Dr Kit Yates shared his experiences of using the media to publicise research, research inspired teaching, and also using iPads in class for teaching. A brief write up is below, and you can also download the full presentation for more detail. A recording is available to watch now.
Public engagement focused on your own specific research has the benefits of allowing you to:
- become more familiar with your own research and being able to explain it engagingly and in an easy to understand way
- think about impact and then generate grant applications
- generate publicity for your work and get the recognition you deserve.
Kit spoke about his experiences of writing for The Conversation (a news site written by academics from around the world, to which the University of Bath pays a subscription), having his work covered by various journalists for different publications and even speaking on BBC radio 4’s Today programme
Research inspired teaching
Research inspired teaching in beneficial for both students and teachers. Students have some real world context of what they are learning, begin to think like experts and develop a deeper knowledge rather than rope learning. Staff can then give more engaging and interactive lectures, while also being able to reflect further on their own research while learning from students.
Flipping the problem class
Intended learning outcomes of the unit were out of line with what was actually being delivered, and the material taught didn't fully align with summative assessment.
Rather than running through problems and pre-written code in class, pre-recorded solutions with audio feedback were recorded with an iPad were put onto panopto/Moodle for students to learn in their own time. This then allowed Kit to construct code from scratch in the face to face sessions, in a much more engaging and useful way to teach the students coding.
Lecturing with an iPad
Lecturing with an iPad is the alternative to using white/blackboards, visualisers or slides, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of lecturing with an iPad:
- Lectures can be uploaded quickly
- Can efficiently switch between media
- Can quickly back reference previous sections or lectures
- Great for large lecture theatres as the text is always readable
- No focussing problems which can occur on visualisers
- No moving sheets up and down, so students can follow easily
- Facilitates flipping
- All the features of pen and paper, and many more (colours, highlighters, etc.)
Disadvantages of lecturing with an iPad:
- Requires (lots of practice)
- Set up is difficult and requires time each lecture
- Lots of gear needed: iPad, HDMI/VGA adapters, styles, case, etc.)
- Doesn't get significantly better feedback from students
- Need a special pen/stylus for optimum writing
Kit uses an app called GoodNotes to write on. His iPad is connected to the first projector, and then also syncs the document to his laptop which projects the previous page onto a second projector. This means students can see the current page which Kit is writing as well as the previous page. In University Hall there is Apple TV which means he can wirelessly connect his iPad allowing him more mobility in lectures.
Student feedback on the use of the iPad is varied, but the iPad is generally considered to be no worse than black/whiteboards or visualisers. A selection of feedback received is given below:
“I don't think the use of the iPad enhanced learning.”
“I like the iPad with the two screens showing old and new material.”
“I prefer the iPad/visualiser as white board pens are usually quite low on ink.”
“Prefer whiteboards – if I fall behind I know it will still be somewhere on the boards.”
“Standing up and writing on the board is more engaging.”