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Encouraging staff to fully exploit the multimedia lecture room
7 Feedback - Staff and Student Views
"Thought the sessions were well planned, brief - appropriate to staff time
availability and literature was helpful too. The only snag as far as I am
concerned is that I often work on Saturday mornings and, outside of semester
time, Media Services doesn't always operate on Saturdays. Well done".
"Most useful feature of the session was that I learned that PowerPoint is being
used more frequently in College and that it is possible to use it anywhere with
the portable facilities now available. It would be helpful to be offered some
training sessions on the use of PowerPoint".
"I found the introduction session in the Hall very useful and clear. It helped
me to get my initial fear of touching the technology. Given the time to
prepare materials and the certainty that the technology would be in place and
functioning to use it, I would now happily make greater use of multimedia
materials. However, those two are big provisos. I never teach in the Hall so
I would be reliant on the availability on the movable stack. I have witnessed
attempted media presentations that have gone horribly wrong and would feel the
need to provide OHP's etc. as backups for any occasion - which rather defeats
the point of using PowerPoint!"
"I am one of the category for staff that do not operate out of the large
lecture theatres. I was encouraged by the existence of the mobile stack and
hope that it can be used. I currently use PowerPoint and Word but have to
manually transfer it to plastic. I hope, once I have ascertained which rooms I
will be using next year, to find out if I can book multimedia. Then I would be
willing to begin to prepare my materials for that system. However, the screen
arrangements in certain rooms are inadequate and there are already problems
with OHP projection in them"
"May I say that, very lacking in confidence, I found much of value in the
session. I now feel much more inclined to explore."
"Worthwhile experience. .... Improving the learning experience for students is
one thing, being able to find the time to do it is another. A College wide
audit would be worthwhile to see which departments would like material
transferred to multimedia format. Specialist skills required. I am able to
assist in this respect. Keep up the good work".
"Your workshop demonstrated to me the sophisticated ways in which
information/material can be presented to an audience using the available
technology. My next task is to gain practice in the use of the technology and,
to that end, would welcome some additional sessions next year. I need hands-on
"I found the session stimulating. It was my intention to follow up the
presentation session with a trial session under your supervision. However, I
had to bring my session forward at short notice and consequently, I presented
it along the traditional lines. I believe that multimedia has excellent
potential for teaching most subjects. However, more time is needed for
preparation. It can save time in the long term as lessons can be regularly
updated instead of having to be rewritten.. This could also be very cost
effective in terms of less acetates used. My concern relates to a limited
number of such apparatus, which are currently available. In the event of
non-availability or break down, a great deal of frustration could ensue
particularly if one is not in possession of back-up material at the time. I am
in the process of putting all new lectures on disk and if more multimedia
apparatus were available, I would be willing to switch over. On a more
personal note, I would like to thank you for keeping me informed on the
progress of his project. My only regret that I was not able to offer you more
support in this exciting new venture".
"Your session was VERY helpful. Perhaps Media Services could give out more
detailed information on availability of equipment and lead-time for booking.
"I experienced your lunchtime session and found it to be very useful. It
enabled me to give an exciting and varied lecture using video, slides OHP and
sound. I intend to try the stack system outside of the main hall and
experiment with using the computer (PowerPoint). My lecture was ...... greatly
enhanced by multimedia presentation"
"Although I knew what facilities were available in the main hall, I found it
useful to have a chance to operate them (without students present).
Unfortunately, I rarely teach in the main hall and so will not have the
opportunity to put what I have learnt into practice, certainly in the
foreseeable future. It would be useful for me to be able to try out the
portable facilities, as I would be able to make use of these."
Some staff found that they had regular commitments which clashed with the introductory sessions. In these cases, the staff were invited to specially organised sessions to deal with their individual needs.
"Very enthusiastic tutor.......identified aspects where we needed individual
extra I.T. training......directed us to the appropriate areas.......agreed to
meet us to help further develop our skills. ....approach was totally
unthreatening, extremely encouraging and sympathetic to our requirements....
succeeded in making the materials easily accessible to us. A very enjoyable
and worthwhile session".
Some staff acknowledged that involving multimedia takes time and requires practice.
".... Making changes to one's approach rather than simply updating the material
takes time and is difficult to do alongside one's day to day commitments.
...If we want to achieve change then we have to give people time to do things.
...the data projector was not available for me to use at the time that I was
timetabled to teach!"
Others were keen for the initiative to continue......
"I would be happy to propose new projects ..... let me know what would be most
"I was one of the unfortunates for whom those sessions were always
inconvenient, but I was wondering whether there would be scope some time during
the next academic year for an English Field development session in multimedia
Although the introductory sessions were continuing, it was important to maintain the profile of the staff development work across the College. The interim report of the project was circulated to suitable hierarchy throughout College and appeared on the Web site. Information on the continued progress of the project (see Figure 9) appeared in the monthly College newsletter.
We were given the opportunity to present a profile of the project at an induction event for new staff at the beginning of March. This had the benefit of inspiring new staff to become familiar with multimedia at an early stage as well as encouraging participating presenters to seize the opportunity to learn and demonstrate their multimedia skills. The presenters were encouraged to use multimedia in their demonstrations with support being available to acquire the necessary skills.
Feedback from the event was encouraged from the presenters.
"My personal experience was rather negative in the sense that I produced a
PowerPoint presentation at home which I copied onto a floppy disk for use in my
session. Unfortunately, the disk had somehow got corrupted in the process so I
couldn't use it after all. Other presenters did not experience this problem
and all, without fail, have said that they will use multimedia in forthcoming
presentations. PowerPoint slides produced for the Induction programme will be
used for other presentations too which has to be a bonus! However, my
experience has not dimmed my enthusiasm for using multimedia generally and
PowerPoint in particular. I would appreciate more training on PowerPoint
however, as I produced slides for viewing on screen but didn't make use of
other functions, e.g. hidden notes etc."
"Written feedback from staff on the Induction programme does not directly
mention those staff who used multimedia as part of their presentation.
However, they mentioned the inadequacies of the OHP slides used by presenters -
too much information on a slide, unreadable from relatively shorts distances
etc. They also consistently scored those presenters highly who used
multimedia. Staff on the induction programme were very explicit in their
appreciation of the presenters who used multimedia - praising their
presentation for their clarity, appropriateness to the audience and for the way
in which the use of multimedia generally spiced up the presentations."
"Clarity of information, i.e. actual presentation to audience. I.T. enhances
the ability to be able to use colours, diagrams etc, which are cost effective
and easy to produce. Actual presentation is more professional (for more
experienced operators) and the facility to change from one slide to another
rapidly make better use of time. As a non-academic, it focussed my mind on
"I used the multimedia system for a presentation in PowerPoint to a group of new staff attending the induction programme. I found it to be:
Flexible - I could easily adapt the material that I had used before and bring it up to date for this group of staff. I added new slides to explain some aspects in more detail.
Easy to use - it was great to know that each slide was visible and straight and in the correct order (no rummaging through a pile of acetates which always stick together) and no need to re-focus by looking over my shoulder so I could concentrate more on audience reaction.
Gain and retain audience attention - the ability to use colour, backgrounds,
alter fonts etc gives the opportunity to ensure that the slides are
interesting, readable and look more professional."
"I thought the quality of what appeared on the induction day was very good and
far superior to my usual transparencies. I would like to use it in the future
- but recognised that I would need quite a lot of training (and that I would
have to put the time aside for it and to practice). When, as occurred on
induction day, the material is prepared by someone else, it does leave you
feeling vulnerable.......On balance, it was a positive experience for me and I
would guess that it was more interesting for the participants.
A few staff felt sufficiently confident to practice their newly acquired multimedia skills in a teaching and learning situation with excellent results.
"Technically, the session went well, but I hadn't realised that the photographs
that provided the main impact of the web site I was using wouldn't be
downloaded onto the disk......... However, the experience has made me think
about what I could do with the facility..... I shall find out about what
materials exist in my subject area.....perhaps explore the possibility of
creating my own. Thank you for your help."
"The session was for me the most satisfying of the whole module (and probably
of the whole year!) The ability to use the computer monitor and have it visible
to everyone was wonderful and emphasised the problems in using the large
monitors in the lecture rooms. This facility is an absolute necessity for this
module in the future. The visualiser was good. The ability to show non-slide
material was useful but the zoom facility was needed and then ends of lines got
missed off. The mobile microphone was great. It meant that I was able to be
as 'active as usual and was able to go up to students to ask questions.
Training was good. In the time you gave me, I felt confident about the
This particular class took place in the Hall. The students were asked for their response to the multimedia.
What did you enjoy particularly about the multimedia experience?
The size of the display - all the group could see the work on the screen. Overheads were clearer. Larger screen was easier to look at. Equipment was very effective
Images were clearly visible. Good sound. Large screen enabled us to see exactly what the tutor was doing.
What could have been improved?
More leg room
Are there any other courses where you think that multimedia would be
Would you like multimedia to be used again?
Jo involved students in the use of multimedia themselves, providing an interesting development to end of module presentations. Two student groups, studying a business module "Introduction to Research Methods", used multimedia facilities in their presentations at the end of the module, to generally good effect. Feedback from the module leader indicated that they appeared to have mastered the technical aspects, but still needed to improve their actual use of the facility. "The multimedia facilities enable the students to produce more interesting and informative presentations than would otherwise have been the case".
We also reported at meetings of the Teaching and Learning Committee, a sub-committee of Academic Board (see Figure 10) and we gave contributions to departmental newsletters to keep the project in the staff eye. (Figure 11).
Formal channels for staff development courses are currently being pursued. Staff feedback indicated that the past take up of such courses was poor, as they did not allow for the hands-on, independent requirements of lecturers. During the introductory sessions and privately, staff indicated that they would prefer sessions, which provided an initial input of the skills and then allow them to start to build a lecture with information that they could bring along to the course. This feature will be addressed in current planning for such events.
This project was particularly successful because we did not presume any previous knowledge of multimedia and concentrated on providing specific examples for use wherever possible. Also, although introductory sessions were offered to departments, most of the successful contact came from individual staff contact. Previous approaches by Media Services had offered introductory drop-in sessions, relying on staff to attend.
Alongside the publication campaign for the project, Jo seized every opportunity to discuss the use of multimedia with as many individual staff as possible, in order to alleviate any apprehensions that they had. Methods of contact varied but were all equally important and successful, e.g. chance meetings, telephone calls, e-mails, staff meetings, formal committee meetings, lunch breaks, coffee times, etc. As confidence grew and the profile of the multimedia project heightened, knowledge and support were eagerly sought by all levels of staff from all subject areas. One member of lecturing staff, when commenting on the success of the project, said that "staff could relate well to a lecturer" while another said that they appreciated the "enthusiasm, willingness and support to discuss their individual problems with multimedia".
During the next academic year, a substantial number of staff have indicated that they would be willing to 'have a go!' with support during their first few sessions. Although the lifetime of this project is now complete, the use of multimedia at University College Worcester promises much for the future.
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