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New technology, new pedagogy? Employing video podcasts in learning and teaching about exotic ecosystems Jennifer Hill 1 & Mandy Nelson 2 1 University of.

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Presentation on theme: "New technology, new pedagogy? Employing video podcasts in learning and teaching about exotic ecosystems Jennifer Hill 1 & Mandy Nelson 2 1 University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 New technology, new pedagogy? Employing video podcasts in learning and teaching about exotic ecosystems Jennifer Hill 1 & Mandy Nelson 2 1 University of the West of England, Bristol 2 Quality Assurance Agency GEES Subject Centre Anniversary Conference, Plymouth, 7 July 2010

2 articles in THE highlight rising importance of (mobile) technology: Technological gizmos to revolutionise study (21 January 2010) … within three years, substantial shifts in teaching and learning are predicted come from staff recording lectures and supporting material, guest speakers, laboratory, computer and fieldwork techniques, assessment feedback (see Planet) moving to student generated podcasts, social networking … and on to augmented reality, haptic technology and gesture based computing 1. Introducing the literature

3 use of ICT to aid geography teaching in HE has grown markedly over recent years (Knight 2006; Fletcher et al. 2007; Lynch et al. 2008) much written on the potential of podcasting: to empower and engage students But … little evidence as to how podcasts influence learning and teaching in positive ways (Edirisingha & Salmon 2007; France & Wheeler 2007; Winterbottom 2007; Lynch et al. 2008; Evans 2008)

4 To examine the experiences of undergraduate university students in response to the employment of video podcasts to support learning and teaching about exotic ecosystems U/G 2 nd year Biogeography & Conservation course video podcasts, as a form of film, might help exemplify novel processes and concepts from environments with which students have limited direct experience (Ansell 2002) 2. Research aim

5 3. Research objectives 1) Examine student engagement with podcast technology 2) Assess perceived value of podcasts as a learning, revision and assessment resource 3) Examine actual student learning through comparative studies of assessment results

6 4. Research methods produced a series of short (6 x minute; three per ecosystem) video podcasts DesertsRain forests

7 Deserts 1)Types, climate and vegetation survival mechanisms 2)Habitat variability, local resource partitioning and community characteristics 3)Animal survival mechanisms and synecological interactions

8 Rain forests 1)Occurrence types and vegetation characteristics 2)Biological diversity over space and time 3)Destruction and management

9 podcasts made accessible via university VLE: on-line or to download to mobile technology utilised 2008/09 and 2009/10 effectiveness of the resource tested via: - written questionnaire - focus groups (x 2 : pre/post exam) - summative assessment results

10 Student engagement with podcasts at close of ecosystem teaching block, over half respondents had watched a minimum of three podcasts, 22 had watched at least one (n=24) evidence of multiple viewing, especially earlier podcasts 5. Results ( )

11 students largely opted to engage with the podcasts at home, split equally between accessing VLE remotely and laptop download Why? - convenient - could self-pace and make notes I chose to watch it on my laptop at home … so that I could start and stop when I needed to. I could also make a good series of notes from them

12 four responses to i-pod downloading (watched at home or on bus/train) Why? i-pod is a good, convenient way to watch them. Useful on train journeys Flexibility of watching them when I had a spare 5 minutes and could access them from anywhere

13 in terms of when students watched the podcasts … - ten accessed them within a week of each lecture - seven watched them before the close of the ecosystem teaching block - fifteen watched them outside of usual working hours (6pm-8am)

14 Perceived value as learning & teaching resource 87% rated 4 or 5 Overall utility of podcasts as a L&T resource

15 Why?

16 It was good being able to refer to the information unlimited times whenever I wanted Not all the locations will be accessible, so good to see them via podcasts. Puts information into context They are visual and so you can associate some subjects with a picture. Visually being able to look at plants and species helped me to link together all my learning


18 How can the use of podcasts be improved? key issue – integrating flexible technology into scheduled sessions to allow interaction and feedback Could be used as part of … a seminar with group discussion

19 all respondents perceived podcasts as useful/very useful for revision + assessment: They provided visual references … useful for an essay structure guide I was able to picture images from podcasts in my mind. They were also an enjoyable alternative to revising with books Using podcasts for revision and assessment

20 2008/09 (with podcasts) compared with 2006/07 (without podcasts) average mark for desert essay: % 2009 versus 57.9% 2007 average mark for RF essay: % 2009 versus 58.1% 2007 insignificant differences in performance (p=0.05) Actual student learning: assessment results

21 6. Discussion students engaged with podcasts creating flexible spaces / times of learning exotic outside brought into learning experience, but not necessarily into the classroom and often not in working hours engagement with academic subject matter absorbed into everyday life, blurring social and academic territories

22 but, way students integrated podcast info. into learning was traditional – mediated spatial flexibility anchor technology within more traditional learning frameworks to progress students along cognitive and affective hierarchies: seminar discussion scaffold (support) anchor (make purposeful) need to involve social constructivist and critical pedagogies

23 7. Conclusions need to reflexively develop existing pedagogic strategies employed by teachers and learners: 1) blend multiple spaces of learning from technologically virtual to spatially defined classroom to enrich student learning 2) unite individual learning experience of podcasts with group exploration this has been the formula for 2009/2010 Watch this space!

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