Teaching Fellow in Social Policy
I collaborated with students in the use of film making and editing technology to demonstrate and respond to a social policy issue. Student presentations were then uploaded to Blackboard (the University’s virtual learning environment) and shared with the instructor and other students on the course.
In creating digital artefacts, students made use of weekly online blogs to respond to readings for the week in the form of haiku poetry. The blogs are part of Blackboard and can be viewed by fellow students and the instructor.
For blogs, students used the Blog function in Blackboard to post their weekly haiku. In film-making, Students were encouraged to use their iPhones, iPads and other personal digital devices for filming the videos. As this was a group project, only one recording device was needed for filming. Students were also introduced to video cameras in the University's computer labs and a demonstration was given in the form of a workshop on video editing by myself as well as TCD IT staff. Students were given the option of using iMovie, Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro depending upon how comfortable they felt with technology. For novice students, iMovie was suggested as being easy and user friendly. Students were instructed on how to upload their final videos on Blackboard.
I am very interested in the integration of technology and pedagogy. As students have different learning related to the weekly topic in focus and invite students to share any resources they consider helpful and relevant to the topic of discussion. Blackboard allows for transparency in terms of the ability to display all assessments. Through Blackboard, students are not only able to view their the work of their peers, but student assessments can also be viewed by designated instructors, administrative staff and external examiners. Blackboard also allows students the opportunity to pose questions and post ideas, suggestions and comments on the work of other students.
I am very interested in the integration of technology and pedagogy. As students have different learning styles and abilities, my challenge is to find ways to encourage engagement through a range of sensory and motor skills. I believe that students are more likely to retain learning for a longer time if they experience it hands on and are able to employ creativity and imagination. Information conveyed through film has an impact not only on intellect, but emotion as well and is more likely to be remembered for a longer period of time than information conveyed through text. My goal was to encourage students to do scholarly research on their social policy topic, and then tell a meaningful story based on the results of that research. Students were to provide scholarly references in the closing credits of their film.
CAPSL, Centre for Academic Practice and Student Learning at TCD. Also, Trinity College’s IT training and support played a key role in helping provide training in iMovie to students. My own background and training in filmmaking also allowed me to provide additional training on Adobe Premiere (if students specifically asked for it), storyboarding, camera work, lighting, sound and editing. Coupled with this students also received training in library research and the use of scholarly resources through TCD library online materials.
For blogging, the blog function on Blackboard could be accessed by students to submit Haiku's on their own time and terms. Students could read each others, and even comment on each other's if they wished. The format allowed students see the distilled and creative response of their student peers to the teaching content for that week thereby allowing access to multiple perspectives. Where class time might not allow every student the time and opportunity to convey their reflective response to content, the Blog functioned to serve this purpose. For filmmaking, Trinity College’s IT training and support played a key role in helping provide training in iMovie to students. My own background and training in filmmaking also allowed me to provide additional training on Adobe Premiere (if students specifically asked for it), storyboarding, camera work, lighting, sound and editing. Coupled with this students also received training in library research and the use of scholarly resources through TCD library online materials.
Blogging: Students were able to distill down key idea(s) in a short input. Seeing all Haiku's generated across the group allowed for diversity and commonality of views and perspectives within the student group. The Blog format allowed students share individual work and return to it at any point during the module. The Haiku Blogs complemented a group project and allowed instructor to see individual level engagement alongside group level work. Filmmaking: High levels of engagement by students with their chosen research topic. Attention by students on how to convey social policy topics in engaging and accessible ways using visual methods. Building strong group work ethos within classroom. Emphasis on skills as well as content relating to the social policy topic. Offering multiple modes of teaching, learning and assessment that reflects the multiple modes of learning students in a social policy classroom demontrate. Creative representation of a social poicy issue, informed by scholarly research, in a format accessible to a non-academic audience.
Students shared afterwards that the idea of making and showing a film to others motivated them to use academic resources, conduct library research and remain abreast of current affairs in a way that they would not have otherwise done so if they were to write an essay. They also had to find creative ways to tell their stories because text did not always translate easily into visual illustration.
The filmmaking project needs advance planning and variation in technological skillls needs to be provided for but otherwise this is a very worthwhile exercise. It is important to relate any exercise clearly to your module learning outcomes.
Whitehead, Alfred N. (1929) The Aims of Education and Other Essays. New York: Basic Books. Lindqvist, Gunilla (2003) 'Vygotsky's Theory of Creativity', Creativity Research Journal, 15: 2, 245- 251 Gaut, Berys (2010) The Philosophy of Creativity. Philosophy Compass. 5:12, 1034–1046. Gurnon D, Voss-Andreae J, Stanley J (2013) Integrating Art and Science in Undergraduate Education. PLoS