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    On the box

    By Jessica Gramp, on 6 October 2015

    At the University of Leicester students are helping to find TV and radio clips that help students learn.
    Those involved in this programme review clips or entire episodes available via Box of Broadcasts.
    Box of Broadcasts TVThe Box of Broadcasts (BoB) service is available to UCL staff and students and allows them to view shows recorded from  free to air channels, including everything broadcast on the BBC (TV and radio) since 2007 (800,000+ programmes). Programmes aired in the last 30 days can be recorded by an user and then remain available to anyone else who wants to access them.
    At the University of Leicester students are helping integrate these resources into their modules, by blogging reviews for others to read and comment on. There are also plans to develop viewing lists of useful programmes for particular subjects. Each blog post is tagged with relevant keywords to make it easier for others to find relevant resources. Staff involved in the pilot also link to the blog from their online course pages.
    Students at Leicester received training and support in writing for the web and were also paid for their contributions once they blogged a minimum of 5 posts.
    One limitation these students encountered with Box of Broadcasts is that the search is difficult to use. University of Leicester students have begun using a service called TRILT to search and set alerts for deeper/future searches: http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/trilt/
    You can see some examples of these blogs here:

    The first example above (Biology on the Box) was run with tutors amending the tags on the 50 posts to fit with their teaching. Subsequently, these are better tagged than the posts in the English on the Box, where students led the entire process, including tagging. For ‘English on the Box’, 4 students contributed 35 posts and half of these were radio programmes. These students explained that they found it difficult to tag the posts with accurate keywords that were relevant to their modules, therefore it is important to involve the module tutors in this process. 

    There were may positive outcomes for this project, including:
    • Students who participated improved their written communication skills and developed their digital footprint, which will help them to demonstrate their skills to future employers.
    • Students used knowledge obtained from these media clips within their exam answers, so it had a positive impact on their learning.
    • Academic staff could easily incorporate rich media into their modules.
    This project was presented at the recent ALT-C conference in Manchester, UK.

    UCL is developing a similar, student-led project and is calling for both staff and students to take part.
    • We need students to volunteer to become bloggers and approach their tutors to incorporate their blog posts into their Moodle courses – E-Learning Environments can help with the technicalities.
    • We need tutors to volunteer to promote this to their student;  incorporate the ‘viewing lists’ into their Moodle courses and help with tagging.

    Find out more and sign up here…