Monday, 12 March 2012

CEL263 Learning Technologies Symposium 2012

It's that time of the year again when we hold our Learning Technologies symposium. This is when the participants on our Learning Technologies module (cel263) come together and present their projects, developed as part of the assessment for the PG diploma module.

During our workshop on video
Participants are asked to identify and complete a project, based on the material covered in the module, to incorporate Learning Technologies into their teaching. They are given free scope in identifying a technology or technologies and what they want to achieve. From the team's perspective, we aim to move each person beyond his/her comfort zone and to try something new in a supported environment.

This year, six people presented their work, using technologies such as social media, podcasting, screencasting, video and google earth.

Maura spoke about her plans to use social media to keep MA students engaged while they are involved in a field based module and away from the on-campus, controlled environment. Her plans to use a wiki space, which is their space and not controlled by staff, aim to provide "connection without intrusion".

Still shot from Eve's video
Eve showed us her very impressive project to provide a virtual fieldtrip for students in Earth and Ocean Science. She has created a video using real footage from a recent field trip combined with screencasts in Google Earth and imported data from the Geological Surveys of Ireland. That video is embedded into Google Earth and forms the basis of a digital map making exercise for students.

Kathy spoke about her plans for MA students to replace the traditional précis (500-700 words) with a regular blogging activity. She has found that the précis is of no real value to student learning, with a limited audience and no peer interaction. She is hoping that by getting her students blogging, they will reach a wider audience, provide an arena for reflection and stimulate collaborative learning.

Bróna is hoping to use regular podcasts to keep her Nursing students connected and motivated while they are on clinical placement. The aim is to motivate students to engage in their research projects earlier, even when they are not physically on campus. She's also considering using Facebook to keep them connected.

Vincent gave a very impressive account of how his German language students are creating their own podcasts, developping their spoken skills in the language. Engineering students are recording conversations in pairs, thereby improving pronunciation and spoken accuracy. The podcasts are posted on Blackboard, allowing the students to listen to each other - students learning from other students. This activity addresses a sometimes neglected skill in learning a language, the exposure to the spoken skill.

Finally, Anne gave a very honest account of her efforts to get students make their own videos of how to use a Total Station - an instrument used in surveying. Rather than providing them with yet another resource on how to use this piece of equipment, students have to demonstrate their understanding by making their own videos using mobile phones or flipcams. Although there was a mixed reaction from students initially, 69% of them admitted that making the videos helped them to learn the skills required, and 62% said it forced them to review practical sessions.

Hard at work in the video workshop
For the CELT Learning Technologies team, it is wonderful to see the work that our students have done and the plans they are making. We love to see them adopt a new technology or approach and use it to really support their students' learning. It reminds us that we are having an impact.

1 comment:

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