June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Educational Research and Methods
14.1210.1 - 14.1210.18
The Efficacy of Screencasts on Diverse Students in a Large Lecture Course
Screencasts, Lecture Recordings, Student Usage, and Large Lecture
University lecturing is changing as a result of larger class sizes, a more diverse student body, and the advent of technologies that could be used to enhance classroom instruction (i.e. Tablet PCs, personal response systems, etc.). One of the newest technological developments is screencasts, which are recordings that capture audio narration along with computer screen images. This study documents the strategic use of screencasts in an introductory Material Science and Engineering (MSE) course, and examines the impact on student learning and satisfaction in the large lecture environment. This course has an average of 200 students per semester representing all class levels and more than eight engineering majors. One teaching challenge is that the background and motivation of the students are quite diverse. Another is that the course content spans the entire range of a very multidisciplinary field. This paper analyzes the use and benefit of screencasts across the social and academic diversity of the students.
As a way to address these challenges, the instructor develops and posts several types of screencasts to the course management website to supplement the typical course resources. These types include lecture recordings; explanations of homework, quiz, and exam solutions; and explanations of topics that students identified as being unclear. To assess screencast effectiveness and design course refinements to enhance their use, we collected data for two terms on student perceptions of screencasts, their screencast usage, their course performance, and student demographics. The results from the first term were used to make revisions to the course design for the second term. The data were also used to correlate students’ success in the course with their demographic and academic backgrounds. The responses from an online survey show that the vast majority of students believe these screencasts are “helpful” and used the screencasts to clarify misunderstandings, to supplement the lecture material, and to review for exams. Our initial analysis of screencast usage shows that the class is evenly divided between students whose use of the resource is low, medium, and high. Analysis showed further differences by gender, race, and student major. Analysis to date does not correlate screencast usage with performance in the course; however, more detailed analysis is underway. Results from 2007 are being compared with those from 2008 to determine the impact of course refinements on these statistics. This study suggests that the use of screencasts maybe be an effective way to supplement lecture material in large courses for all students.
Emergent technologies are transforming higher educational practice, proliferating at a rate far faster than that of research that analyzes how they are being used, whether they are making a difference to student learning, and whether such difference is equitably distributed among students who vary in academic and social backgrounds. Lecture recordings are one of the newest technological innovations to serve teaching and learning. Will their availability empty
Pinder-Grover, T., & Mirecki Millunchick, J., & Bierwert, C., & Shuller, L. (2009, June), The Efficacy Of Screencasts On Diverse Students In A Large Lecture Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5308
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