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Dr Sam Gooneratne

Our academic staff have creating a range of ingenious and innovative ways of working as the whole University community shifted towards the hybrid teaching model.

Dr Sam Gooneratne, Principal Lecturer in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, talks here about the videos she created to act as a visual guide for colleagues setting up Microsoft platforms for hybrid learning.

Dr Sam Gooneratne

Principal Lecturer, School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies

During lockdown it became apparent that similar videos might be useful for learning and teaching activities, and in my role as Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, I felt it was appropriate for me to generate some resources to assist colleagues.

What was your inspiration for the videos?

The Microsoft platforms are excellent resources provided by Student Learning & Academic Registry, but sometimes it’s useful to see a platform 'in action’.

I started using screencasts to support student learning about three years ago and I presented this at the university’s LTE conference. I received positive feedback, so thought to expand this practice to support staff with organisational matters in my role as Principal Lecturer for Staffing & Resources.

During lockdown it became apparent that similar videos might be useful for learning and teaching activities, and in my role as Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, I felt it was appropriate for me to generate some resources to assist colleagues.

What do the videos involve?

The videos include an overview of why the chosen platform is suitable for the task at hand, how to set it up, how to use it and how to manage it - along with any potential pitfalls - and all with real examples.

Are they aimed at academics across the University?

Yes. Whilst all the examples are from the undergraduate Chemical Engineering programmes on which I teach, the narration is not subject specific – that way colleagues from different disciplines can hopefully identify a use for each platform in their own teaching.

What has the feedback been like for your videos?

The Class Notebooks for Formative Feedback video was originally presented at the SCEDT Mini L&T Conference. I don’t know if I can take credit, but a lot of colleagues in the School have since started using Class Notebooks and have reported a very positive experience.

The FFL Toolkit for Group Projects video was originally presented as a webinar for the Institution of Chemical Engineers (albeit with a more subject-specific flavour). Colleagues from the University who watched that webinar asked for the video to be made available to non-Chemical Engineers so that they could follow the instructions for their own group projects, which I’m taking as positive feedback!

With regards to the videos themselves, colleagues have mentioned the fact that they like the ‘one stop shop’ feel to the videos, and the fact that they can refer to them as many times as they need to. I’ve also started making videos on the same topics directed at students, so that both parties are fully aware of how to get the most out of the technology.