Another day, another MED in Academic Practice day, this time Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching (TELT). Session three was a session of play…learning through doing, learning through experience, learning through task…all new learning too. The activities felt more grounded and embedded in real-life practice…real application…the potentials of what could be done and seeing it happen. I actually saw the potential in what I was using…it was starting to synthesize. No technophobe wordgirl that day…
After an hour of ironing out any progress or work development issues, the first exercise was to work in our Action Learning Sets to answer Why do students remember everything they see on TV and forget what we lecture?
- Relates to interests
- Emotional response
- Comforting and safe environment
- Presenter attraction – authoritative
- More visually stimulating
- Associated narrative
- Leaves you wanting more
- Choice and variety
- Not complex (easy to digest) to very complex, engagement might not be complex
- Relate to real-world or fake real-world
- Community activity – relates to peers
- Insight and knowledge
This is an extreme question…and not always the case. Why is it that students struggle to make sense of what they are learning and how can we change our learning activities. The other groups answers included:
- TV scheduled
- Chance to revisit it – iPlayer, catch-up, Box of Broadcast…
- Reinforced elsewhere such as through other TV shows, magazines, media…
- Emotionally engaging
- Voluntary (most of the time)
- Low intellectual versus high intellectual
- Designed to make impact…trying to be effective
- Production value
The amount of time you interact, and what you interact with, is up to you. Your interaction can be passive with subconscious impact. We questioned is TV passive? What about call-ins? Texting? Voting? Multi-channel support pre and post-live or reality TV shows…every channel has an app relating to the show, a post-show and more. The question is, how can this be applied to learning and teaching?
- Constant narrative, programme narrative, module narrative, session narrative…narratives within narratives. Narrative of the tutor and students (background, experience…)
- Timely…scheduled, episodic, teams carry on across yet content changes as we need to push the narrative…there may be constant themes that overarch, but there are different subplots
- Ebbs and flows…engagement and focus…how do you break up your learning activity? Light relief? To take their mind away from what’s just happened as if like “ad breaks”
- Design…there’s no point capturing a 40-minute lecture…there’s a design behind why I am creating this resource. Is there a relationship between the productional value, the length of the resource and the amount of time you can expect someone to watch it?
Discussion unfolded into the relevance of the TV analogy to learning and teaching. Does it work? Can it be applied in this way? I raised the issue of student engagement with real object (artworks for 13 seconds) versus digital media and technologies (use of apps/iPads) and how do you assimilate activities and learning to this issues.
“- because visual media helps students retain concepts and ideas.” (Bransford, John, Brown, Ann, and Cocking, Rodney. (1999) How People Learn – Brain, Mind, Experience, and School .National Academy Press, Washington, DC.)
“One of the advantages of using multimedia is to convey information quickly and effectively to all students – and keep them interested in learning” (Savage, Terry M. and Karla E. Vogel 1996 Multimedia. College Teaching 44 (4): 127-132.)
“Students can repeatedly view the modules at home, which reinforces the information presented in class” (Dimitriadi, Yota 2001 Evaluating the Use of Multimedia Authoring With Dyslexic Learners: A Case Study. British Journal of Educational Technology 32 (3): 265-276.)
“…people learn abstract, new, and novel concepts more easily when they are presented in both verbal and visual form” (Salomon, G. (1979) Interaction of media, cognition, and learning: An exploration of how symbolic forms cultivate mental skills and affect knowledge acquisition.San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.)
The session moved on to look at working examples of practice of Screencast-o-matic and Touchcast beginning with a screencast by Dr Graham Lowe, Head of Learning and practice at CELT. In this screencast, Graham was giving a brief overview in terms of where BCU is moving towards a blended learning approach with a focus on the flipped classroom approach.
In his screencast, Graham gave a video/verbal commentary to the main slides…his face was always shown on screen as the presentation unfolded. As a module cohort, it made us think about:
- Accessibility – lip read, see the lecturer is there, transcript…what will you do to ensure those with learning difficulties/disabilities are catered for – who are your students?
- Does the information said, meet the information in the slides?
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Try not to read from a script
- Good to have references to research and research documents
- Good use of multi-screens and QR codes
- Where is the presentation situated? Is it available through multiple platforms
- Think about the message and the content…then to the detail of what you look like on screen and what is in the background
- Think about use of language and what words you use…how will they be interpreted
- By the virtue of the video, doesn’t mean that it’s not didactic and they you won’t be passive when watching…it is still like a traditional lecture-format…it aims to allow to engage when ready, repeatedly, in different ways…hoping students will come question ready. Hopefully the information will transfer…
- Is 15 minutes too long? Was it dull? How would you do it differently? Make it more bite-sized?
Mark then talked us through his first use of Touchcast, another video platform – “a new medium that looks like video, but feels like the web.” This blew my mind as to its potential, specifically for visual introductions to people and places, home and internationally…such as partners for placements and professional development. It would be great to be able to introduce students to places that they might not have access to, giving them insight to help with their application/decision for placements and professional development.
In another screencast example, the speaker said it was good to think about its strengths and weaknesses:
- Visual and eye-catching
- Timing is important
- Time consuming
- Opportunity to watch anytime they want
- Students may miss watching
- Can be passive, must link in active learning as part of the sessions
Mark then got us all to create an individual presentation through Screencast-o-matic…in front of everyone else…something that you’d usually do behind closed doors in a comfortable environment. Although, as he said just before we started recording, he’d created a safe and comfortable learning environment for us. It was a confidence builder that’s for sure!
It was actually a pretty positive experience, although I don’t mind public speaking. It was fine once you got started and focussed on what was involved…making sure you were talking to the camera and not looking away, changing the slides at the right time and remembering what you want to say.
Watching it back, I was a little comedy, gestural (as always) and looking too much at the screen/presentation slides rather than the camera and looking away to my notes that were nowhere near me…also, do not place yourself in front of a window as it plays with the light. It looks like I’m in a really poor disco…with no music. I’m not going to share the actually video (thats for my tutor and peers), but here are some screenshots…perhaps when I’ve made some that are for real use, I’ll share…until then, it’s for peer discussion only.
I wonder what other platforms there are in the world like this to use?