2006 Teaching and Learning Symposium

3:00-4:30 p.m., April 25, 2006
Mary Gates Commons


Session Description

Video Traces

Reed Stevens, Cognitive Studies in Education

Our session. In this poster and demonstration, we will present Video Traces as a tool for learning and teaching in higher education. It has been used in a variety of educational contexts at UW over the last five years and in this session we will share examples and discuss future opportunities. We invite visitors to our session to bring their own ideas about how they might use Video Traces in their own learning and teaching.

What it is. Video Traces is a digital annotation medium with which people capture and circulate ideas in a particular digital form. The objects that people make and circulate within Video Traces are called traces. The basic conceptual formula for composing traces can be expressed by the formula: base + annotation = trace. The base is a still digital image or a segment of digital video. The annotation is made with ordinary modes of communication: speaking, pointing and drawing. Base and annotation get layered together to make a trace.

What we want to accomplish. The goal of Video Traces is to support an approach to educational practice that actively engages people as critical collaborators, makers, revisers, and producers of ideas. Video Traces is a representational medium that seems to be a relatively natural and straightforward one for learners to generate ideas, to critically reflect on them, to revise them, and to get feedback on these ideas from many others.

Where we’ve been. Since 2001, Reed Stevens has led a group conducting design experiments from the College of Education using Video Traces. Researchers have studied traces in a wide variety of contexts: coaches with athletes, choreographers with dancers, professors with students, nurses with patients, future teachers and teacher educators, and learning science researchers in an interdisciplinary center for learning research. Our experiments suggest traces are a potentially effective approach for making learning and teaching more concrete, visible, and compelling by allowing distributed conversations over what we call ‘common objects’. We are also exploring how Video Traces can support productive ‘conceptual collisions’ in interdisciplinary research and, more generally, support conversations that allow for different perspectives to be represented. 

Where we are headed. We are interested in building a consortium of educators at UW and elsewhere in the region who wish to join our early adopters in a network of users of Video Traces. Please stop by if you are interested.

For a recent UWeek article, see http://uwnews.org/uweek/uweekarticle.asp?cachecommand=create&articleID=21782