Lessons Learned

The tutor is key

Ann Draycott

Ann Draycott

While people valued being able to access the resources via a range of devices at times which suited them, it was still the quality of the knowledge shared with them which was the most important thing.

Several people commented on how knowledgeable Ann seemed and more importantly how reassuring her presence was.

This demonstrates the importance of identifying the needs of the audience and communicating with them in a manner which is easy for them to comprehend.

Fear of presenting in front of others

While some of the students preferred presenting in front of their peers, there were others who found the task quite unsettling.

Although it is important for students to develop the skills needed to present to others, it is also vital that the experience is not so uncomfortable that it damages their confidence. Carrying out these tasks in smaller groups may be one way of dealing with such issues. As individuals become more comfortable with presenting to a smaller group, they can be encouraged to make presentations in front of larger groups.

It is also important that they are given adequate opportunities to discuss the reason for doing presentations in such a way. This can help put them at ease and where necessary find alternative modes of assessment for those individuals extremely uncomfortable with presenting in this manner.

The intrusion of technology

Some of the students felt the use of the iPad as a video camera was unsettling and intrusive when feedback was given on presentations.

This demonstrates a need to make clear to students why certain approaches are being taken and what the intended outcomes are expected to be.

Here, I believe, that there was an underlying assumption that due to their age, the students would all be comfortable with intrusive mobile technologies. This is not the case and it would have been better to let them know our intentions before we started filming.