Manchester Metropolitan University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 6616-6621
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
This project has harnessed recent advances in communication to enhance the student learning experience. The objective was to use technology to complement and make better use of the valuable lecturer-student contact time. There is strong evidence from this study in BSc degree chemistry teaching that screencasting technology can lead to significant educational gains in this area. Screencasting involves recording a short video clip of a computer screen with narration and the resulting video files made available for students through a VLE (virtual learning environment). In this study, pre-lecture screencasts were recorded and students encouraged to view them prior to the lectures in an effort to prime them for classes and release contact time for more interactive learning.This approach helped students to focus on the subjects that they found most difficult, making the process more learner-centred.

Initial feedback has shown that this style of delivery has had a significant impact on the student learning experience. The feedback showed that 86% of the students surveyed had used the screencasts before attending lectures and all of these students agreed that screencasts had helped them understand the content of the lecture. When asked if they plan to use them during their revision for exams, 96% agreed and 100% indicated that they would like to see more screencasts in other topics. A selection of the student’s comments are highlighted below:

“Excellent learning tool as students can learn material on the move by viewing whilst on the train going to uni.”

“Easily accessible and allows questions to be raised in lectures.”

“I believe that an introduction is vital and helps students develop a deeper understanding of the topic.”

“Screencasts are much better than just reading notes on their own and they are very useful for understanding some of the more complex material”.

“They proved to be very concise and really helped with revision, making it easier to get to the point.”

“This is pushing forward the way we learn and keeping with the times.”

There is synergy between the human face of teaching and technology that can be exploited to enhance blended learning. Screencasts offer a versatile teaching tool that can capture the spoken word of the teacher for later use by the students. The project has capitalized on the initial work to explore how this blended learning approach can further improve teaching practises in a variety of potential activities.

Further work has expanded upon these initial finding with more versatile software/equipment and increased the provision of screencasts to include the activities highlighted below and the result will be presented in this paper:
- Record screencasts of whole lectures/tutorials.
- Provide post-lecture/tutorial/lab screencasts to supplement these face-to-face contact sessions.
- Use screencasts to provide personalised/generic feedback on assessments.
- Use screencasts to illustrate worked examples of exam style problems.
- Provide targeted revision screencasts for students in the build up to exams.
Screencasts Blended Learning e-learning.