Published on July 20, 2009
e-Lectures within the Chemistry Department Neil Berry 23/6/09
Outline • Introduction Background Influences and context of “e” methods e-Learning • Experiences Two years in chemistry department • Practical aspects Hardware, Software, Time, Effort • Demonstration • Student Feedback & Statistics • Conclusions • Future work • Acknowledgements
Introduction - Background • Last two years lectures recorded in Chemistry • Initiated through my own interest • Video (“on-screen” activity – PowerPoint, animations, web pages etc.) and/or Audio • Recordings mounted on VITAL • Initial idea Supplementary to “traditional” lecture to aid learning • Not lecture replacement
Introduction – Influences and Context e-Learning • Bologna and Dearing Supporting student learning • Government education policy Out of hours opportunities More and better flexible opportunities to study • HEFCE Inform institutions to enhancing learning, teaching and assessment through the use of technology • JISC e-learning Creation of better learning environment for all learners (JISC training course) • Vice chancellor’s key five priorities Enhance student experience Position as a global university
Introduction – e-Learning • University e-learning policy – influenced by Bologna, Government, HEFCE, JISC, Audit “E-learning is learning which is enhanced, supported, mediated or assessed by the use of electronic media. E-learning may involve the use of new or established technology and/or creation of new learning material; it may be deployed both locally and at a distance.” • e-learning aspect of blended approach – enhance student learning • Aims of university e-learning policy By 2010 e-learning “embedded” in all parts of the university Staff and students able to select appropriate e-learning methods to enhance quality, efficiency of their teaching and learning
Introduction – e-Learning • e-Learning benefit staff AND students • Aspects relevant to recording of lectures: Increase student engagement (individual/group) especially outside “contact hours” Promoting personalisation of learning Support for flexibility of learning in a diverse student body Encouragement of active learning on the part of the student Support student progression Improved contact between student and staff Promote lifelong learning
Introduction – Influences on e-Learning • Student diversity Different students learn in different ways (reading, writing, hearing, doing etc.) English not first language • Students engagement – increase variety of stimuli Maximise chances of engaging students => Increase retention rates • Students – generation Y Generally technologically savvy Desire to be connected 24/7 Desire for face to face AND online contact with students and staff See no difficulty in surfing between media • Students - learner entitlement Enhance equity between students (audio/visual impairments) Platform independent (Windows/Macintosh/Linux)
Experiences • Last two years of lectures recorded Range of years (1-4) and courses (chemistry and subsidiary subjects) • Video (“on-screen” activity – PowerPoint, animations, web pages etc.) and/or Audio • Recordings mounted on VITAL • Recordings in format which can be downloaded/played on variety of platforms MWS Windows computers (Realplayer, Quicktime etc.) Portable media players (iPod, iPhone etc.) Windows/Macintosh/Linux computers • Initial idea Supplementary to “traditional” lecture to aid learning Aid to student learning if student misses lecture • Not lecture replacement Students miss opportunity for questions and feedback No change in level of lecture attendance
Practical Aspects Hardware • University lecture theatres equipped with capable Windows MWS PC (or laptop) • Microphone required, e.g. webcam (~£10) • VITAL capable to store and stream content Software • Screen and audio capture – Camstudio (Free, Opensource) • Format conversion (transcode) – Mediacoder (Free, Opensource) Time/Effort • Set up – <2 minutes • Capture – length of teaching session • Format conversion – couple of mouse clicks (~30 minutes computer time) • Uploading to VITAL as podcast – couple of mouse clicks (<2 minutes) Quick, Easy and Cheap
Demonstration Demonstration • Record a couple of minutes of this talk • Outline of stages (document available with details) • Convert into format appropriate for personal media players • Upload to VITAL
Student Feedback & Statistics Anonymous VITAL Feedback • No specific questions about the recordings • “Things liked about the module” – free text answer “Audio files on VITAL” “Online video and audio support provided extremely valuable support in revision for exams especially as learning abilities demanded different forms of media.” • Usefulness of VITAL (lecture notes, audio and video of lectures, web links)? ~80% very good/good over range of modules • Similar to positive experience from engineering department
Student Feedback & Statistics VITAL Statistics • CHEM012 – Organic Chemistry for Biological Sciences • Weeks 7-12 Second semester • 6 lectures recorded • ~150 1st year non-chemistry students • 1285 hits Examination 1st recorded Start of summer term Course start lecture Easter
Student Feedback & Statistics VITAL Statistics • Wide variety in times of access • Wide variety in day of access ⇒ Flexibility and personalisation of learning(?) (Stop recording)
Student Feedback & Statistics VITAL Statistics • CHEM170 – Introductory Spectroscopy • Weeks 1-10 Second semester • 5 lectures recorded • ~90 1st year chemistry students • 495 hits Examination Start of summer term Course start & 1st recorded lecture Easter End of recorded lectures (Start transcoding)
Student Feedback & Statistics VITAL Statistics • CHEM385 – Chemical Databases • Weeks 1-6 First semester • 5 lectures recorded • ~50 3rd year chemistry students • 347 hits End of recorded lectures • Resource used “inside” module 1st Report AND “outside” module Course start & 1st recorded End 2nd 2nd Report lecture Semester 2nd Semester
Student Feedback & Statistics VITAL Statistics • CHEM473 – Molecular Modelling • Weeks 1-6 First semester • 5 lectures recorded • ~25 4th year chemistry students • 176 hits Course start & 1st End of course recorded lecture End 1st Semester (Upload to VITAL)
Conclusions • Aspects of e-learning will be increasingly encouraged/expected throughout programmes • Recording of lectures one aspect of e-learning • Benefit staff AND students Encouragement of active learning on the part of the student Increase student engagement (individual/group) especially outside “contact hours” Promoting personalisation of learning Support for flexibility of learning in a diverse student body Support student progression Promote lifelong learning • Quick, easy and cheap to achieve • Students Use it, like it and find it useful
Future Directions • Encourage colleagues to have a go (whole modules recorded?) • “Chapters” to aid navigation of recording • Change what “lecture time” is used for (workshops, tutorials etc.)? Acknowledgements Liverpool Nick Greeves Nick Bunyan Sourceforge Mediacoder Camstudio
References Bologna http://www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/ncihe/ Dearing http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/educ/bologna/bologna.pdf HEFCE http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/hefce/2009/elearn.htm JISC e-learning http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/themes/elearning/programmeelearning.aspx Institutional audit 2004 http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews/reports/institutional/liverpool2004/RG049Liverpool.pdf Learning styles http://www.vark-learn.com/english/index.asp http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/research/learning_styles.shtml Vice chancellor priorities http://www.liv.ac.uk/staff/strategies_policies/strategic-plan.pdf University e-learning policy https://www.liv.ac.uk/staff/strategies_policies/e-learning-policy-november-2008.doc Blended learning http://amps-tools.mit.edu/tomprofblog/archives/2008/11/904_the_future.html#more Institutional audit http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews/reports/institutional/liverpool2004/RG049Liverpool.pdf E-learning and retention rates http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/case-studies/tangible http://www.echo360.com Generation Y Redmond, P. “Talkin’ ‘bout my generation” Generation Theory and the brave new world of the ‘Yers’, University of Liverpool Careers and Employability Service, 2007. Camstudio http://sourceforge.net/projects/camstudio/ MediaCoder http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net/
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