With the new academic year officially started, the eLearning team reflect on a few recent projects involving Actionbound.
What is Actionbound?
“Actionbound is a tool that lets you build an interactive learning object, treasure hunt (using GPS features), orientation exercise etc. that includes interactions from the participants. Participation is delivered via a mobile app and data relating to the participation is recorded via a web interface.”. You find out more about Actionbound at Brighton here, or go to the Actionbound website. If you wish to use Actionbound at the University of Brighton, get in touch with your local Learning Technologies Adviser
Kevin Morton (School of Sport Management) used Actionbound to create a orientation activity for new Physical Education students. The challenge was the number of students involved (~110 students to complete the course over a few hours). Kevin was keen to ensure students could be given variations on the activity to prevent them following each other round campus.
The bound was broken down into four stages, each stage representing a ‘zone’ on campus. Students were sent off in a staggered sequence from a central location, to one of the four zones. On their return to the central location, the next zone could be accessed by scanning an appropriate QR code, which was randomly selected by the tutor. Once all zones were complete the students could return to the central location one final time to submit their results. Students had to answer questions about the campus and take selfies to prove their location.
Overall the activity was a success and Kevin now has a reusable resource for subsequent years
Art & Design History in Brighton
For the last couple of years we’ve run an Actionbound with HD407 – Art and Design History in Brighton: Places and Processes. The aim was to encourage students to get out and experience the art in the city, and takes the user to such disparate sites as the India Memorial Gate and the Graffiti in Kensington Street.
The trail was created by Lecturer Megha Rajguru, and at each location the user has to answer some questions and undertake a challenge, which include such things as recording a team member reading the inscription on the India Gate, and discussing whether the graffiti is art? The trail has four versions, each with a different start point, to even out the flow of students. It takes about 90 minutes and is mainly on the flat. 90 minutes is pushing the limits of the novelty factor, and can lead to frustration by failure of GPS signal, or app crashes. In the rare instances users have lost signal they’ve managed to skip the section and find their way back, and likewise the rare app crashes have recovered to the right point. Preparation for the activity is important, and getting students to download the app beforehand is key, as is starting and finishing the trail on the eduroam network (and checking users can access the eduroam network) so as not to burn through data plans. When planning the trail we used Google maps to work out how far the trail ran, and how long it might take, which was a useful feature.
Checking and updating trails is important as with any learning resource. When we originally created this trail the i360 wasn’t complete, so our original version had images of a construction site rather than the sleek structure now in place, and needed updating. Likewise since creation the graffiti in Kensington Street has been overpainted in places, and a whole new side of a building painted with pictures of dogs as part of the Festival, which changes the context of the questions posed about whether graffiti is art. Overall the activity goes down well, and allows students and staff to engage in an activity without those roles being so important. Whilst this trail does have points, and there has been a certain rivalry between teams to get round quicker, or gain more points, the majority of trail users seem to value the opportunity to experience the art around them.
Movie location treasure hunt for Media students
Incoming Media students at Falmer Campus were this year able to take part in a fun course-themed orientation task which encouraged them to explore Brighton, engage with technology and start to develop their reflective skills.
Ross Adamson and Patricia Mcmanus, who both teach on Media courses at Falmer, wanted a “photo mapping” solution for this induction week assignment, which was based around the 1979 film Quadrophenia, and a means for students to take selfies at the selected Brighton locations which featured in the classic film. Actionbound offers this capability, firstly through its geo-targeted nature and secondly through the various mission tasks including an option to take and upload a photo at each location.
The students were given a starting point for the mission: Brighton Pier. They had to reach this location for the Actionbound to begin. The app’s features were further called into task to develop the orientation exercise. This included the ability to add media content to the instructions (video clips) while at the same time students were asked to record a short (30-second) reflective video at the locations. They were also asked, as their final mission, to take a group selfie in a location which, for them, best represents youth culture in Brighton today.
Finally, Actionbound’s results page, which can be accessed by an instructor through the website, offered the chance to run a presentation and feedback session whereby students were able to show their efforts to the rest of the group and receive feedback from peers and tutors.
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If you wish to use Actionbound at the University of Brighton, get in touch with your local Learning Technologies Adviser