Video-calling as a real time blended learning tool
Ali Melling – Project Manager Volunteering Section, School of Social Work, Care & Community
This case study is about an online virtual tool to evaluate why communities, young people and families from marginalised communities in Lancashire and the unitary authorities of Blackpool and Blackburn are not engaging with activity.
The Centre for Volunteering and Community leadership exists to empower communities for positive change. Here it seeks to deliver a high-quality research exercise co created with communities, families and young people addressing inactivity. In working with communities, families and young people the Centre will help them to co create policy and practice solutions that will change the dominant narrative on sport and physical activity being the property of the ‘best’ and create a new inclusive narrative and active community culture.
Situational Context Activity and physical fitness levels in England are poor. In 2014, England was given a grade c-d in the global matrix for fitness Since then, out of the 9 measures, 4 have deteriorated further, whilst the rest remain unchanged overall. Young people are facing particular challenges and English children are now the least active in the world, with children who do not achieve 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity on all seven days in the last week or achieve less than 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity on three to six days in the last week. Nationally this accounts for 35%-45% of boys and between 47%-60% of girls. During 2015, the Cabinet Office produced a paper, Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation, to build upon the momentum of the Olympics and extend this to the non-Olympic Sports and activity in General.
Since 2013, the activity agenda has been devolved to local authorities, many of whom contracted the obligation out to external suppliers such as Greenwich Leisure Ltd. However, the activity agenda is a complex pyscho-social issue, bringing together issues relating to poverty, obesogenic environments, safeguarding and perceived dangers, Disillusioned Parent Disorder (DPD), body image, gender and sexuality, self-worth, and community culture. The answer is not simply in providing amenities, but in understanding what being active means to different people. Sport and activity in general must be demand led, ‘addressing the different motivations, attitudes, and lifestyles’ in a flexible manner. Approaches must be out-reaching, holistic and embrace those facing complex pyscho-social, practical and economic barriers. There are many sensitivities to consider when researching subjects relating to young people, families, communities and their perceptions of self. This digi-research project seeks to work with communities, families and young people to enable participants to examine their own situations in a sensitive and non-judgemental manner and co create the research needed to effectively shape policy and practice. Solution: No Ball Games Allowed Sport England in their report on youth participation, ‘Under the skin: understanding youth personalities to help young people get active’, drew our attention to what engages young people and we have built this into our methods: Interactive, using technology and/or gaming Social, therefore allowing them to maintain their social lives and connect with like-minded people Rewarding. Personalised, or able to make their own, in the sense that they are actively co creating knowledge, and fitting with their lives. Inspiring, unique, different, something they can be proud of or help them stand out Creative, visual content which is shareable is more engaging. Young people see themselves as creators and curators of online content, not just consumers. Engaging
communities, young people and families to work with us in the co creation of research requires sensitivity so that no individual will feel uncomfortable, stereotyped or victimised in any way. The digi-concept that is being employing by the Centre is based upon the principles of social and environmental justice.