Digital Responses themes emerging from the setting ... - ALT-C 2010

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Digital Responses

themes emerging from the setting of

digital media
-
enhanced learning assignments

Andrew Middleton

Oksana

Fedotova
, Richard Mather,
Cathy Malone and Diane
Rushton

Sheffield Hallam University

(cc) h.koppdelaney

This is about...

Extending the learning
environment with digital
media


Digital voices


Being an innovator


Learner
-
generated media


User
-
generated digital media
assignments



The capacity of academic staff to
devise, support and deliver

them


The capacity of students to
respond

in an
academically
meaningful way


The
practicalities
for academic
staff and students


The
benefits
of diversifying the
media with which students are
asked to engage

(cc)
kevindooley

2008

Responding to digital variety

Common themes and indicative
issues


1.
Digital posters

2.
Virtual reality machinima

3.
Digital storytelling

4.
Games
-
based machinima


(cc)
Flutterbudget

2010

4 interviews with academic innovators

4 with their students

4 Case Studies

1. Digital posters

20 students x 2 (FT and PT )

Business module on
Globalisation


Digital posters use
screencasting software to
capture a simple graphic
structure and the voice of the
student.


What:
students developing
academic literacy skills
through independent EBL
activity towards creating a
common pool of background
data on emerging markets in
different countries.


(cc) Moleitau 2009

16 students


“Machinima are digital films
created in IVWs or digital games
[that] offer a rich mechanism
for delivering such challenges.“

(Middleton & Mather 2008)


What:
Produce an artefact
that
provides insight on an aspect of
virtual reality that has
interested you.

Machinima techniques were
adopted by several students

Middleton, A. & Mather, R. (2008) Machinima interventions: innovative approaches to immersive virtual world
curriculum integration.
ALT
-
J: Research in Learning Technology, Vol. 16, No. 3. (2008), pp. 207
-
220.

2. Virtual reality machinima

(cc)
Planetart

2009

3. Digital storytelling

(cc) torres21 2009

13 Computing Innovation

students


“Digital stories are media
artefacts combining still
images and sound, created
and edited by individuals
or groups using cameras
and computers."

(Jenkins & Lonsdale 2007)


What:
students
evaluated
multimedia technology by
producing a digital story
and writing a report.


Martin Jenkins and Jo Lonsdale (2007) “Evaluating the effectiveness of digital storytelling for student reflection,” in ICT:
Pro
viding choices for

learners and learning (presented at the ASCILITE, Singapore, http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/jenkins
.pd
f.


4. Games
-
based machinima

(cc) awesomerealm 2009

93

Theory of Game Design
students
(Level 4)


Digital commentary layer
over
machinima

of game

play.


What:
students are
required to analyse
complex interactive media
using audio notes and
then analyse their digital
narrative.


Academic readiness

Using media professionally can
be scary

Personal experience led to
confidence:

“You can’t expect students to do
what you haven’t done”


Timetabling obstacles










To give and support digital media assignments

“I was enthused [by
DPs] and I was quite
surprised given that I
am quite IT phobic... I
think the students pick
that up”

“I wanted to give them
a space that they could
take some ownership
of, and that's what
happened.”

“I don't think I'd have
set it if I hadn't been
able to do it myself.”

(cc)
fatmandy

2009

Learner readiness

Students expectations are varied


Digital media
-

not the easy option


Students trust academics


Many not done anything like this
before


Communication should always focus
on content


not form

(even if the form is what is different for you!)











To being given digital media assignments

Student: “I just had so many
ideas, I thought I can do
this, I can do this, you gave
us so much time for it.”

(cc)
I’maGirafe

2008




Setting the assignment

Alignment of rich assessment:
Primary
and secondary

outcomes

Time
-
delimited design: manageability


Danger:
students think this is
about

media


Assessment grids/rubrics are key

Class and podcast briefing


Things to think about when setting digital media assignments

“I didn't want it to be at all
ambiguous”

“There was no room for
misunderstanding”

Literacy and ‘bridging’

Creating an enquiry framework


Layers of engagement


Form can inhibit
or

open learning

Different media, different insight


Familiar forms and language leading
to critical thinking




Learning through digital media assignments

Student: “I put my
diagnostic screencast
on YouTube, I felt it was
a much easier way to
get ... people to
comment on it.”

“We just sat there with
a phone and recorded
ourselves speaking into
it for quite a while, then
we'd listen back to it
and figure out what we
were missing.”

Student: “It was quite easy to go over [6 minute limit]
…it helps you to really focus what you were trying to
put across.”

(cc)
akshay_pulipaka

2008

On assessment design

Assessment for learning

Value of the whole thinking process

Always content (not form)

Constrain technology to open creativity


Spread the assessment products...

build in regular formative feedback

(self, peers, tutors)


Diverse responses


moderate peer and
self
-
assessment?


“I didn’t want to ask
them to develop skills in
something that would
not be useful to them
ever again.”

(cc) Pink Sherbet Photography 2006

Early non
-
critical task: remove anxiety, form
expectations, identify problems and other
‘hurdles'


Reduce support requirements and keep students
focused on content...

Specify hardware, software, duration, formats,
quality


Students love to over
-
complicate things! DON’T
let them!


Test submission method(s)

Check and agree file quotas beforehand


Prepare

Keep It Simple Stupid

Student: “Once I started
I got over the main
hurdle of what I was
doing, how I was editing
it and what I needed to
do.”

(cc)
Catharuna

2008

Peer mentors (academic and students)

Develop a co
-
operative ethos (self supporting)

YouTube
screencasts

sharing, etc


Communal Constructivism

Holmes, B., Tangney, B.,
FitzGibbon
, A., Savage, T. and Meehan, S. (2001) Communal
constructivism: students constructing learning for as well as with others. Proceedings of SITE
2001, Florida


Support

Community

How did you arrive at
AVI?

"That was stupid. I
should have listened to
the students. They
actually laughed about
it when I said it!"

(cc)
Kalieye

2007

Technology: avoid superficial ‘creativity’

Digital media: plenty of room for creativity
(decision making)

Creativity: evidence of “academic struggle”


Tension:

creativity /motivation | manageability


Open
-
ended assignment:

students can respond to clear assessment
criteria


Creativity

Exploring difference through a digital media assignment

Student: “The
projects that we
made were all about
creative freedom,
and that was great.
Once I got into it I
was loving it, and I'd
love to do it again,
and I'd do the report
again and not make
as big a hash of it.”

Staff and students out of
comfort zones


Students don’t stay within
bounds


Wrong infrastructure


Academic media?


Wrong tool = wrong result



Risks

Unfamiliar territory

(cc) One
-
Fat
-
Man 2006

Focus on voice


Varied assessment diet


Clear framework for enquiry


Distinguish content from form

Benefits 1

Undertaking digital media assignments

(cc)
Tanakawho

2008

Academic literacy

(bridging or ‘becoming academic’)

Ways in to academic engagement

Inherent motivation

Research exigency

Evaluating sources

Voicing knowledge


“finding and using
the right words for the first time”

Selecting evidence

Reviewing knowledge

Presenting knowledge

Benefits 2

Undertaking digital media assignments

(cc) Future
darkmatter

2005

Communal Constructivism

asynchronous collective knowledge
building

being responsible for each other


Authenticity


I felt like a games developer when I
was doing it, I felt in that comfort zone,
I felt I could do this, I could go out in
the real world and actually do this for a
living. It was great, I felt happy making
that piece of work.”

“Snap, me too.”



Benefits 3

Undertaking digital media assignments

Student: “A really great
way to showcase what
you have learned.”

(cc)
Afloden

2008

Many levels of engagement

(e.g. Game
-
based
machinima

commentaries)

Action

Recording

Analysis

Articulation

Reflection

Self
-
efficacy:

making innate creativity explicit


Inclusive



Benefits 4

Undertaking digital media assignments

(cc)
Amagil

2005

Processes and systems inhibit
academic innovation


Reticent colleagues... how can
innovators persuade them out of
their comfort zones?


Assure students and be flexible


“Too much innovation”


Academic innovation

Obstacles, barriers, hurdles...

Validation


“it is very
difficult, as you know, to
change your assessment
package”

(cc)
Electropod

2009

Obstacles:


Room bookings and timetabling


Software availability


Hardware availability


Reliability of hardware


Support for first iteration innovation


Just
-
in
-
time training

(
now

I need to know this...
now
)



Academic innovation

Obstacles, barriers, hurdles...

“Why would we
innovate if the
university can’t support
us as innovators? ... It’s
back down to your
goodwill, my goodwill
and, particularly if we’re
involving other
members of staff, their
goodwill”

(cc)
RaeA

2006

Conclusions 1


Mediation


Open ended: room to think creatively


Multiple layers of meaning through
asynchronous engagement


Richness: focus on primary outcomes and
know there will be secondary outcomes


Media innovation


Layers of complexity have to be managed


Start small, find a mentor


Stop it if it’s not scalable or sustainable


Fix down technology to open academic
creativity


(cc)
miss_blackbutterfly

2008

Communicate


academic rationale and expectations


rubrics, talk
throughs
, feedback

Co
-
operative ethos (different to
collaboration)

Bridging


deeply engage learner, develop confidence in
knowledge construction methods


Being creative
-

becoming responsible and
critical

Conclusions 2

(cc)
Nrbelex

2007

Thanks to all of the
Flickr

photographers who post their work using

Creative Commons licences