Students as Content Producers: Combining eLearning, Mobile and Social to Encourage Engagement

Banks, Shane and MacGiolla Ri, Denise (2015) Students as Content Producers: Combining eLearning, Mobile and Social to Encourage Engagement. In: EdTech 2015: Beyond the Horizon: Policy, Practice and Possibilities, UL.


The digital world is changing how we learn and how we communicate. As mobile technologies allow the internet and in particular social media to reach into nearly every facet of our lives, new opportunities are being presented for students to learn in a manner they are very familiar with. Students increasingly have become producers and publishers rather than merely consumers of content, particularly in a social technology setting but not within an academic setting. The question arises, “Could the use of these technologies promote engagement of students in valid learning activities?”To assess if using images and mobile smartphones within student learning increases engagement, the authors executed an Action Research project over 2 years with a cohort of Social Care Creative Art students in Athlone IT. This project involved the students using the Moodle Mobile App to take pictures and images of the students’ lives and to submit them to an Assignment titled “My World”. The students captured and shared their ‘World’ images anonymously, with their peers. The Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) was used to manage the delivery and display of the images. The Database Activity in Moodle was used to build a web page that allowed the students to submit their own images and pictures and also to view and engage with the submissions of the other students in the cohort by commenting and “liking” the images.To assess the success of this Action Research project both quantitative and qualitative data was collected from the students and used to draw conclusions. Two cycles of the Action Research have been completed and the paper will outline the project in detail, the findings after both cycles. The result of this work shows significant levels of student engagement with the assignment and with the submissions of their peers.

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