Using Panopto to record feedback to students’ questions posted on a MOOC forum

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Dr Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes (left) and Dr Tony Anosike.  Academic Innovation Hub, University of Derby Online, University of Derby Business School.

MOOCs are free open online courses becoming that are popular as a way to engage people interested in a subject. The University of Derby’s Academic Innovation Hub have been running highly acclaimed MOOCs, one of which is using Panopto Lecture Recording in an interesting way. As an online course, students are temporally and spatially distanced. Interactions usually occur asynchronously, often via blogs or forums. Students might respond to some materials by posting discussions and questions which the tutor may or may not engage with.

In the Innovating in Operations Management MOOC the tutors, Dr Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes and Dr Tony Anosike, responded to the questions in a “weekly wind up” video recording that answered several of the threads being discussed on that week’s topic.

Using the Learning Enhancement’s Media Team video booth located in B114, the tutors recorded several 30-40 minute feedback discussions covering topics raised that week.

Jose comments: “The experience that we had with Panopto was very positive as it allowed us to communicate with over 2,200 students all over the world without any issue in regards to the different times, and in a more dynamic way. With Panapto, Tony and I had the opportunity of elaborating in specific topics that we considered important for the specific units that we were reviewing every week. Also, we could elaborate on examples requested by the students. For instance, the MOOC content was very oriented towards the manufacturing sector, with plenty of examples regarding this industry. However, the students asked us to provide examples of the application of the Operations Management theory in other industries. We used the Panapto recording sessions to discuss this other examples that were not included in the written content of the MOOC. The Panapto recording sessions also helped us to wrap-up the unit reviewed during that week. The comments of the students were extremely positive, they were eagerly waiting for the recording session to be released every Friday.”

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Screenshot of the Panopto recording giving feedback to learners

Feedback from learners about the wind up sessions has been very positive. Students commented:

  • “I guess excellent is the word. Especially the weekly wind up”
  • “It has been well thought out and the wind up each week is also very informative and engaging.”
  • “The weekly wind-up video helped a lot in summarising the course.”
  • “…also the weekly wind up videos deepen the understability of the learners.”

The trouble with Drag and Drop is…

“I want it to be more interactive”, I hear them cry…

It is almost impossible to count how many times I have heard this statement, normally given by a willing teacher with the right intentions in mind. The trouble though is that interactivity has a very bad name!

Repeat after me…

Interactivity is not a mouse click…
Interactivity is not a mouse click…
Interactivity is not a mouse click…

Maybe a little over the top, but hopefully it gets a point across. Too many times it is assumed that by digitising the odd learning activity or by adding some pictures and video, the content will spring into life, entertain and satisfy. 9 times out of 10, it won’t.

So what then?

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The Beginnings of an Online Distance Learning “Manifesto”!

A few weeks ago I was asked to contribute to a discussion which sought to classify how the University of Derby should approach its online distance learning provision in an ‘ideal world’, and whether or not we could align this approach with a wider ethos. Speculating about what an ‘ideal’ distance learning module should comprise of, I began to systematically work through what I deemed to be the best bits of innovative content on our VLE, hoping to be able to formulate the bare bones of what I will pretentiously call a manifesto.

From a learning technologist perspective I’m particularly interested in whether or not this manifesto can potentially define a set of principles to support tutors in uniformly structuring their content, and in-turn influence how that content is delivered to students. A threshold standard designed principally for our online provision, if you like.

Having never lived in anything resembling an ideal or perfect world, the seven points below were as far as I got with said manifesto, but if anybody in the blogosphere has any thoughts about how I can improve or build upon these points then I’d love to hear from you.

So, without further ado.

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Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is a format widely used by websites to automatically publish a feed of their latest items such a posts, stories and media.  Think of it as you would an index for a magazine, allowing you to see a short summary of the latest stories to aid in your choice.

An RSS reader will let you access this feed and browse over the short summaries without visiting the website.  Should you find something worth looking at, you click on the link and you will be transported to the relevant material.

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During a spare moment most of us will have been in the following situation; sat in front of the internet, staring at Google and wondering what to search for.

StumbleUpon provides a great alternative to the traditional Google search. A combination of social opinions and machine learning provide a collaborative filter to deliver you with interesting content. If you like what you see then you can give it a ‘thumbs up’ and if you don’t then give it a ‘thumbs down’.  This all contributes to refining the filter used in providing you and others with content.

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