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Enhancing learning through reflection : experimenting with digital storytelling Jo Lonsdale Postgraduate researcher Centre for Active Learning University.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing learning through reflection : experimenting with digital storytelling Jo Lonsdale Postgraduate researcher Centre for Active Learning University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing learning through reflection : experimenting with digital storytelling Jo Lonsdale Postgraduate researcher Centre for Active Learning University of Gloucestershire

2 The Gloucestershire approach to active learning learning is created through the transformation of experience (Kolb 1984) based on Kolb (1984) and Blythe and Associates (1998) students are enabled to construct theoretical understanding by reflection on their activities and experiences Based on Kolb (1984) and Blythe and Associates (1998 )

3 Reflective digital storytelling (DST) DST piloted (2006/7) as a reflective tool for active learning in the first undergraduate year to develop reflective practice to make reflection explicit in the learning process to reflect as an individual or collaborative process use of technology and images to provide stimulating ways to engage and reflect incorporating emotional content / personal voice

4 What is a reflective digital story? a reflection using digital technology a media artefact / mini-movie created from digital images and sounds easily accessible technique combines technology and narrative to enable new approaches to reflection and engagement Examples of digital stories: induction (group) module (individual)

5 Students reflecting on their induction experience

6 Evaluating students reflective digital stories: Evaluation of : 29 group stories at induction 5 individual stories for assessment in a module Evaluation undertaken using: ‘ Map of Learning’ (Moon 1999) ‘Model of Reflective Learning through Storytelling’ (McDrury and Alterio 2002) other factors (number of speakers, voice, use of discipline language, structure, task centredness and image relevance)

7 Evaluation using ‘Map of Learning’ (Moon 1999) Increasing levels of reflection : 1: ‘Noticing’ 2 : ‘Making sense’ 3 : ‘Meaning making’ 4 : ‘Working with meaning’ 5 : ‘Transformative learning’

8 Evaluation using ‘Model of Reflective Learning through Storytelling’ (McDrury and Alterio 2002) Problems with using this model for evaluation reflections rather than stories not interactive BUT were associated with higher levels of reflection

9 Evaluation of other factors (1) Voice use of personal voice made these engaging, emotional and powerful Language: most used appropriate language and above average discipline language. reflection was not necessarily hampered when English was not the first language of the student voice Structure most stories were well structured / scripted this did not necessarily associate with deeper reflection but where combined with deep reflection becomes more powerful

10 Evaluation of other factors (2) Images choice can enhance cohesion of story or seriously detract from it ownership of images further enhanced reflection Discipline task focus 76% above average task focus tasks set effected the possible level of reflection Humour this could enhance or distract viewers engagement Duration protocols were set at max. 2 mins / 250 words the data showed that it is difficult to produce a reflective piece in less than 1 mins, but that extending the time beyond 2 minutes did not necessarily increase the reflective capacity

11 Staff perceptions of reflective DST at induction: “I think the digital story telling reflection would have worked better if the students had had more time to reflect, choose photos and if they could have produced their own stories”. “I think there was evidence of active learning, but it was not part of the whole experience. I think greater emphasis on the digital stories, as a means of a reflection task is important.”

12 Student perceptions of reflective DST at induction: Students most enjoyed: “The production of the digital story and reflection of what we had done during the day, because I found it really enjoyable and a new take on an evaluation for the day” Students least enjoyed: “Creating the digital story, I don’t think it helped me to learn”

13 Staff perception of reflective DST in a module: “ Digital storytelling.....has been a useful process for the students to evaluate their own design methodology. They are able to understand how they as individuals work effectively at solving design related problems, they are able to plan their work more effectively as a result and they seem to develop their cognitive approach”. “In retrospect would have reduced my own assessment in order to utilise the process as one of the teaching and learning outcomes”.

14 Future developments: Induction 2007 /08 possible changes to include : students to take ownership of the creation process allowing reflection to continue over time feedback of the stories in discipline groups led by the tutor to facilitate deepening reflection on learning and practice greater emphasis on a well structured reflective task within landscape design will continue to use storytelling and DST as a focus for community building

15 Future developments: Landscape design modules : continuing development of the technique for articulating tacit learning, reflection, developing communication skills and community use of the studio model for critiquing of individual stories piloting of new ways to use the technique “…to explain design concepts as narratives… may give them the confidence and the necessary ability to be able to communicate at ‘crit’s’, write legible design statements and also develop … concepts in to artistic and creative prose”

16 Reflective digital storytelling : conclusions Digital storytelling offers new ways of presenting work and developing reflective practice simple technology is inclusive to all (Prensky 2001) provides an engaging focus for collaborative reflection

17 Reflective digital storytelling : conclusions a formal setting for review of stories may help to “bring about thoughtful and reasoned change to practice” (McDrury and Alterio 2002, p111) a studio model (Schön 1983; 1987) may assist : multiple perspectives to be explored scaffolding in a peer learning forum enhanced reflective learning enrichment of discipline-based learning communities

18 References Blythe, T. and Associates, (1998) The Teaching for Understanding Guide, Jossey- Bass. Brown, J. S. (2005) New Learning Environments for the 21st Century [Accessed 21 March 2007)http://www.johnseelybrown.com/index.html Dewey, J., Boydston, J. A., Baysinger, P., & Murphey, M. G. (1988). Human nature and conduct, Carbondale [etc.]: Southern Illinois University Press. Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as a Source of Learning and Development. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McDrury, J.and Alterio, M.G. (2003) Learning through Storytelling in Higher Education Using Reflection and Experience to Improve Learning. London: Kogan Page. Moon, J. A. (1999) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development. London: Kogan Page Ltd. Moon, J. A. (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge Farmer. Schön, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. New York: Basic Books. Schön, D. (1987) Educating the Reflective Practitioner. New York: Jossey Bass. Vygotsky, L. (1978) Mind and Society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


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