ALT–C 2016: A Last Look Back

“CB_080916_ALT_433” by Association for Learning Technology. Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC
CB_080916_ALT_433” by Association for Learning Technology. Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC

The Association for Learning Technology held its 23rd annual conference at the University of Warwick from 6-8th September 2016.

Here are some further takeaway points from the conference in particular focusing on use of video in learning and teaching which was a key strand flowing through the conference.

Video in Learning and Teaching

Smith (2016), from the Open University, proposed using live video, in this case the tool Periscope, to teach practical tasks on his CISCO network course, as part of a flipped classroom approach. His advice, if you are planning to do something like this, is to find out when ‘live recordings’ are convenient to students, and to advertise this well in advance to ensure adequate viewing. In this case, early evening was the best time. Periscope was a great tool as it is easy to set up, provides good quality live video, as well as providing recorded videos afterward. Periscope is not the only tool available, ‘Facebook Live’ is another, but it does require a user to follow your Facebook page.

Begklis (2016), from Imperial College London, had a few key points for video production:

  1. Ask a few key questions before you go out and make the video (i.e. Do I need a video? Why are you making one? What kind of video? and What are the learning objectives?)
  2. Keep a pace of 140-180 words per minute. The video should be no longer than 4-6 minutes long.
  3. Present an opening hook to attract your audience. Break your concept into three.
  4. Use simple conversational speech.
  5. Consolidate learning through asking questions, or setting a task for students to complete.

Further details surrounding video design and production can be found in Koumi (2016), available at the following address: http://jackkoumi.co.uk/gfp-video-production.pdf.

Metcalfe (2016), from the University of Plymouth, had the following advice when delivering lectures to large groups of students via a webinar tool (up to 500 students):

  1. Don’t run it as a traditional lecture.
  2. Familiarise your students with the software you are going to be using.
  3. Record sessions for later recap.
  4. Make it interactive (i.e. ask more questions, be responsive to questions, add activities, use polls and include breakout activities).
  5. Lastly, for large sessions, have a colleague to assist. They can coordinate questions and respond to any technical difficulties a student may have.

Students tends to assume that they know how to make the best use of lecture capture. Metcalfe, therefore, presents some useful guidance on how students use lecture captures for learning.

Apart from video, there were a number of other themes including VLE design, learning analytics, use of e-portfolios.  Some of which were covered in a previous post by Lynne Burroughs. However, there were two sector-wide launches during the conference.

The Student Voice Highlighting Change

JISC, the UK’s not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions for the Higher, Further Education and skills sectors, launched the second pilot of their digital experience tracker at the ALT conference.  Led by Helen Beetham, Sarah Knight and Tabetha Newman (JISC, 2016), the tracker is a short survey, delivered through the Bristol Online Surveys platform, to allow evidence gathering from learners about their digital experience and make better provision regarding their digital environment. This tool also has an added advantage of giving institutions who partake an opportunity to benchmark their practice against others.  While this is an opportunity for institutions to look forward, there has already been some results from the pioneer pilots.  A synopsis of some initial findings has since been published.

Benchmarking of TEL across UK HE

Lastly, during the conference, UCISA launched their results of the 2016 Survey into Technology Enhanced Learning completed by 110 Heads of e-Learning across the UK HE sector.  The report states that enhancing the quality of learning and teaching remain the key driver for considering using TEL, while availability of TEL support staff is the leading factor encouraging development of TEL. Lack of time and Institutional culture continue to be the biggest barriers.

For a detailed report, please visit the USICA pages.

References

Begklis, F. (2016), Pedagogic video design: A framework for producing instructional videos. Session 1344, Association of Learning Technologies Conference, University of Warwick, 6th to 8th September 2016.

JISC. (2016), Student Digital Experience Tracker. Available at: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/student-digital-experience-tracker (accessed 1st October 2016)

Koumi, J.  (2016), Guidelines for video design and production. Available at: http://jackkoumi.co.uk/gfp-video-production.pdf (accessed 1st October 2016)

Metcalfe, D. (2016), Evaluating webinars as a tool for delivering lectures and seminars at a distance in a healthcare setting, Session 1347, Association of Learning Technologies Conference, University of Warwick, 6th to 8th September 2016.

Smith, A. (2016), Using Periscope to teach Wannabee Network Engineers. Session 1258, Association of Learning Technologies Conference, University of Warwick, 6th to 8th September 2016.

UCISA. (2016), UCISA TEL Report 2016. Available at: https://www.ucisa.ac.uk/groups/asg/news/20160906tel (accessed 1st October  2016)