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Digital video analysis of a multimedia product

Knibb, K., Herrington, J. and Denham, J. (1997) Digital video analysis of a multimedia product. In: ASCILITE 1997: What works and why, 7 - 10 December 1997, Curtin University, Perth pp. 342-347.

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This paper begins by describing VideoSearch, a recently developed multimedia software product designed as a research tool to allow researchers to digitise and analyse video on a computer. Codes and labels can be linked to any segment of a digitised video. Identified segments of the video can be recalled at any time. Because the program stores video in a digital format on a hard disk, access and playback of any video segment is almost instantaneous. Simple summary statistics are also available. Next the paper reports on how this product has been used to precisely categorise how students use a multimedia product. The allocation of time to different student activities in formal university settings, has been a subject of interest to researchers in recent years. For example, in a study of the distribution of time devoted to a variety of learning activities, Laurillard found that 'attending' was by far the most common activity. By contrast, anyone who has observed a child playing on a video arcade or Sega/Nintendo game will have noticed that the child has a very active role. However, there is very little time for the child to think in responding to the various challenges presented by the life-and-death situations. Children react rather than consider. For many of these programs, the educational value for the player is inversely proportional to the reaction time required. Both of these situations point to possible shortcomings in learning environments: the first in denying students an active role, the second, in denying a reflective role. The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt make the point that the learning environments they produce are meant to be explored and discussed at length rather than simply read or watched. In this vein, a program on assessment in mathematics was produced according to principles of situated learning or situated cognition. The program was designed to minimise students' keyboard responses, and maximise thoughtful, active reflection and discussion between the users. As part of an interpretive study into how students use interactive multimedia, small groups of students were videotaped using the assessment resource. VideoSearch was used to facilitate the analysis by coding excerpts of videotaped material into user- defined categories. The findings of the study suggest that an interactive multimedia program based on a situated learning model is conducive to promoting student activities other than attending behaviour. Unlike the traditional university courses mentioned by Laurillard and McNaught, with their emphasis on the transmission mode, the students using the assessment program were able to reflect and discuss their learning for a substantial portion of the available time.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
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Notes: Appears In: What works and why : reflections on learning with technology : ASCILITE, 1997
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