Giving my First Lecture

With major changes to the Biological Sciences field trip and the introduction of pre-trip lectures I found myself being invited to give a 25 minute talk in a lecture on the project I have been working on since September 2015 – the e-book. I was honoured to take part in this lecture and straight away knew I could use this opportunity to show the first year students a resource that I strongly believe will enhance their experience and learning. With this in mind I also thought it would be great to hear from the students themselves and implement new ideas into the book based on their feedback.

I began the lecture by describing the project and describing the advantages of an e-book. A guide through the IMG_8358book, chapter by chapter, followed this with hints on how to get the best out of it and how to navigate around it. Once I had demonstrated the structure I used a series of videos to demonstrate feature such as widgets, hyperlinks and revision tools. I finished the lecture by introducing two additional widgets that I could introduce for the 2016-2017 year group. The first was an identification tool that would allow students to take a specimen and match it to the best descriptions of each taxonomic rank with the end result hopefully being identification to the rank of order. The other was a interactive quiz that would enable students to test themselves, self evaluate and retry.

Both of these features gained a good response from the students. The quiz went down well with the students, with surprising levels of enthusiasm and involvement. My only worry with this was that the questions might give too much away for the examinations as they were in a similar format and Judith Lock, the module coordinator, confirmed this. Fortunately the identification tool was preferred to the quiz and so this is what I will be implementing before the 10th of March. Along with this I will be making changes to the book involving key information and structure of the course.

This was an amazing opportunity all round for me as it enabled me to get student feedback to enhance a resource that will hopefully benefit students for years to come but also gave me experience in giving a lecture. For me this is invaluable experience and hopefully it is my first lecture of many.

Charlie Cosstick

Saturday 25th February 2017

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