Mrs Clay and Mr Hague are science teachers. They have heard about the iTEC ‘Broadcasting STEM Learning’ initiative and competition (the initiative is a new idea, yet to be established). They think this is a way of deepening their students’ subject knowledge through digital production. Through this initiative the iTEC project aims to engage pupils from 1000 classrooms across Europe in producing podcasts or short movies/animations about an aspect of the STEM curriculum. These learning broadcasts will be collated on the iTEC platform and tagged (for age group and subject etc), eventually providing a multi-lingual, searchable database of STEM learning broadcasts for students around the world to use for learning and revision purposes. Students and teachers can comment on and rate the uploaded broadcasts according to a set of criteria which are defined by students with the help of their teachers at the start of the initiative and reviewed at the stage of each round of the competition. The creators of the highest rated broadcasts in each age group will be showcased on the iTEC website.
Mrs Clay and Mr Hague want to involve their students in making broadcasts about their current topics in Science as they know that in order to make a learning broadcast for others, the students will need to have a deep conceptual understanding of the material themselves. At the start of their new topics of learning, the teachers make the students aware that they will be making broadcasts aimed at their peers (and themselves for exam revision purposes later in the year). In groups, students will choose the area of the curriculum they wish to cover, research the subject and decide whether to make a choice of making a podcast or a short film/animation. For this reason, the teachers use both podcasts and videos during their teaching – to inspire the students – and ask the students to discuss the potential of each method of communication, thus developing their digital media literacy at the same time as their science understanding. Students work with their teachers to develop criteria/rubrics through which to peer-assess the outputs and feed these through to the ‘Broadcasting STEM Learning’ initiative organisers to help develop selection criteria.
Whilst teachers ensuring that the students have a secure understanding of the area of science they have chosen, they support their students to plan the content of their broadcasts – possibly drawing on the expertise of media studies staff and students – including what key content to include and considering how to communicate it to their audience. Students create their broadcasts using cameras/digital recorders and free web-based software.
Once the broadcasts have been created students watch/listen to each other’s broadcasts and provide feedback to each other using the same criteria/rubrics provided by the ‘iTEC Broadcasting STEM Learning’ initiative. The teachers also provide feedback on accuracy of content. The students address the feedback and are then submitted to the ‘iTEC Broadcasting STEM Learning’ competition as well as being uploaded to the school website/VLE as a means of sharing with the wider school community and parents/carers. Students also spend some time, with their teachers, rating other broadcasts uploaded to the ‘iTEC Broadcasting STEM Learning’ initiative as part of the competition. Throughout the year the teachers and students refer to the database of learning broadcasts and use the films and podcasts available to support learning discussions in class and revision.
POSSIBLE APPROACHES TO TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT
- Project/enquiry-based learning
- Thematic (if subjects could be linked across the curriculum)
- Peer-based learning
- Peer-assessment through development of criteria/rubrics (i.e. Content, quality of production, ability to communicate the subject clearly)
- Teacher assessment (i.e. subject knowledge)
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