Mar 152017

Dr Indrani Lahiri teaches a second year undergraduate Public Relations module and two third year International Public Relations and Global Advertising Practices modules within the Leicester Media School at DMU.

All three of the modules are assessed using multiple methods, one of which is a group presentation that the students are required to deliver in small groups. Due to the nature of the modules, and from experience of teaching similar modules at a different university, in 2015/16 Indrani sought to find a way to easily record the student presentations on the second year Public Relations module. ‘Public Relations’ will involve the graduates being expected to present in front of a panel or larger audience in industry and recording the presentations provides a resource for students to use for reflection and development. The recordings can also be downloaded and with the appropriate consent from peers, students can use their recording as evidence of successful group work after graduation.

Following a conversation with the ELT Project Officer Indrani engaged with the DMU Replay system as it was important to record both a traditional video feed alongside screen content and audio.

In the lab space available, a high definition webcam with microphone was used to record the student’s audio and the video feed alongside the screen of the PC used to present with.

Building this recording element into the 2015/16 presentation assessment component helped the students to practice their presentation skills in this scenario whilst providing a resource to aid Indrani, the moderator and the External Examiner in assessing the students as well as providing an artefact that the students can keep after graduation.

As the presentations are delivered in groups conversations were held around Intellectual Property Rights and individual consent to use the videos for reflective purposes and/or as part of an online CV. The JISC model consent form was adapted and students were asked to sign a copy of the form to give permission for their colleagues to take and use a copy of their respective video.

Only one student took a copy of their group’s recording in 2015/16 and this was found to be because the adapted consent form posed a barrier. Students wanted to have a copy of their recording but it is suggested that signing the form made this ‘official’ and this put them off engaging with this aspect of the initiative.

Indrani, and the External Examiner, have found having the presentation recordings available to be very valuable and Indrani has received positive feedback from the External Examiner on this use of technology in the assessment activities.

Feedback from the students suggests that although the introduction of the recording technology was positively received, they would have appreciated this earlier in the module. Indrani has recognised the need to engage with DMU Replay earlier on and in 2016/17 rolled-out the use of DMU Replay on the two third year International Public Relations and Global Advertising Practices modules.

Since students found this approach to be valuable, in 2016/17 they recorded their individual presentations from their own space for International Public Relations as an evidence of practical work to showcase their competency as a video blogger. Again this became a part of their portfolio submission that they can take with them as evidence of practical work to job interviews.

Indrani also recorded the assessed presentations for Global Advertising Practices in 2016/17.

The plan for 2017/18 is to further expand the use of DMU Replay and make this available for the Global Advertising Practices module. Recording practice presentation runs, blog posts and the assessed presentation will add value for these students who will be briefed to produce an advertising campaign focused on artificial intelligence and robotics that is based on a real brief from industry. Again, having their recording available after graduation will be valuable when seeking employment.

Alongside Indrani’s use of DMU Replay to enable students to reflect and produce video artefacts to support their employability; Indrani is also using DMU Replay to provide video feedback on other written assessment components – the External Examiner is supportive of this approach.
Assessing students using different modes and providing opportunities for students to reflect on their performance by providing feedback using different tools enables a Universal Design for Learning approach. Students are demonstrating their knowledge in different and more creative ways that align to the learning outcomes and they can also watch their presentation and video blog posts back as part of their self-directed reflective activities.

In 2017/18 Indrani is considering opening the student presentations to a wider audience as part of a Public Relations event. This would provide further opportunities for Indrani to provide feedback or even encourage the student cohort to feedback to each other as their presentations build toward the Public Relations event.

Thank you to Dr Indrani Lahiri for enabling this blog post to be created.

Ian Pettit.
ELT Project Officer.