New Media ‐ the challenge for traditional media, advertisers and communicators ‐ Erasmus Course Evaluation Lecturer: Ana ADI Session 2010/2011 Semester 2 – May 2011
At the end of the New Media course, the 14 participating students were asked to take a survey in order to evaluate the New Media course together with the lecturer’s method, approach and enthusiasm. The evaluation survey was accessible online leaving students with the option of taking it at their own pace and in the absence of the lecturer. To avoid bias, students were asked to submit their answers before their final grades were delivered. 13 out of the total of 14 participating students in the course took the survey, offering responses from 92.8%% of the course participants. The survey’s structure of the previous semesters has been maintained. Overall, 71% of the students (10 out of the 13 respondents) found the course, the overall content and the overall teaching effectives as “very good”. All other answers recorded rated the course as “good” or “excellent”. 1. Overall course evaluation results Asked to evaluate specific aspects of the course or the teaching process, the students responses confirm the high evaluations of the overall course as most of their answers provide “excellent” or “very good ratings”. The lecturer’s enthusiasm, the lecturer’s use of technology and the Skype online live video guest lectures obtained most of the “excellent” ratings from the students followed by the lecturer’s availability to answer questions, the lecturer’s answer to the students’ questions and the integration of other lecturers and guests within the course. This could indicate that providing some diversity in the way content is delivered has a potential to maintain the students’ interest in the course.
2. Specific course elements evaluation As with previous sessions, two online live video guest lecturers were set up. While the connection to the USA via Skype was successful, technical difficulties were encountered with the connection to Bahrain. This led to the Bahrain guests continuing their interaction with the class via chat and Twitter. Similar with the previous sessions, the online live video lectures were regarded as a novelty as well as a great way to integrate new media in the class.
3.Online video guest lecture evaluation Among other aspects of the course evaluated were the use of the class time (46.15% very good), the relevance and usefulness of the course content (53.84% excellent) and the balance between theory and practice (53.84% excellent). 4. Other course dimensions evaluated With regards to attendance, all responding students attended all classes. Almost half of the responding students (6 out of 10) expect to receive an A.
Three qualitative questions were part of the survey as well. They aimed to determine the areas that students most liked or disliked as well as identify elements that students would have wanted the course to cover. Even with the course covering 7 sessions at a total of 24 hours of contact, some students suggested the course to take even longer or to be scheduled in such a way as to provide them with some decompression and/or reflection time. Other suggestions included more examples and practice with new media tools and platforms (beyond micro‐blogging, blogging and social media analytics tools) as well as more business related examples. These suggestions ill be taken into account for future deliveries of the course. 5. New course elements wanted One the changes suggested makes reference to the new media impact on journalism day and practice. Taking into account that most students in this semester had a background in business and/or business administration, their suggestion reflects their different subject interests as well as their little impact with journalism. However, discussing about creative industries and new media production and influence without making reference to journalism, citizen journalism would depict an incomplete picture. In order to incorporate the students’ suggestions, the journalism exercises will be redesigned to include a more business angles.
6. Suggested improvements Finally, among the things the students liked the most were the practice‐based‐days, the discussions they generated and the final project.
7. “What did you like more about this course” answers Observations and Conclusions: All the answers given to the questions asked are in the higher positive range – from good to excellent. The areas marked the students as being excellent (obtaining also the majority vote) were: • The lecturer’s use of technology (100%) • The lecturer’s enthusiasm (84.6%) • The practical aspects of the course were mentioned as strong points of the course and good learning experiences. It should be noted that this semester featured one individual assignment and two teamwork assignments including the final team‐project. To showcase the student’s assignments the students chose wordpress as their showcase platform: http://kathonewmedia.wordpress.com The students final projects will also be shown on in this space.
It is notable that many of the students indicate as an important factor the lecturer’s enthusiasm and support. As with previous semesters, this shows reiterates the potential, if not the need, for courses to be delivered in a more interactive way where students are constantly given challenges to solve together with the lecturer. Having a problem‐based learning approach in this case is perhaps the best solution, ensuring the students apply and/or discover the content they need in order to fulfil their tasks. When it comes to the use of technology, even three years since the course was first offered, the online live video guest lectures obtained still a very positive evaluation even from a group who is accustomed to using online live video streaming platforms for personal uses. As with the previous semester, the responses indicate that the transfer of knowledge, dialogue as well as learning objectives could be achieved regardless of the presence in class of the lecturer. Furthermore, the good evaluation the online live video lectures received show that students appreciate contact with industry experts and other lecturers that live and operate outside their countries. Recommendations and suggestions: Taking into account the students’ observations and in an attempt to make a link to the areas determined in the course evaluation as having a potential for improvement it is suggested: • A redesign of the journalism related exercises to be more relevant to business students • The introduction of more practice days related to other technologies and platforms • The presentation of more new/social media statistics and inforgraphics as a way of showing changes in media consumption behaviours • The introduction of more discussions and debates about the future of internet, the impact of internet on cultural and political dialogue, privacy and security • An expansion of the New Media course to local students as well (not necessarily in the same classroom).