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Testimonial

Mark Sanders on the use of IT in teaching

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Dr Mark Sanders (U.S.E.) is one of the first teachers within the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance who started making knowledge videos.  Mark explains his motivation:

 Why did you start making knowledge videos?

“I first started making knowledge videos for practical reasons. Explaining the complex empirical assignments took a lot of my team’s time, time we did not really have within the set number of contact hours. That’s why I started recording short videos explaining the basic subject matter.

I believe that a diverse student population is best served by making use of all available information channels. Some students will prefer reading about the subject while others prefer to listen, to question or to actively engage in the study material. Knowledge videos provide me with an additional channel via which to present the subject matter to the students.

During the first-year subject of Macro Economics, the students have to digest a lot of basic subject matter. This basic material does not change a lot from year to year and as a result teachers may tend to forget how overwhelming it can be for their students as they feel they have explained it so often already. You may find yourself rushing your lectures and focussing too much on additional information, applications and funny examples while the basic subject matter has been insufficiently internalised yet. I hope that the recording of and presenting students with knowledge videos will allow them to really engage in the basic material in their own time and consequently get more fun and use out of the live lectures. ”

Why do you think the use of IT in teaching is an added value?

“IT offers new opportunities for interactive teaching to either provide more context or rather more depth. By making use of the whole range of IT options, you are able to better facilitate larger numbers of students in their learning processes. This in my opinion is what academic teaching is all about. IT may contribute to this and that’s why I am an advocate of researching and (on evidence of effectiveness) using its applications. As the production and distribution of (video) content is becoming increasingly cheaper, I also think that teachers should not wish to miss out on this. And then you might as well be leading the way.”

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