Student screencasts within a learning partnership
This case study demonstrates a new approach to student partnership both within and away from the classroom. A self-selecting group of students are given the chance to explore a different type of learning experience, with the aim of helping students to create a positive online presence whilst also challenging their settled sense of what learning means to them.
Students are asked to reflect on what they are learning on a module and then create 3-4 minute screencasts, designed to inform and inspire ‘A’ level or GCSE pupils, as well as new graduates. The students each create two or three of these screencasts, covering different aspects of the material on a module that they are studying. The screencasts are then lodged on a YouTube ‘English Literature at the University of Reading’.
The students attend all of the classes for the module and take the examination, but instead of a standard assessed essay or learning journal, which would most usually for part of the credit-bearing assessment for a module, the students write a formal report in which they focus first on how they were able to flex their knowledge to re-purpose it for a different group of learners and how they designed their screencasts for this particular situation. They then go on to compare the texts covered in the screencasts with other texts on the module, moving into more familiar academic territory.
By the conclusion of each project the students have created a positive online presence for the future, displaying graduate attributes in a competitive professional marketplace. They have also engaged with screencast and presentation technology (most usually Prezi and Camtasia). Beyond this, they have a clearer sense of their learning and its value. By applying their learning and creating original material in a public setting they become engaged in a new way.
Morris, C., Chikwa, G. (2014) Screencasts: How effective are they and how do students engage with them? Active Learning in Higher Education.15 (1), 25-37
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