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C. Appropriateness and Fit to Programme Objectives and Overall Value to the JISC Community

C. Appropriateness and Fit to Programme Objectives and Overall Value to the JISC Community


  1. This project will build on work carried out at both partner institutions into the innovative use of audio technology to support, enhance and personalise the learner experience and to transform practice. Both teams have extensive experience in e-learning development, evaluation and research. Within their own institutions, they are actively involved in developing innovative solutions and adopting and adapting emerging technologies and processes to meet the needs of real end-users.

  2. Both institutions have diverse student populations for whom traditional approaches to teaching and learning are increasingly inappropriate. In recognition of this, both partners have in place Learning, Teaching and Assessment strategies which aim to bring about cultural change and create exciting and flexible learning environments able to respond to, and meet the needs and demands of their learners. In focusing on institutional change through the transformation of practice, the project will help further JISC's first strategic aim of delivering innovative and sustainable practice that is transferable and helps institutions in the wider community meet their missions.

  3. As a result of engagement with users, the Emerge Community of Practice, CETLs (ALPS, Blended Learning Unit) and other related projects (IMPALA, Spoken Word Project), there is evidence to indicate that audio is a valuable, but underexploited medium. Its use is limited mainly to a one-way transmission of content, with little apparent use to support interaction, dialogue or community building. With the emergence of new technologies, new possibilities have arisen to exploit audio in ways hitherto not feasible or effective.
    Thus, this project will focus on how audio technologies can be used by lecturers and learners in three key areas, namely:

  1. self-reflection

  2. assessment

  3. collaborative learning

  1. While the exploration of emergent technologies plays a key role, the main focus of this project will be on

    transforming practice through capturing emerging practice of both tutors and learners that supports effective learning

    . As Kirkwood and Price (2005), amongst others, have argued, the introduction of technology in itself does not lead to improved educational practices. Mainstreaming emergent technologies will not change practice in Higher Education simply because of their ubiquitous presence. In recognition of this, the project will deploy next generation technologies but develop, implement and evaluate strategies for the effective and innovative use of audio within them. The use of audio within a range of emergent technologies will be explored, including:



  1. Mobile devices, e.g. mobile phone, PDA, PSP

  2. Social networking spaces, e.g. Facebook, MySpace and Ning

  3. Collaborative and reflective tools, e.g. blogs, wikis, e-portfolios

  4. Communication technologies, e.g. social radio, voice tools, voice boards, voice email, voice-to-text phone tools, voice threads, VOIP


  1. These new and emergent technologies offer tremendous scope for innovative and exciting ways to incorporate audio into teaching and learning. Next generation multi-mode, multi-tasking mobile handsets with gigabytes storage capacity and extended battery life will give these devices increasing relevance in the learning arena. Both the reception and creation of audio by learners through these handsets will become much more attractive and acceptable. Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, voicebooks and voicethreads offer facilities for both the embedding and attachment of audio but these are underused and little research has been carried out into how tutors and learners can make effective use of them. Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Ning also enable users to embed audio files into their sites. This project will make a significant contribution to understanding the educational potential of audio technology within these new technologies and increase the sector capacity to apply these effectively to support learning.


  1. Redefinition of the U&I Development Model



The U&I development model was originally designed to ensure user engagement in the design, development and deployment of systems and software. While the model has been useful in planning this project, it has been necessary to redefine it in order to make it more responsive to user engagement in the design, development and deployment of a

practice-based project

. The Model remains an iterative development process with user engagement informing

practice

at each stage, and continues to address the strategic aims of the U&I programme, as set out in the programme vision.  An

additional outcome of the project will be a redefinition of the Model and an evaluation of its effectiveness and appropriateness. 

This will help inform future practice-based projects within the JISC community. A summary of the redefined model is given below:

Stage 1 – user engagement cycle


Many of the activities described in the Stage 1 Template of the original U&I development model have been used to identify users and gain an understanding of their needs. This involvement of users has informed the project design, and continued involvement of users throughout the project will impact on future development and deployment in the other stages of the model.

Stage 2 – transition and decision stage


In redefining this stage, we have taken the work already carried out in both partner institutions on the use of audio across the domains of learning and teaching and used this to inform the transition to Stage 3.  In other words, we have used our earlier work as the “paper piloting and small-scale building” components of the model.

Stage 3 – practice development and deployment stage


In this redefined stage, pedagogical practices are designed, developed and deployed based on learner engagement and feedback.

Stage 4 User acceptance and sustainability strategy


This stage will address any issues or concerns that arise from the practice development and deployment stage that may ultimately affect user acceptance, successful embedding and sustainable deployment of that practice. The evaluation and communication strategy as outlined in this proposal will aid user acceptance, and sustainable deployment of practice helping to ensure deliverables.

In redefining the Model, this project has recognised the need to

transform practice

. The redefined model will enable the project team to adopt an evidence-based approach to the development, implementation and evaluation of pedagogical models and practices in the use of

audio within next generation technologies.


2014-07-19 18:44
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