Exploring the use of labcasts to support associate lecturers

Brown, Venetia; Cayless, Alan and Jarvis, Jo (2020). Exploring the use of labcasts to support associate lecturers. In: 9th eSTEeM Annual Conference: Informing Student Success - From Scholarship to Practice, 29-30 Apr 2020, Virtual.

URL: https://www.open.ac.uk/about/teaching-and-learning...


Live, interactive web-broadcasts (i.e. labcasts) provide students with an opportunity to observe and engage in practical science demonstrations through synchronous question-and-answer widgets and text-chat via the OU’s Stadium Live platform. Recent findings indicate that labcasts in STEM modules can have a positive impact on student learning and motivation and facilitate more in-depth engagement with the wider OU science community (Bradshaw, Thomson and Velasco, 2019). This study will explore to what extent labcasts can engage the Associate Lecturer (AL) community to help support module tuition strategy and promote a sense of community across the ALs and module team.

SXPS288 ‘Remote Experiments in Physics and Space’ includes a new planetary science experimental investigation, which will take place in the second half of the module. As this student investigation is novel, a discrete labcast for ALs will serve as an introduction to the project. The labcast will also provide an opportunity for ALs to learn more about the practical elements of labcasting and that of the student experience. There are ten ALs and approximately 200 students on the 19J presentation.

A mixed-methods design will expand quantitative results from questionnaires with qualitative findings from focus groups. A pre-evaluation questionnaire will survey ALs on their prior experiences and expectations of the labcast event and sense of community; followed by a labcast demonstrating the experiment. Stadium data logs (i.e. the widgets and text-chat) will be collected to observe tutors’ interactions during the labcast. A post-evaluation questionnaire will collect data on participants’ perceptions of the content and delivery, perceived changes in knowledge and sense of community. Last, we will conduct two online focus groups to expand on ALs perspectives of labcasts.

We will present findings from the data collected on the perceived benefits such as increased confidence, subject knowledge and the effect of labcast on tuition strategy and discuss the use of labcast for continuing professional development.


Bradshaw, K.R., Thomson, L.A. and Velasco, M. The impact of live streaming module-wide events in student engagement and motivation in pdf, n.d. The 8th eSTEeM Conference: STEM Scholarship – From Inquiry to Implementation (May 2019). Available online: http://bit.ly/bradshaw-et-al-2019-live-streaming

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