Video courtesy of TEL@hull.ac.uk.
One of the key principles underpinning Curriculum 2016 is a desire to make greater use of technology to facilitate student centred approaches to pedagogical practice. Technology can be used in the classroom in a number of ways, primarily to address issues concerning the issue of attention span in a lecture typically decreasing about fifteen minutes after start of the lecture, but also introduce more student centred approaches and thus facilitate a greater level of student understanding and hence performance.
The concept of the ‘flipped’ classroom entails providing students with pre-session learning materials such as an audio recording to listen to, document to read or a web page to review. Staff can either create these recordings themselves or consider using open source content. The nature of the session can then be transformed from a traditional lecture format to one in which there can be a deeper exploration of the topic using various student focused methods.
Recent research on the effectiveness of the ‘flipped classroom’ and other differing pedagogical approaches concludes that generally students like it. Whilst it appears students take a little time to get used to the concept, staff should be patient as students normally soon become more positive about the concept. The emerging evaluation work on the flipped classroom technique indicates it is an approach that has a positive impact upon student performance. Appendix One consists of a short review of the literature concerning lecture capture.
- Audio/Video Recording
There are a number of ways to create an audio/ video recording, many of which can be used inside and outside formal teaching environments such as a classroom or a laboratory. One approach involves the use of the University Lecture Capture system, which has been integrated with eBridge to facilitate uploading recordings into the relevant module site. Recordings can either be made prior to a formal teaching session and so facilitate the aforementioned technique of flipping the classroom. Alternatively, you may want to use the software that is available on every classroom computer to record a formal teaching session.
A range of other methods exist for creating audio/video recordings. These include, PowerPoint (audio only), a digital recorder, webcam using computer based software and Apps for use on tablet device or mobile phone. All of these methods do entail more work uploading recordings into eBridge, but that is not too time consuming.
It is worth pointing out that most of these methods can also be used for creating assessment feedback, see ‘Assessment’ guide for more detail.
- Open Source Content
One source of open source content is the Box of Broadcasts repository that the University subscribes to. Box of Broadcasts is a free service for staff and students from the British Film and Video Council that enables you to record and view TV and radio online from over 60 free-to-air channels in the UK, including an archive of over 115,000 programmes. Staff can either access the recording repository or schedule recordings of forthcoming TV/radio shows that will then be used for teaching purposes.
There are other repositories of open source learning materials that could be used. The following repositories have been created from within the academic community
Jisc content: http://www.jisc-content.ac.uk/
OER Commons: https://www.oercommons.org/
Open University: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/
Whilst the sites listed below contain a wide range of materials from a non-academic community, they are still worth considering as useful sources of learning resources and content often created by academics.
The Conversation: http://theconversation.com/uk
Before using any openly available content, staff should carefully read the terms and conditions of use. Key questions to consider are:
- Who owns the copyright of any content uploaded and made available to students?
- Who has access to the area you have created?
- What would be the impact of a change in the terms and conditions?
- How will you know if content location changes?
- What will you do if the content becomes unavailable?
Whilst it goes without saying staff should assess the appropriateness and accuracy of any open source learning materials, asking students to review and report upon such materials can be a useful way to facilitate development of students’ academic skills using a student centred approach. In addition, staff should ensure that they comply with the terms of licence of use when using any open source learning materials and that the source of chosen materials acknowledged.
- Presentation Slides
A popular approach to presenting information to students in a formal teaching situation, especially large groups, is PowerPoint. PowerPoint can be used to:
- Organise and provide structure in a presentation
- Create consistent format for presenting learning content
- Provide an illustrative backdrop for presentation content
- Include audio and video recordings
- Animate slides to give greater visual impact
Whilst staff may be familiar with PowerPoint, it is important to consider how it can be most effectively used. Important considerations when using PowerPoint include:
- Avoid too much text on individual slides, consider the 6 by 6 rule of six bullet points and maximum six words per bullet point
- Ensure text font size large enough for audience to read
- Avoid use of multiple columns as difficult to follow on screen
- Use good quality graphics and normally only use to illustrate key points
- Use animation to show progression, but only use where appropriate to topic being presented
The guide on ‘Interaction in the Classroom’ includes a section exploring how software that offers additional PowerPoint functionality, TurningPoint, can be used to add rapid response questioning techniques to a presentation.
An alternative approach is Prezi, software that allows staff to create ‘zooming’ presentations that can either follow a linear structure or build sections around a central theme. Prezi provides a range of presentational templates that help users get started. It is worth noting Prezi approaches presentations in a conceptually different approach to PowerPoint by having a single canvas containing points linked by paths.
It is important to remember that a limitation of Prezi is that the transition between points can create feelings of motion sickness. These can be minimized by limiting use of the rotation feature, return to central theme at regular intervals and avoid long paths linking points within the Prezi canvas.
Content such as lecture notes created as a Word document, or other appropriate format, have been used to supplement a formal teaching session for a number of years. Such content can also be used as preparatory material if wanting to flip the classroom.
Students as Creators
The use of students as content creators can help you not only incorporate student centred approaches into your teaching practice, see the guide on ‘Student Collaboration’ for more information on collaboration, but can also be used as an assessment method, see the ‘Assessment’ guide for more information.
Students can use a range of technologies and software to create content. For example, video recordings could be made using a range of devices including mobile phone, digital camera. These recordings could either be uploaded and shared in eBridge or via social media, e.g. YouTube. Another type of content would be web pages, e.g. creation of a Wikipedia page on a specified topic.
It is important to make students aware that they familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of use when uploading content they have created to social media. They may lose control over how the content is subsequently used and distributed as well as relinquishing ownership of copyright.
- Academic Liaison Librarian
Content can also consist of books, journals, databases and web sites, especially useful if used as pre-session reading in preparation for a flipped teaching session or to supplement a formal teaching session.
Therefore, a conversation with your Academic Liaison librarian about sources of content is highly recommended, especially to ensure any recommended readings available within the Library catalogue.
There are several ways content can be created and used. However, the timing of content release relating to formal teaching sessions is an important consideration. For example:
- How long before a formal teaching session should preparatory materials be released?
- Should supplementary materials be released before a formal teaching session or will it adversely impact on student attendance?
- Should students receive any learning content or should they be independent learners and find it themselves?
Whilst there are no right or wrong answers to the first or last of these questions, it is important to think about how provision of content not only provides opportunities for the use of student centred teaching methods, but is likely to enable students to clarify their understanding of a topic and so enhance learning. With regards to the second question, the evidence about the perceived potential adverse impact of releasing learning content suggests the opposite and that students’ decisions concerning whether or not to attend a formal teaching session are not influenced by availability of supporting learning materials.
It is important to have a dialogue amongst staff at both module and programme level that may well also include students. The purpose of these conversations is to develop module or programme level approach to both content creation and content release. Students frequently request such approaches are consistent in terms of release of learning materials and nomenclature used for their location within eBridge. Furthermore, any deviation from the agreed practice is explained to students so that they understand the rationale for variation(s) in their learning experience.
PowerPoint and lecture capture software are the only University supported software in list below. However, the TEL team can provide guidance on the use of Prezi and a range of methods for creating learning resources including use of various recording devices.
Also note, that there is a free educational version of Prezi, though paid versions available with additional functionality.
Box of Broadcasts
Guide on effective use: http://www.slideshare.net/rapfermar/effective-use-of-powerpoint-as-a-presentation-tool-14172367
Home page: https://prezi.com/
APPENDIX ONE: Literature Review on use of Lecture Capture
Couperthwaite (2011) published an extensive review looking at the strategic approach to introducing lecture capture, which concludes that most benefits result if follow approach outlined in this IAP application. Argues that lecture capture is not a ‘standalone’ approach, but must be part of an institutional strategic approach to learning and teaching.
O’Donoghue et al. (2007) undertook a study that identified two conflicting staff viewpoints about the possible benefits of a lecture recording system upon student learning. One group of staff felt the benefits to students were clear as it would provide them technology to deliver flexible learning experiences. However, a second group felt that effort and money might be better spent on developing staff to deliver ‘active learning’ methods.
Vajoczki et al. (2011) indicate that both deep and surface learners report increased course satisfaction and better retention of knowledge in courses with traditional lectures augmented by lecture capture. Deep learners reported more use of lecture captures for regular review of course material and preparation for examinations than surface learners.
Karnad (2013) concludes most students have a positive experience towards lecture capture, using it for making up lost lectures and revision.
Gosper et al. (2008) found most students (66.8%) believe that lecture capture improves their results and that 79.9% stated it made learning easier.
Karakostas et al. (2010) state student attitudes towards recorded lectures have been widely reported in the literature and are overwhelmingly positive.
Wang et al. (2010) published research that concluded students preferred to attend live lectures. Additionally students reported that their attendance at live lectures was not affected by the availability of recorded/streamed lectures and their decision to attend a lecture was often influenced by the topic and speaker rather than any technical arrangements.
Leadbetter et al. (2012) examine the specific use of lecture capture by two groups of students, non-English speaking background and students with dyslexia. The authors conclude that students from these two groups are very high end users of the media, but for two separate and distinct reasons.
Couperthwaite J (2011) Identifying sustainable strategies for the implementation of lecture capture technologies. White Paper for Universitas 21. http://medweb4.bham.ac.uk/websites/edtech/U21_Staff_Fellowship_Final_Report.pdf
ODonoghue M, Hollis J & Hoskin A (2007) Lecture recording: help or hinder in developing a stimulating learning environment? In ‘ICT: providing choices for learners and learning’ edited by R Atkinson, C McBeath, A Soong Swee Kit and C Cheers, pages 769-770. ASCILITE.
Vajoczki S, Watt S, Marquis N, Liao R & Vine M (2011) Students Approach to Learning and their Use of Lecture Capture. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. 20(2): 195-214.
Karnad, A (2013) Student use of recorded lectures: a report reviewing recent research into the use of lecture capture technology in higher education, and its impact on teaching methods and attendance. London School of Economics and Political Science.
Gosper M, Green D, McNeill M, Phillips R A, Preston G & Woo K (2008) Final Report: The Impact of Web-Based Lecture Technologies on Current and Future Practices in Learning and Teaching. Australian Learning and Teaching Council. http://www.cpd.mq.edu.au/teaching/wblt/docs/report/ce6-22_final2.pdf
Karakostas A, Demetriadi S & Ragazou V (2010) e-Lectures to support blended instruction in multimedia programming course.in Proceedings of the fifteenth annual conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education – ITiCSE 2010 Proceedings.
Wang R, Mattick K & Dunne E (2010) Medical Students’ Perceptions of Video-Linked Lectures and Video-Streaming. Journal of Research in Learning Technology. 18(1): 19-27.
Leadbetter W, Shuttleworth T, Couperthwaite J and Nightingale K (2012) Evaluating the use and impact of lecture recording in undergraduates: Evidence for distinct approached by different groups of students. Computers & Education. 61(2): 185-192.