Case Study Title: Using digitalstorytelling as a scaffolding techniqueto improve academic literacy skills offirst-year ECP studentsAnthea Adams, Business Faculty, CPUT
• Exploring my task• Designing & developing learning activity• Formative evaluation of prototype learningactivity
Similarities University of Technologies Underprepared for higher education studies -socially, economically & cognitively (VanSchalkwyk, 2008) First-year Human Resource Managementstudents Extended Curriculum Programme (ECP)
Students battle with the demands oftraditional literacy Entry-level subjects (Business CommunicationSkills, Personnel Management & BusinessManagement) Complex texts, higher order thinking &sophisticated writing skills (interrogate, makejudgements, present and criticizearguments, defining problems & proposingsolutions) (Eberly Center, n.d.)
ECP students‟ latent potential - thereforesignificantly challenged - demands ofacademic literacy skills The use of digital storytelling as a scaffoldingtechnique to improve the academic literacyskills of first-year ECP students in the HRMdepartment
Concept of affordances (Bower, 2008:6-7) - matchthe teaching and learning challenges with the besttechnological tool, namely digital storytelling A digital story is “anything that employs digitaltechnology to construct narrative” (Sylvester &Greenidge, 2009:290) Digital storytelling enables students to “constructnarrative and expository texts (combining multiplemedia images, voice, music, video, transitions, andmovement) (Skinner & Hagood,2008:19)
Scaffolding technique to develop academicwriting skills (Cleary, 2008:254-261) such as:• planning writing to achieve clarity, coherence& cohesion• drafting techniques (process approach ofwriting) & peer feedback to structurelogical, coherent & cohesive texts
• revising and editing erroneous language &sentence structure• encoding and decoding academic & businesstexts• making meaning from texts
• developing content area vocabulary• being aware of audience, purpose, registerand form (Sylvester & Greenidge, 2009:291)Secondary aim - create an enablingenvironment (develop multiple literacies suchas technological, visual, media and informationliteracy)
• Student perceptions “an easy subject”• Maintaining student interest• Academic literacy - one of six modules in thissubject is usually covered during the first semester• Throughout the year all lecturers at all levels ofstudy are required to address academic literacy intheir Teaching and Learning (T&L) activities
• First-year level skills are crucial for success inall levels of study• Covert assessment of academic literacy skills• Assumptions• Mismatch between traditional pen & paperT&L activities & students‟ preferred learningstyles and interests
• Students‟ lack of basic computer skills• HDHET (Higher Diploma in Higher Educationand Teaching) - challenged to activelyparticipate in scholarship of teaching (beinginformed about & applying best T&Lpractices)• Educational opportunities for students &myself - digital storytelling is an idealtechnological tool (educational goals)
• Individual & group paper-based assessments &written tasks (written assignments, short projects& oral presentations)• Research topics –consulting various sources)• Neglect - several drafts (formative assessments)& visit Writing Centre• Bus Comm Skills and PM - only two subjectsusing paper-based integrated assessments &tasks
• Personal narrative, one of two distinct models ofdigital storytelling (Cachago, 2013)• An adaptation - earlier collaborative work -Fundani staff members & academic staff in theEducation Faculty at CPUT (Ivala et al., 2012)• Several workshops - guide students indeveloping digital stories• Create personal stories based on topic „Myself‟• Open-ended topic - individual digital stories• Focus on various aspects (culture, likes anddislikes, hobbies, family, friends, community,etc.)
Second semester - students develop theirdigital stories in groups „Workplace diversity‟ & Occupational Healthand Safety‟ - ideal for collaboration Potential for collaboration of digitalstorytelling - Teaching team - integrate threesubjects (Bus Comm Skills, PM & EUC)
• Workshop topics (storymapping, scripting, locating and developingvisuals and audio & narrating stories)• Bus Comm lecturer - focus on script writing(elements of a digital story, incorporating figuresof speech, etc.)• EUC colleague focuses on technological aspects(downloading software and audio, selectingeffective transitions & storyboard presentation)
Middle conflictProblem/change/event/s/incident/s/activitiesSolution/ spin-offs/results/consequencesTransformation/change/development/growthWhat new insights have I gained?(Dillingham, 2001 & Ohler, 2003)
• Ivala et al. (2012) – advise other practitioners- mindful of the following:• technological challenges (availability ofsoftware in computer labs on campus)• Step-by-step planning of project• Participation (interdisciplinary teaching team)• Access to resources (e.g. headsets fornarration and scanners to scan pictures)
• Scheduled sessions in computer labs• Scaffolding techniques• Assistance from tutors and mentors• Virus protection• Research (e.g. similar contexts)
• On-going project - myriad of benefits(lecturers & students)• Benefits contribute - development ofgraduate attributes (sought after skills inindustry)• Capitalize on its opportunities forinterdisciplinary & student collaboration
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