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Meeting needs by curriculum development (4 Short Papers 0169, 0175, 0199, 0252)


09:00 - 10:20 on Wednesday, 8 September 2010 in Room 3a


169 Modes of video production and delivery for learning and teaching
Wayne Britcliffe, Simon Davis


175 Piloting the use of synchronous web conferencing for flexible curriculum delivery
Timos Almpanis, Eric Miller, Margaret Ross, Darran Price, Richard James


199 Flip it, the use of Flip Video Cameras to support and enhance learning, teaching, and assessment
Karen McCourt, Karen Robins, Amanda Relph


252 Scaleability and support: squaring the e-circle
Maggie Gale, Peter Radcliff


169 Modes of video production and delivery for learning and teaching
Wayne Britcliffe, Simon Davis
This paper compares three different approaches to production of video resources by academic departments in support of learning and teaching activities. The paper also covers the institutional infrastructure that has been developed to support the deployment of video through a bespoke streaming service, which has been fully integrated with the institutional Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The projects, which we will discuss, incorporated video for quite different pedagogic purposes and audiences. With reference to frameworks discussed by Thornhill, Asensio and Young three main models of production will be explored briefly with varying requirements for support, budget and equipment and also appropriateness of use for different purposes: broadcast quality, ‘high stakes’ video. Case: information for students/ international students transitioning to York/ HE environment (Central Support Services); higher end academic produced video – experiment technique and lab safety (Chemistry and Biology), virtual field trip (Environment); informal staff or student video – student presentation critique, student developed teaching resources (Educational Studies). An interpretive research approach was adopted to home in on how students used and reacted to the use of online video in their course materials. This drew on multiple data collection methods (qualitative and quantitative) to provide a picture of student usage. This involved utilising exit surveys, activity logs and interviews with focus groups. Staff interviews and support requirements have been considered in relation to the aims of videos produced. The preliminary findings have highlighted not only the perceived value in developing and deploying audio visual course materials but also the importance of considered institutional support and appropriate infrastructure for the deployment of such resources. Preliminary findings point to enhanced student learning opportunities; particularly in the areas of academic skills development, laboratory work and presentation critique with feedback from both instructors and students showing that video has significantly enriched the learning experience. Similarly, the various models of use made by staff has allowed us to shape; infrastructure development (integrated streaming), a framework to promote staff engagement and best practice advice on developing/ deploying video resources.


175 Piloting the use of synchronous web conferencing for flexible curriculum delivery
Timos Almpanis, Eric Miller, Margaret Ross, Darran Price, Richard James
This paper will report on a pilot project on the use of innovative web technologies – web-conferencing or else virtual classrooms – to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Web conferencing systems are the digital alternative of a class meeting and they can bring together a group of geographically dispersed students. This project focuses on the use of web-conferencing systems with adult, part-time learners who are studying for a postgraduate qualification; this particular student cohort is comprised by busy professionals who are working full-time and have minimum physical presence on campus – nine residential weekends per year. The selected course has been identified as the most suitable course for this pilot and could be a model of integrating innovative learning technology to redesign the curriculum; as more blended/ distance learning courses are going through validation in various departments of the University, it is anticipated that this course could be the model for the deployment of synchronous tools and a great opportunity has presented itself for synchronous online communications to be explored and exploited. The MSc programme has been running since January 2008 and student feedback indicates that isolation and lack of study support in between the residentials are the key barriers to their learning. Hourly, timetabled, fortnightly sessions spread in between two residential sessions would possibly increase students’ engagement with their studies and would give them an opportunity to discuss with their tutors any course-related questions in real time. The short, scheduled web tutorials have been delivered every other Sunday since February 2010. Qualitative methods – interviews and focus groups - have been utilised for gathering data as they are seen as fit for purpose. The limited number of informants (3 lecturers + 13 students) does not allow for generalisations to be made from the findings; however, they are highlighting some of the affordances and limitations of synchronous virtual classrooms and they might be of interest to anyone who has utilised or is planning to utilise synchronous web conferencing to support students’ learning.


199 Flip it, the use of Flip Video Cameras to support and enhance learning, teaching, and assessment
Karen McCourt, Karen Robins, Amanda Relph
The research aim was to investigate Business School practices in the use of advanced technologies in teaching and learning with a focus on Flip video cameras. Students are already engaged with the technology and are able to use and learn from this form of delivery (Hürst & Waizenegger, 2006). Beilke et al. (2008) note benefits of video in a multicultural settings as students practice English, as well as incorporating their authentic identities and colloquial speech, which is a step towards tutors’ accepting other forms of language. The methodology used primary and secondary research to ensure the results were valid and reliable. The secondary research aimed to establish the use of this technology in HEI’s including a review of Flip video usage at the presenters’ University. The sample used in the primary research was self selected to allow academics the freedom to decide when and how to use the technology. At the end of the research period, interviews, questionnaires, and focus groups were conducted with staff and students to evaluate the use and benefits. Initial results showed staff used the Flips in several ways including the production of vodcasts, for their own research purposes, and to video student presentations in order to provide formative and summative feedback. The students use included recording meetings, interviewing local businesses, and as an alternative method of presenting. Interestingly staff mainly used Flips as a teaching aide to provide information, whereas students wanted to use them in group work and assessments. Feedback showed both staff and students want to use the cameras again next year. Agreeing they are great for reflective practice and the cameras are easy to use. However some subject groups chose not to participate, the reasons for this were wide ranging. There also appeared to be more engagement by academics delivering first and second year modules. Session participants will gain a good understanding of how and when to use this technology. Including a review of the project outcomes and ways Flip cameras can be used to improve teaching, learning and assessment, thus encouraging staff to consider different approaches to learning.


252 Scaleability and support: squaring the e-circle
Maggie Gale, Peter Radcliff
The move towards the use of web technologies in teaching has led to the development of programmes and modules which are delivered entirely online. While this has real advantages in making HE more accessible there are inherent difficulties with online study, not least of which are the problems of isolation and attendant non-engagement and non-completion.The psychology team at the University of Derby have addressed these issues by designing a programme which places a heavy emphasis on collaborative learning including group assessment.The programme has a high enrolment of over 250 students from across the world. The programme team have addressed the challenges that such a student profile presents by attending to the design of the curriculum to encourage high quality student-to-student and student-to-staff communication, leading to a sense of cohort identity. This strategy begins on entry to the programme where all students take part in a virtual Freshers week initiating their engagement with the technologies used in teaching and learning on the programme. This includes the requirement to engage in an asynchronous discussion chosen to promote partisan positions in which staff model the open communication style and supportive culture which facilitates collaborative working. A culture of mutual support is further promoted by the use of group activities in the early stages of the programme including assessed group wikis, collaborative empirical work, and tutor led group discussions further enhanced by online student meetings using synchronous audio/video software. Although students are initially supported in the use of these technologies by academics and technologists, they move very quickly to an understanding of the potential of these tools to develop online friendship groups that promote good learning. This paper discusses how careful design of the curriculum encourages high quality student-to-student and student-to-staff communication leading to a sense of cohort identity. We critically evaluate how students were able to exploit a range of technologies (blogs, discussion boards, Wimba classroom) to collaborate on an assessed group wiki to show how thoughtful use of technology can enhance the student experience, impact on retention rates and support good online teaching and learning.