Translating mathematics into video is not a new concept. However, translating it in a way that feels fresh, and constructing it so it doesn’t lose the audience, is always a challenge. At the University of Derby we have been experimenting with creating micro lectures on acoustic mathematics, with Dr John Pritchard presenting a series of short video clips that cover some of the basic principles within the field of acoustics and noise control. They focus very much on the mathematical elements of the subject, where current undergraduate and postgraduate degree students often experience problems. The intention is not to provide a thorough understanding of the subject; but to cover content that frequently trips up students, often requiring repeat lectures on those specific functions.
The videos were crafted to be around 2-5 mins – aptly called “Sound bites”. They involved getting John to draw out the mathematical equations on a clear piece of glass using neon chalk markers so the writing stands out clearly. We would then film through the glass and flip the image in post-production so it can be read the right way round.
This approach has its drawbacks, as there are more costs and time involved with the setup than to simply film someone writing on a piece of paper. However, the video is much more engaging and is similar to a lot of YouTube content that is becoming very popular.
Other Mathematics lecturers have taken forward this idea to do similar video content and have created their own glass board that is a custom build. Similarly, they will be using the board for complicated maths equations that will be delivered as a flipped learning approach for the students.
We have also developed a way to use this same approach live streamed through a webinar format. This opens up the opportunity to do an engaging lecture in a creative way and put the correctly flipped image up on the projector while still recording using the lecture recording system, enabling a unique student experience.
Author: Matt Gilooly (Learning Technology Media Advisor)