Sociocultural Pedagogy and The Use of Digital Video in Higher Education

Robertson, Derek James (2022). Sociocultural Pedagogy and The Use of Digital Video in Higher Education. EdD thesis The Open University.



This study considers how digital video can be used to support a sociocultural approach to teaching and learning in higher education (HE). While the existing literature focusses mostly on video as content, this study considers video production by students, applying sociocultural theory to this area for the first time.

The study identifies eleven themes that represent a practical pedagogy informed by sociocultural theory. A model is created to assess the use of video in HE and the assumptions about knowledge and learning behind the approaches taken. From this a divide between the use of video for knowledge transfer and the use of video for knowledge creation is identified. The study focusses on the latter of these.

A qualitative approach is adopted, utilising documentary, interview and observational data, using thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) and the critical incident technique (Flanagan, 1954) to consider the pedagogy as specified, enacted and experienced (Nind et al., 2016) for four groups of students and educators involved in assessed video production activities at two HE institutions. The focus on observed student activity in video production is unique to this study.

The study finds that, while not always acknowledged as such, sociocultural approaches inform or are apparent in all of the activities studied. Video production supports a participative and situated approach to pedagogy and encourages collaboration and reflection. Student agency and creativity are dependent on the level and nature of scaffolding provided and, thus, the extent to which the activity is teacher led or student centred.

The importance of the process of video production to learning is a key finding as is the recommendation that assessments be designed to support learning throughout the activity and not just focussed on the final output. The study concludes with a comprehensive set of recommendations for practitioners designing video production activities.

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