Community Watch-along

With Kate Henderson, Paul Branch, and Tamara Rogers

School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering

What did you do?

Using the screen sharing function created an online cinema or community watch-along for teaching material that will support student engagement with asynchronous material.

The watch-along sessions have been developed and trialled for all stage one maths, stats and physics courses. The following module are doing watch parties.

  • PHY1033/MAS1605 – Calculus
  • PHY1035/MAS1609 – Algebra Multivariable Calculus & Differential Equations
  • PHY1037 – Vibrations Waves AC Theory & Introduction to Solid State Materials
  • MAS1606 – Algebra

In these 2-hour sessions a pre-recorded lecture is watched as a group together. The idea behind these is to make the asynchronous content a little more structured and as similar as possible to how a live lecture would normally be delivered (in normal times). Pre-recorded lecture videos will all still be available on Canvas as usual, this is just an added extra.

Who is involved?

Dr Kate Henderson, Lecturer Mathematics

Dr Paul Branch, Transition and Ogden Outreach Officer Mathematics

Professor Tamara Rogers, Professor of Computational Astrophysics Mathematics

How did you do it?

These were Zoom sessions where the teacher shared their screen and played lecture videos for students to watch together. After each video there was a 5 min break where students could take a break or chat between themselves.

At the end of the session the meeting was left open to allow students to chat and discuss the lecture material among themselves for the remaining time.

It is essential that when sharing content that the ‘share sound’ function has been selected.

Any other learning materials need to be available to the students prior to the session. This could include handouts, notes, exercises and activities, or any other essentials.

Why did you do it?

Primarily to support with time management.

This activity also helped students to organise themselves better and to manage their time to watch these videos.  It was discovered that a 20-minute video for example, was taking students hours to watch because they would pause, rewind multiple times. As a consequence students were becoming incredibly overwhelmed with the work.

The original idea was to allow students to be able to ask questions immediately. While it is fresh in their minds and in the context of the learning they have just done. Discussions with students confirmed that they could easily forget the questions they wanted to ask.

This method allowed students to also discuss with each other in real time and build connections with other students.

Overall time management and giving a structure to students has been a driver for this teaching method.

Does it work and Student Voice

Students have been asking for more live teaching in general and this method has provided students with that opportunity.

Around 10 to 15% of each cohort have attended any session with numbers increasing each time.

Students are saying that they are committed to this way for teaching because they were interested in it and there has been a lot of positive comments in sessions.

Comments from students include:

“I like it 🙂 keeps me more focused than when I watch them alone.”

”I thought that – means you have to keep up and not get distracted!”

”I think it’s great and forces me to not pause the videos and spend extra time than I need to”


Graduate Framework

This approach develops the following attributes:

  • Future-focussed
  • Creative, Innovative and Enterprising
  • Digitally Capable
  • Collaborative
  • Engaged

Staff can find out more about the Graduate Framework on the University intranet.

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