Monday, May 24, 2010

Silicon Coach for studying trades based skills acquisition

Had a look at Silicon Coach with Andy Hearn, CPIT tutor in the school of science who teaches students on the sports and fitness programmes and the new Batchelor of Applied Science. This software is a specialised video analysis tool for sports to record sports activities, review and analyse the movements and then to share the findings.


The software includes a video format converter which is handy. Also nifty tools for drawing lines on to the video to compare angles of movement etc. There is also the ability to run two videos side by side and to superimpose videos one on top of each other to do comparative studies. The software seems to be easy and intuitive to use. Presentations may then be build from various analysis of sports peoples’ performances and exported via email, on to DVDs, or on to ipods.

I can see some use for Silicon Coach in our multimodal study of apprentices’ learning. This is especially if we are comparing, say the movement of the tutor and the students when learning discrete skills. This skill will need to be very specialised in order to make the most of the software. However, there is no facility to annotate the videos unless we transport the videos into another programme or to do thematic analysis on video clips.

So the choice video analysis software will be dependent on what our research goal are for each of our multimodal studies. It will be worthwhile to learn how to use Silicon Coach to do at least one in-depth study of skill based learning as this area does not seem to have received much attention. Something to think about as we embark on next semester’s project on studying apprentices learning in the areas of welding and building.