Value in Formative Assessments

PART OF THE CREATIVE multimedia degree programme running at the Limerick Institute of Technology involves formative assessments during several modules.

I conduct a series of team interviews in the campaign phase of the PR module when I offer qualitative feedback to students about client briefs, treatments, storyboards, use of project management software and time-keeping. I use formative assessments to determine whether I should change my approach as a lecturer. On several occasions, Feedback from formative assessments has helped me modify the emphasis I place on learning objectives. When I worked as an Air Force instructor pilot, formative assessment was essential because of the need to address student pilot performance. In my current practise, feedback also helps improve performance while simultaneously improving the content I deliver.

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Diving into Google Plus

Upvoting the Last Space WalkGOOGLE PLUS FEATURES in every creative multimedia module that I teach on the Clonmel campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology because I believe its infrastructure facilitates collaboration.

Many of our third level students are nonplussed by their first view of the G+ ecosystem because when they sign up and look at what's there, they often see just themselves. You have to build your Circles before you can see a result. I've made a short five minute YouTube video that shows a little activity inside Google Plus as I tap and scroll through my circles. You can play the clip inline below the break.

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Merging into the High-Speed Trust Lane

Trusted HingeTHE 2011-12 ACADEMIC year starts with the Limerick Institute of Technology trying to work out how to leverage trust in the newly-formed large institution. From where I sit, there needs to be a greater awareness of helping people to find their "flow" -- their maximum effectiveness in an organisation -- and to ensure the organisation fosters mutual trust.

At the moment, small tribal teams have encamped throughout the organisation Those teams feed on implicit trust. But when the tribes surface inside the larger organisation, trust often breaks down. This leads to the growth of process and the oozing lethargy of bureaucracy.

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Hopes and Fears on Campus

Next Generation IrelandNEW LIT STUDENTS shouted out their hopes and fears for their academic adventure ahead in the School of Tipperary.

Several said they wanted to "get" something specific: a job, good grades, a degree, a girlfriend, answers to questions and long-term contacts. Several arrived on campus hoping for a new life experience, to meet new people, and to enjoy the creative multimedia course they are starting. Some of the 40 new students expressed specific things they would like to learn: sound editing, creating a credible portfolio, and the skills to start a new business. These are commendable hopes. But there are fears expressed with the hopes.

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CAO Acceptance Readings

THE FIRST ROUND of CAO acceptances have filtered into Tipperary Institute and it looks like 22 new faces will meet me for Media Writing. I'm getting the inside scoop on these first year students by paging through Managing Generation Y by Carolyn Martin and Bruce Tulgan. They say that members of Generation Y "want to be 'paid volunteers' -– to join organizations not because they have to, but because they really want to, because there's something significant happening there." Gen-Yers may share their lecturers' passion for multimedia but with a twist. They don't do things exactly the way they're told. They don't expect a long apprenticeship doing on the way up the payscale.

Some things I have noted about this slice of the Irish population:

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Get Broadband Study Buddies

I THOUGHT THAT I was among a small minority when it comes to using Skype and Instant Messaging in a study environment. Every time I sit down at my work desk, I click through a half-dozen IM texts and about the same number of Skype voice mails. Nearly every one of them deal with third level questions or queries about possible research projects. Less than a hundred miles away, there's a hive of study buddies using Skype, according to Robin Blanford.

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Essential Reading

AD AGE -- We need to get college students to read more because Irish reading habits parallel those documented in the States. Time spent reading appears to be diminishing, with older people (age 75+) reading about 72 minutes per day while teens spend just seven minutes a day with written material (not counting homework or time on the Internet).
Young adults and the middle-aged didn't do much better: those age 20-34 read 10 minutes a day and 45- to 54-year-olds read 19 minutes. Meanwhile, there appears to be plenty of time for TV: college-educated workers spend about 1.4 hours a day in front of the tube, while unemployed high school graduates watch four hours a day.

NewsScan -- "Where Does The Time Go?"


RobodumpTRIGGUR -- In Tipperary Institute, we have Robocode, a competition to the end for electronic tanks that battle on screen. Inside one of the toilets, we might have Robodump, an MP3 loop filled with creative sounds normally heard and quickly repressed. It challenges even the most open-minded advocates of performance art. The demented Kevin Kelm stuck it into his men's room and reports that "the office was abuzz all morning with gossip about the guy in the bathroom. Several people theorized it was the CFO. The janitor commented to someone in the hallway that he wanted to clean the restroom but 'this guy's been in there all morning.'"