Technical and academic partnership : building audio and video into a virtual learning resource

West, Janice and Johnston, Aidan (2009) Technical and academic partnership : building audio and video into a virtual learning resource. In: 4th International Blended Learning Conference, 2009-06-17 - 2009-06-18, University of Hertfordshire.

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Increasingly available in digital formats, the recorded spoken words from the last 80 years reflect a wide range of cultural phenomena. Every day this rich source of voice material is added to by the archiving of “born digital” recordings of contemporary radio. Digital voice can be heard through the internet but is it of use in teaching? Spoken Word Services has been developing various techniques to make audio available to teachers, students and other scholars. As the result of a licensing agreement between Glasgow Caledonian University and the BBC, a wide variety of materials from the BBC Sound Archives has greatly enhanced the ‘usability’ of recorded spoken word in support of classroom related activities for students in a diverse range of disciplines. Clydetown is a fictitious town that is populated by a number of virtual families, each with their own social and health issues that bring them into contact with a range of services and service providers. Students utilise these materials to construct their own understandings of the issues and to discuss and debate with others. They are encouraged to test the theories and understandings taught in more traditional forms (lectures, journals, etc.) against the authentic lived experiences of those who are directly involved. The media used combines original testimony and that provided by actors, both offering the students the opportunity to engage at different levels with this complex content.