Learning is learning to see, literally and figuratively. When you know something, you have a visual image of it. Being forced to create an image of your knowledge is a good way to cement that learning. Analyzing what you are seeing and what you are not seeing is a sure way to learn. Are we using images in all the ways that we could be to express the things that we’ve learned?
When Professor Céline Perron heard Cara Meixner from James Madison U talk about how much more students hear and take action on audio visual feedback, she said “I’ve got to try that.” Within a week she had met with CELT to get a 15 minute introduction to a tool she could use (Jing) and she was on her way.
She tried the technique in three assessments.
A lighting design project
Students first selected a painting and analyzed and researched it. Then they created a physical lighting design inspired by the painting.
Professor Perron took a photo of their lighting design during the student presentation. Later she gave audio feedback on it via the screen capture program Jing and sent the students the link.
This student’s project was reflecting the work of Giorgio de Chirico, a metaphysical painter, precursor of surrealism. His paintings take objects out of context and put them in a new context, consciously and subconsciously.
Click the thumbnail below to see and view the audiovisual feedback on student Russell Stepan’s project:
A written critique of a professional modern dance performance giving a detailed analysis of the elements of lighting.
Students handed in the paper digitally and Professor Perron displayed it on her computer and talked through it’s good points and some improvements that could be made. Here is the feedback on Russell Stepan’s paper on the Monica Bill Barn’s dance company.
Another assignment in which audio feedback was used was a costume design project Design for the Performing Arts. Students submitted costume designs in color on 11”X14” paper with fabric swatches pinned to the front. Prof. Perron scanned the paper into a digital image and used the screen casting tool Jing to give detailed feedback on the design. She sent the resulting link to the uploaded video to the student via email.
The advantages to the student were quick and apparent. Most students loved the new way of getting feedback. Several wrote return emails thanking the professor and expressing their enthusiasm.
Russell Stepan, the student whose work is reviewed here, feels, “for a project that doesn’t already require actual paper to be involved, I think this is definitely the way to go. More economic and slightly more fun. The only downside is if you lose the link, you cannot check your feedback again, though the same goes for losing a paper copy as well. In any case, I’m for it.”
Was it a time saving for the teacher? Not really a time saving, though it didn’t take any longer than writing comments freehand. Prof. Perron still had to make notes to herself for each project to make sure she mentioned everything that needed commenting. She still felt that overall the audio-visual feedback method was faster than typing on a paper a la TrackChanges. Also, “because I am dyslexic and writing in a second language, using verbal comments is more effective. It’s like books on tape, but in reverse. It’s just more fun.” In the case of the lighting design the feedback was much more precise. She could actually point to an area of the design and talk about the lighting. “The experiment was definitely a success and one that I will continue,” said Professor Perron.
Thank you to Russell Stepan, KSC student, who allowed us to post the feedback on his projects.
Since our upgrade to Blackboard 9.1 last July (’10) we have been inundated with questions, as well as a few complaints – understandably so. The reason for this is twofold; Blackboard 9.1 was extremely different from 7.3 (our old version) and version 9.1 was so new that many of the bugs hadn’t been worked out. Thanks to our dedicated, vigilant users we have been able to report these issues to Blackboard and have had most of them fixed. With a few more patches lined up over the coming months, we expect Blackboard to be running trouble free in the very near future. We appreciate your patience during this time.
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Creating Online Assignments
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Have your students submit their work online rather than having to turn in paper copies or email.
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Learn how to create a test that Blackboard collects and grades for you.
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