Purpose: E-learning continues to have an enormous impact on learning and teaching in higher education. This paper is part of a three year ongoing research project into student fully online learning in arts education. Published findings from earlier stages have found that student use of demonstration videos revealed complex relationships between the use of videos in an active and participatory way, the construction of deep understandings, and connections between videos and the professional context. This paper builds significantly upon these findings.
Method: This ongoing research project explores the application of e-learning to a pre-service teacher unit in music and visual arts education in one Australian university. This project uses multiple methods of data collection (survey and interviews) and data have been analysed through inductive category construction. This paper focuses on quantitative and qualitative survey data collected from pre-service teachers (n=71) in 2011 regarding their use of demonstration videos (showing the teacher and previous students working with music and the visual arts) provided in the Learning Management System and the ways in which they used these.
Results: Data confirm the value placed by students on active engagement with videos, by using them in a non-passive way such as singing along with them, or making art whilst viewing them. There is also a notable increase in the number of students using videos in this way between 2010 32% (n=17) and 2011 50% (n=30). The practical application of the learning embedded in these videos was evident with 74% (n=46) of respondents applying this learning to a practical context such as a classroom or with their family members (note: response rates for individual questions varied). Of particular interest were responses regarding student 'thinking' during their use of these videos, with 41% of respondents (n=23) stating that when using videos they thought about links to the classroom. 46% (n=26) thought about other learning such as readings or Power Points.
Conclusion: This paper confirms the value of demonstration videos as a learning tool for pre-service teachers. It also confirms the importance of using such videos in an active way. These data have also highlighted the ways in which students link their use of videos to the practical context. Further investigation of ways to link videos and practical applications may have a significant and positive outcome for pre-service teachers, and this should provide a focus for unit development and for the future direction of this research project.