04 September, 2007
Posted by Peter Beaumont
So I'm at ALT-C, and here's what I've heard about today.
Keynote by Michelle Selinger, CISCO.
This was on at the unearthly hour of 9:30 :) Frances Bell was paying attention though.
Online Audio and Podcasting
Charlynn Miller and Leon Newnham from the University of Ballarat spoke about a project they had been doing related to online audio. This project involved incorporating a 5-8 minute audio recording into the Business Information Systems programme each week. This recording would cover what was to be learned that week and contain a FAQ section.
At the end of week 7, students completed a survey that they were given and it was found that 97% used the audio files and 90% said that they made the lectures easier to understand. From the server stats it looked like perhaps half the students were using the RSS feeds, although they weren't asked directly about this.
Someone from RMIT University spoke about a larger scale project where the audio from lectures were recorded by 6 lecturers in 7 subjects, covering 2100 students.
Their process involved the lectures having voice recorders, recording the lectures, and sending the .wav files to the technical team. The files were then converted to mp3s and made available both via the Blackboard VLE for download and via a podcast.
It was found that 51% of students used the files. Of these only 4% used the podcast feed, 14% downloaded files to Personal Media Players, and 71% downloaded the files to off campus PCs.
43% of students who used the files did so becasue they had missed a lecture, 34% to revise for exams and 23% to review a lecture after class. Interestingly 10% seemed to struggle with the sound quality, and there were issues surrounding the time it took the technical staff to edit the files, sort problems with lost equipment and low batteries... all stuff that we faced when we did something similar (see link)
They are currently looking at the Lectopia (now Echo360) system as something that will be more scalable that that time intensive manual system. I think that if we wanted to record a lot of lectures, we would have to use something similar.
Relating these presentations to us in other ways, it seems that students aren't using RSS feeds to syncronise media files with their portable media players. Perhaps more would if they had a good few podcasts to subscribe to - both produced in the institution and elsewhere?
Introduction to CMALT: Certified Membership of the Association for Learning Technology
CMALT is a scheme to enable professional accreditation for Learning Technologists. It involves a peer-reviewed portfolio of your learning technology related work being submitted, and if it meets their standards you gain accreditation.
This seems straight forward, and it is advised that the process of putting the portfolio together should take about 6-9 hours and be about 8 sides of A4 with hyperlinks.
The cost is quite high though. £95 for each attempted submission and you will be required to pay £80 per year for Certified Membership of ALT. That's where it lost me, otherwise I'd be saying that all the LTD team should go for it and Edge Hill should pay the £95. Perhaps if I start looking for work elsewhere, it might be useful to be a Certified Member of ALT though.
All in all I'm glad I've been to the sessions that Ive been to, but part of the benefit of coming to a conference like this is that you get inspired by the people around you and think of ways to move forward projects that you are already working on. That's definately happened here.