Development of digital resources for blended learning
For this project, I intended to develop a suite of screen-casting video resources to supplement teaching in IT-based modules in the Department of Science here at WIT. These would be short instructional videos demonstrating how to perform a range of analysis skills on laboratory data in MS Excel. Students currently acquire these skills by attending practicals based in an IT laboratory in modules such as ‘Laboratory Data Analysis & Presentation’ and ‘Laboratory Data Modelling’. In my experience, students who are absent from a practical class find it difficult to learn these skills independently, even when supplied with instructional handouts. Being able to view a tutorial video where a student can see someone performing these tasks step-by-step in real-time, would be a much more valuable alternative. In addition, students who want to refresh their memory on how to perform data analysis on data generated in the science laboratories, or through project work can use these resources for that purpose.
On completion, these video resources were made available to students and staff in the Department of Science and other departments in the Institute whose students are required to analyse laboratory data in MS Excel. One of the honours degree programmes offered in our Department recently removed an IT module from its programme schedule. Lecturing staff had expressed concern, that these students would lack key skills in data analysis and graph plotting when it came to analysing the results of project work carried out in their final year. These instructional videos will be used by students to overcome any shortfall in data analysis skills, that they might encounter.
Finally, I also used the Digital Champions experience to set up a cluster group on technology-enhanced learning in the Department of Science at WIT. Such a Community of Practice, was useful for encouraging exchange of information and ideas between the lecturers in our Department, enabling collegial support and professional development in this and other areas of technology-enhanced teaching.