Assessing informal learning:    a case study using  historical audio guides    Elizabeth FitzGerald, IET     (Nottingham c...
Overview of the project• Developed existing interest between local community  history group and academics in School of His...
What were we trying to find out?• Can mobile technology be used to convey historical  empathy and learning of contested pe...
Historical research areas1. Historical literacy concerning the Reform Riots in   Nottingham, asking: What happened in the ...
Stages in the project•   Planning meeting             [Sept/Oct 2010]•   People-led guided walk       [Oct 2010]•   Record...
Stage 1 – Planning meeting• Route, narrative, source materials and handouts were  organised by members of People’s Histreh...
Stage 2 – To the Castle! ‘people-led’ walk                      (Images above courtesy of Indymedia                       ...
Stage 3 – Audio: recording and playback• New audio files recorded by People’s Histreh• Researcher acted as navigator/guide...
Stage 4 – To the Castle! ‘technology-led’ walk
Historical research areas1. Historical literacy concerning the Reform Riots in   Nottingham, asking: What happened in the ...
Main findings• Difficult to draw comparisons between the two walks –  too many variables that could not be predicted or  c...
What does this tell us? How is it useful?• This framework can be used as explicit guidelines when  designing future walks ...
Thanks for listening…Elizabeth FitzGerald, IETe.j.fitzgerald@open.ac.ukhttp://iet.open.ac.uk/e.j.fitzgeraldOther members o...
Assessing informal learning: a case study using historical audio guides
Assessing informal learning: a case study using historical audio guides
Assessing informal learning: a case study using historical audio guides
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Assessing informal learning: a case study using historical audio guides

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Presentation given at the CALRG 2012 conference, Milton Keynes, UK - 19/20 June 2012. Book of abstracts available at http://tinyurl.com/calrg2012

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  • The aim of the Walk is to engage and educate the audience. By discussing and defining ‘educate’ with the historians we settled on three objectives 1/ To improve historical ‘literacy’ about the Reform Riots in Nottingham, asking: What happened in the period of the riots? (original questionnaire 2, 4 & 5; new questionnaire ) 2/ To encourage empathy with historical subjects as a specific kind of historical knowledge/understanding, asking: What were this period and these events like for different kinds of people? (original questionnaire 2, 5, 6 & 7 a, b & c; new questionnaire ) .3/ To encourage conclusions to be drawn through evaluating conflicting historical interpretations: What can we conclude from how these events and their causes were viewed from differing perspectives? (original questionnaire 2, 5 & 7d; new questionnaire ) . From the historians’ perspective, these levels of historical understanding have a hierarchical relationship, in that level 1 must be attained before level 2, and level 2 before level 3.
  • A planning meeting was held with the community historians. Individuals took on aspects of work towards the presentation of the material on the walk as (narrated, source-based and visual materials such as maps, copies of documents in the form of a trail guide). This is a process of self-directed ‘active learning’, similar to that fostered within the School of History at UoN. It is learning achieved through the selection, understanding and employment historical subject matter and sources. The history group does this ‘actively learning’ quite intuitively, to the extent that participants do not comment that this is what they are doing. In other words, the community historians themselves are learning about the Reform Riots by putting on a guided walk. They are also using the walk as a way of disseminating what they have learned and encouraging a way of viewing the past that stresses the experiences and aspirations of the ordinary people of Nottingham as the starting point for understanding the Riots.
  • The aim of the Walk is to engage and educate the audience. By discussing and defining ‘educate’ with the historians we settled on three objectives 1/ To improve historical ‘literacy’ about the Reform Riots in Nottingham, asking: What happened in the period of the riots? (original questionnaire 2, 4 & 5; new questionnaire ) 2/ To encourage empathy with historical subjects as a specific kind of historical knowledge/understanding, asking: What were this period and these events like for different kinds of people? (original questionnaire 2, 5, 6 & 7 a, b & c; new questionnaire ) .3/ To encourage conclusions to be drawn through evaluating conflicting historical interpretations: What can we conclude from how these events and their causes were viewed from differing perspectives? (original questionnaire 2, 5 & 7d; new questionnaire ) . From the historians’ perspective, these levels of historical understanding have a hierarchical relationship, in that level 1 must be attained before level 2, and level 2 before level 3.
  • Assessing informal learning: a case study using historical audio guides

    1. 1. Assessing informal learning: a case study using historical audio guides Elizabeth FitzGerald, IET (Nottingham castle on fire, courtesy of www.picturethepast.org.uk)
    2. 2. Overview of the project• Developed existing interest between local community history group and academics in School of History at University of Nottingham• Investigated how located audio can be used to provide opportunities for historical learning in public history• Case study of the 1831 Reform Riot in Nottingham, content initiated by the community group• Conducted 2 types of guided walk: – People-led – Technology-led
    3. 3. What were we trying to find out?• Can mobile technology be used to convey historical empathy and learning of contested perspectives from different historical sources, in an history walk format?• Main questions to the participants in the walk: – Who were the rioters? – What motivated them to engage in their direct action?• Academic research questions – Historical focus – Educational focus – User experience
    4. 4. Historical research areas1. Historical literacy concerning the Reform Riots in Nottingham, asking: What happened in the period of the riots?2. Historical empathy with the people involved: What were this period and these events Attaining historical literacy like for different people?3. Historical Experiencing ‘empathy’ with historical subjects interpretation: how were these events and their causes Responding to viewed from differing & evaluating accounts from and/or conflicting perspectives? a variety of perspectives
    5. 5. Stages in the project• Planning meeting [Sept/Oct 2010]• People-led guided walk [Oct 2010]• Recording of audio files [Jan 2011]• Technology-led guided walk [Feb 2011]
    6. 6. Stage 1 – Planning meeting• Route, narrative, source materials and handouts were organised by members of People’s Histreh• Emphasis on experiences and aspirations of ‘ordinary people’ of Nottingham as starting point for understanding the riots• Self-directed ‘active learning’ – carried out intuitively• ‘Learning by doing’• Use the walk as a way of disseminating what they have learned
    7. 7. Stage 2 – To the Castle! ‘people-led’ walk (Images above courtesy of Indymedia http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/510)
    8. 8. Stage 3 – Audio: recording and playback• New audio files recorded by People’s Histreh• Researcher acted as navigator/guide where needed• Used ‘7scenes’ mobile app/website for playback of geolocated audio when entering a ‘trigger’ region: http://7scenes.com/scene/776506• Failsafe – use mp3 files stored on the handheld device with paper map
    9. 9. Stage 4 – To the Castle! ‘technology-led’ walk
    10. 10. Historical research areas1. Historical literacy concerning the Reform Riots in Nottingham, asking: What happened in the period of the riots?2. Historical empathy with the people involved: What were this period and these events Attaining historical literacy like for different people?3. Historical Experiencing ‘empathy’ with historical subjects interpretation: how were these events and their causes Responding to viewed from differing & evaluating accounts from and/or conflicting perspectives? a variety of perspectives
    11. 11. Main findings• Difficult to draw comparisons between the two walks – too many variables that could not be predicted or controlled• However, from analysis of the questionnaires, interviews and researcher observations: Showed evidence Showed evidence of Showed evidence of of historical literacy historical empathy historical interpretation People-led 70% 50% clear evidence, 10% clear evidence, walk 20% partial evidence 30% partial evidence (n=10) Technology- 100% 67% clear evidence, 67% clear evidence, led walk 33% partial evidence 33% partial evidence (n=6)
    12. 12. What does this tell us? How is it useful?• This framework can be used as explicit guidelines when designing future walks (feedback to People’s Histreh)• Can be used as questions to guide public engagement with historical reference sources and data• A way in which participants can reflect on what they’ve heard on the tour and ask them to frame the content with respect to particular themes• Could be used more widely when considering informal history learning – e.g. when engaging with other media that teaches us about history … but this IS work in progress so feedback / comments are very welcome!
    13. 13. Thanks for listening…Elizabeth FitzGerald, IETe.j.fitzgerald@open.ac.ukhttp://iet.open.ac.uk/e.j.fitzgeraldOther members of the project team:Claire Taylor, School of History, University of NottinghamMike Craven, Faculty of Engineering, University of NottinghamPeople’s Histrehhttp://peopleshistreh.wordpress.com A massive thanks to all those who participated in the walks and who gave us valuable feedback on this project, also to Faye Taylor and Robert Jones who assisted in the research.

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