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Creating communities of learners through group work making and sharing films Andrew Cox The Information School, University of Sheffield

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Presentation on theme: "Creating communities of learners through group work making and sharing films Andrew Cox The Information School, University of Sheffield"— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating communities of learners through group work making and sharing films Andrew Cox The Information School, University of Sheffield Acknowledging input of Clare Scott (Library), Claire Allam and Pete Mella (LETS), Nashrawan Taha

2 Context: INF6400 Information Systems and Information Society MSc IS/ISM students (computing background) 40 – 50 students 12 different countries (e.g. only 3 had done first degree in the UK / only 6 English first language in 2009) Subject of module: “Information society” Essential resource: LT Development Grant to buy video cameras and also Pete Mella’s on-going support

3 How of film making? “Working as a group of four produce a multimedia project (e.g. video) reflecting on similarities and differences between two countries in their Internet use, focusing on one of the Information Society key themes discussed in the module: Web2.0/community, digital divides and surveillance/ censorship. The multimedia should be a maximum of 3 minutes long. Imagine a multi-national, multi-cultural audience.” Only 2 sessions on video camera and editing (MS moviemaker later iMovie) – the point is NOT to make it into a film making module; we always say technical quality is not a criteria of evaluation Further assessment elements: individual essay and reflection on sharing video online

4 Sharing film beyond class All groups engaged with the task Makes copyright issues tangible Comments received focussed on film quality not intellectual issues Only one group really tried to engage with a user group, rather than friends and family and it didn’t work Students expressed the worry that employers/ parent would view film making was time wasting

5 Variants two classes brought together, eg reviewing “appreciatively” each others films MSc IS/ISM MA librarianship To explore issues around internationalisation and inter-professional learning use of country profiles of Internet use developed by students from those countries, in a project led by Jo Bates (INF) and working with Jairo Lugo-Ocando (Journalism)

6 Why film making? Students’ own experience / perspective valued Their product reused in future teaching, further decentering “hegemonic viewpoints” (Morey 2000) But issues complex: eg “censorship” in China Sharing assessed work with each other Creating and sharing films engages wider networks and could be enhanced through those contacts One group interviewed local MP Work with UK Online Centres and Sheffield RNIB Decentres English language skill Yet technologies less familiar to some international students ? Media conventions/genre may be unfamiliar ? Group work vs isolation; groups are defined by module coordinator on basis of mixing nationalities

7 Why film making? Open ended, “creative” task free to new approaches; Intense, challenging, even glamorous task Novel group task Prevents students dividing work up in usual way Intense series of meetings In other similar assignments (though not this one) have assessment of planning documents Explicit, open ended discussion about assessment criteria Practical applications for employability Gartner report (2008) “By 2013, more than 25% of the content that workers see in a day will be dominated by pictures, video or audio.” Increasingly web sites populated with video Report says “We project that by 2016, large companies will stream more than 16 hours of video, per worker, per month”” Encounter real issues around copyright Collaboration in teaching: involvement of LeTS, library

8 More issues Group work dynamics: how visible are these types of group work task issue? Did we ever have enough information to know it “worked”? Should we set up the groups and on what criteria? Technical issues: Issues around moviemaker the original editing software Student concerns about doing “serious” things Further complicating the transition to UK academic culture? Is it a clear and fair task?

9 A fair task? 23/41 self rating of prior skill level 2009/10 Only 7 ever uploaded to youtube Only two sessions on film making

10 A fair task? Original findings Quality of films high Technical quality not the focus At end of module 39/41 was rated challenging but enjoyable Group work was cited as source of learning Copyright issues

11 Were students more engaged? Film quality Student evaluation Attendance SN effects (lower isolation) Intellectual depth Depth of discussion with students about learning expectations

12 Student produced films

13 What are your thoughts or questions? Reference "Enhancing international student engagement through making and sharing films" 11th Higher Education Academy-ICS Annual Conference, Durham University, 24th August - 26th August annual-conf/proceedings/Proceedings_11th_Annual_Conference.pdf Andrew Cox, 13

14 Internationalisation (Morey 2000) identifies three forms: 1. Exclusive 2. Inclusive 3. Transformed


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