Category Archives: Projects

Student generated videos – a novel way of reinforcing core concepts

My colleague Dr Susie Riley at The University of Manchester has deepened students’ understanding of some of the core concepts within aerospace engineering by getting 1st year students to produce short videos of the four main forces that act on an aircraft – lift, thrust, drag and gravity- and how they interact to get and keep an aricraft airborne.  The results are impressive, especially when some of the students hadn’t heard of elevators before the course.

Another colleague Dr Martin Gillie (@martin_gillie) teaching Structures to 1st year civil engineering students at The University of Manchester was  pleased to receive this particularly creative coursework submission .

It came in response to a coursework brief that asked students to ” identify study and research the behaviour and design of an existing structure. Present your findings on a maximum of two sides of A4 or equivalent (e.g. 1 side of A3, or a short video or any other means of communication)…”

Such student generated content can be a powerful tool for learning, and the content created can be reused or repurposed for future cohorts.

Additional Material posted 3rd April 2017

Dr Keith Brown at The University of Bath posted these instructions on a quick and simple method of generating short videos armed with nothing more than powerpoint, a storyboard, a USB microphone and a mobile phone camera.  Its well worth a read and I will definitely be doing a bit of experimenting with this over the summer.  My thanks go to Keith (@KeithBrownBath) for allowing me to share his work.

Students’ use of rich-media material

Further to my earlier study of students’ use of rich media materials , I have recently been collaborating with my colleagues Martin Gillie and Andy Gibson on a project which looks at how students use a variety of “rich-media”, such as key-concept videos and tutorial solution videos.  Our aim was to investigate how students on first year technical courses used media-rich material and the findings were fascinating. You can read a summarised version here on Martin Gillie’s blog.

Using the VLE to support large class postgraduate teaching

Over the last 7 years I have learned to live with large class sizes.  Its not my preferred way of teaching as getting involvement and interaction from serried Screenshot 2015-07-14 16.18.10ranks of learners can be difficult, especially when many come from very different academic cultures and are not native English speakers.

So, I rely heavily on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to support my teaching.

Here is why I do this.

1. I want students to view the face to face lectures as only the start of the learning process and so I would like students to be able to access a range of additional resources to help their learning.  For example I have written a traditional module workbook that contains the core unit content for those students that prefer this approach, but have supplemented this with links to case studies, videos and narrated slide presentations to help students who learn differently. Continue reading Using the VLE to support large class postgraduate teaching

Student perspectives on formative feedback: an exploratory comparative study

Despite improvements in recent years, there is evidence that there remains general dissatisfaction among students in the UK HE sector, with regard to the feedback they
receive (HEFCE 2014). Reasons for this dissatisfaction are diverse and not always clear, despite there being much anecdotal evidence that teaching staff already believe they are meeting students’ needs by providing plenty of feedback.Student lecture theatre

This project was an exploratory study into student perceptions of  formative feedback in two schools from the faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Manchester. The aim was to gain a better understanding of student preferences as to the function, content and mode of delivery of formative feedback. Continue reading Student perspectives on formative feedback: an exploratory comparative study

The potential for blogging and micro-blogging in teaching: Personal reflections on practice

Another colleague of mine Professor Andy Gale (@AWGale)  has recently reflected on the potential for blogging and microblogging in teaching.  Here is a link to the article which  includes suggestions for developing good habits in relation to blogging and microblogging ( AWG ImagePotential for blogging and micro blogging in teaching ) I post it here with his permission and hope it may be useful to those of you considering similar changes to your teaching practice .  Andy also blogs at  andy gale.