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PechaKucha Session 1: Using ‘Xtranormal for Education' to engage FE students -- 261

11:30 - 12:45 on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 in 2.220

This project trialled the use of Xtranormal for Education to support the teaching of GCSE English Literature at Worcester College of Technology. We believe this research is important to the field as use of the software encourages students who may lack confidence when presenting in front of their peers. We also believe that the collaborative nature of Xtranormal for Education encourages peer to peer communication in class and engages students who are more easily distracted.

The application is web based, allowing students to create custom animations in class, using simple text-to-movie technology, thus giving students the opportunity to transform ‘old fashioned’ PowerPoint presentations into something for the 21st century. The project team discussed the use of Xtranormal for Education with English teacher Jane Hill and after seeing a demo of the application, Jane was keen to trial the software with a group of students.

The assignment set by Jane was a presentation task. Students had used PowerPoint to complete the assignment task before, but it was envisaged that by using Xtranormal to present the assignment students could be more creative, as Xtranormal allows students to choose actors, create a script and direct a “play”.

Students had fun putting their presentations together, finding the task very engaging. There was also a strong feeling of collaboration, with students helping each other even though they had not been specifically instructed to do so. When the assignments were completed they were presented in class to students, tutors, and visiting educationalists who had asked to observe the session. Jane said she would definitely use the software in class again.

At the Alt-C conference, we will deliver a Short Presentation using Xtranormal to summarise the progression of the project, and demonstrate some of the animations created by the students. We will explain how the software was received by the students and give an overview of the results achieved in the assignment. The results of the project have so far been positive, which is already leading to further uptake of the software, as interest has been shown by other subject areas, including Catering, Functional Maths, Foundation Learning, and Performing Arts.

As ILT staff and managers within the college continue to support the use of Xtranormal for Education, we have no doubt that an increasing awareness of the application's potential will continue to spread.


Link to presentation:

Friday, 7 September 2012, 12:38