I have now come towards the end of my ALT project and I wish to offer a conclusion on whether I feel it has been a success or not. Before I give some statistical data I would like to respond with my feeling on the project. The process and experience of doing the project has been a fulfilling one both in positive and negative ways. The structure of the ALT module provided me with a desire to work towards a project goal which I am happy with its outcome. I have explored the use of technologies within the area of screen and lecture capture and have developed a robust and successful system of capture that has also been beneficial to my student cohort. I fully intend to continue its development with a view to improving the projects problem areas such as the collection of statistical data. Blackboard failed to give me an accurate picture of how students were interacting as there appears to be a problem with the data when I have explored it. Having enabled statistical tracking at several levels within the blackboard file structure it appears to give me data that conflicts with other areas of my collection resulting in data I cannot be fully confident with. In the future I intend to link out to an external platform such as Vimeo or YouTube to give me a more accurate picture of my movies usage patterns or to seek to resolve the issues within Blackboard. As things stand I can see that there is moderate activity to enable me to be able to make some general assumptions. I also conducted a survey through Survey Monkey in which 31, L4 and L5 students responded (results can be viewed here, https://despard.wordpress.com/notes/). This provided a more reliable response that gave me deeper insights into the way student felt about the videos. 80% of students said they have used the videos. 75% of the students preferred the shorter 10 minute videos as oppose to the longer 1-2 hour videos. The answer to this question suggests that students who spend more time on their studies can afford time to the longer videos but these students are in the minority. Most prefer the snappier nature of the shorter videos which fits in better with their busy lifestyles. I previously discussed that the shorter movies could be viewed whilst on a bus ride or the like. Comments about the 1-2 hour videos were mainly negative, one student commented ‘Too long, may have to skip some areas where there nothing going on. Sometimes forget what I was supposed to do and have a hard time finding the right time’. Though some comments were positive ‘Good as they give full insight and clear understanding’ but these only constituted about 15% of responses. Some students commented that they were good if you had missed a lecture which I would not want that to be the intention for generating them. Their opinions on the shorter movies were generally more positive and followed a reverse picture of the previous question, comments such as ‘Much better than the longer movies. They’re a lot easier to find a particular part that may need to be touched upon’ were common. Though comments such as ‘much preferred to the longer presentations, easier to refer to, to practice skills’ represented approximately 10%. When asked the question have the videos helped you within your studies most responses were positive claiming things such as ‘yes, if I have forgotten how to do something i can quickly look at it’. When asked how often they have viewed the movies 16% said weekly, 32% said Bi-weekly and 35% said 1-2 times over the seven weeks of the study. 16% did not use them. Questions also discovered that some students would like them to be more engaging and fun, some feel they would benefit other parts of the course.
From the Blackboard statistics, it appears that harder working students and students with lower attendance are the main users of the videos. The harder working students tend to use the recap video’s to supplement the classroom activities after the event ensuring the learning is embedded. The lower attending students are using the videos in an attempt to get something from what they have missed in class. There also appears to be usage patterns where certain videos are more popular than other. This appears to be the videos where the key concept’s is something that they need as part of their wider course studies, where they may need to inform another module and so see those particular videos as important to their studies. I must recognise this trend and ensure my video sessions are fully aligned to the needs and expectations of other staff and students on the course.
Another area for its development is too make it a more socially engaging platform using online media with a vision to create a community of learners. I feel this could enhance the videos offer and make the students feel part of a collective. This needs to be introduced in an informed and tenacious way as I have seen similar educational initiatives fall by the wayside. Having read Rebecca Jacksons blog http://rebeccajacksonpgcap.wordpress.com/2012/12/17/4-how-the-project-unfolded-altsep12/which has provided me with an insight how this can be approached to increase the chances of success. She uses Google docs to provide a feedback platform to students where she has developed the interaction into not only teacher to student but a more triangulated exchange between teacher and student and student to student. Barba (2012) suggests that as digital material becomes ‘open’ it enriches the experience of the on-campus students due to increased participation in the on-line forum.
I also see an opportunity for the use of less than weekly videos in anyone particular subject which will provide time and opportunity to develop further videos within other areas. The use of this year’s videos next year should be workable so that time can be spent developing new video areas. Could I get the students to generate learning videos which can be traded and exchanged with peers. Each student could find out something new about the software we use then build this into a two minute screen shot.
Barba, L. A. (2012) Open Education, Flipped Instruction & Social Learning, NEA, FOEE Symposium Application 2012, Boston University. [On-line at: http://figshare.com/articles/Application_for_the_NAE_Frontiers_of_Engineering_Education_Symposium_2012/96413]