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Associate Lecturers’ Involvement in Improved Practice in a SXPS288 Labcast Delivery

Tutors who work in distance education often have less opportunities to participate in important, practical science experiences with colleagues. Using synchronous technologies to facilitate real-time, simultaneous interaction and communication between individuals can help to replicate face-to-face teaching and promote peer interaction and collaborative opportunities.

This project evaluated the use of a live, interactive web broadcast (known as a labcast) as part of a tuition strategy to introduce associate lecturers (ALs) to a new planetary science experimental investigation and to explore the extent to which the briefing would fit with their tuition. We also investigated whether such an intervention would encourage more routine AL involvement in labcasting alongside the module team; fostering a sense of community and enabling ALs to promote labcasts to the student body more effectively.

The report found that ALs generally perceived that the labcast would help enhance their knowledge of the experiment before the live event. In addition, the majority felt optimistic that they could apply the information presented to their teaching. However, post-evaluation feedback revealed mixed attitudes as to how well the labcast aligned with their expectations. Focus group data further revealed some misunderstandings of the affordances of labcasts and tutors’ preferred environments for briefings.

The report recommends that ALs are given requisite training in the use of web broadcasts before a live event. Module teams that plan and deliver labcasts should prepare Stadium Live introductory videos to guide tutors through the platform and to demonstrate the differences from Adobe Connect. An opportunity to submit questions before a labcast should be offered as a way for the moderator and presenter to engage more effectively during the live event. Audience polling or widgets should reflect real, contextualised questions that are appropriate for the audience. Encouraging AL involvement earlier should be factored into the labcast design. The standard practice of tutor-briefings via Adobe Connect may be more useful in most instances. However, where experimental investigations and demonstration of apparatus are being introduced, the video resolution and quality available in labcasts are more superior.

Related Resources: 
PDF icon Venetia Brown and Alan Cayless, Labcast. eSTEeM Final Report.pdf774.23 KB

eSTEeM final report.

PDF icon Venetia Brown Appendix C.pdf79.39 KB

Appendix C - SXPS288 Labcast 3 (ALs) - Planetary Science Project Storyboard/Script.

PDF icon Venetia Brown Appendix D.pdf168.98 KB

Appendix D - Pre-labcast evaluation questionnaire.

PDF icon Venetia Brown Appendix E.pdf153.87 KB

Appendix E - Post-labcast evaluation questionnaire.

PDF icon Brown & Cayless.pdf153.13 KB

Project poster.