September 2015 – Work review

September’s highlight was the ALT-C conference where I presented an extended paper intended to challenge the uncritical acceptance of lecture capture. The rest of September involved preparation for the start of the new academic year.

Cornock, M. (2015). Justifying lecture capture: the importance of student experiences in understanding the value of learning technologies. Extended paper, #867, ALT-C 2015 – Shaping the future of learning together. Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Technology, 8-10 September 2015, University of Manchester, UK. Abstract [PDF]. Slides [SlideShare]. Twitter chatter[Storify].

I was pleasantly surprised at the number of participants and interesting questions that delegates raised. My paper argued that existing research that focuses on quantitative measures such as attainment, attendance and time on task do not account for the changing contexts that affect students’ decisions over how they study. However it is this form of research that often creates the misleading headlines, whether criticising or championing lecture capture (including this Times Higher Ed article which draws upon edited captures, rather than the automated, unedited captures most institutional systems have deployed). My mixed methods approach primarily draws upon interviews with students, unpicking their choices over how and when they study. A summary of some of the key findings are captured in my ELDT blog post.

Other activities

Early in the month, I was happy to host a delegation from the University of Huddersfield who were interested to find out about our lecture capture deployment. We talked through some of the lessons learnt from our set up, with particular focus on the ways we’ve utilised back-up mics for all rooms and in larger rooms auto-mixers. We also emphasised the strong partnership each of the service teams have in making the system work.

I attended my first Learning and Teaching Forum meeting as representative from the E-Learning Development Team. The Forum is led by academic staff and acts to promote learning and teaching practice at York along with space for discussion about learning and teaching issues.

Careers ran their first webinar to support mature students’ job applications. I helped out showing colleagues the Blackboard Collaborate software and being on hand at start of their evening session.

I presented to staff in Environment and Archaeology about the Replay lecture capture system. I also spoke to other institutions about their lecture capture deployments as part of our tender process.

Via webinar, I was introduced to the workings of the TurningPoint ResponseWare app which we are due to pilot this academic year. This app allows students to participate in quizzes during lectures using their own mobile device or laptop. This gets over a number of issues with ‘clickers’, in particular the time required to hand out and collect the devices and the limitations of different question types. With the ResponseWare app, multiple choice questions, ranking and text answers are possible, and the app also facilitates staff-student messaging.

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