Engaging Non-traditional students through digital storytelling
Veronica Barnes, Daniela Gachago & Eunice IvalaEngaging the non-Engaging the non-traditional studenttraditional studentthrough digitalthrough digitalnarrativesnarrativesCape Peninsula University ofTechnology
Non – traditional student (NTS)“…students who ‘are currently under-represented [in HE] and that thisunderrepresentation is a product of socialclass and/or ethnicity“(Select Committee on Education and Employment, 2001)
Student workersGenderNon – traditional student (NTS)Age – usuallyover 24 yrsSocio-economicbackgroundSocio-economicbackgroundEthnicity/ raceEthnicity/ raceFirst generationin HEAcademic underpreparednessjuggling work, academic& family rolesjuggling work, academic& family rolesLearningdifficulties“Cinderella students”“Cinderella students”English 2ndlanguageEnglish 2ndlanguage
Pedagogies that engage NTSsthe challenges that students’ faced in theirstudies?the challenges that students’ faced in theirstudies?the challenges that students’ faced in their studies?the challenges that students’ faced in their studies?Alternative curriculum and coursestructures are needed at first year level toprovide a “non-remedial” approach to NTS.recognize the capabilities that NTSsbring with them into HE, and to buildon these skills – not bound by thetraditional assumptions(CHE, 2007: 44,45)Institutions and educators must provide flexibility andchoice in order to cater for the diverse student group.(Laing & Robinson, 2011:184)
Context of study• legacy as formerprofessionalvocational education.This study: at a large University of Technology inSouth Africa.•attracts a large number of so-called ‘non-traditional’students• affordability in termsof study fees
Methodology – research questionsthe challenges that students’ facedin their studies?the challenges that students’ facedin their studies?What are the challenges thatstudents’ faced in their studies?What made the studentsinterviewed ‘non traditional’?How did the digital storytellingpractice help the students dealwith these challenges?
ProjectProject:- innovative practice of digital storytelling- development of digital story on timber- in groups- very open brief- reliance on resourcefulness of students- qualitative: interviews with students & lecturer.- Data analysis was done inductively- guided by the literature
Context of study - demographicsContinuing underdevelop-ment of design andtechnology courses in under-funded public schools.Apartheid legacy: vastmajority of pupils in theseschools are still non-white,lack of access to expensiveschools
Findings – affinity for technologyAngela: it was something that I had beendying to do - had been dying to do for solong ...stop motion is just the coolest, so thatI found very cool. Ja, I think just the fact thatit’s something we weren’t familiar with - itworked well.
Findings - collaborationMichael: No there was just a plan, and wefollowed through with it.Michael: No there was just a plan, and wefollowed through with it.Interviewer: And you stuck tothe deadline?Michael: Yes, ja. We were always checkingon each other. So we would kind of monitoreach other and keep each other on track allthe time as well as ourselves.
Findings - flexibilityMichael: This was a very nice project, when we got thebrief we sat down and we chatted and then everybodyjust did what they had to do. So it wasn’t just sittingdown and drawing or sitting down and buildingsomething. It was: we have to go get costumes, wehave to go shoot the movie. We have to go do theediting. It was very nice.Michael: Yes, ja.Interviewer: So you liked the idea ofnot being in the classroom but beingout and about?
Findings – creative identityAngela: I think maybe that was the biggestchange over because we are all creative peoplewe just kind of might want to…give information,communicate information in a better way or in amore kind of interactive way. When someone’swatching something they’re enjoying it and youcan create something fun out of it withinformation that particularly isn’t very interestingat all, which I think is quite nice…
Findings – challenging taskGeorge: It wasn’t the fact that it was gettingharder and harder, it was the fact that we’dnever done it before. So we didn’t really knowhow it was going to be done and any of that. Butthen we did more research and like through theresearch I got more excited for it and then whenwe did it it was just - it was just so much fun ….Angela: we don’t really deal with film throughoutthe year. It was a new medium for us and I thinkthat’s also intriguing learning something thatyou’re not comfortable with which I found veryinteresting.Angela: we don’t really deal with film throughoutthe year. It was a new medium for us and I thinkthat’s also intriguing learning something thatyou’re not comfortable with which I found veryinteresting.
FindingsHow DST affordances responded to elements of NTS
UDL is one approachthat would benefit allstudents.UDL is one approachthat would benefit allstudents.Create learning experiences that talk totheir NTS strengths, NOT mediate theirchallenges.Create learning experiences that talk totheir NTS strengths, NOT mediate theirchallenges.UDL aims to develop curricula & projects that give allstudents equal opportunities to learnUDL aims to develop curricula & projects that give allstudents equal opportunities to learnNTS profile is complex, nuanced andmay be changing.NTS profile is complex, nuanced andmay be changing.(Steven 2005)Our students are non-traditional in theircontext - learning activities should be designedto engage all students, not just TS or NTSs.Discussion & conclusions(Roberts, 2011)Universal Design for LearningUniversal Design for Learning
Conclusions• End to labeling NTSsFurther research:• experimentation and creativity in the learningdesign process.• disrupt current teaching and learning practicesand design learning activities that are inclusiveand provide flexibility and choice for NTSs andTS needsWhy did some of theparticipants of thisstudy pass and somefail?Why did some of theparticipants of thisstudy pass and somefail?How to transfer someof these principles thatseem to engage NTSsHow to transfer someof these principles thatseem to engage NTSs
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