Analysis of Digital Media: Supporting University-Wide Online Learning

online learningThis report aims to provide an overview of a project which explores teaching and learning within a blended mode of study. Specifically, it looks to analyse the production of digital media and online social networking with a view to enhancing the learning experience. It was the overall aim of the project to contribute to the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy by developing media content; exploring the production process, analyse digital participation and explore the challenges and opportunities locally within schools. The project has placed emphasis on the production principles which enhance our online courses whilst providing a consistent quality of experience – recognising that our students often access course material produced by staff from across schools and colleges.

The project objectives where:

1. Use a variety of equipment and processes to create and edit media so that we may compare production processes, the cost of development and the end quality – to determine which offers the best value for money for teaching staff within schools.

2. Build capacity to deploy innovative pedagogy across a range of courses at undergraduate and taught postgraduate level.

3. Enhance our current suite of online media resources so that we may contribute to the development of the wider college strategy for e-learning and e-assessment.

4. Provide staff and students with a framework for local media production which can be used for career long professional learning e.g. media development, social networking skills, employability skills and developing graduate attributes.

The School of Education uses a range of digital and online technologies to support learning. It should be noted that transformational change does not necessarily occur within the technology itself, but resides in the agency from teachers to learners (Younie and Leask, 2013). Likewise, there is a fundamental difference in learning with technology and teaching with technology (Dunn, 2012). Indeed, to enable teaching staff to fully explore innovative pedagogical framing; resources and content must provide intellectual rigour, stimulate thinking and increase capacity for students to engage in contemporary forms of self-directed, autonomous learning. Duffy and Jonassen (1992) conclude that poorly structured learning environments are likely to create problems for the teacher and the student as a matter of course. The instructional design must allow the learner to fully interact with the intended cognitive nature of the course objectives. The experience and behaviour of the learner must be considered at all times. The composition of an online course demands a logical schema, which in itself mirrors the digital literacy practices and mastery of technologies which we (the teacher) expect from our students. There needs to be a strong catalyst for developing graduate attributes and to enhance learning.

This project has demonstrated that the premise is two-fold:

1. The teacher must consider the course holistically;

2. The teacher must consider the content specifically;

Further reading on this report:

Dunn, L., Dickson, B., Trinder, J., Kerr, J., and Andrews, M. (2015) Analysis of Digital Media: Supporting University-Wide Online Learning via Moodle. Project Report. University of Glasgow, Glasgow. (Unpublished)

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