Student Audio Notes Project: lessons from autonomous use of MP3 recorders by students to enhance their learning

NORTCLIFFE, Anne and MIDDLETON, Andrew (2010). Student Audio Notes Project: lessons from autonomous use of MP3 recorders by students to enhance their learning. In: MOORE, Ivan, ELVING-HWANG, Jo, GARNETT, Kenisha and CORKER, Chris, (eds.) CPLA Case Studies. Centre for Promoting Learner Autonomy, Sheffield Hallam University, 151-164.

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Abstract

Ongoing  and  successful  development  work  around  the  design  and  delivery  of  audio feedback  and  audio  lecture  note‐making  at  Sheffield  Hallam  University,  together  with  an awareness  of  how  digital  audio  might  be  used  to  empower  disabled  students,  led  to  the proposal  for  the  Student  Audio  Notes  project.  The  idea  of  digital  audio‐enhanced  learner autonomy  had  emerged  from  earlier  work  by  the  authors  which  had  suggested that feedback could be more meaningful if  the learner  takes  responsibility  for gathering it and  feeding it  forward into  their studies and indeed, later, into their employment. This learner  responsibility provided an important  focus  for The Student Audio Notes Project (SANP): a  year‐long investigation into how students might use MP3 recording devices to enrich their  own  experiences  of  learning.  SANP  gave  out  MP3  recorders  to  participating  students  and  aimed to encourage and challenge these students to explore how the devices could be used so  that good  practice might emerge and  be  shared.  It was hoped  that  they would identify  and  record  any encounters  involving  verbalised  communication  that  they  felt  helpful  in  deepening and reflecting upon their learning.  In this way the act of audio recording would  ideally become an essential, ever‐present, autonomous learning habit for them.   A  strand  of  this  investigation  sought  to  find  out,  in  particular,  whether  the  recording  of  digital audio by disabled students could bring benefits to disabled learners. As the study by  Healey  et  al.  (2006)  showed,  51%  of  disabled  students  (n=276)  responded  well  to  tutor  support aimed at improving the standard of their academic work, as opposed to the 43% of non‐disabled students (n=272).  It was expected, therefore, that student’s use of audio note‐making  would  result  in  similar  beneficial  impacts.  When  note‐making  systems  are  used effectively,  as  previous  research  by  Intons‐Peterson  and  Fournier  (1986)  has  also  shown, note‐making can increase memory encoding in  the learner and so enhance  their ability  to  recall the information later. Therefore, it was hoped that SANP would show how audio note‐making could be effective in empowering students with disabilities. Findings  from  SANP  demonstrate  that  all  participating  students  discovered  benefits  from  using  recording  devices  and  that  they  found it  useful  to  capture  a  range  of formal,  semi‐ formal  and  informal  situations.  These  findings  raise  questions  for  further  research  and  support  and  some  recommendations  are  made  to  ensure  such  activity  is  properly undertaken and supported.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Pedagogic Research and Innovation
Departments: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Computing
Depositing User: Anne Nortcliffe
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2018 14:22
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2018 01:05
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14525

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