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18 Jun 2012

Processes of Performance

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on Processes of Performance

still from student video

Still from student video

I spoke recently to some third year students about how they had used a flip camera to record their studio practice as part of the Processes of Performance 5: Independent Practice module.  The students had requested the flip camera from the project, and their work with it was entirely student-led.  I asked them if they would share their experiences with me, which they did.  They found the camera was essential to document and reflect upon their process, and to be able to ‘show’ what they had been doing (try describing the lift in this picture in words, for example!)  The full case study can be downloaded here – Flip Camera Boundaries Case Study

18 Jun 2012

Leeds Collections – update

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on Leeds Collections – update

We have now completed the curriculum development phase for Leeds Collections in context.  Based on learning from last year, Mark set up a WordPress blog.   The full details are here – Leeds Collections in Context Curriculum Development.  We also held a focus group with some students, and they incidentally told us quite a lot about how they use audio recorders and blogs to support their learning (although not specifically for Leeds Collections!) – Audio recorders and blogs case study

15 Jun 2012

JISC Mobile Reflections Update – Week Two

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on JISC Mobile Reflections Update – Week Two

Our participants have now started their ‘mobile reflections’.   David has recorded ideas whilst in his car.  Jonathan recorded views from his home.  Laura recorded her reflections whilst watching archive film footage gathered as research data in her office.  Daliah has been using a flip camera, and finds its easy accessibility great for recording spontaneous thoughts on impulse.  Although she’s been mainly using it at home and in the dance studio, she did also record a walk to her local shops, whilst reflecting on her studio session that day.  She said, “I found the act of walking and talking very liberating; this combination of being outdoors and going somewhere with specific intention helping to ‘loosen’ my thoughts, and making me feel less precious about what I was saying”.  Rosie recorded her early thoughts on ideas for a research project, and is happy to share.  As I said to Rosie, I really do think there is information in the way we say things that doesn’t come across in writing. And the real interest for this project will be in seeing how the recordings makes sense to our participants when they review them a few weeks later, when they’ll be able to see how their thoughts developed over time.

iPhone headsetMeanwhile, I’ve been experimenting with the recording capabilities on my iPhone3GS – using video, but also using the onboard voice memo recorder.  I reckoned it may be simpler in some circumstances to record voice memos and then put them together as a sound track with still images.  Not everything requires live video footage, and resulting file sizes may be smaller.

Audio volume can be an issue i.e. I have to be very close to the phone to hear my voice.  So I tried using the microphone that comes with the iPhone headset, and this does seem to improve the sound quality (note – this will then switch off the iPhone speaker).  You do, however, have to be careful not to cover the microphone with your thumb or finger.

Voice memoI also wondered how long a voice memo file could be. Some research of the apple forums yielded the following insights:-

–       The length of the recording is limited mainly by space on the phone

–       If recordings get quite long (over 30 mins or so) do not close the voice memo application too quickly after you’ve stopped recording, as the app needs time to finish processing the file.

Transferring audio files from your iPhone to your PC

The only way I’ve managed to do this is by synching my phone with iTunes, going to the ‘Voice Memos’ at the bottom and opening it, and then using my right mouse button to select ‘copy’ for each voice memo file.  I then paste it into the appropriate file directory on my PC.  There may be a more elegant method, but it seems to work.


12 Jun 2012

Using digital stories to reflect on learning

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on Using digital stories to reflect on learning

This is a presentation that I gave at Lancaster University Management School as part of an event to mark 30 years of the MA in Management Learning and Leadership. Video by Will Pollard.

8 Jun 2012

JISC Mobile Reflections Update – Week One

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on JISC Mobile Reflections Update – Week One

So far, we have 7 students taking part in the project, including undergraduate, taught post graduate and PhD. We also have one member of staff interested in participating.

To help the participants get started, I’ve given them briefing notes, and a link to using an iPhone for video. I also asked them these questions:-

  • What mobile device are you planning to use? Do you need to borrow a Flip camera?
  • What are your objectives for this project? e.g. What skills do you want to learn? Is there anything in particular that you want to focus your reflections upon?
  • If you are using this to help develop a creative project, can you briefly describe the project?
  • Do you maintain a blog or ePortfolio, or use Twitter? (It’s fine if you don’t!)
  • What technical (or any other) support do you think you might need?

Summary of their Responses


Three students requested to borrow a flip camera – one because it is more portable and easier to use than an SLR (which was their other option); and the other two because the quality of video from their phone was not good enough (no audio; difficult to access the videos from the phone). The other participants plan to use iPhones, although one also has access to a flip camera which they may use as well.


Stated objectives for the project included:-

  • to become more familiar with digital recording devices
  • finding ways to integrate digital devices into research and thinking processes
  • reflecting on what is chosen to film/frame/compose
  • to reflect on research undertaken for their dissertation project
  • to develop skills in keeping and organising a record of work
  • to learn about video as a method of documentation, particularly for research that requires a phenomenological or qualitative approach
  • to assist with analysis of data and experiences to plan for PhD thesis
  • to learn how to successfully present reflective material to audiences
  • to learn how reflecting at different times in different spaces, and how capturing strategies, can improve learning
  • to unpack the relationship between creative process and developing research question
  • to learn skills in organising creative material and how reviewing this material may help to articulate experiences

Indication of Project areas

  • Improvisation and experiential anatomy in film making
  • Scenography, participation and digital interactive media
  • PSi#18 conference – documenting reflections
  • Gender performance, feminism and performance art
  • A tangible record of reflections to submit to collaborative partner (Dance) as evidence of methodological process
  • Immersive performance


Most participants have either a blog or Twitter or both.

Support required

Some participants do want help with video editing. No help was requested for the recording phase (other than borrowing equipment).


30 May 2012

Videoing using a Mobile Phone

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on Videoing using a Mobile Phone

The first thing that I’ve learned as I’ve started to use my iPhone for recording video is that you have to hold the phone sideways when recording.  Otherwise your video displays on its side when you download it to the computer.  You also have to hold the phone quite close to you if you want to hear what you are saying.  This video explains:-

30 May 2012

Opportunity to try mobile digital reflection

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on Opportunity to try mobile digital reflection

Photo: Annie Mole

We are now recruiting participants for our JISC Funded ‘Mobile Reflections‘ project.  We can offer funding of £70 for a limited number of students to take part.  The project is exploring whether mobile devices can help you to reflect on your learning from a creative project, or period of work experience. The idea is to capture images, video and sound throughout a period of four weeks, a bit like keeping a video diary. It would be an ideal opportunity for you focus on developing a project idea, for example, and to capture and organise your reflections in a way that you can share with peers or tutors (if you want to). It would involve capturing reflections using a mobile device (full support will be provided) during late June and July, and potentially sharing via blog/twitter/YouTube. You would then take part in an online workshop to create a movie that organises your reflections, and would receive training on how to use Windows Live MovieMaker which is free downloadable video editing software, and is very easy to use. You would receive £70 for taking part.


  • You’d receive a full briefing, and start capturing your reflections around the 9th June for a period of four weeks
  • We’d remind you to do this weekly, and ask for a very quick update of how you are getting on
  • We’d provide full technical support via email if you need it
  • There would be an online workshop sometime during 9 – 13th July, so you wouldn’t need to travel to Leeds
  • If you don’t have your own mobile phone or digital camera, we can lend you a Flip Camera
  • We’d pay you £70 if you participate in all of the above
  • If you are interested, email c.kirk@leeds.ac.uk by 8th June



  • Help you focus on the development of creative ideas, or on learning from work experience
  •  Teach you digital skills of capturing and manipulating research data (useful for documenting practice, very useful for third year projects)
  •  £70 holiday money!


28 May 2012

Digital Reflection workshop on 3rd July

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on Digital Reflection workshop on 3rd July

We are running a workshop with SDDU on 3rd July from 2-4pm, which will introduce some ideas and tools for using digital technologies within teaching and learning to give students a range of choices about how to engage in reflective practice.  Click here for full details and to book a place (you’ll need to scroll down to ‘Digital Reflection’).

10 May 2012

Digital reflection e-learning resources

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on Digital reflection e-learning resources

Digital Reflection e-learning presentationWe have just posted three new e-learning resources onto our learning resources toolkit (at the top of the page), which provide a useful introduction to digital reflection, its various potential uses and benefits, and the resources available on this website.

10 May 2012

Mobile Reflections: JISC Elevator

Posted by Carole Kirk. Comments Off on Mobile Reflections: JISC Elevator

We heard yesterday that we have been selected for funding for our ‘Mobile Reflections’ pitch to the JISC Elevator.    We will be running this extension to the Digitalis project throughout June/July/August, and will post updates here.    Here is the original JISC Elevator bid, and the video is here.