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Changing the learning landscape A Brave New World: Using Open Educational Resources, the JISC MediaHub historic newsfilm collections, and British Library.

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Presentation on theme: "Changing the learning landscape A Brave New World: Using Open Educational Resources, the JISC MediaHub historic newsfilm collections, and British Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing the learning landscape A Brave New World: Using Open Educational Resources, the JISC MediaHub historic newsfilm collections, and British Library and Library of Congress digitised historic newspapers in undergraduate teaching Dr. Richard Hawkins, Department of History, Politics & War Studies, University of Wolverhampton re

2 Changing the learning landscape Introduction During the last decade electronic technology has created a Brave New World in higher education learning We are now able to use a much wider variety of primary sources in our teaching Some of these online resources are accessible without a subscription and this potentially creates a more level playing field Students in places like Preston, Wolverhampton, and Bognor Regis now have access to resources that were previously only available to students of elite universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and LSE

3 Changing the learning landscape Introduction Electronic technology also allows us to create innovative assessments not previously possible However, in this Brave New World we should not assume that our students are necessarily going to be digital natives We still encounter mature students who find the online world daunting It is also wrong to assume that all of the year old age group will find it easy to use the various search engines for these online resources Familiarity with social media, Google or Wikipedia does not necessarily mean they have the skills to use for example the JISC MediaHub search engine

4 Changing the learning landscape Introduction In this presentation I am going to draw upon our online learning experience at the University of Wolverhampton with two case studies: –our part of the JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project which used an open educational resource platform known as generative learning objects – we created three GLOs for our Level 4 interdisciplinary module, the Holocaust; and –the use of British Library Newspapers Online in the teaching and assessment of our Level 5 module, Social History of Victorian Britain, c.1850-c.1901 together with the use of the Library of Congresss Chronicling American historic newspapers resources in the teaching and assessment of our Level 6 module, America: the Rise of a Superpower,

5 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project Newsfilm Online provides over 3,000 hours of news stories across the 20th Century and into the 2000s to subscribing institutions. Most of the newsfilms were produced by ITN and for the pre- television era, companies such as British Paramount News and Gaumont British News. Newsfilm Online was launched officially as a full service by JISC on 3 October 2008 at an event in Soho, London Newsfilm Online is now part of JISC MediaHub

6 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project JISC funded a large-scale collaborative project between the former HEA Subject for History, Classics & Archaeology, the HEA Subject Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C- SAP), the HEA Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (GEES), and the Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Reusable Learning Objects (RLO-CETL) Twelve UK HEIs including the University of Wolverhampton created online exemplars (subject tutorials) using materials from the Newsfilm Online archive (now part of JISC MediaHub)

7 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project At the University of Wolverhampton we created three generative learning objects (GLOs) for our Level 4 Holocaust module each centred around a newsfilm Our GLOs were on the Battle of Cable Street (1936); the Kindertransport ( ); and the first Belsen Trial (1945)

8 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project Pedagogical issues which we addressed in the creation and subsequent use of our GLOs include: –effective embedding of images within teaching; –development of empathetic skills; –development of critical thinking skills through contextual analysis of newsfilm and related materials (rushes, running orders), and comparative work with textual materials such as print media and secondary sources; –development of group skills (through use within seminars); –development of evidence-based argumentation skills

9 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project Pedagogical issues which we addressed in the creation and subsequent use of our GLOs also include: –development of historical understanding; –the problem of visualising the past –entering world-views and contemporary life-styles from these periods of history –the issue of the interpretation of events from contemporary perspectives –the accuracy with which newsfilm journalists represent the events they were reporting

10 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project The creators of the prototype GLO templates at London Metropolitan University recommended that we use short newsfilm reports This is because their research suggested that students have a very short attention span The report on the Kindertransport is thus ideal: it is less than 40 seconds The Cable Street report is 2 minutes 14 seconds However, the Beasts of Belsen report is relatively lengthy at 7 minutes 16 seconds

11 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project Creating the GLO raised a number of technical issues –Like many universities our computers have firewalls that prevent us from downloading non-standard software –The GLO software is not compatible with our Universitys software and we have had to devise a means of accessing the GLO on machines that did not have the GLO software installed on them

12 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project Creating the GLO raised a number of technical issues –The GLO template has also proved to be less flexible than we would like, for example we were unable to change the size of the type fonts or textboxes –However, as the GLO software developers at the RLO-CETL at London Metropolitan University have pointed out, the GLO is designed to prevent excessive detail –As you will see from the Kindertransport GLO the newsfilm had to be converted into an Adobe Flash file

13 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project Other Technical Issues –One of the things we wanted to do is embed transcripts of the newsfilm reports in our GLO. We have a number of deaf students at our university and are required by law to provide either transcripts or subtitles for audio-visual material –Tom Boyle, one of the designers of the GLO template, took this on board –The second version of the GLO Maker released in July 2008 allowed us to embed a transcript next to the newsfilm

14 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project We have integrated the three GLOs from the project into our teaching Student feedback has been very positive : –They made a pleasant change from blocks of text. –They allowed me to understand the topic in its context and see how the media at the time viewed the subject. –Visual aids make it easier to imagine and picture. –The Kindertransport newfilm report gave you information about what people would have been told at the time, it seemed Britain was doing more than in fact it was.

15 Changing the learning landscape A) JISC Distributed E-Learning Programme Phase II Newsfilm Online Subject Tutorial Project As one of the other HEI tutors involved in the project, Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Director of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences at the University of Ulster, has observed: –…the wealth of material from Newsfilm Online is phenomenal. It [has] made the lectures much more engaging for the students… C:\Users\Tosh\Desktop\Kindertransports 2\GLO.html

16 Changing the learning landscape B) Using Online Digitised Historic Newspapers in Teaching and Assessment In 2008 I was awarded a teaching development grant by the former HEA History Subject Centre to development to integrate British Library Newspapers Online (a JISC funded resource) into the teaching and assessment of our Level 5 module, Social History of Victorian Britain, c.1850-c.1901 This project also resulted in a HEA Historical Insights: Focus on Teaching booklet on Digitised Newspapers Subsequently I have integrated the Library of Congresss Chronicling America digitised newspaper resource into my Level 6 module, America: the Rise of a Superpower,

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19 Changing the learning landscape B) Using Online Digitised Historic Newspapers in Teaching and Assessment Both these resources provide a useful source of material and images for lectures The number and variety of newspapers included in these resources make it possible to capture a nationwide perspective on issues such as for example public health in Britain or the passage of Pure Food & Drug Act of 1906 in the Unites States It is possible for students to challenge the metropolitan orientated narratives by focussing on the experience of the periphery

20 Changing the learning landscape B) Using Online Digitised Historic Newspapers in Teaching and Assessment America: The Rise of a Superpower Assessment Component 1: Choose one of the following: –1. Use the Library of Congress Chronicling America website to compare and contrast the reaction of the American press to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. Your examples must include newspapers from New York, District of Columbia, Minnesota, San Francisco and Texas. What do the newspaper articles tell us about the American attitude toward imperialism?*

21 Changing the learning landscape B) Using Online Digitised Historic Newspapers in Teaching and Assessment –2. Upton Sinclairs documentary novel The Jungle (1906) exposing the appalling standards of hygiene in the meat-packing industry played a major role in the successful enactment of a major example of Progressive Era regulatory federal legislation, the Pure Food and Drug Act of Use the Library of Congress Chronicling America website to compare and contrast the reaction of the American press to the publication of The Jungle and the enactment of the Pure Food and Drug Act of Your examples must include newspapers from New York, District of Columbia, Minnesota, San Francisco and Texas.* –USE A MINIMUM OF TWO ARTICLES FROM EACH CITY, DISTRICT, OR STATE

22 Changing the learning landscape B) Using Online Digitised Historic Newspapers in Teaching and Assessment Pedagogical Issues: –Many of the issues are the same as those arising from the use of newsfilms –We cannot assume that our undergraduates are familiar with reading newspapers –So some students need to be taught how to read newspapers –Furthermore both British and American newspapers need to be contextualised –Students often experience problems using the search engines for these two resources because they use modern English words which produce zero hits

23 Changing the learning landscape B) Using Online Digitised Historic Newspapers in Teaching and Assessment Pedagogical Issues: –So we also need to teach about the importance of using words in use at the time the newspaper articles were written –As José Manuel Pérez Tornero* recommended in his 2004 EU report on promoting digital literacy, to successfully navigate these processes requires the generation of an independent and critical awareness, which is an important attribute we would hope to be one of the learning outcomes for undergraduates at the University of Wolverhampton *http://ec.europa.eu/education/archive/elearning/doc/studies/dig_lit _en.pdfhttp://ec.europa.eu/education/archive/elearning/doc/studies/dig_lit _en.pdf

24 Changing the learning landscape Conclusion As in the case of our use of Newsfilm Online our experience using these two historic digitised newspaper resources has been a very positive one Furthermore a growing number of students are using these three resources for their undergraduate dissertations

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