This is the time when we take a look at how ERA-licensed material has been used over the past year by our licensees.
From the information provided on the programmes used by teaching staff in institutions, it is clear that many are being utilised in a way that is creative and imaginative. We can see this from case studies of material being used in different curriculum areas, e.g. clips from The Simpsons are used by marketing lecturers to illustrate “pester power”, and by maths teachers who encourage their students to find the “hidden” formulae or reference planted by the programme makers (several of whom were maths graduates).
The richness and diversity of programmes available on TV and radio ensures that there is a constant and ever-changing selection for educators to use in a way that stimulates learning.
Feedback from users tells us that curation of material is a key issue, and teaching staff sometimes risk being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of resources available. Often they are unaware that a programme they may wish to use is actually on the system currently because they have either assumed it is not, or have failed to search for it correctly (e.g. they may lack familiarity with the system in use).
ERA is keen to add value to the licence and to help licence holders as much as possible. With this in mind, we are currently involved in a feedback exercise with a number of HE and FE establishments in different parts of the UK.
We are in the process of creating an online user support site which will act as a repository of teaching and learning resources and incorporate some of the features of social media to encourage staff to engage with us and with each other. At present this is very much of an experiment but we hope to be able to roll it out to all licence-holders at some point in the future.