Context - provider and class / course

untitled_by_'kevinreed_at_flickr_.jpg This activity was delivered by Lisa Decheim in the Moreland Adult Education (MAE) MYOB class held Wednesday evenings 5.30-8.00pm at the Coburg Library. The course length is 22 weeks and the activity will be delivered over 2 of the final weeks in the course. The course is structured with 2.5 hours classroom delivery and 2.5 hours independent study outside of class each week. The course is accredited with units from the Certificate III in Business (BSBADM308A & BSBCMN308A) and Certificate I in IT (ICAU1211B) training packages.

About the learners

Five of the nine enrolled students attend class regularly. The five students attending class are all female and employed, mainly in the administration sector. They have learnt basic computer skills from previous VET training and/or their employment and most of them also have a computer at home. All of the students have expressed interested in the course in order to improve their skills and enhance employment opportunities.

Goals for the activity

The purpose of the activity is to introduce the students to audio and video technology as a learning tool. It could be used outside of class in conjunction with the face to face teaching method in the classroom. The activity has not been designed as an online delivery learning tool to replace existing delivery methods.

Outline of the activity (process)

Students were asked to view 4 MYOB video training tutorials uploaded to 2 wiki web pages:
  1. Tutorial prepared by the trainer – finding transactions (audio recording of trainer’s voice)
  2. Tutorial available to the public via YouTube – setting up new company file (audio recording of unknown voice)
  3. Tutorial recorded in class on 5/11/08 – pay liabilities (video only, no audio)
  4. Tutorial from MYOB program help files – pay liabilities (video only, no audio)

Technologies (equipment, rationale)

Students viewed the video tutorials outside of class at home or at work and also in the classroom. Students who did not have access to a computer outside of class were concerned that if audio/video learning tools were implemented in the course in future, they wouldn’t be able to benefit from the activity.

What happened in class?

  1. The trainer made a video tutorial on 5/11/08 using a screen capture software program, Jing. The audio settings on the computer were not checked before recording, so no sound was recorded.
  2. When the students reviewed the video tutorials in class initially, no audio was heard. This was due to various problems in using the headphones and not checking the audio settings on the computers. After resolving these issues (a group project in itself!), the students were able to view the tutorials with audio functionality. However the sound was not always consistent, depending on the reliability of the Internet connection. The students also expressed discontent in using the scroll bars to view the videos on the web pages, being unable to obtain a ‘full screen’ view. The quality of the videos was also disliked as they appeared to be low resolution.

Reflections: what worked, what would you change?

The Jing screen capture program requires some additional training as it isn’t as user friendly compared to other software packages. Web design skills are also needed in order to present the web page material more effectively. Before recording or viewing a video, a ‘flight check’ needs to be done to check audio and video settings on the trainer’s and students’ computers.

Reflections: from the learners

The verbal feedback from the students after viewing the first video (made by the trainer with audio recording) and second video (YouTube) was positive, especially for the first video. They agreed that a video made by the trainer with the trainer’s voice recorded could help reinforce their learning outside the classroom.

The written feedback after viewing all 4 videos was more mediocre. The students thought the silent videos were ineffective. The students are web savvy and have high expectations for viewing online material. Consistent and reliable Internet connection is vital.

Additional - ways to adapt the activity

The videos made by the trainer, both in and out of class, could be adapted to the course delivery to assist in learning outside of the classroom. The videos and web pages would need to be further developed to provide effective audio and high quality visual presentation.

Earlier introductions

I teach certificate III business & certificate I IT units using MYOB at Moreland Adult Education and Brunswick Neighbourhood House. My classes are fairly small with 4-9 students. Approximately half of my students are employed and the other half are looking for work. Most students take the classes specifically to learn MYOB while others have a more general focus in learning bookkeeping and computer skills. I teach a hands-on, practical approach to learning MYOB and I attempt to provide my students with as much information as possible that will assist them in applying what they learn to their working environment.

I want to develop a short tutorial for my students utilising audio and video technology. The tutorial would demonstrate how to do a task such as open a file or perform a function using MYOB. I want the tutorial to be available online for the students to access outside of the classroom. They would be able to see the task demonstration on their screen and hear my recorded voice talk through the steps how to do it. I believe this will enhance their learning outside of the classroom.

Ultimately I would like to deliver online training so this is the first step (albeit a baby step!) in working towards what I believe will be the future of teaching and training.

image and photo credits: licensed under creative commons at flickr: Thanks very much: kevin reed at flickr