Using Pre-Lecture Resources in your Teaching

Much of my study on educational research this year has focussed on Pre-Lecture Resources, working with Dr Roisin Donnelly at DIT’s Learning Teaching and Technology Centre and my colleague Dr Claire Mc Donnell. I’ve turned into something of an evangelist for pre-lecture resources, so in order to spread the good word, I have prepared this resource guide for others thinking of using a similar strategy. I’d love to hear from anyone who has considered this approach or is using a similar approach. The guide accompanies a presentation at the 12th Annual Showcase of Learning and Teaching Innovations, DIT, Jan 2011….

Teaching Fellowship Launch Presentation

The DIT 2010-2011 Teaching Fellowships were launched on 23rd September 2010, and each recipient of a Fellowship gave a presentation on the work they plan to do. It was really nice to see what others plan to do; there was a lot of variety and a lot of overlap at the same time. My presentation – the main thrust of which was summarised in another post – is embedded below. All of the presentations can be viewed from the LTTC website. The video is streamed from the HEAnet server using the Embedded Video plugin (for the information of any WordPress…

Pooling Data in the Chemistry Lab

This article considers the concept of pooling experimental data in the teaching lab. It’s a very simple but effective technique that I have used, both in low-tech and high(er)-tech versions. Some observations from my own experiences as well as some examples from the literature are presented. What is pooling data? Pooling data, in the sense I mean here, is the aggregation of all students lab data on a particular experiment in one lab session. If ten pairs of students are completing an experiment, the pooled data would consist of a table of all individual pairs’ data, together with averaged data….

Teaching in the Laboratory: 1 – Pedagogy

Overview The post is the first of two parts of a Resource Pack that I am developing to share with practitioners like myself and is designed to provide information on teaching laboratory practicals in undergraduate science courses. In doing so it draws on the substantial amount of literature dedicated to this topic as well as innovative practices used by practising academics. It aims to provide information for readers new to practice or experienced practitioners interested in changing anything from a single practical, a suite of practicals associated with a module, right through to a change in laboratory teaching philosophy of…

PreLecture Resources: Literature Examples

This post provides some short annotations to literature involving prelecture resources/activities – the annotations are a brief summary rather than a commentary: Online Discussion Assignments Improve Students’ Class Preparation, Teaching of Psychology, 2010, 37(2), 204-209: Lecturer used pre-lecture discussion activities to encourage students to read text before attending class. It had no direct influence on examination results but students reported that they felt they understood the material better and that they felt more prepared for exams. Using multimedia modules to better prepare students for introductory physics lecture, Physical Review Special Topics – Physics Education Research, 2010, 6(1), 010108: Authors introduce…

Cognitive considerations… in practice

I posted a summary last time of what best practice from cognitive science research preached about designing online resources. Putting it into practice threw up some interesting considerations. I’ve summarised these below in light of developing my first pre-lecture resource, as well as reflections stimulated by conversations about it with my colleague Claire. The first pre-resource is for my first lecture in introductory chemistry which is based around the structure of the atom, the main components (protons, electrons and neutrons) as derived from the Rutherford model, the notion of elements and then progresses onto a discussion of isotopes, introducing the…

Cognitive Considerations in Designing E-Resources

This post aims to consider cognitive load theory and what considerations should be drawn from it in the design of electronic instructional materials. Sweller (2008) discusses several strategies for harnessing the principles of CLT in e-learning design. Several of these strategies are described by Clark and Mayer (2008), so overlap between both are discussed in tandem below. Mayer’s multimedia learning model (Mayer 2005) is used here as the underlying framework for the principles discussed. Before these are discussed, there is a brief explanation of what CLT is, along with the processes involved in learning new information. What is Cognitive Load…

Variety in Chemistry 2010

I attended the UK Variety in Chemistry Education 2010 meeting in September at Loughborough University. Variety is always a great meeting, with lots of talks from practitioners about ideas they have had and how they got on after implementing them. This is my fifth Variety, and every year I come away with useful ideas. I’ve sketched out some notes below. I think the talks presented will be available on the Physical Sciences Centre website at some stage. Keynotes Two keynote speakers gave talks at Variety. The first was my own colleague, Dr Claire Mc Donnell, who won the RSC Higher…

Interview with John Biggs

Found these on iTunesU from La Trobe University (Australia) – interviews with John Biggs (constructive alignment and problem based learning); Vaughan Prain (teaching science);  Chris Scanlan (New media for journalism students); Lorraine Ling (future of education). Nice, listenable, relatively short podcast interviews. Link to Biggs interview is here – this will open iTunes and the others are there [would like a nice iTunes embedder…?] Image Credit

BCCE Day 1

Some thoughts from BCCE Day 1 – including environmental pbl study, lab assessment methods, part 2; research awareness following innovations in lab teaching; cognition studies, using videos of students and developing models if students’ conceptions of acid strength; part 3 – students problems with molarity in chemistry. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3: