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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"
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Case Study - Film Club Discussion Group - Higher education - UoD

General information
.Level (age of students) University age students (18 upwards)
.Discipline / subject / course BEd Education Scotland / MA Education Greece/PGDE Education Scotland
.Number of participants Approximately 15 (university age 18+)
.Category of the tool Social network tool
.Tool / resource Padlet.com (previously called Wallwisher.com) An internet based interactive notice/posting board
.Country Scotland
.Language of the tool or resource English
.Time plan start date Start date: September 2012
.Time plan finish date Finish date: October 2013
.Did you use an example scenario from the initial phase of the eLene2learn project as an inspiration? No
Specific information about given case
.Aim To investigate transitional considerations for teachers via use of reflection on a film with an Educational theme.
.Objectives Students to watch then reflect and review film (Etre et Avoir) with an educational theme.
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.
.Learning to learning (L2L) competences to be achieved • Self-regulation (through reflection)
• Communication (reading and writing)
• Motivation and confidence
.Proposed activities Three cohorts of education students in Scotland and Greece have viewed the film Etre et Avoir review and debate (via online interactive notice board) issues within the film. The film has been selected as it has themes relating to transition (Primary age to secondary or secondary to higher education or world of work).
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.
.Pedagogical approach taken The participants (students) were invited to view the film and then an informal discussion was held which was facilitated by a member f the University academic teaching staff. The staff used open ended questioning to facilitate the students in reflection on key issues within the film.
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.
.Methods of evaluation Initial reviews and discussions will be qualitatively assessed by the project staff to see if any particular themes relating to transition are identified by the students.
An element of thematic content analysis will also be carried out by the researchers
.Ethical statement All participants will be asked if they are happy to participate and have data collected used for research purposes.
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.
.Case study link LINK
Evaluation of the outcomes and impact for learners (summaries of feedback)
(with particular attention paid to the initial aims and objectives of the implementation plan and the key competencies developed)
.Summary of student feedback - Usage (max 200 words) The project was organised in a way that the students could engage with the tool as they chose. As a result it was decided that the review and evaluation of engagement would be conducted by the two supporting tutors. Therefore formal feedback from the students was not collected. Evaluation of outcomes will be detailed in the subsequent section (Summary of tutor observation and reflection)
.Summary of student feedback - Benefits (max 200 words) See summary of tutor observation and reflection.
.Summary of student feedback - Development of competencies (max 200 words) See summary of tutor observation and reflection.
.Summary of student feedback - Supporting transition (max 200 words) See summary of tutor observation and reflection.
.Summary of student feedback - Challenges or barriers (max 200 words) See summary of tutor observation and reflection.
.Summary of student feedback - Improvements that can be made to the activity or the application (max 200 words) See summary of tutor observation and reflection.
.Summary of tutor observation - Usage (max 200 words) The initial offer of viewing the film was made to the entire student population of BEd and MA Undergraduates and Primary and Secondary Education Post graduates. The total number of students given this opportunity was approximately 400. However, only approximately 25 students viewed the screenings. The students were then invited to engage with the reflection activity using the Padlet internet based posting tool. Of these students 11 posted responses.
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.
.Summary of tutor observation - Benefits (max 200 words) The content of the student posts gives some clear evidence of the benefits of this activity.
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).
.Summary of tutor observation - Development of competencies (max 200 words) • self-management
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.
• collaboration
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.
.Summary of tutor feedback - Supporting transition (max 200 words) One of the key reasons for using the film Etre et Avoir was that students could reflect on the issues of transition as depicted in the film and relate this to their own development (and transition from school to Undergraduate level, or undergraduate to postgraduate level).
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.
.Summary of tutor observation - Challenges or barriers (max 200 words) One initial practical problem was that the website host changed from being called Wallwisher to Padlet. This meant that the link no longer worked. This was rectified and student engagement did not seem to be affected.
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.
.Summary of tutor observation - Improvements that can be made to the activity or the application (max 200 words) As this was the first time this tool had been used in this context the parameters for the study were kept simple. This meant that the students were given minimal guidance on what, or how, to reflect and discuss the film. As a result little evidence was gathered on transition or collaborative reflection.
Reflection and recommendations regarding the activity and approach used by the teacher, tutor or trainer
.What worked well? (max 250 words) The practical layout of the tool meant it would be useable in a range of settings or situations. Although the tool was new to all the students they took to it well. It provided just enough functionality for the purpose of this activity.
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.
.What would be done differently? (max 250 words) As stated previously the level of interaction between students was less than expected. This is something that could be considered for future.
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.
.Recommendations for other practitioners who may consider using this approach (max 250 words) The use of the Padlet tool as a reflective posting board is a simple but effective method. We would recommend this to other practitioners although it is important to clearly set the aims and parameters beforehand.
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.