17 Jul 2012

JISC Mobile Reflections – Evaluation

Posted by Carole Kirk

Each of the workshop participants completed a questionnaire after the workshop – JISC Mobile Reflections Questionnaire.  The full summary of questionnaire responses is here – JISC Mobile Reflections Summary of Responses to Questionnaire – but here is a potted version:-

Photo credit: Acradenia on Flickr

All participants felt they had developed digital skills to some extent, and felt that they would share their reflective videos on a website, blog, VLE space or e-portfolio.  They used iPhones and Flip Cameras and found these appropriate for capturing mobile reflections.  Some technical issues included download speed, storage space on iPhone, sound quality on iPhone and iPhone video file format (when using professional video editing tools).  Using audio/visual capture was useful for articulating thoughts out loud, making them tangible; for connecting embodied with cerebral knowledge; capturing visual/artistic observations; capturing practice-based research; and remembering cues from the environment.  Capturing reflections on a mobile device enabled spontaneity and reflexivity, was quick and convenient, captured impulsive thoughts from reading that also related to the inhabited landscape at that moment without needing a computer nearby, captured creative ideas that spring out of the moment, and enabled the process of reflection to happen without having to wait until you get home.  Challenges included lack of confidence filming self in public places, feeling awkward at first having to ‘say something meaningful’ (this receded with practice), concern about length of recorded reflections, and awareness of recording ‘for an audience’.

For video editing, participants used Windows Live MovieMaker, iMovie and Final Cut Pro.  The reflective value of making an edited video included ‘reflecting on reflections’, summarising patterns, developing ideas, capturing recurring themes, watching yourself back eventually removing sense of awkwardness, engaging with reflections in more depth and from a refreshed perspective, constructing a narrative, going with ‘gut instinct’ revealing what was important, seeing all the pieces together, seeing progress of work,  and providing a format that you can watch again to remember ideas and ‘take you back’.

The WordPress workshop was generally easy to use.   The Adobe Connect live workshop was more problematic (although still rated OK to use).   The problems with audio, and the awkwardness of speaking one at a time meant the participants would have been more comfortable with a face-to-face workshop.

Personal learning for the participants included developing a habit of recording/reflecting, improving ability to articulate ideas, becoming more sensitive to opportunities to capture reflections, improving technical skills for video editing (managing files, uploading online, working with sound/photos/video), tracing the development of ideas in their work, gained confidence in recording themselves, exploring tensions between creativity and academic inquiry, and trying different ways of documenting work.   In terms of taking that learning forward in their future work, all of them thought they would continue with mobile reflections.  Reasons that they would do this included to question and highlight thought processes, to use on blog updates, to embed as a habit in practice, to suggest similar processes to their collaborative research partner, to capture and archive ‘moments’, to think more critically through the exercise of saying things out loud, to document rehearsals into an edited short video to share in portfolio/with tutors, and to capture reflection whilst looking at video footage.