Developing Students as Content Scavengers
Nick Pearce, Durham University and SCORE, The Open University, UK
Conference Theme: Innovation
Summary: This project looked at developing students as online content scavengers and sharer and the effects of this on their learning.
Abstract: Much of the focus of OER to date has been on making open content available and accessible to a wide audience, including independent learners and teachers. This proposal will investigate a novel way to use OER by encouraging formal students to scavenge for content to be used as part of their course based learning. This has the potential to enhance their evaluation and use of OER, and digital content more generally, as well as encouraging the sharing and reuse of content. A previous, C-SAP funded project by the author used focus groups to explore the pedagogic and cultural issues in using YouTube videos in teaching an introductory sociology class. This project explored the issues around using openly available material embedded within class. An unexpected outcome of this was the extent of student use of online videos in their self directed study. Students suggested their own video resources via email, some of which were incorporated into classroom sessions – to the delight of the students who made the suggestion, and to the benefit of the whole group. This presentation will explore the project which followed on from this, which was carried out whilst the author was a SCORE teaching fellow. It will look at the implications of embedding the scavenging and evaluation of OER multimedia content, broadly understood, within the curriculum of an introductory anthropology class. This class had 50 students across two groups, and was comprised of mainly international and mature domestic students, providing a diverse student body. A session within the course was given over to lab based activities which involved identifying and sharing content as revision for the course. A range of social media tools, as well as the VLE, were made available to the students to do this and this has created a large amount of data which has been analysed to evaluate the use of these tools, and the extent to which they facilitate and encourage engagement and evaluation of OER. The experience of OER scavenging was also evaluated through a series of focus groups. This was an effective means of gathering data for the C-SAP project and the author has experience in organizing and analysing this kind of data. These focus groups explored issues such as the strategies which students use to find content, their awareness and concern for openly licensed and open access resources and the values they use to assess quality. This presentation will present the findings of this research as well as discussing the issues in developing students as content scavengers. This discussion will focus on issues of relevance to the wider OER community such as the ways in which students can be trained to utilise open content more effectively and the ways in which open content can be incorporated into formal courses through student engagement.  http://wp.me/pJwaH-1K