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MirandaNet Fellowship Casestudy

Membership List | Publications | Research | Specialist Area List | Braided Learning Ejournal

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Radio as an effective e-learning tool

to evaluate the use of Radio as an effective e-learning tool and what learning takes place amongst the participants?

David Fuller

Year of posting: 2004


From the evidence of the research, it is quite apparent that learning is taking place in this project. The intention was to discover what type of learning has taken place by the pupils involved in this, and I am pleased to say that it has been possible to isolate examples of what types from the evidence presented in the form of questionnaires and audio interviews.

To summarise, a number of different learning styles have been discovered and these are:- Experiential, Collaborative, Problem Based, Single Loop, Double Loop, Informal Learning. The evidence of the case study complements the findings in the research study. This has shown that we have informal learning taking place, and in that the form of learning has been varied and will differ depending on the level of involvement in the news team. This reflects on the work on Tennant as described earlier on in the research phase.

The audio interviews provided the best evidence for discovering what different types of learning took place, and the discussion is fully described in Appendix B. The questionnaires proved useful in that it enabled me to analyse the results according to Lazar and Preece’s definition on what makes a collaborative project. By clearly showing that all four parts of Resources, Guidance, Feedback and Enjoyment were evidenced then it proved that this was the case. I also feel that I have proved that this project is an e-learning project as defined by the research into the subject, as it follows Preece, Whittaker, Isaacs and O’Day’s criteria.

It is worth noting that the questionnaires provided some insights into what was going on in the pupils’ thoughts, but the most valuable evidence came from the audio transcripts. The questionnaires were easier to implement, but this agrees with the work carried out by Hopkins in his book on “A Teacher’s guide to Classroom Research”.

Although it took a lot of time to get the transcripts typed, having to listen to what was said as I typed out the answers, has given me a very good insight into what goes on in an area that I am responsible for. It would be very difficult to transcribe interviews for more people involved in this project.

Areas that could have been improved include a better-designed questionnaire. I would have liked to design the questionnaires after I had completed the research. Unfortunately, due to time constraints caused partly by the nature of the project, as well as timing it with the Oscar broadcast periods (in May or Nov/Dec), it meant that I had to come up with a set of questionnaires based on my experiences alone. They do provide an opportunity for the pupils to answer it and provide some useful information. 

 The interviews have clearly shown how serious these pupils take their role. I believe this is partly due to the fact that there is sense of belonging with this project, that they feel in control of their destiny. They also want to do a good job in front of their peers. I also feel there is an element of pride in what they are doing, which is providing a service to the local community. I was genuinely impressed by this attitude. This reflects on what Lave and Wenger when they discuss… “Learning involves the whole person, it implies not only a relation to a specific task, but a relation to social communities – it implies becoming a full participant, a member a kind of person.

My final point gives a clear indication of the collaborative nature of this project, and it also provides an insight into what motivates pupils to take part in this project. The news technician gave an illuminating comment, which is worth noting here. When I saw the news studios, and I thought it was such a good facility that I wanted to join up. Why on earth am I not in it? People involved in Oscar need to be good, and this is another attraction. I took the news in, as it is a good opportunity for me to show, one, technical experience, two, that I can get on with lots of people and control a large team. I think it is the best way to get into the Oscar as an experience. For me it was a good way high into the hierarchy. If I was doing this again as a third former (Year 9) I would join the news. Because news you are in the studio quite a lot, you get to know people and if you are good, you get known. I know who the best newsreaders are and they will be getting e-mails from me inviting them to become higher up in the news team and I will be training them how to do extra things… Even though it is the biggest team, it is the most intimate team in Oscar. You don’t get the presenters getting together, or the recording engineers. Whereas the news, I trained every single one of them in the days before reading. I have met every one of them during the past four weeks several times. That appealed to me…. It is fascinating and a really good experience for me to learn. And I think it has taught me a lot of skills on how to analyse something. I am very excited by what I have discovered and hope that this research will provide an idea of how useful a project like this is to develop young people’s skills and develop their learning. I have always felt that being involved in Oscar Radio and in the way that it was run, would give the pupils a chance to develop some different styles of learning, and to actually develop adult styles of learning. This I have shown by this case study.


Radio, School, Broadcasting, Learning, Informal Learning, Collaborative Learning, Problem Based Learning, Referential Learning


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