In our continuing report on instructors using rich media, we offer the following news and follow-ups. All instructors worked in collaboration with GSC’s Rich Media Specialist, Steve Covello, and the GSC Instructional Design team. Rich media include videos/multimedia, social network systems, and Web tools used to enhance the teaching and learning experience.
Your fellow GSC instructors offer feedback below from their experiences last term.
Keri Wolfe, in HIS611 Themes in World History, used Blackboard Collaborate in her course to offer a guide of early maps and to support student presentations. Videos were used throughout the course, with some unexpected results. Keri offers the following feedback:
“I think that overall, students enjoyed hearing each others’ voices, discussing things with each other and receiving feedback in realtime, and being able to direct questions to me as they thought of them, rather than sending an email or message and awaiting a response.
I think that it also allowed me to better highlight certain information, or show emphasis simply by the tone of my voice, which can be lost in my text-based responses to discussion forums or assignments.”
Liz Gauffreau, in CRIT502 – Connecting with Your Major, created assignments which included viewing and responding to a collection of about 54 videos of practitioners and faculty from different disciplines describing their professional strategies and experiences.
Learners also searched social network systems to join and participate in discussions with practitioners, used information seeking tools like Twitter, and used Evernote for organizing notes and content. There were four section for CRIT502, with a total of 86 students. Here is some of Liz’ feedback:
“From the students’ perspectives, it was a relief for them to see practitioners in videos where their education did not always follow a straight line – much like in their own experiences.
The use of social networks in exploring communities of practice helped students discover many things. For one, each discipline is represented differently in its online presence.
For some students, like in Early Childhood Development, there are many areas that support students. But in Psychology, for example, the landscape was very fragmented and finding areas for students was more challenging.
But in both instances, it was valuable for students to gain a sense of how their field of practice is portrayed online. Participation in an online community of practice was commonly seen in students’ personal learning mission statements. “
Some student feedback:
[On an Informational Challenge video of Retired Chief justice of the NH Supreme Court] – “I actually enjoyed his speech so much that I listened to it many times trying to pick out the parts I found to be the most enlightening to me. That’s why I had any quotes written down at all. I broke down a few others this way, and that helped me to pick his out of the pile! From this snippet I have started to seek him out on other internet sites and articles just to hear more of what he has to say about things!”
Kathleen Smee, in her PM804 and PM810 Project Management graduate course, added a custom Twitter feed to her courses’ sidebar to encourage her graduate students to explore current communication on course subject matter. Students were required to post relevant tweets every week on module topics using the hashtag #pm804gsc and #pm810gsc. Her feedback:
“The majority of the students had never used Twitter and now continue to use it post-course. They are excited about following and being followed by “famous” people in their academic areas of concentration.
The [Twitter] sidebar is WONDERFUL! Prior to that I was popping back and forth from Moodle to Twitter. This allows all of us to see the Tweets.
I would like to move the work we do on the news forum to twitter, but students are too concerned about voicing their ideas openly on a public forum. They struggle with succinct writing that twitter would force them to make BRIEF comments about the news!”
Heather Geoffroy, PSY617: Abnormal Psychology, has been using the screencapture application Jing for orientation and introduction videos, SlideShare.net for tips on writing a reflective essay, myBrainShark.com for narrated slideshows, and numerous external video and audio resources from notable publishers to use as a focus for discussion. Heather’s feedback on using video as rich media this Winter term:
“The #1 indication I received from students referring to linked videos, articles, etc is that they feel cohesion with the course content. Particularly in the past students have been really enthused with TED Talks. I think the application of a concepts from the course in a real life situation as shown through a video is so highly impactual on their learning, especially for visual learners / kinesthetic learners. It really make them feel like they can relate.”
On using Blackboard Collaborate:
“Bb Collaborate is a lot of fun for students…and when I say fun, I mean I hear “wow this is so cool” and laughter/nervous giggles when they can actually see me and hear me….
When we are finally online, they always convey their marvel of Collaborate and usually are pretty good about hopping on the next time. I feel that using this source of interaction as optional and non-graded helps to alleviate the anxiety and stress of the technology and know-how element for students.”
Jeanne Gottlieb, in SCI508 Issues in Women’s Health, was able to personalize her module introductions and presentations using the Kaltura screen recording tool. Students felt they media were useful in highlighting key concepts for the module.
Are you are interested in learning more about how to use rich media in your course?
Contact Steve Covello, Rich Media Specialist through the Instructional Design Support Request form. In the meantime, take a look at this one-sheet description of what happens when we work together to brainstorm and integrate new rich media ideas into your course: