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Learning and Assessment with Social Media: A Case Study with ‘Manipulating Media’ #Durbbu


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“Sit still and listen!”
Traditional learning approaches stress that the teacher is the source of all knowledge, that there is a fixed path to learning.
“Stand up and join in!”
Lifelong learning emphasises that educators are guides to sources of knowledge, which people learn by doing, in groups and from each other.
Manipulating Media was a new course taken by all first year media studies students at the University of Winchester from 2011. After an intensive period of front-loaded teaching, students taking the course worked upon a number of live team briefs that presented problems that required the use of academic literacy to be solved. The projects made extensive use of collaborative online learning. Students produced and delivered work using a number of web 2.0 applications and platforms, including reflective blogging. The course proved very popular with students and there were clear indications of the development of academic literacy in students.
Previously, academic literacy, which comprises the core skills of critical thinking, evaluation of sources, referencing, analytic and critical writing and self directed learning has proven a difficult and often unpopular aspect of introductory years for students in higher education. This paper explores one successful way in which a combination of social media and project based learning have been used to teach academic literacy to media studies undergraduate students at the University of Winchester, overcoming the sense of ‘disconnect’ between the substantive elements of a media studies degree and the ‘drier’ academic style and skills required.

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Learning and Assessment with Social Media: A Case Study with ‘Manipulating Media’ #Durbbu

  1. 1. Learning and Assessment with Social Media: A Case Study with ‘Manipulating Media’ Dr Bex Lewis, CODEC, Durham University @drbexl @codecuk #durbbu
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  3. 3.  Academic Skills The core skills of critical thinking, evaluation of sources, referencing, analytic and critical writing and self directed learning... researching, writing (including structuring, references), reading, note-taking, team-work, presentations, revision, career skills, etc.
  4. 4. Academic Skills academic 'excellence' soaks in
  5. 5. 1990s, courses on academic literacy integrated into the curriculum
  6. 6. 2000s, student support centres, disconnected from subject
  7. 7. action learning - skills taught within a constructionist framework
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  9. 9. Front Loading: 6 weeks of Lectures
  10. 10. http://manipulating- websites/
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  12. 12. http://manipulatin gmedia- uk/
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  14. 14. Twitter: @manipm
  15. 15. Project One:The Brief  Each group will produce a short video promoting the value of going to university, in order to persuade prospective students that they should still seriously consider undertaking a degree. The video should be three minutes long. You should be as imaginative, engaging and persuasive as possible.  It is up to the group to come to a consensus about content, but you might consider social, educative and/or economic values of education or the advantages over the alternatives.
  16. 16. Dealing with the issue of 'Groups’ Project Manager Researcher Content Production & Dissemination
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  18. 18. Project 2:The Brief  Using PowerPoint create a narrated presentation lasting no longer than 5 minutes that answers one of the questions detailed below. Your presentation should consist of slides & a recorded narration created in PowerPoint.  You should include images & animations but no video footage in your presentation.  Your presentation should be as academically rigorous as an essay but do not overload the viewer with too much information.  The information you use should be supported by references and all your sources should be included in a bibliography on the slide at the end of your presentation.  References and bibliography must be formatted according to the requirements of the Harvard Referencing System.  Your audience are academics & students.
  19. 19. “Feed-Forward”Tutorials
  20. 20. Project 3:The Brief  Each group will produce four sample pages for a media themed magazine, these must include:  The front cover  A contents page  Two further pages of articles, at least one of which must be a review appropriate to the style and content of the magazine.  Consider: Content; genre; audience; technical aspects; delivery
  21. 21. Project 4:The Brief  Each group will decide on a campaign aimed at changing student behavior in some way. The campaign could be a health message, safety & wellbeing, environmental or about student engagement.  Ensure you have confirmation from tutors that your campaign is acceptable.  The campaign should be multiplatform, and appropriate to your audience. The campaign itself should be visible on or around campus for at least a week before the final deadline…
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  24. 24. Academic Reading
  25. 25. What do the students get from it?  Work goes out 'publically'  Ownership  Engagement  Using the tools they are more familiar with?  Ongoing feedback
  26. 26. Student Feedback  Enjoyable, engaging  ‘Real-world skills’ – especially teamwork  Learnt from range of team roles, and from project to project  Criticality  Building an audience  Time-management  IT & Research Skills
  27. 27. Lessons Learnt  Effective  Facebook group = peer support successful  Separate team roles with clear expectations  Action learning rather than ‘sit and listen’ = higher engagement/grades  Self-motivation identified the ‘stronger students’ who went above & beyond  Developments  Early interaction online – issues with formative rather than summative?  Blogging: Earlier check-in? No progress without development?  Catching the ‘poor’ students: required self- motivation?  Uniqueness of different cohorts?
  28. 28. #durbbu @drbexl @codecuk