Last week I addressed the topic again of replacing a written assignment with a video assessment. Still no takers. So I conducted another trial activity with the student group. Their task was to present key points that they would include in a safety and security training session for new recruits to a hospitality organisation. I gave them all different types of hotels in different locations so they would focus on location specific issues along with the general issues that should be in any session of this nature.
After the exercise, which was conducted in 5 groups I asked them to complete a feedback form and the results were quite interesting.
14 would use the app again.
6 would not use the app again.
The main reason for not wanting to participate was they ‘feel too shy to be on camera’. I had already explained to them that they can use props but then another barrier was they ‘dont like hearing their voice’. I feel that these would certainly be the students who do not particpate in class and always struggle to give any type of presentation. Given that the cohort of students is predominately English Second Language (ESL) students, I feel that we will always have this problem with a small number of students in any similar group.
Comments from the more enthusiastic students included:
‘I was excited to use the Ipad and enjoy this more than speaking in front of the class’
‘It was fun’
‘It is a new thing and very interesting’
‘It is easier to record than write’
‘Everyone loves to make videos…they are more exciting and they even help us to have more ideas…’
‘Some people were shy but they will get over that in time’
‘The more interactive the more people get involved and get more out of the lesson’
‘Promoted team work’
‘Felt challenged in a good way’
‘Helped us discuss the topic better’
‘Video makes students more participate (sic) and easy to remember subject’
‘Exciting to use a new tool’
‘Its less nervous (sic) than doing a presentation’
I have been conducting some research into the generational characteristics of these students (age approx 18-24) and although there are differing views, the common thread presented is that they are the ‘connected’ generation. According to Nielsen and NM Incite’s U.S. Digital Consumer Report (2013), this group—dubbed “Generation C” —is taking their personal connection—with each other and content—to new levels, new devices and new experiences like no other age group.
Oblinger (2003) and Brown (2000) suggest this generation show distinct learning preferences for teamwork and group work, experiential activities, structure, and the use of technology; Email and instant messaging are natural communication and socialisation mechanisms for them. According to Howe (2003) the Millennial generation, as they are also known, are confident, happy and optimistic. They are “risk-averse, … and like to work with the best and latest high-technology gadgets. Millennials are technologically savvy and their high expectations pose a challenge for educational institutions. “The aging infrastructure and the lecture tradition of colleges and universities may not meet the expectations of these students who have been raised the Internet and interactive games” (Hanna, 2003 p. 44). Levine and Arafeh (2002) also found that students who have had access to computers throughout their primary and secondary schooling have high expectations for ongoing use of technology in their studies.
This piece of research highlights a major point that I feel is very relevant to the trial and that is the fact they this generation is ‘risk averse’ . This may account for the fact that most of the cohort are eager to participate with the app as a learning tool, but wont commit to using it for a formal assessment piece. It also make me think back to the very first group I trialled and they had to do part of their assessment on video and they were very nervous and very reluctant and it took a lot of coaxing from Angela, Bev and I for them to go forward.
Brown, J. (2000). Growing Up Digital: How the Web Changes Work, Education, and the Ways People Learn, CHANGE , March/April.
Hanna, D. E. (2003). Building a Leadership Vision: Eleven Strategic Challenges for Higher Education, Educause , July/August
Howe, N. (2003). 2003 Presidents Institute: Understanding the Millennial Generation, The Council of Independent Colleges Retrieved 12 February 2004 from http://www.cic.org/publications/independent/online/archive/winterspring2003/PI2003_millennial.html
Levin, D. & Arafeh, S. (2002). The Digital Disconnect: The Widening Gap between Internet-Savvy Students and Their Schools. Retrieved on 2 February 2004 from http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/pdfs/PIP_Schools_Internet_Report.pdf
Nielsen and NM Incite’s U.S. Digital Consumer Report (2013). Retrieved on 18 March 2012 from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/newswire/2012/introducing-generation-c.html
Oblinger, D. (2003). Boomers & Gen-Xers, Millennials: Understanding the “New Students”. EDUCAUSE Review, July/August 2003.