Using media based case studies to create spaces for students to practice theory
Contributor(s)University of Derby
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AbstractHow can we create a space for students to practice with a theory? Can we make a theory tangible, developing employability skills alongside it, within an assessment? As Henry Jenkins, Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts asks “What are you asking your students to do with what you teach them? How are they able to adapt it in a timely and meaningful fashion from knowledge to skill?” (Jenkins, 2010). This presentation explores work carried out to bring theories to life in a mode which allows students to apply them to real world inspired scenarios. In 2015, the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Team worked with academic staff from Health and Social Care subjects to create a case study based on the experiences of Health Care Professionals. Where previously written, content now consisted of video and other media, which students assessed from the perspective of a Health Care Assessor, developing observational assessment skills in relation to theoretical principles in the process. Spreading the case study over different segmented media provided a learning experience more akin to the real world as students were expected to “weigh the reliability of information that emerges in different contexts” (Jenkins, 2010) through developing “the capacity to seek out, evaluate, and integrate information conveyed across multiple media.” (Jenkins, 2010) By utilising these transmedia storytelling (Jenkins 2010) methods, learning resources can “use hermeneutic codes to raise questions in the minds of the audience; their desire to have these questions answered is what drives them forward through the narrative.” (Long, 2007, p. 166) Feedback from students suggests that this approach was effective and enhanced their learning experience: “It gave us an opportunity to practice, and learn from, skills such as observation and helped us to reflect on what we would actually do and see in real life practice. Very insightful” (Anonymous Student, 2015). One student also commented on the use of video over a written case study, “You could see details of Maggie’s house that a written case study would missed out. Also as a visual learner I found it helped to read Maggie’s body language.” (Anonymous Student, 2015). The methods developed during this project have led to further subject areas recreating the practice with similarly successful results. This presentation will demonstrate how applying transmedia storytelling methods to the creation of case studies can engage learners in the practice based theory of their subject area and embed critical employability skills within their learning. It will develop within delegates an understanding of how media based learning technologies can be used to enhance the digital content of modules relevant to their subject discipline.
Higson, R. (2016) 'Using media based case studies to create spaces for students to practice theory' Association for Learning Technology Annual Conference: Collect, Collaborate, Create, 6-8 September, University of Warwick, UK