The project seems to be moving along nicely. Quite a few members of the team are busy, but it’s relatively quiet for me at present. I’ll just note a few things before having a short break for Easter.
Earlier this week I had a friendly and productive meeting with Will Stewart and Martina Doolan, leaders of ‘Audio-Supported Enhanced Learning’ (ASEL). Theirs is another project funded by JISC’s Users and Innovation programme. Of course, with Sounds Good and ASEL both being concerned with the use of audio, we have common interests and plenty to talk about. However, it feels to me as if our working relationship is already moving beyond routine communication. Will and Martina have kindly given me access to their online ‘central desktop’ with its extensive collection of working documents. I’ve sent them some questionnaires I’m using which aren’t yet in the public domain. Another indicator that we’re working well together is that they invited me to join them in their presentation to JISC’s ‘Next Generation’ workshop at the end of April. I do think the fact that we’re all in the Emerge community is making a difference – over the months we’ve had a good mix of contacts and communications, face-to-face and electronic. Just to complete the happy Emerge picture, Lawrie Phipps came through on the phone while Will, Martina and I were meeting. What a team!
I’ve had two more conference session proposals accepted, both drawing on Sounds Good. One is at the STLHE conference in Windsor, Ontario, a few days after my session in Salt Lake City, which was approved a while ago. The plan is to do both on the same trip. The other acceptance is at the Higher Education Academy conference in Harrogate in early July. I’ll be doing my best to ensure dialogue, rather than just one-way transmission of information. I’m hoping to gather some ideas and meet people who will make me think hard about the use of audio.
My colleague Phil Race, who is a member of the Sounds Good team, has been trying out the exercise I have devised for next week’s presentation to JISC’s Learning and Teaching Experts Group. It’s intended to simulate the experience of a student receiving audio feedback on a piece of written work. I gather it’s been triggering some lively debate, not least about the mark that the teacher gives the student. That wasn’t my main concern when I wrote the exercise, but I’m pleased that Phil and his learners have been getting some value from it. I hope I can be equally successful in using it in a slightly different way. Will it turn out to be a ‘reusable learning object’?
A little bit of information is beginning to come in about users’ experiences of giving and receiving audio feedback. They are only a few snippets so far, so we can’t attach much weight to them. It’s generally positive stuff though, which is encouraging.
(Posted by Bob Rotheram, Project Manager, Sounds Good)