McDowell, James (2010) Using Video Tutorials as a Focus to Assist the Formation of a Blended Learning Community. In: Active and Interactive Learning – Sharing Best Practices, 17th November 2010, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

The UoHTube Project at the University of Huddersfield, funded under the Teaching and Learning Project Fund in January 2010, has explored the potential for subject-specific video tutorials to act as a central repository of learning materials around which a blended learning community might form. Building on a case study of a Huddersfield student diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, the project also aimed to develop an inclusive environment for learners with an autistic spectrum condition, who might otherwise be unable to participate in group work, to engage in and benefit from social forms of learning.

Through embedding the video materials within an open source e-portfolio system, Mahara, students were afforded opportunities for collaborative working, reflective learning, and social networking within an enclosed community of learners. Moreover, students were also able to showcase their work and engage in peer assessment, offering and inviting feedback to and from peers, in an environment which offered a greater sense of ownership and control than that experienced in interactions with the institutional VLE.

Early evaluation of the intervention has found learners demonstrating high levels of engagement with both the subject area and their peer group, suggesting the emergence of an inclusive blended learning community.

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