Sunday, 10 February 2013

#oldsmooc #digilit Prototyping and observation

I have created a simple prototype using screen shots. The VLE I use allows for prototyping on the go - you can move widgets around the home page, change colour schemes etc so this is not difficult.

I have contrasted here two main types of learning room - type 1 uses only the minimum standard - a news column to relay key information (in this example, lectures cancelled); the resource list (or link to library catalogue/reading list). Content is invisible - hidden behind the Learning Room Home Page and accessible only via the "Content" tab. There is no scope for interaction.

Type 2 (two versions) has additional "widgets" to help preview and navigate module content, links to social media, provides interaction in the form of group areas and discussion boards, and clearly makes use of e-submission and computer aided assessment. Colour and images enhance the overall attractiveness and welcome feel of the Home Page. But which do students prefer? And how would staff feel about creating a Type 2 Home page?

My cloud is here.

My plan for the observation task is to ask a typical first year undergraduate student to find a resource on line and bookmark it. In my module I want  first year undergraduates to be able to find reputable sources to aid their research and make sure they keep a note of references so that sources are correctly cited.

Step 1: find a scholarly article published in the last year which looks at students' attitude to sport

Step 2: bookmark the web page so you will be able to find it again. [will this be accessible from any PC, or just this one?]

Step 3: Make a note of the Author, date, title and publication details [where will the student record this so that they can find it when they come to write their assignment]


I captured the session (with the permission of my guinea pig) using CamStudio free screen capture software :

The beauty of doing this was that I was able to observe the difficulties a student has when they have never before been taught how to search, bookmark or reference academic or scholarly articles. The video has been heavily edited but in reality the student needed a lot of coaching.  From this I can see the value of teaching students about effective bookmarking habits and how to use Google Scholar (which we already do) but it has also shown me the need to give students a "map" or crib sheet to help them "read" a web page like this. So I created one as a document (here on Google Docs) but this could be turned into a screen capture video to talk the student through the whole process.

So - all in all a very enjoyable and productive week on #oldsmooc :)

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