Members of the University of Northampton can view the Final project report
Despite presenting the workshop, ‘How to produce videos with students as co-creators,’ to a smaller group, the academics that attended understood the impact of using video as an ABL tool.
After seeing the videos produced by the media students the academics could see the potential of giving students a voice through video.
There were two groups where we discussed potential ways of co-creating videos with students. Some technical questions arose such as how to upload the videos and where to store the videos.
These questions will be addressed in the final phase of the project when a prototype of how to involve students as co-creators will be developed and shared.
Feedback on the project
Part of our evaluation entailed finding out more about what the students learned by taking part in the project. We wanted to know if they improved both their video production skills, as well as their knowledge of the academic skill on which they worked. A constructivist pedagogical approach hypothesises that students would learn about the skill during the process of making the video; literature confirms this, by suggesting that producing videos has a positive impact on learning gain about the subject matter (Greene and Crespi, 2012).
We sent a survey to all students at the end of the project, when the videos had been completed. 15 of the 26 students responded, a 58% response rate. The questions in the survey gathered information about whether they participated in the focus groups, what stage they got to in producing their video, and a simple self evaluation of how much the experience impacted on their knowledge of both the skill and video production.
All the students that took part in the focus groups agreed that taking part in the group had an impact on their approach to developing their video. (Figures 1a and 1b). Most students thought that their skills had improved in both video production and the academic skill; a greater number (and larger proportion) of those that took part in the focus groups reported an increase in their knowledge of the academic skill on which they worked. As the student videos covered topics that differed from those discussed in the focus groups it could be argued that discussing sample videos in detail before production encourages students to focus on, and therefore learn more about, the skills they are exploring.
In addition, we gathered feedback on the difficulties that students faced in producing their videos, which will be useful for developing guidelines and procedures for future use.
Greene, H. and Crespi, C. (2012) The value of student created videos in the college classroom – an exploratory study in marketing and accounting. International Journal of Arts and Sciences, 5(1), pp. 273-283.
I presented a workshop at the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) conference on 16th April 2019. My workshop was ‘ How to produce videos with students as co-creators’. I outlined the process of working with the students enabling them to produce videos on an aspect of academic skills, with Learning Development as a client. Then I showed the videos. It was when I showed the student videos that the other conference goers really became engaged. One of the main questions at the end was if it would be possible to engage students with this project if they were not media students or if it was not with a media lecturer. This is the part of this research project for future development. ALDinHE Tweet
The 5th March, 2019, was the day that Sam, Nathan and I had been waiting for. The student cohort were presenting their videos to us. Some of them were quite nervous to show us the rough edits. Sam fed back on the content, I fed back on the content and technical issues and Nathan gave feedback on the technical issues.
Most of them had stayed true to the ideas that they pitched.
The videos were a week later than expected since many of the groups struggled to find actors or presenters. This meant that many of the groups had to use another group member. A few weeks later some of the groups had taken on board our feedback and produced a final edit.
Take a look at this video: It covers aspects of ‘Assignment Planning’ and gives students an introduction to The Learning Hub.
As with all research projects, there has been progress as well as some stumbles along the way. One element of research is to disseminate the findings, and to this end we are happy to report that our proposed paper for the ALDinHE Conference at Exeter in April 2019, has been accepted. Karin will be presenting How to produce videos with students as co-creators. ALDinHE is the major annual conference for learning developers in the UK, so this will be a great opportunity to share our experience with others, and to explore what else is happening across the sector in terms of video production.
The students have been busy shooting and producing their videos, but have met with some real world issues. There has been some difficulty recruiting actors, and they have had to adhere to strict guidelines about seeking permission from everyone who may be in shot when filming on campus. We will be reviewing the first versions of their videos next week, which will be our next opportunity to discuss with them some of the benefits and drawbacks of this approach. We can then start to develop and refine some of the principles and guidelines that we anticipated will be one of the major outcomes of the project.
After the focus groups on Dec 4th it was time to transcribe the audio recordings. This is a time consuming process trying to keep up with and type what students are saying about the videos that they had to watch.
Sam discovered a free transcription tool called Otter. For the moment I am using the old technology of listening and typing. I think this helps me to absorb the data and starts the process off for me making links between what people are saying and gives me time to considering emerging themes.
I will take a look at Otter transcription tool though.
On Tuesday 11th Dec the whole research team met for the media students to pitch their ideas for their learning skills videos. There were nine groups that pitched. The pitch took the form of a professional media pitch with students responding to a media brief that they had been presented with.
All of the groups had produced a Powerpoint where they addressed aspects of the production. Students spoke about their research. This included them looking at other learning skills videos. Some of them looked at UoN Learning development videos on the Skills Hub. Some groups had done their own primary research to find out what students liked or did not like about learning videos. Most importantly, they all presented their idea or concept for their learning video. Most of the group included a production schedule.
The students would pitch, then the panel would ask them questions, then the panel would feedback. Each member of the research team fed back on an aspect of the pitch. Sam considered the research and content of ideas, Karin talked to the narrative and engagement of the ideas and Nathan fed back on the feasibly of the production.
To mirror industry students were given a green light – which is a go ahead for them to go in to production. Or students were given an amber light – which means that they can go in to production once they have produced certain deliverables such as a script or production schedule.
The research team hoped that all of the student cohort would produce a learning skills video and with the quality of the pitches this should be the case.
On Tuesday 4th Dec Sam and I met with the focus groups. The main focus group was split in to two sessions. The students were given a sheet with headings to consider as they watched the videos.
Production Values: How did the production values impact on or add value to this video?
Engagement: To what extent did it hold your interest?
Informative: What did you learn?
Accessibility: In what ways does it meet the needs of the target audience?
Students watched 5 videos which represented different styles of Learning Skills Videos.
Most of them made notes, then took part in a discussion with some prompts from the research teams which related to the headings shown above. The discussion was captured as an audio recording.
The students gave very thorough feedback and analysis of what they thought about the videos. The bits that they thought worked or did not work. These recordings will be transcribed and analysed by the research team. There were some really interesting insights which will be revealed soon.
Link to the Learning Videos that the students watched : https://uon1.padlet.org/sam_thomas3/med1082
On 20th October Sam and I went in to the MED1082 cohort to present the video brief to the students. Although I am familiar with giving students briefs for making films I researched how to write a clear media brief. Even some media agencies fail to do this which can result in a poor take up of responses to a brief. It was important to us that the students clearly understood what the video project is about and that they wanted to engage.
Sam and I are acting as clients ( on behalf of Learning Development ) when presenting this brief. It was important that this follows the same processes as would happen in Industry. We wanted the brief to have two purposes.
1 ) To give students clear guidance on the type of video that they have to pitch and produce
2 ) To understand that prior to pitching their videos they need to undertake research into what makes an effective , engaging, educational video.
It was also important for students to understand the broader context of this as part of the UoN Innovation Bids project.
This brief reinforced their Learning Outcomes for the module.
- Design and populate a website, demonstrating a clear understanding of the key concepts of digital and social media content production.
- Present and discuss the role of audiences and the development of digital and social media content.
- Collect, use and explain information from a range of sources and undertake simple and straightforward research tasks.
Changemaker & Employability Skills
d. Undertake personal development planning, taking opportunities for personal growth and challenge, making use of associated support and resources
How did it go?
The response from the students was positive. They seemed to be clear on the task of pitching their videos and how this fits in to the research project. This was presented to Group 1 then to Group 2. For the presentation of the brief to Group 2, I realised that I could try and ‘sell’ the project a bit harder.
Once Sam and I left , the tutor and researcher Nathan Dodzo could answer any additional queries students had. Nathan will be primarily be involved in leading the video production and collaboration with the students.