We are currently running a wider project to promote digital standards and literacy, which is based around the JISC four-level framework (JISC, 2011), which establishes four levels of digital literacy from functional access through to managing digital identity. As part of this a project was run to review our current provision of recordings and webinars and establish best practices. This comprised discussions with student and faculty focus groups and an audit of current resources.
Staff and students were agreed about the main purpose of recordings and webinars but their concerns varied. Students noted the need for consistent standards in the technology used and pedagogical approach, as well as the need to be clear about the purpose of webinars. Faculty were grappling with how to position the recording as a key part of the learning pathway and ensure that all students viewed it before attending their live seminar. The biggest issue which emerged from the audit did not relate to the recording as such, but to use of PowerPoint, where too many slides were text-heavy. There has been comment recently about the consequences of depending on PowerPoint as a substitute for notes (Brabazon, 2010) and some existing practices illustrated this. It was striking that the key issue did not relate directly to recordings, but to technology that is very well-established and widely used in face-to-face as well as online teaching.
As a result of the review, guidance was issued and training delivered to all faculty which set out best practice for recordings and webinars, including use of PowerPoint and sources of copyright-free images for slides. A survey carried out a few weeks later found that 100% of faculty respondents had found the guidance helpful. A repeat audit and further student focus groups are now being planned to evaluate the direct impact of the training and guidance. This session will present a summary of the review findings, guidance issued and its impact with the aim of helping other institutions to optimise their use of recordings and webinars. It will be of interest to anyone involved in delivering or supporting delivery of courses using these tools.
Brabazon, T. (2010) “Take note as another learning discipline slides away”, Times Higher Education, 22 July [online]. Available athttp://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/tara-brabazon-take-note-as-another-learning-discipline-slides-away/412739.article# (accessed 3 November 2014).
Guo, P., Kim, J. & Rubin, R. (2014) ‘How Video Production Affects Student Engagement: An Empirical Study of MOOC Videos’ ACM Conference on Learning at Scale[online]. Available at http://www.pgbovine.net/publications/edX-MOOC-video-production-and-engagement_LAS-2014.pdf (accessed 3 November 2014).
JISC (2014) “Literacies development framework” [online]. Available athttp://jiscdesignstudio.pbworks.com/w/file/40474958/Literacies%20development%20framework.doc (accessed 3 November 2014).