Dr Bill Esmond. Senior Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education: Post 14. College of Education, University of Derby.
Bill’s cohort of trainee FE teachers were considering the current curriculum and the gaps which exist in the teaching of the subject. They had an introductory seminar to consider the issues and then, in small groups, were required to create a video of their discussion which was recorded into a panopto Dropbox. A Dropbox is a special folder that allows students to record presentations to using the Panopto recorder. It can be set to be private so that only the tutor and student can see their recording, or group view, so that everyone in the cohort can view them all. In this case Bill chose group view so that the students could see each others’ work.
A training session for the students went through the basics of Panopto recording, and solved technical problems with installation on students’ computers. For many, this was a new experience, and as Bill says:
“This was clearly a challenging experience for everyone concerned: even trainee teachers are nervous about recording their ideas on shared video, no matter what they might do on [Facebook]. And, yes, there were technical issues: I think most of the Apple people struggled to upload, some sound quality didn’t come out well… and the quality of the medium wasn’t as good as the media teachers would like!”.
However, despite these teething troubles, the result was generally positive.
“But the point of the exercise was really less about the product (the video-clip) than about the process of getting them to discuss ideas in sufficient depth that they felt able to make a video about it. I couldn’t count the number who said to me afterwards how useful they had found the activity because it had made them think about and discuss the issues in far greater depth than they would have done for an open-ended task (and, I suspect, a poster or [Powerpoint]).
So, I think this technology has some potential as a tool for interactive, relatively autonomous learning just as much as it has for the one-way transmission of lectures.”
In summary, although Panopto’s main feature is recording traditional lectures, it contains an option which has the potential to engage students with material in a different way. Analytics of the students’ recordings shows that many of the presentations had at least five unique viewers which means that peers were attending to each other’s’ work.