Guest: A student advocate for the professional context vlog assessment

For those who follow my posts you will know I am a strong advocate of what I term the ‘professional context assessment vlog‘. Here, guest contributor, Kieran Hughes, reflects on the skills development achieved from the VLOG assessment integrated into one of my online Human Resource Management graduate modules.

A newer assessment model helps equip students for the future of work

The first part of the module focused on Artificial Intelligence Technology to support talent management, with focus on AI tools used in an educational settings (AIEd) and assessing how these can be applied to the workplace. Also, themes encompassing the ‘evolution of the employee’ were explored, where it can be seen that the normal 9-5 office routine is slowly being replaced by agile ways of working: anytime, anywhere, any device with a focus on collaborative technology and adaptive learning. The second part of the module was to present a video presentation to a board of directors, honing in on creating a culture that adhere to an agenda of openness, flexibility, fairness and a participative leadership style.


Before starting the ‘vlog’ element of the assessment, I was a little apprehensive on the concept of delivering a presentation in this new format. I kept asking myself “how am i going to illustrate frameworks and models without a PowerPoint presentation behind me?” I also thought the assessment would be another voice-over presentation, which I feel is an ineffective way of getting key messages across, especially in today’s ‘screen obsessed’ way of working. I know my peers felt the same way too, we wanted out audiences to visualise what were talking about, so I was able to adapt through selecting key concepts as overlays as a form of digital story telling. I felt happy that I found a way to create a professional looking, informative vlog which captured online audience attention. I was happy this mode of assessment equipped me and my peers with essential skills for the future of work – more remote, connected and digital.

As the MBA course is delivered online, I was sceptical and worried that presentation skill development would be left behind. However, assessment by vlogging overcame this! I felt that I was delivering a presentation to my actual audience. I felt confident and ready to use my notes as a prompt of explanation, supported by overlays containing key frameworks. I enjoyed this mode of assessment; new skills were developed including filtering key salient points for maximum engagement, editing skills and a development of self-confidence while using technology for academic presentations.

Analysis

The module content was very relevant to current industry trends, such as industry 4.0, which could be said to optimise the computerisation of industry 3.0. Achieving the learning outcomes including critically evaluating business environments and analysing how resourcing is influenced by new technologies, by using new technologies made total sense.

I started to research into why I felt initially anxious about this new type of assessment design, and why some of my peers ‘got the concept’ more than others. It started to make sense when I was looking at the wider sociological factors involved in the workplace. Looking closely at engagement trends and characteristics of generations X,Y,X and Alpha (fig.1 ), it was clear to see that my generation, Z, brought up in a digital society would lean towards technology as an aid for multi-modal learning. A vlog format is perfect for this – being both digital and… human.

Fig 1: Extract from Gen Z and Gen Alpha Infographic (McCrindle, 2020)


My personal initial reservations of a vlog assessment have been fully dissolved. I can see how this assessment model equips learners for modern work, to builds essential skills ready for an always-developing digital workplace, and how it equips organisations for vital contingency planning – which is very relevant at the moment with the horrendous pandemic. Digital skills are essential to keep the industry running.


I now continue to research into digital transformation agendas across workplaces and education, how equipped organisations are for Generation Alpha and how education is changing in a wider sociological context.


Kieran Hughes, is engaged in the part-time online MBA. He works for the City & County of Swansea. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kieran-hughes/


Images: adapted banner (aternity.com); extract infographic (McCrindle.com.au)

Linked posts & research

To VLOG or not to VLOG for Industry 4.0?

An industry advocate for graduate vloggers

Back to the future: the journey of one vlog

Healey-Benson, F. (2020) ‘Vlog: A key tool for business & education in crises’, ICDE PARTNERS AND MEMBERS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DISTANCE AND ONLINE TEACHING, ICDE, Available: https://www.icde.org/recommendations-for-distance-teaching.

Healey-Benson, F. (2020) ‘Success Story 1 – Vlogging’ in ‘The ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of Technology-Enhanced Assessment Seminar’, Dublin City University Teaching Enhancement Unit, National Institute for Digital Learning, 5th March 2020.

Healey-Benson, F. (2019) ‘Technology-Enhanced Assessment – Exemplar 1’. In Lowney, R. & Stone S., (2019) ‘Crowd-sourcing an OER: Exemplars and Case Studies of Technology-Enhanced Assessment’ [367], ALT (Association of Learning Technologies) Winter Conference 2019, 11-12 December 2019.

Healey-Benson, F. (2019)’ To Vlog or Not to Vlog’, ICDE’s 28th World Conference on Online Learning, Dublin, Ireland, 4-7th November 2019. *Short-listed by the Sponsors of the WCOL (800+ delegates from over 80 countries) as ‘Best Concise Paper’ of the Conference

Healey-Benson, F. (2019) ‘Vlogging Skills for Industry 4.0’, Wales NEXUS Conference 2019, University of Wales, Swansea, 10th July 2019.


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