ALT Learning Contract

Application of Learning Technologies (ALT) Module

Learning Contract

Please study the intended learning outcomes of the ALT module carefully, together with the PGCAP assessment criteria and then design an assessment strategy explaining the Technology-Enhanced learning (TEL) project you would like to undertake to meet these. The TEL project[1] idea should be directly linked to your teaching practice so that you use it as an opportunity to reflect and enhance your current TEL practice to maximise student engagement and learning.  Please be specific and map the project against the intended learning outcomes, relevant UK PSF and add any personalised learning outcomes that might be applicable.

Please remember before commencing your project, you will discuss and negotiate your project idea with your personal tutor. All exchanges will be captured in your portfolio. After mutual agreement, you will be able to start working on your project. Your personal tutor and module tutor will support you until completion, so please keep them up-to-date and ask for advice and guidance if and when needed.

PGCAP assessment criteria

  • Competence and engagement with appropriate aspects of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UK PSF)
  • Engagement and application of literature
  • Reflection
ALT module: Intended learning outcomes Personalised learning outcomes

Learning Contract deadlines

Date 1 – First version of the Learning Contact(by week 3 – 8th October)

Date 2 – tutor comments to Learning Contract(by week 4 – 15th October)

Date 3 – Revised version of Learning Contract(by week 5 – 22nd October)

A description of the problem

The research area of ‘Lecture Capture’ is one that I have explored for a number of years.  There are several reasons why I set off on the journey to capture my teaching delivery some years back these were:

  • My uniformed and naive presumption that lecture capture would be something that would enhance the students learning. 
  • I could use the recording to critique and develop my own delivery which I think has had an amount of success.
  • A realistation that my teaching could be better and more efficient which was informed by students asking for help on topics that had already been covered
  • Students work at differing paces and having a class of around 30 students causes delivery issues. How fast or slow should the session be run to ensure that all needs are being addressed. Would a captured lecture provide a facility to the slower paced students to recap at their own pace?

 After the hurdles of getting the technology to work in a productive way I then found that from a pedagogic standpoint that long lecture captures were of little use and few if any students used them as part of their educational journey. I hope the ALT project will give me the focus to analyse, evaluate and create to help me take the project area forward. So I now ask the question, How much pedagogical value does straight lecture capture give the educator and the learner?. Owston, Lupshenyuk & Wideman (2011) discuss the issue of whether an institution is wise to invest in technology, training and support of its staff to provide this facility. They conclude that low achievers are more likely to interact and benefit from this facility whilst high achievers tend to fast forward and view certain sections only once and therefore is likely to benefit low achievers more. I sense there is more we can do to enhance the online offer to students to make educators material more engaging. Initial investigation suggests Augmentation of lecture material could prove productive. Also shortening the movies would make then more engaging and therefore could be used to fit more with current lifestyles. I recently took part in a webinar as part of a JISC funded project REC:all, The Pedagogy Framework ( Young (2012) uses Bloom’s Taxonomy to describe how as educators we can progress up the Taxonomy triangle to words such as apply, analyse, evaluate and create rather than just playing around at the bottom of the triangle by remembering and understanding which is what simple lecture capture is actually doing. Young (2012) also says ‘The project is looking towards how we can exploit lecture capture to see if we can think more deeply about pedagogical issues and practices we can adopt using these systems’ this is further communicated by the use of the word ‘augmenting’ which means make something greater by adding to it.

Rationale for the project

Having used full length lecture capture for two years I have had a number of informal comments from students, a minority of students have used the captures to recap and embed threshold concepts after the face to face session has took place. It has also been evident that the low uptake of the facility can be put down to the fact that they are often over 2 hours in length and therefore not able to keep the interest of the learner. Also the use of low technology has created certain audio and visual problems which have also contributed to their lack of retentive value. Through research analysis and the exchange of ideas I realise that there is much more scope in the area of Lecture Capture and Augmenting for improvement.

A description of the project/intervention

What are you going to do?

I wish to explore ways of augmenting my current lecture capture processes with a view to enhancing the learning experience which will be gauged through statistical tracking data in Blackboard and also structured discussion with the student body. I also intend to fully utilise the active research literature and use of online networking within the subject area.

What is the scope of the project, how big is it?

I wish to be ambitious but am aware of the time constraints that have been exacerbated by a recent bereavement. I do though intend to use the end of this project as the beginning of a strong interest in the field with the intention of a research publication. Lecture captures will be generated from week one, initially to test technology, then the created sessions will continue each week and be developed inline with student/staff reaction, suggestions, statistical data, and continued reading around the subject. I intend that there will be a body of 20 iterative developments concluding with the last set that will encapsulate all developments.

Who are the students?

I am using our current Level 4 (full-time) Product Design Students at the University to try out the approaches, ideas, gauge opinions and share results. The students are predominantly aged around 18 years. Of the 20 students in the current cohort the majority are UK students with 4 on European Erasmus Exchange. I consider students at this level to be largely self taught within the digital arena and bad habits often surface. A higher level of digital literacy is developed in line with industry expectations.

What type of teaching (lecture, lab, tutorial, online, group)?

A range of teaching situations will be explored including teaching in computer labs, studio large groups and also out of teaching time by flipping the classroom.

A rough idea of timescale and milestones

How long will the development/design take?

The duration of the Project.

When will you deploy what you have done?

Continuously over the coming academic year.

When will your evaluation start and how long will it take?

Evaluation began prior to the project start through experimentation with lecture capture in previous academic years. I am conscious that reading around the subject and networking with like minded individuals will have to be pursued with some haste.

How long will it take you to write up your project?

To the end of the project.

A description of your development needs

Do you need to learn any new software?

Yes, Blackboard Collaborate and some minor web based free software such as Screencastomatic, and vimeo.

Do you need to find specific academic/technical literature?

Yes academic literature around lecture capture and augmentation.

Do you need to find out about evaluation techniques?

Yes. I have never evaluated a project before so this concept is new to me. I have a basic plan in place to help capture data such as statistical tracking data in Blackboard and also structured discussion and questionnaires with the student body.

Resources required

Bluetooth Headset and Microphone to link with PC. Access to Blackboard Collaborate. HD Webcam. All the resources have now been acquired and tested.

 Help needed

Guidance and expertise of HRD staff.

 An evaluation strategy

What are you trying to find out?

If Lecture Capture can be enhanced to increase the educational experience of students and benefit workflow efficiencies of teaching staff.

How will you find out what impact your intervention has had?

Through statistical data from Blackboard and talking with students and possibly questionairres.

Who will you ask (staff, students, other stakeholders)?


How will you ask them (questionnaire, focus group, interview)?

 Questionairres and individual and group discussion

Project dissemination

[Date the Learning Contract has been agreed]

Craig Despard

Tutor: Peter Whitton

About learning contracts:]

[1] In the context of the ALT Module, the idea of a TEL project is interpreted broadly. It can be a new project or intervention the student will start as part of this module, but it could also be a review of an existing or past project or a plan for a future project or implementation. The student will be required to negotiate with their tutor the type of the TEL project they will develop for this module as part of the assessment. The TEL project should meet the learning outcomes outlined for the ALT Module.

3 Responses to ALT Learning Contract

  1. pgcapsalford says:

    Hi Craig, this is a really strong start to your ALT project and I like the way that you are gradually building up the rationale for your project through careful lit exploration and getting your thoughts down as posts while they are still fresh in your mind. I think that some of my comments below will be answered by posts like …

    as you define you project area in clearer terms. Rather than reiterating what you write elsewhere you may just want to link to these posts from your learning contract as and when you write them.

    What I would like to see in your learning contact is you defining a clear teaching and learning problem. What first made you investigate lecture capture those years ago? And do you have any evidence to back it up. For instance did you notice that students asking questions that had been answered in class? Did students complain that the pace of the lectures was too fast and they weren’t absorbing all that you were teaching them.

    You mention “enhancing the learning experience” and “increase the educational experience” this is a bit vague, I think you need to define what you mean by this and focus in on a few reasons why capturing a lecture and offering to students might do this. There are a wealth of reasons why lecture capture might be useful …

    • Recap (consolidation)
    • Exam revision
    • Because of absenteeism
    • So it can be viewed from home
    • So it can be viewed on the move
    • To improve lecturers performance
    • As a record of lecturers performance
    • Classroom flip – so lecturer can make better use of face-time
    • Students for whom English is not the first language often find going over a lecture soon after the event helps fill in the blanks.
    • Accessibility / usability reasons … and loads of other reasons too

    When the learning contract asks “what is the scope of the project?”, I was looking for a notion of how many augmented lecture captures are you going to produce, and whether you had time for an iterative development, where you created one, got feedback and produced an improved version.

    What do you know about your students? Are they tech savvy, FT/PT, do many of them work? Do you have many overseas students – a little bit richer detail beyond the course they are studying.

    I would like to see a rough attempt at a project timetable based on the remaining ALT weeks until the deadline – your timetable should block out time for development, evaluation, write up , presentation prep etc etc

    In terms of evaluation, I noticed this guys blog – he has been evaluating the effect of lecture capture with his students for a number of years and has published the results of the survey that he runs each year – I’m not saying to use the same approach, but it might be interesting to see what he has done.

    The literature review section of this paper may give you a few leads for journals and key names in the field.

    I’m excited to see how this project develops, it is an interesting area with many directions that you could take it. The learning contract isn’t far away it just needs a little more detail in a couple of places – this is really good stuff.


  2. Dear Craig,

    It was really nice to see you today.

    Well done on your presentation. It was a very well structured presentation, and you covered the main points with professionalism and confidence. You also showed that you were aware of key literature in the area. Well done on answering the questions from the audience. You did a great job.

    The panel was unanimous in giving your presentation a (Pass) Excellent based on the following Criteria (and descriptors):

    -The project provides a clear rationale to the project (The rationale describes a well defined and articulated teaching and learning problem that links appropriately to the TEL project area).

    – The project discusses the aims for the application of learning technologies within their educational context (Project aims are clearly described and there is thoughtful discussion of the TEL project in relation to its educational context/subject discipline. Strong connections are made to own teaching practice)

    – The project reflects on relevant literature and resources and discuses how these are applied to the project (Relevant literature and resources are discussed and connected well to the TEL project area. There is clear evidence of reflection on initial feedback from students, peers and colleagues)

    Well done. Keep up the great work. 😉


  3. ALT Peer-assessment feedback
    Student’s Name: Craig Despard
    Marker’s Name: Rebecca Jackson
    Date: January ’13
    Module: Application of Learning Technologies (ALT)

    Competence and engagement with appropriate aspects of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UK PSF)

    Pass (good) – You demonstrated a good level of competence in areas that are relevant to the module. There is evidence of comprehensive engagement with appropriate aspects of the areas of activity, core knowledge and values of the UK PSF. – For me it is clear that the PSF guides what you did (because in my opinion you are a good teacher so you automatically do what it wants you to), but I see no explicit reference to the document to say how you can evidence your own development with respect to it.

    Engagement and application of literature
    Pass (excellent) – You demonstrated critical engagement with a broad range of generic and subject specific HE literature. There was evidence of the transformation and synthesis of ideas through application in own practice. You used the Harvard Referencing consistently throughout. – You’ve clearly read a lot but you’ve also engaged with other things that are not just ‘standard’ literature. What you have read seems to be appropriate as far as I can tell.

    Pass (excellent) – There is rich evidence of deep, appropriate reflection (i.e. critical exploration and reasoning of practice in a wider context). Your work provides a clear picture of the impact of learning during the module. Your self-analysis is good. You provided a clear action plan for further development. Your plan is completely informed by the reflection. – I think your ability to reflect has improved since the core module. I still want you to be a bit deeper in your reflection and talk more about how you feel, but you really have started to do this.

    To improve the work in the future
    Deeper reflection.
    Provide some student comments / feedback on the project – if possible.
    Provide an explicit rationale – this would’ve allowed you to include the UK PSF, and even include canvassed opinions from students to inform the design of the project.

    Hi Craig,

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your project – and the visuals you have created have helped me to follow your journey and work out what you achieved! These could form a powerful resource for helping others put something similar together. If I’ve understood rightly, you wanted to look at how you could improve the lecture capture experience and augment it since, actually, some lecture captures are bad and not very ‘sticky’ – something I have experienced myself!!
    From the literature, you do suggest that students can get impatient with long lectures and want to get down to the nitty-gritty. I think we know that this can occur. However, did you ask your students what their experiences were? Is this the case for your class? Sometimes, this impatience can emerge from bad teaching and bad materials, rather than being a fixed quality of students. As we know, we have been in very long classes for the pgcap, but I cannot say I was ever bored. If you did the project again, would you involve students in the design?

    I watched some of the videos to see what you were doing, and I think you’ve been very helpful and thorough for the students and I can see how these videos will be a good OER resource to support your students. I just wondered if you had considered building in learning objectives and a recap of objectives to bookend the videos? For example, you might start with “This video is about designing a chair. You will learn how to do X, then Y and finally X by the end of this video.” What might be the value of that?

    Just as you asked me, I would like to know how long all of this took, and what workload allowance you could get? Apologies if you did say, but I couldn’t see it. However, even if it did take a long time, you’ve then got a bank of resources to go back to, which does save time in future. What would the cost of all this be? I imagine most of the software was free? Did University provide the equipment? Again, sorry if I’ve missed something you covered.

    This was a great project backed by a lot of thought and a lot of literature and online sources – you clearly want to do a good job. The only thing I would say is ask your students and involve them. Think of your truck project. They clearly love it when you do involve them!!

    Finally, Craig, thanks for my feedback. I am so sorry that I wrote so much. I will answer your questions via my blog.
    Best wishes and please do stay in touch!

    Becci 🙂

    Grade Overall, EXCELLENT
    Please note, grades are subject to the external examiner

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