Student created videos on ethical debates and topics in the biosciences.
Thanks to a grant from the Wellcome Trust, BEEP has been working with teachers and students in three local colleges and schools to:
- make lots of new video clips for BEEP, to bring the topics to life.
- investigate using video making as a new teaching and learning method
The results of the project are now in. To begin with the students have produced some fantastic videos for you to use in class. Take a look!
Does this method help students engage with science?
Yes it did engage some of the students with the scientific process and current debates over new biomedical developments, especially where they felt they could give the time to get involved with the process.
'GCSE' students were more creative, though their work showed less engagement with debate and argument. 'A' level students showed good engagement with debate but were concerned to complete their exam syllabus and felt under too much time pressure to do this often.
It has also begun to engage a wider audience (see the comments at the bottom of the videos page)
Is it viable as a school based teaching method right now?
Some students clearly benefited from video activities. However, it is debatable whether it is possible to produce even a short video with inexperienced students in a sufficiently short period of time for it to be a viable teaching tool in schools with very time limited teaching schedules. There are currently too many possibilities for show stopping technical and curricular hiccups that disrupt learning, though most of these could be removed with just a little practice.
Will it become viable as a teaching method in the near future?
Likely, as media technology becomes ever more pervasive in society. Nearly all students carry mobile phones these days, many of which already have limited inbuilt video cameras. Schools would first need to address the current barriers such as the time needed for editing, issues of responsible use, interoperability, file storage and staff and student training. That it was the youngest students in this study who were the most technically capable was notable.
We would like to say thank you to the students and teachers at New College, Swindon, The Castle School, South Gloucestershire and Weston College, Weston Super Mare for all of their kind help and support with this project.