Sign up for BuzzEd – eLearning possibilities illuminated. This one-day seminar for NUS academic staff covers a range of eLearning innovations and developments. It will take place on Monday, 5 January 2009 from 9am to 5pm at University Hall Auditorium, Level 2, Lee Kong Chian Wing. We hope to see you there!
Guide to video streaming services in NUS
NUS Galleria? NUScast? NUS YouTube? All of them deal with streaming video, so why are there three different services? This guide features each service and highlights the most appropriate uses for each of them.
Interactive Chemistry Laboratory Manual (ICLM)
Take a peek at how one academic tried to engage students while saving valuable laboratory time using courseware developed in conjunction with CIT.
Mr David Phang gets a (Second) Life
You have probably heard of Second Life, but how many educators have ventured into this brave new world? David Phang from the School of Computing certainly has as his students have selected tutorials in Second Life.
CIT Audio-Visual Awareness Roadshow
CIT conducted an Audio-Visual Awareness Roadshow on Tuesday, 14 October 2008. This roadshow, the first of its kind in NUS, was aimed at increasing the awareness of the use of audio-visual products and services in supporting teaching and learning.
CIT staff demonstrating a portable green screen solution used for backgrounds and effects.
CIT conducted an Audio-Visual Awareness Roadshow on Tuesday, 14 October 2008.
This roadshow, the first of its kind in NUS, was aimed at increasing the awareness of the use of audio-visual products and services in supporting teaching and learning.
Educators gathered at the University Hall auditorium to listen to other educators’ experience with using audio-visual technology in their lessons.
Dr Adrian Michael Lee, Department of Chemistry, and Dr Mohanan Karuvannur, Department of English Language & Literature shared how CIT produced videos for the Interactive Chemistry Laboratory Manual (ICLM) courseware and the Academic Knowledge & Inquiry eModule respectively. CIT created the videos which populate both e-Learning tools which help to disseminate important information efficiently to a large number of students.
Dr Jacqueline Chin and Mr Voo Teck Chuan, from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, discussed how CIT produced biomedical ethics videos to help medical students prepare for their objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs).
While CIT is better known for providing audio-visual production services, a little-known fact is that we also provide video production training. Mr John Ang, Department of Social Work, highlighted how CIT conducts a basic videography and editing course for his students. His students then make use of the skills to create a video as part of the course requirements for SW4202 Special Areas (Social Work and Mass Communication).
In between the talks, CIT staff and our vendors showed participants various parts of the video production process from pre to post-production.
Participants in the roadshow learnt the scope of CIT’s audio-visual services as well as what it takes to produce a full-fledged video.
Photo by Leong Mun Wai.
Think Second Life and images of fantastical avatars or electronic shopping malls leap to mind. David Phang, from the School of Computing, offers another facet of the 3D multi-user online world – that of a virtual classroom.
NUS has had an official presence in Second Life for over a year. NUS is by no means the first tertiary institution to venture there. Neither will it be the last. Part of the attraction is the ability to gather students in one place, regardless of their physical location.
David shares that several tutorial classes for IT1001 Introduction to Computing were held in Second Life during the past semester.
“We thought it would be a good idea because this course is about introducing students to current concepts of computing and also emerging concepts and applications,” David explains, “we wanted to let students experience how it was like to have class discussions in the Second Life setting. Quite a number of universities do this and organizations like IBM hold meetings in Second Life.”
As an introductory course open to students from different schools and faculties, the Second Life tutorials also enabled the students to attend the class without having to traverse the campus. It also helped cross-faculty students to find a common time and place to meet for projects and discussions without having to factor in travel time.
During the designated sessions, students log in to Second Life at the time they would normally attend their real-world tutorial for the week. During the tutorial, David would facilitate the discussion of the tutorial questions via in-world text chat.
Here, things take a slight departure from the norm. Instead of taking turns to speak, David allows more than one discussion to take place at the same time. He explains, “We want to tap on the capability of this kind of virtual world by allowing conversations to flow, even if it is multiple parties talking at the same time, so that students don’t lose their train of thought. I moderate the discussions by asking students to slow down or to focus attention on certain threads of discussion.”
What, then, is the advantage of Second Life over text chat or instant messaging since the classes make use of text feature in Second Life?
David concedes that students tend to be more expressive over both text chat and Second Life. However, he feels students tend to be more careful and thorough in answering questions through text in Second Life.
He surmises two opposing things are going on. One is that the virtual, avatar-based environment provides a non-threatening space for students to speak up. The other is the familiarity of a classroom – the virtual space where the class is conducted represents a physical one – makes them feel that they should be contributing in a constructive and comprehensive manner.
At the end of the tutorials, the text-chats are saved and distributed among the students of that class.
The Second Life tutorials look set to stay, as long as NUS maintains its presence in that virtual environment.