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Open Workshop

Open Workshop 

MultiMedia: A Picture is worth a Thousand Words


This is a one hour facilitated workshop which you are welcome to re-use inside your own institution  with colleagues and with students, you can facilitate the session yourself or get your students to do so. We have provided a structure which we hope engages colleagues in an exploration of the exciting, innovative and effective deployment of digital resources in higher education practice across all disciplines.

We use the DiAL-e Framework (Digital Artefacts for Learner Engagement) to experiment with models of student engagement. This framework was initially developed to support academics in tertiary education using video resources to stimulate and engage learners in meaningful and challenging activities as part of a JISC Digitisation programme (2006-08).

The DiAL-e has demonstrated its transformative potential and continues to serve to illuminate the theoretical and practical guidance around how to use digital video in student engagement led approaches. Tested and validated in a series of workshops with over 100 academics during the academic year 2007-2008, and professional seminars with more than 200 academics since, the evidence has been that teachers have shifted their prevailing mindset or perspectives when faced with a 'disorientating dilemma' such as the unfamiliar approach of the DiAL-e framework.

This workshop is to help you engage with video, and other digital resources in a new way, and provides colleagues with the opportunity to engage in practical learning design scenarios to explore how they might deploy the enormous wealth of digital resources available in different disciplines.


The workshop has been divided into 5 sections

  1. The framework: prioritising learning engagement over subject content
  2. Illustrating the 'engagement' principle - Inquiry
  3. The Learning Designs and Spaces
  4. Digital Manipulations
  5. Resources

Section 1: The framework: prioritising learning engagement over subject content

An outline of what the framework 'is'. There are two versions provided.

A 5 Minute Overview - this is an narrated Prezi that talks through the PDF handout available below under resources. The file is a YouTube Video and will load in a new browser window.

    • Activity: Watch this video and then discuss with colleagues the notion that an engagement approach to archival searching for media is preferable to a subject-based approach.

A more comprehensive 15 minute review of the framework and its structure is also available.  This Stand-alone presentation made for the JISC-UK Innovating e-Learning online Conference, October 2008.  Whilst the framework has matured in the last three years, this still serves as a good overview to the framework itself and some of its early exemplars. This is an Adobe Presenter file and therefore requires Flash to play. The file will load in a new browser window: Stand alone Adobe Presenter Overview

Section 2: Illustrating the 'engagement' principle - Inquiry

Here is an example of just one of the engagement designs: Inquiry.

Activity: You may choose to either:

  • Watch the raw video clip from the archive
      • This clip has been 'chopped' from the Teacher example below using TubeChop.


Consider how you might ask students to derive some higher order benefit from this specific clip. What might you do to have the students develop empathy with such a clip? or synthesis?

Section 3: The Learning Designs and Spaces

The overview videos have already described the learning designs and introduced the idea of different spaces. The PDF flyer has a brief description of each learning design.

It is not the intention that any of these designs is 'exclusive' and indeed it would be quite unusual to see a student activity that didn't include at least two different designs.

DiAL-e framework 2006-2010
DiAL-e framework 2006-2012

Section 4: Digital Manipulations

The power of multimedia in education today is its portability, speed of deployment, malleable nature. Students can access materials on different devices, in spaces of their own choosing and often with the ability to feedback, comment, mash-up and annotate in a variety of ways.

Shared reflection on Video.

Having students engage directly with a video resource, with clear instructions and 'rules of engagement' can be very effective. Keep the videos short, the objective tangible and creativity flows!

You may upload a video to YouTube and enable commenting and rating, make it an unlisted video and provide the URL to only your students and moderation should be minimal. Or you may choose to embed your video inside a text discussion forum (if you VLE allows such flexibility). There are some 'dedicated multimedia discussion platforms, and one very effective one is Voicethread. Here is an example of Voicethread being used to comment on a short 60 second clips from the NFO archive and Voicethread enabling 'cloud' discussion to develop.

Voicethread for shared reflection on video – Helicopter example


What could you ask students to comment or annotate on a clip that you have identified. Find a generic clip, something that simply interests you, with no particular subject relevance, and ask your workshop participants to say how, in Voicethread, that clip could be used to engage higher order learning skills.

Editing, Chopping and Mash-Ups

It may at first appear that getting students to 'play' around with video might be something we would do at K-12 but is inappropriate at university. We think that's a mistake. Manipulating video, and other digital media, not only develops important digital literact skills in our students, it can also generating important learning engagement. Imagine how engaged a political science student would need to be with policy process, political priorities, funding decisions and every other dimension of the current United States administration if you asked them to review the last State of the Union address and identify the 30 second segment they believed would represent the administration's Achille's heel or its potential legacy. How much more engaged than if you just 'asked them'!.


Try it for yourself. Here is the 2013 State of the Union address already loaded into TubeChop. You can watch a selection, decide which segment represents the learning point identified and 'chop it' providing a text comment to accompany your clip. You could then share the link to your chopped clip with other and they can comment.

Section 5: Resources

These resources are also linked to from other pages on this site. Please feel free to share.

  • DiAL-e YouTube Channel
    • The YouTube Channel contains some examples produced for the original JISC project and some archive 'samples' used in this and other workshops
  • JISC Digitisation Projects
    • There are a great many interesting projects around archives available to the UK Subscribers of JISC
  • EdMediaShare
    • JISC's EDMediaShare project has used the DiAL-e Framework as the conceptual underpinning for its community sourced archive.
  • DiAL-e Flyer 
    • A PDF in full colour which can be used as a session handout or information flyer
  • Voicethread
    • Voicethread is  Web 2.0 Multimedia based discussion platform. It supports text, audio and webcam annotation and commentary.

If you would like Kevin or Simon to run a workshop on the DiAL-e and media with you and your colleagues please email - we're very likely to say yes!

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