During the first two years of the project the eLene2learn network collected more than 60 case studies, where teachers and students of Secondary and Higher Education provide practical tips and indications on their "first hand" learning experiences using ICT and digital media. This "collection" contains two different types of report:
- The "How to guide" scenarios describe current practices, tools and methodologies used in the application of ICT to develop learning to learn competencies. The scenarios were collected through Focus Group with students and teachers; Download the printable version of the "How to guide"
- The Case studies report, in detail the implementation of practices, methodologies and tools used within real classroom settings. Recommendations and suggestions help you assess the benefit of replicating these practices, methodologies, etc. in your own context. These resources are highly valuable as they come from a direct evaluation by students and teachers involved. Some of these resources are (also) partly available in Italian, French, Greek, Finnish, Polish, Spanish and German. If the translations are available, you can find the translations directly on the sub-pages of each case study. (The most recent Case Studies are listed first on the top); Download the printable version of the Implementation Report.
You can browse the case studies here by Benefits and Tags. The two different type of report can be easily filtered using corresponding tags.
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Case Study - Film Club Discussion Group - Higher education - UoD
Results of reflections and discussions about the film to be shared using internet based interactive notice board (Padlet.com).
Identify the different views and reflections, including how professional learning has been informed, by viewing these films.
We will investigate the benefit of an online discussion based reflection tool with our students.
• Communication (reading and writing)
• Motivation and confidence
The students will be invited to discuss their ideas and reflections with each other, in particular relating to transition and their own personal developmental journey. The results of this will not be formally recorded. This stage is intended to encourage debate to inform student reflections when posting these on the online tool later.
Finally the experiences for the students who engaged with the online notice board (Padlet) will be analysed for key themes.
After the students had viewed the film they were invited to comment on the film, and react to other students' posts. The instructions for the students were kept simple (see below) so as not to lead the students in a particular direction.
What do I do now?
Now is your chance to review the film for yourself. You may decide to respond to other posts. You can write a formal review or a blog style reflection on the film... it is up to you. You don't have to sign your review but you can if you wish. Please can you add, somewhere, if you are studying in Athens or Dundee.
The key pedagogical theory that underpins this approach was that of professional reflection (Dewey, SchÖn). This is a theory which the education students have some experience of and will be of particular importance as their professional development progresses.
An element of thematic content analysis will also be carried out by the researchers
Individual's comments and discussions on the internet based notice board will be moderated by a member of the project team and no comments will be released until checked.
Participants will be given the opportunity to have posts will be removed from the Padlet wall if they request this at any point during the project or after completion.
(with particular attention paid to the initial aims and objectives of the implementation plan and the key competencies developed)
From a technical perspective two students had initial difficulty posting their reflections but requested guidance and were then able to manage this. One possible reason was that the tool even simpler than the participants expected. To submit a post all that was needed was to double click on the posting wall.
One issue of usage was that not all students chose to engage with the Padlet tool. The remit of this study did not include why this was the case. However, tutor reflections below consider why this may be the case.
Currently the students attend and view the films and are given the chance to reflect on these after the screening. However, some students may feel self-conscious about this. The use of the Padlet tool allowed them to express their ideas and views in a safer environment. Furthermore, it allowed those students who were less confident at speaking out loud the chance to formulate their reflections in writing before posting.
An alternative method would have been for the students to reflect in a personal log but this would not have allowed them to respond to each other or to share their ideas with peers. The Padlet tool presented their ideas in a visually attractive manner, and allowed them to include photos (which one student in Greece decided to do).
Although the use of this tool required minimal time and or effort there was a requirement to consider the qualitative element of the postings. As these were being shared (once moderated) the students had to carefully consider what they were choosing to share.
• communication (reading and writing)
The students were required to use written communication to respond to the film or each other. This was further complicated by the fact that some of the students were not native English speakers. Despite this the standard of written response was very good.
As the reflective task related to a film some of the students adopted a writing style which resembled that of formal film reviewers. As the posts were being shared, and open to other viewers it is possible the students were self-conscious about what they were writing.
Of the 11 posts only one student responded directly to another post. This may be because the students did not know each other. However, the one comment that was a direct response agreed with the initial post and this provides evidence of some collaboration.
• motivation and confidence
The students had not used this method of posting comments before and so to get a number of responses was good. Additionally all the students were happy to include their names. Interestingly there was a higher level of engagement from the Post Graduate students than the Undergraduates suggesting that there may have been some trepidation at posting views and comments publicly. Another interesting observation was that none of the male students posted reflections.
However, the students appeared not to utilise the tool for this purpose. It is possible that through the process of engaging with the posting tool the students were engaging with the process of transition from directed learning to reflective independent learners. However, there is insufficient evidence to confirm or reject this idea.
Some students found posting slightly difficult as they were not used to the Padlet tool/website. Once given guidance they were happy to use this.
One major barrier was the issue of none engagement. As this project was organised on a volunteer basis (and the film screening was optional) the staff decided it would not be appropriate to put pressure on students to engage. Depending on the age or ability of participants the issue of engagement would have to be considered for future projects.
The ability of someone to moderate posts meant it could be utilised with younger participants.
The way in which the tool was utilised, as a shared posting board for personal reflection, seemed to be effective.
One participant enjoyed this engagement and added an additional post, reflecting on another film they had watched.
The main aim of this project was to consider the usefulness of the Padlet tool. The interaction between students could have been greater and some method of encouraging this could have been included. For example, more regular prompts to the students to respond to each other could have been used. However, a disadvantage of doing this would be that the students may have felt pressured in to writing anything and then made less valuable contributions.
Although this project was carried out with little guidance to the students, therefore allowing a high degree of freedom, the students responded well. However, some encouragement to participate was required.
One potential issue is that this is yet another online platform for students to engage with. This added layer of complexity may have put some students off. However, the simple nature of the tool meant no login or software access was needed. Furthermore there was no interference or distractions from other sources which may have been the case using a tool such as Twitter or Facebook. The ability of a staff member to moderate posts was also a major benefit.
There is a physical limit to the mount of text/number of posts and so for very large cohorts this could present a problem.
Following the completion of this project the tool has been successfully utilised in two other (undergraduate) modules for students to share reflections and work collaboratively.