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Harnessing the creativity of digital multimedia tools in distance learning

Harnessing the creativity of digital multimedia tools in distance learning

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Harnessing the creativity of digital multimedia tools in distance learning

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  1. Harnessing the creativity of digital multimedia tools in distance learning Judith Williams and Soraya Kouadri Mostéfaoui Communication and Systems Department Faculty of Maths Computing and Technology The Open University

  2. T215 Communication and information technologies • Level-2 60-credit module • Core component of BSc in Computing and IT • Teaches various ICT topics • Two full presentations to date • Five themed assessed blocks • Continuous assessment and examinable component • Standard OU model of student support

  3. Block 5: Entertaining and explaining • Digitisation of information and developments in the production and distribution of media • Module team’s aspirations: • Teach fundamental principles about digitisation of analogue data • Build skills in communicating through audio and video • Explore new ways to explain technical concepts • Provide opportunities for creativity • Provide alternative to text-based assessment

  4. Meeting the module team’s aspirations Video creation: 3 main tasks: • creation and manipulation of digital audio to create soundtrack • manipulation of still image(s) to give illusion of movement • combing and synchronising audio and ‘moving’ images and rendering to common file format The aliasing video

  5. Selection of software tools Software should: • provide the functionality for students to explore the technical concepts introduced by the block • be easy to learn and use • be low cost or free Software selected: • Audacity for the audio creation and manipulation • AviSynth for the video creation and manipulation • AvsP for the script editor • VirtualDub for the audio encoder • Xvid for video compression

  6. Block 5’s assessment • Produce a 30 seconds video • Video to explain to a naïve audience an ICT concept drawn from the module • Submission must also include: • a video plan • an evaluation of the video, measured against a number of prescribed criteria that have been introduced and developed in earlier parts of the module

  7. T215’s common assessment framework

  8. Experience on the module’sfirst two presentations The students’ perspective • Block was welcomed • Students enjoyed the block but experienced difficulties with the software • Some students did not work systematically through the block’s teaching materials; this resulted in them omitting to study key sections

  9. Examples of Students’ videos Digital Identity Social Networking

  10. Experience on the module’s first two presentations The staff perspective • Overhead of having to learn new software • No major problems • When asked how easy they found it to adjust their use of the assessment / evaluation criteria from grading and commenting on written content to grading and commenting on video content, 84% of the respondents said ‘very easy’ or ‘quite easy’

  11. Discussion

  12. Conclusions “Our modern information age needs curious, humble minds—people willing to absorb new knowledge, think critically and put information into context. Abandoning a narrow, one-size-fits-all approach to curriculum standards would help students develop the curiosity they need to become the innovators of the future. That matters more than the ability to recall an answer on the test.” Cornally, S. (2011) Cornally, S. (2011). Why Creative Teaching is Essential For the Information Age. Retrieved 10 May, 2012, from http://www.good.is/post/why-creative-teaching-is-essential-for-the-information-age/