A Flexible Strategy to Improve Student Presentation & Digital Skills using the VLE

Banks, Shane (2015) A Flexible Strategy to Improve Student Presentation & Digital Skills using the VLE. In: EdTech 2015: Beyond the Horizon: Policy, Practice and Possibilities, UL.


There is a consistent message from employers that a key skill graduates are lacking is in presentation skills. Academics have always recognised this, however due to the substantial workload and class time associated with having students present work regularly, this imbalance has remained. This project attempts to address this imbalance by recognising that students have now become producers and publishers of content rather than merely consumers. This has happened in a social technology setting but not within an academic setting.The use of Moodle from a student perspective is often limited to accessing resources and uploading assignments. In this project the Moodle Database Activity was used to build activities that took advantage of students becoming comfortable with being content publishers with the aim of improving presentation skills and digital skills.The aim of this Database Activity was to allow large cohorts of students to present work a number of times during a semester in an online setting without the need to take up substantial blocks of class time and have this work peer assessed.Students from a range of technical and non-technical disciplines were required as part of course work to create screen-casts of their work. The Database Activity allowed students to submit this screen-cast multimedia content and have this content shared with their student peers. The Database Activities imported popular social media features such as “Like” and “Comment” to try and encourage student engagement with each other’s work.To assess the success of this approach both quantitative and qualitative data was collected from the students and used to draw conclusions. This paper will outline the project in detail, the findings after project completion and provide an insight into the impact of increased student engagement and the development of student presentation skills and digital skills. The initial result of this work has shown significant levels of student engagement.

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