Wednesday, 21 January 2015

MELSIG Event: Creative Lecture Capture, Webinars & Screencasting

I attended the MELSIG event called 'Creative Lecture Capture, Webinars & Screencasting' yesterday at the University of Nottingham. It's a long journey, so even the early train didn't get me there for the start, but the sessions that I did attend told some interesting stories about the use of things like webinars, lecture capture, and iTunes U. I've written up notes on a few of the sessions, and I apologise for any errors.

Webinars: Inside and outside the institution

Helen Whitehead spoke about webinars at the University of Nottingham. They've been using Adobe Connect generally, but chose to use Google Hangouts for their MOOCs, and they sometimes use Lync when working with staff. She advised to think about who your audience are before choosing which system to use, for example if they are in China or the NHS they may be limited in what they can access.

She had some tips for the use of webinars

  • Use a countdown timer and/or welcome music before the session
  • Ideally leave the speaker with as little else to do as possible. It's a good idea to have a moderator who welcomes people, starts the recording, reads the chat, etc.
  • Webinars should be short, simple and interactive. If they are not interactive you might be better just creating a recording and making that available.

In Google Hangouts students can watch the sessions if they are not logged in, but they can log in to interact. She noted that Hangout sessions need a clear purpose if people are to attend them.

We had a discussion about why attendees usually engage using the chat tool, but not their microphones. It was put forward that they might be attending in a busy office, or a public space. Someone thought that students should be told in advance that they might be expected to speak, and perhaps asked to prepare something short to share.

Using lecture capture technologies to support peer-to-peer
feedback among first-year Fashion students in a studio-based learning

Ann Draycott, Rob Higson, and Glenn McGarry from the University of Derby presented on media enhanced feedback and their Flexible Feedback Project. In this project first year fashion students gave each other feedback on their creations using Panopto.

The benefits to using this institutionally provided and supported system were it was scalable, peer support and central support was available, and data protection and governance has been thought through. Challenges were related to using a system beyond its intended use, and finding workarounds.

iTunes U Special Focus Panel

Peter Robinson from Oxford told us about their long running iTunes U project. They have 6000 episodes on there now, and have put the same content on the web too. At first they didn't want to put full sets of lectures up, but they do now, with 50% of it CC licenced. A lot of what they have learned was written up in the JISC Steeple project wiki.

Terese Bird from Leicester talked about their smaller iTunes U project which linked in with their OER and lecture capture projects.

They got staff on board by having a meeting with a free lunch, emailing key people, and sharing success stories. Terese spent about a month working 4 days a week on this to get it launched, but then maintaining it took about a day a week.

Leicester find iTunes U to be a way to showcase their work around the world, as iTunes U is blocked in very few countries.

Graham McElearney from Sheffield talked about their more recent project from 2013. They have a commitment to public engagement, and saw iTunes U as part of this rather than a marketing tool, although it does raise the profile of academics, disciplines and the institution.

In discussions it was noted that it's important to consider your audience when making resources available. iTunes U might be great for an international audience, but for 15-17 year olds in the UK you might be better having resources on YouTube. However iTunes U allows you to put audio versions on and many people appreciate the ability to download audio versions of the lectures, and listen on mobile devices.

Running Video Assessments

Ellie Kennedy and Helen Puntha from Nottingham Trent told us about their work on an extra curricular module about sustainability. In this module students created videos as part of their assessment, and the best videos are being used as learning resources for future students.

Exploring the value and use of recorded student presentations

Alex Spiers talked about Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine's use of work recording sessions using Panopto. For a first year module with 15 students they recorded all lectures, presentations and other sessions and found that no students had issues with being recorded, and most viewing of recordings occurred during assessment periods although different students accessed the recordings different amounts. Student response was positive and they wanted similar provision in other modules.

The event was a good opportunity to see a range of activities that are taking place. If you want to know more there is the Twitter activity from the day, and Padlet was used to record webinar tips from attendees, and ideas for using video for student work.

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