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Video learning tool wins award

Monday 28 July 2014 12:17pm

CALT Steve Gallagher
2014 CALT Award winner Dr Steve Gallagher. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

An online video-based system that allows students and tutors to separately critique a patient interview won the second annual Committee for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT) awards held recently.

The CALT Awards for Enhancing Teaching and Learning with Technology were created last year to recognise staff using technologies to enhance teaching and learning here at Otago.

This year’s top prize went to Dr Steve Gallagher of the Department of Psychological Medicine for Using an online video annotation to develop communication and self-reflection skills in Medical and Dental students.

"It was about trying to find a way to increase opportunity for students to reflect on what they have done, and also finding a system that decreased reliance on the aging technology of DVDs."

Dr Gallagher says he was "thrilled" to win first prize for his teaching innovation, which was designed to increase students learning when talking to an actor 'patient' in difficult scenarios, such as breaking the news of a sudden death to a spouse. The conversation is filmed, and in the past students and tutors would watch the DVD together.

"We were often consoling, coaching and assessing all at once without any preparation," Dr Gallagher explains. "It was about trying to find a way to increase opportunity for students to reflect on what they have done, and also finding a system that decreased reliance on the aging technology of DVDs."

Dr Gallagher worked with local company Siliconcoach to establish a pilot, online video-based approach. They used Siliconcoach's online product "Bracken Learning" to upload the videos to a secure site so that only the student and their tutor could access it. The system includes a video analysis tool, which lets both students and tutors watch, pause and leave comments attached to specific time codes.

"It makes it easy for students and tutors to leave comments. Then we can sit down together and have a face-to-face discussion on the issues that we have each identified. It allows a proper, deep conversation about the scenario. And it means less time watching the video together, and more time for reflection and coaching."

The finalists presented their technologies to a panel of judges, who then chose the winners.

"I was pleased to be short-listed even," Dr Gallagher says. "It was a good experience to have to stand up and present it to an interested audience."

First prize was NZ$5000, which Dr Gallagher hopes to put towards attending a teaching and learning conference in the United Kingdom.

Last year the competition was won jointly by Dr Simon Stebbings of Medicine and Mr Tony Zaharic of Biochemistry, with Dr Ben Wooliscroft of Marketing coming second.


The Otago Bulletin first published this story on 28 July 2014.