The next stage

The new semester is set to begin and the next stage of the research is due to start. The module turns now to the students application of skills learnt in semester one. It’s hoped that this will lead to increased usage of the resources. Aswell as that I have a list of at least 12 topics to create screencasts for. It’s going to be a busy time.

RLO, VLE and self directed learning.

A recent discussion about my project caused me to ponder the following.

Whilst I am using mobile technology to expand the virtual learning environments available to students. However, the manner in which I am producing my online content can be described as a reusable learning object.
Whilst the value of the tutorial support is supplemental to the class and tutorial material it really only has a true value if it is used by student.
Whilst only a small number of students use the supportive material on a regular basis they do note the benefits.
Also, since posting the material on an open YouTube channel I have recieved emails and comments of support for the materials produced to date and looking for more.
I will continue the work into semester 2 as part of the tablet loan scheme and hopefully beyond.

The need for a mobile quantity surveying take off app!!

Student feedback has been informal but good to date. The main item which is delaying my progress is the lack of a mechanism to carry out manual take-off online in a realtime basis.
It looks like I need a specific application which will allow me complete manual take-off. I haven’t found this type of application so far. It may well take the form of a note taking application with a template of dimension paper in the background. However, recording the realtime input will require a mechanism for use on a pc as screenr must be recorded on a pc or laptop. The reason for the need to show manual take off stems from the requirement to introduce a new topic t first year students. This requires a behaviouralist approach to teaching particularly in the early part of my surveying module.

Moving to youtube

I am continuing to use screenr to record tutorials but am now uploading them to youtube. This allows me to post the videos to webcourses.
I discovered that screenr was not as well supported by android devices. Anyone viewing the tutorial on android devices were limited to hearing the narrative.
This is overcome by downloading the video from screenr video in mp4 format and uploading to a youtube account. This then allows me to attach to a module in webcourses.
I have been approached by students this week who have suggestions regarding additional content in the tutorials. It’s good to hear they have benefit and it’s great motivation.


As of monday socrative has changed format. This leads to a slight issue…….the application isnot working correctly with android devices so the quizz will now have change to webcourses format as a fall back.

Work in progress

Currently I have 2 tutorials on line and the class seem a bit more engaged. I am recieving questions in which the students make reference to the online tutorials. The main thing I have to rememeber is that screenr only allows me a 5 minute window. Also screenr appears to work better on apple devices but htere is an option to put the tutorials on youtube. However the link has not worked for me yet. Its up to me to figure out if I am the problem but I will persevere.
The next task is to run the online in class quiz. The students are aware that this is a revision tool rather than part of the module assessment.  All looks well to date and I am a bit more relaxed about the whole project.

Tutorial video now online

It has finally happened. I have put my first screenr tutorial online.  The video is approximately 4 minutes long and comprises of a power point presentation couple with a narrative.
It was scripted a week or two ago but took a few attempts to get right. I decided that I couldn’t make it as perfect as I would have liked.
The tutorial is linked back to this Monday’s lecture and compliments the tutorial exercies. It has to be noted that the tutorial video was never designed to be a replacement for attending the  lecture. The aim was to provide an easily accessible and to the point study aid.
The link to the video was circulated to students via the announcements section of their webcourse module.
The one thing that suprised me was that I received an email from a student who had missed part of the class but who had used the notes from webcourses and the video tutorial. The student said that the video helped to piece together the notes and to give a more comprehensive understanding of the lecture topic.
It was nice to hear this. I hope that the next phase of this lecture, the revision quiz, shows that the concept works for the class rather than just one individual.
The point is that it has started to help and as such gives me hope for the rest of the project.