Friday, 14 May 2010

H800: Weeks 13 & 14 – Activities 2b & 2c – LXP/LEX

Based on: Slide presentation
LEX Project Video Clips
I have to confess to being somewhat underwhelmed by the slide presentation, the audio logs (transcripts) and the video clips.

From a data collection point of view the use of recorded audio in itself is hardly an innovation. Qualitative researchers have used voice recordings for decades to gain an insight into peoples' perceptions. It did seem like a good idea to set up a system whereby students could call in and record their views at critical points, but this also raises the question of how representative such views are. As I understand it, students were asked to phone in at intervals with their audio logs. Having had some experience of trying to encourage students to provide feedback through various means, I can imagine how difficult it would be to get regular and reliable data.

Presenting findings in the form of a video clip makes it a bit more engaging than simply reading text, but we have to recognise that the clips are highly edited and obviously professionally produced, so they come across as being more like TV content than credible research findings.

However, the thing which struck me more than anything about this whole research project was that it must have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to reach a conclusion that students make use of technology in their studies!! In the slide presentation we are provided with a so-called "lovely example" of a student (Jack) using technologies and social networking in new ways which we might never have envisaged. What was this referring to? Jack using his mobile phone to call his friend and ask where the coursework submission sheet could be found on the University's intranet. Wow – earth shattering!! Even the video clips seem to make a big deal about things which are, in reality, the norm for most students at most universities nowadays.

Excuse my cynicism – it's Friday and it's been a long week.

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