Increasing engagement of students in online teaching: The use of asynchronous video discussions in disseminating knowledge

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Reflecting to social and technological changes, Higher Education around the globe is moving towards a robust digital philosophy and platform to share and create knowledge. Henry Jenkins (2006) defined Digital immersion as ‘the widespread, frequent and intense use of digital technologies, a process that, may induce changes in the cognitive structures of users’. Co-creation is becoming a widely used practice in HE to represent a new quality of student – academic partnership (Bovill, 2020). Of its various interpretations the terminology of Bovill (2014) and Delpish et al. (2010) is adapted here, where they refer to it as students’ involvement in co-designing modules and courses’. Digital engagement makes students experience digital challenges at first hand, which ‘increases student engagement and reinforces learning by experiencing and doing’ (Shea and Bidjerano, 2010).
As a result of COVID-19, universities in Britain were predicted to lose £2.6B in revenue, putting 30K jobs at risk and creating disruptions in the education of 2.38M students (THE Times Higher Education, 2020). All course content, including lectures, moved online in the spring semester of 2020 and it was difficult to ensure that all students have an equal chance of accessing the material.
In pursuing solutions to the need for asynchronous online teaching tools and increasing student engagement through digital engagement, in November 2020, the University of Roehampton entered into a consultancy project with Vialog, a UK based technology startup. The Business School coordinated testing of the Vialog education technology features and providing feedback that was incorporated into the product roadmap.
Within the framework of the consultancy project, a digital forum was created where students and the module leader asked video questions from an external expert and students took part in course content creation. Participants contributed at their own schedule, between 2 classes. A total of 26 videos were submitted and published in this video discussion. The following class all questions and answers were critically discussed.
In another setup, short assessment clinic sections were presented by the module leader through a series of video summaries. In response to the 12 films, 41 questions and comments were attached by the students in the form of short video contributions and all this was available to every participant of the course. This dialogue helped students understand in more detail the assessment requirements of the given module.
Based on Vialog lecturer Interviews following the close of the project, university lecturers believed that a digital tool supporting short asynchronous video interactions with students is pedagogically highly useful (4.3/5 on a scale where 5 is 'very helpful') and it would support teaching activities effectively:(4.2/5 on a scale where 5 is ‘very effective’)
Participant student survey responses indicated usefulness of Vialog powered asynchronous videos (4.7 out of 5) and expressed wish to have more topics to be covered with Vialog (4.5 out of 5). 29% of students confirmed preference to having Vialog on Moodle as a regular, weekly option. Feedback confirms that creating asynchronous video discussions contribute to student engagement and student experience, as well as reinforces the concept of learning by doing.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2022
Event2022 ECREA OSC Conference: A new era of (digital) teaching?: Theory, Creativity and Responsibility in Communication Education - Hochschule Macromedia, Köln, Germany
Duration: 9 Feb 202210 Feb 2022


Conference2022 ECREA OSC Conference: A new era of (digital) teaching?
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  • asynchronous learning
  • digitalisation

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