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ERIC Number: EJ1124427
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1449-9789
Communication Idol: Using Popular Culture to Catalyse Active Learning by Engaging Students in the Development of Entertaining Teaching and Learning Resources
Dune, Tinashe; Bidewell, John; Firdaus, Rubab; Kirwan, Morwenna
Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, v13 n5 Article 15 2016
Bringing popular culture to tertiary education can potentially increase student engagement with learning tasks and content, especially when the learning task has students producing the content. Using a single-group intervention plus post-test design, this study implemented and evaluated a purposely developed learning and teaching innovation capitalising on popular and consumer culture to promote active over passive learning in a large, interprofessional health science unit. Students were invited to develop educational video presentations in a friendly competition based on high-rating television musical and vocal talent quests, with cash prizes based on peer ratings, this being the intervention. From a cohort of 569 students in 12 undergraduate allied health programs, 14 students in seven teams of 1 to 3 students produced seven, high-quality videos about communication in professional health practice, and recorded their experiences of doing so. Ratings showed the majority found the process fun (85%) and instructive (64%), with 29% finding the task harder than expected. The prospect of prizes along with intrinsic motivators were reasons for producing a video. A further 285 students viewed the productions and for extra marks completed evaluation of the videos' educational value. Videos were perceived as an educationally valuable yet entertaining way to engage unit content. Producers of videos rated the teaching and learning experience significantly more positively than students not involved in production. Qualitative analysis of open-ended responses supported relevant numerical findings. Barriers to producing videos were identified as time, resources, confidence and lack of a team. Results should encourage educators contemplating similar initiatives. The project highlights benefits of harnessing popular genres with which students identify, to encourage involvement in producing educationally justifiable content that rewards both performer and audience. The project shows how learning content and tasks created and presented in familiar and entertaining formats can catalyse students' agentic engagement in tertiary curricula.
University of Wollongong. Available from: Centre for Educational Development and Interactive Resources. Northfields Avenue, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia. Tel: +61-2-4221-3140; Fax: +61-2-4225-8312; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A