For the past 10 weeks (off and on) I have been working with Sophia, Tony, Jonny & Matthew from the media team on Wednesday morning, during what has become known as a ‘Golden Hour’. The aim of which is for the staff to have an hour during which they can focus on taking forward a particular aspect of the teaching.
Our focus has been the use of technology for assessment and evidence of learning but has also spilled over into the management/tracking of assessment, feedback and other related challenges.
We have had much discussion around the pros and cons of online learning and assessment and on how best to apply these techniques within the context of the current timetable and springboard TV methodology. As a group we currently have 3 mini-projects on the go, each of which is at a different stage of realization.

Mini-project 1
The first mini-project is to create a mock exam for the AS Media Studies Key Media Concepts unit. In the exam candidates are shown an unseen moving media extract, this extract is screened a set number of times at set intervals, with instructions asking them to take notes or to refrain from note taking. The outcome is a written text which discussed key media concepts with reference to the screened footage. The teams traditional approach to preparing there learners for this type of exam has been to sit them in a room and deliver a mock version of this exam scenario.
Our technology solution is to develop a tool via our VLE which will simulates this and indeed other screening based exam scenario and provide the opportunity for learners to practice at a time and place that suits them.
Work on this is progressing well and we expect to have a workable tool in place with a month.

Mini-project 2
Our second mini-project aims to show how our learning platform/VLE (learningnet) can be used to manage the whole assessment process from delivery or the learning materials through to submission (and if needed re-submission) and feedback.
The chosen assignment/task was chosen for it’s relative simplicity, shortness and urgency. The brief is relatively straight forward as can be seen from this extract:
“Write a 1000 word report giving a brief history of editing and showing a knowledge of the Development, Principles, Techniques and Forms relating to the development and principles of film editing, using examples of scenes from films to achieve the stated criteria.”
To achieve this we created a folder on learningnet which contains everything that a learner requires to complete the assignment. This is clearly signposted and contains introductory text guiding learner of exactly what they need to do and the approach that is being taken. We then have a folder containing links to relevant research materials as well as video resources. Finally we have the assignment which through learningnet’s tool will allow us to track submission, feedback and grading.
Work on this is complete and the assignment has been presented to some learner, deadlines have been set-up and we await the first submission, which will trigger another element of the process, as I work with staff to manage the online feedback and grading process.

Mini-project 3
Our final project is perhaps is connected the others and aims to look at how technology can help in the process of course management and the tracking process. The aim here is to look at how online tracking of all assessed work can be achieved and what benefits it can bring.
Working with the course director of the BETC National Diploma in Media (Television and Film), we have identified some of the challenges of tracking learners, where many lecturers are involved and varied approaches are being taken to the delivery of units and elements. Adding to this the challenge of the innovative approach that is being taken to timetabling and links with SpringboardTV, it has quickly become apparent that is it a large area. To address these challenges we will need to have clear aims and will probably need to work well into the next academic year.
More on this soon.