going to the event (B2, Belgacom)

Worst things about session

Some slides didn't come. Confusion of local audience and speaker (C7, Berlin)
Aspects of synchronisation of audio-video (Berlin)
The quality of the audio-video was unstable (B4, Berlin)
The audio; there were less interactions with the listening audience (Berlin)
Limited visual aids were available (Berlin)
The personal contact is missing (B4, Berlin)
It cannot give people the freedom to make personal communication, less fun! (B4, Berlin)
Sometimes there was a synchronisation problem (B4, Berlin)
Lack of direct contact (C5, Madrid)
The quality (C4, Madrid)
It is poor, there is no motivation of the audience (C4, Madrid)
There was too much, "can you hear me?" being asked (C4, Madrid)
The speaker feels further away to me, and he loses the main role in the conference (B2, Madrid)
Failings in technology
Not enough bandwidth, slow video (B2, Madrid)
The speaker can't see people's faces (B2, Madrid)
Technical details, and the ability to only have 2 images simultaneously on screen (B2, Madrid)
The co-ordination between the technical and human parts (B2, Madrid)
The co-ordination, a lack of culture of how to cover these events (A4, Madrid)
The temporary cut-offs (A4, Madrid)
It is harder to follow (A4, Madrid)
Reliability compared to ISDN was a bit lower (A4, Madrid)
Sometimes speakers didn't use the pointer tool (A5, Madrid)
The technical problems (A5, Madrid)
You feel that the speakers are far away from you (A5, Madrid)
The lack of interaction during some moments (B4, Madrid)
In general the presentations were made as if this was a traditional conference (Aveiro)
Obviously the problem in the network (C1, Aveiro)
The state of the art technology (B4, Aveiro)
There weren't any (Aveiro)
The interruptions that the system caused. It is very centred on the media that it uses, and not so much with the contents (B4, Aveiro)
There weren't any worst things (B3, Aveiro)
Compared to a traditional conference, the presenters lacked the eye contact with most of their audience, and also suffered from the occasional video and/or sound disruptions (B4, Aveiro)
Technical problems (A4, Aveiro)
Couldn't move about (B4, Aveiro)
Understanding audio is too difficult (B4, Aveiro)
Interaction in the connection, some was too long (C1, Aveiro)
The lack of gestures, eye-eye contact. Technological equipment should be out of sight of the audience: these are all distracting effects (B2, Aveiro)
Some additional tools e.g. pencil on screen could have been useful to make it more attractive. Sometimes you lose your attention, depends a lot on the lecturer, even during local sessions. Even if interactive, there was only the feeling that there were two participants (A5, Belgacom)
Apart from the fact that it's still experimental and you can run into technical problems, but the same can happen with ISDN conferences (B2, Belgacom)

Was the network quality sufficient?

Yes (C7, Berlin) (Aveiro) (Berlin) (Berlin) (B4, Berlin) (C4, Madrid) (B2, Madrid) (B2, Madrid) (B2, Madrid) (A4, Madrid) (A4, Madrid) (A4, Aveiro)
We should have seen that it is, have we not? (Berlin)
Sufficient (Berlin) (B4, Aveiro)
Problems of a technical nature
Audio was interrupted, and there was echo (Berlin)
In general yes, but no short discussion possible. Especially, it is not possible to ask questions during a lecture (B4, Berlin) No. I think the behaviour of speakers at the time of questions needs some written instructions e.g. don't move around, start with introducing yourself etc. (B4, Berlin)
No. Network performance and QoS (B4, Berlin)
There were a few problems with the audio (C4, Madrid)
It depends upon the end equipment (C4, Madrid)
Yes, more or less, perhaps it needs more experience (C4, Madrid)
There have been some problems with the network link. I don't think that the quality of physical links has been sufficient to enable the successful answering of questions from the floor (specially with satellite links- audio information) (B2, Madrid)
The quality is not good enough- it should be more efficient in all senses
The quality was not good enough (A4, Madrid)
Better quality would be desirable (A4, Madrid)
Yes, more or less (A4, Madrid)
Not enough bandwidth (A5, Madrid)
Quality is enough (B4, Madrid)
In general, yes (C1, Aveiro)
Yes, but barely (B2, Madrid)
Yes, the quality was enough, but the users had to go through a progressive learning period in the usage of these technologies (Aveiro)
It was enough (B3, Aveiro)
Most of the time, it was. The rest of the time I believe that a peak of 6 Mbit/s is not enough.
There was a delay between the visual and audio, questions were very quiet (B4, Aveiro)
For most of the time (B4, Aveiro)
Yes, aside from the problems of simultaneous access to two sites (C1, Aveiro)
Generally, yes, although there were a few technical problems (A4, Belgacom)
Ok, but technical problems interrupt the continuity of the conference, because each time they happen you lose your concentration (A5, Belgacom)

Where there any problems of a technical nature?

The organisers apologised, explained and offered coffee (B4, Berlin)
There were problems, but as an engineer I understand these kind of things in large-scale systems (B2, Madrid)
Sometimes the connection didn't work (B2, Madrid)
There was some confusion while the technical problems were happening (B2, Madrid)
They solved most of the problems (B2, Madrid)
Italy couldn't connect (A4, Madrid)
Yes, but they (the organisers) controlled the problem as fast as possible (A4, Madrid)
There were some disconnections (A4, Madrid)
Yes, until now they have been dealing with them very well (A5, Madrid)
These were dealt with quite well (B2, Aveiro)
It is the second day of the presentations of this meeting to the presenters/speakers/organisers and the audience and getting quite experienced in dealing with the difficulties (B2, Madrid)
Yes, they were dealt with in a reasonably competent manner, but the several cold reboots seemed quite unprofessional (B4, Aveiro)
Sound interference (B4, Aveiro)
Yes, a break in the connection to Madrid (during 1 hr), looked like it was the end of the session (C1, Aveiro)
None in this session, but during Eric's presentation (B1) the problem got fixed fast, this was acceptable.

What were your prior expectations of the Summer School

I was expecting more in depth talks (C7, Berlin)
I had no expectations, was very curious about it, I was surprised in a positive way (Berlin)
Expected more multi-media (Berlin)
I expected it to be a lecture on communications. Yes my expectations were fulfilled (B4, Berlin)
They were partially (half) fulfilled, yes (Berlin)
Yes (Berlin)
Nearly, yes (B4, Berlin)
Expectations was to get an idea of the general theory and to get some tips for the implementation of ATM e.g. for the user interface (B4, Berlin)
To acquire knowledge, think this was fulfilled (C5, Madrid)
Didn't have any prior expectations, good opinion (C4, Madrid)
To find out about a new aspect of telecommunications, yes this was fulfilled (C4, Madrid)
To know about the state of the art technology, perfect quality Summer SChool Mbit/s is not likely until next century! (C4, Madrid)
To update my knowledge of broadband communications; this was more or less fulfilled (C4, Madrid)
My prior expectations were to get important, updated information about the market and technical situation of broadband communication and a real demonstration. Yes, these were fulfilled (B2, Madrid)
Interested in bandwidth material and to see how the Summer School was organised (B2, Madrid)
I thought there would be more on ATM (B2, Madrid)
To see this kind of videconferencing event, yes it was fulfilled (B2, Madrid)
Expectations fulfilled (B2, Madrid)
No, I was expecting some South American countries to be involved (A4, Madrid)
It is going according to my prior expectations, but following it is harder than I expected due to poor audio quality (A4, Madrid)
Yes, for the moment, but it is the first day (A4, Madrid)
To find out about the real prospects of ATM and actual projects currently going on (A4, Madrid)
To catch a glimpse of the latest broadband and ATM technologies (A5, Madrid)
The contact with new state of the art technologies, in theory and practise, and it did work (Aveiro)
My expectations were fulfilled, following what happened in previous years. I was expecting however less network failures, which may even have some interest- but not if they take so long as in session C1 (C1, Aveiro)
In reality, I did not have any idea what was the summer school, so expectations were fulfilled (B2, Aveiro)
It was what I expected (except for the delay of the image) and I wasn't at all impressed with the impact of long video conference sessions on big audiences. I think it is very important the lively interventions of local (ie. real, or live) people (B2, Madrid)
Reflection on multimedia techniques, and to test them once more; the objectives were achieved (Aveiro)
To acquite general knowledge of ATM (B4, Aveiro)
I was expecting something close to a closed circuit TV system, and thus my expectations were not fulfilled in terms of frames/second (B3, Aveiro)
I expected to learn some more about the main broadband issues, and to listen to several different points of view on them. Yes, these expectations were fulfilled (B4, Aveiro)
Expected that after 4 years the technology should be more stable. Surprised at the low badnwidth being used (B4, Aveiro) I expected better quality since last time I visited the Summer School I understood that most of the persisting problems were not technical and were not due to the great number of sites involved (B4, Aveiro)
Bigger interactivity between participants and presenters, more information about a Summer School and a videoconference without any long interuptions. It wasn;t completely achieved (C1, Aveiro)
To find out about a global view between telecoms and IT. Peter tried to go too much into depth for the time allocated. I was surprised that T.Bosser's presentation was a commercial one (A4, Belgacom)
Have an interest in global telecoms network evolution aspects and topics related to this, and how they are applied. Expected to learn about these, and service integration aspects (A5, Belgacom)
Conference topics are relevant to my needs, useful to know where the internet is going with the technical side (B2, Belgacom)
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