Author: Colette Fuller, TELT
Colleagues from TELT and specialist technical staff within Learning and Technical Resources will soon be conducting a pilot on micro learning tutorials with students in our science labs.
The team have established that students would benefit from a short ‘refresher’ before starting their practical in the labs. Not intended to replace in class teaching, these videos should increase student’s confidence and ability:
“Students have a lot to take in when they are working in a lab, it’s often an alien environment with unfamiliar equipment in which they explore new scientific concepts. To help with the basics we thought it would be useful for them to have access to short instructional videos. These can be accessed during the practical as often as they need in the hope it builds confidence in these basic techniques allowing them to focus on the bigger concepts.” Tony Dickson (Technical manager for scientific support)
The Digital Guide will be a very brief video (maximum of 3 minutes long) and available on tablets within the lab environment. An example of the first pipetting video is here: https://youtu.be/43gliPYId7U
The pilot starts on Monday 28th January and will run during a series of practical’s which include pipetting over a three-week period. Students taking part in the pilot will be split into three groups, two will have access to the pipetting video and one wont.
Students will be evaluated with both quantitative and qualitative methods, observing student reactions and confidence in the labs, plus a short practical test at the end of the three weeks.
If the pilot is successful then the team plan to produce short videos covering a range of specific procedures, techniques and equipment. Each room will be branded appropriately and include posters, QR codes and an accompanying webpage. This then allows students to view the videos at any time they like providing ‘just in time learning’; Learning available on-demand and accessed when the learner needs it.
Longer term the team hope to expand this project into other specialist spaces such as design studios and engineering workshops.
If you’re new to micro learning, check our What students need, when they need it: meet micro learning blog post to find out the benefits and some tips to help you get started.