Physical activity film-makers: Using mobile devices to capture learning and develop transferable skills

Ciara O’Hagan and Emily Newton
Sheffield Hallam University

Student-staff interaction and learning on sport and physical activity courses occurs in a range of environments – sports halls, exercise laboratories, fitness facilities and outside spaces, as well as more traditional classrooms. Teaching and learning in these environments is essential to develop key skills but presents challenges (students take few written notes and often develop key skills but not core knowledge). However, these environments also present unique opportunities for development of generic transferable skills through student-led practical activities.
It has been reported that although students and graduates are aware of the importance of developing their transferable skills and employability during their undergraduate course1, many remain unaware of how these have actually been developed through their discipline-specific classes2, or lack the ‘transfer skills’ to enable them to apply skills learnt in one context to a different context3. It has therefore been recommended that the links between discipline specific learning and development of transferable skills should be made more explicit to students4.
In this paper we reflect on a project in which students and tutors on a level 4 module worked together using mobile devices to produce short video summaries of practical class activities, which were later shared via a private Youtube channel. The aims of the project were to use video to promote student engagement5; to enable students to take ‘notes’ in practical learning spaces to reinforce learning, assist revision and catch up on missed material6; to aid in developing a range of recognised key employability skills (planning, problem solving, teamwork, negotiation, communication and creativity)7,8, and to highlight to students how these transferable skills had actually been developed in discipline specific learning spaces.
The impact of the project will be evaluated through student, staff and external examiner reflections, along with quantitative indicators of student engagement and attainment.

References

  1. Tymona, A. (2013). The student perspective on employability. Studies in higher education, 38 (6), 841-856.
  2. Whittle, S.R. and Eaton, D.G.M. (2001). Attitudes towards transferable skills in medical undergraduates. Medical education, 35(2), 148-153.
  3. Kemp, I.J. and Seagraves, L. (1995). Transferable skills – can higher education deliver?. Studies in higher education, 20(3), 315-328.
  4. Crebert*, G., Bates, M., Bell, B., Patrick, C.J. and Cragnolini, V. (2004). Developing generic skills at university, during work placement and in employment: graduates’ perceptions. Higher education research and development, 23(2), 147-165.
  5. Willmot, P., Bramhall, M. and Radley, K. (2012). Using digital video reporting to inspire and engage students. National HE STEM programme.
  6. Whatley, J. and Ahmad, A. (2007) Using video to record summary lectures to aid students. Interdisciplinary journal of knowledge and learning objects Volume, 3, 185-196
  7. Yorke, M. and Knight, P. (2006). Embedding employability into the curriculum. The higher education academy.
  8. Fuller, I. and France, D. (2016) Does digital video enhance student learning in field-based experiments and develop graduate attributes beyond the classroom? Journal of Geography in Higher Education,1466-1845