Richness,responsiveness and relationship: Using rich media materials to enhance teaching of core concepts

F.C. Saunders, I. Hutt

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    Abstract

    The MSc in the Management of Projects is a successful campus based postgraduate programme in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science at The University of Manchester which attracts up to 300 students per year. The cohort is highly internationalised with over 85% non-native English speakers. Course material on the programme is typically delivered through weekly face-to-face lectures, supplemented with written unit handbooks covering the core lecture material. However the large size of the cohort coupled with the wide variation in English language ability can conspire against effective learning. As reported by Davis et al 2009, many students have taken matters into their own hands and are using a variety of devices to record lectures for later playback. This paper reports the findings of a pilot project to supplement the existing face-to-face lectures with a set of rich media materials. The materials focused on the teaching of core concepts as well as capturing the full lecture delivery, and comprised audio podcasts, audio narrated slides, and short video segments with supporting slides. Student preference for, and usage of, each of these materials was assessed by means of a questionnaire and focus groups. Key findings are that students overwhelmingly found that these rich media materials aided their learning. Students used the materials in the main as a revision guide and as a means of closing gaps in their understanding, with only a small minority using them as a replacement for lecture attendance. Students rated most highly the full lecture videos, followed by audio narrated slides and then the short video segments with the audio podcasts least favoured by students.Two lines of further enquiry have been identified; validating the results of the pilot project on other course units at The University of Manchester and investigating whether student preferences for different rich media materials is linked to individual student learning styles.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInnovation Practice and Research in Engineering Eduation
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2012
    EventEngineering Education 2012 - Coventry University
    Duration: 18 Sept 201220 Sept 2012

    Conference

    ConferenceEngineering Education 2012
    CityCoventry University
    Period18/09/1220/09/12

    Keywords

    • lecture capture
    • rich media
    • teaching and learning
    • Higher Education

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