Sunday, July 12, 2009

UniTube: Youtube and and Virtual Classrooms

UniTube: Youtube and and Virtual Classrooms
based on an article in the Weekend Australian (July 11-12 2009, Weekend Professional p7)

University of NSW has demonstrated that YouTube can be used as an effective way to teach students. 16 selected High School students from 100 applicants throughout Sydney were enrolled in this innovative program, to advance students in a Higher Computing course. The computer lectures are videoed and placed onto YouTube. Anyone can view the videos. The videos are supported by weekly face-to-face tutorials (outside of school hours). The course also involves a two hour lab session. Essentially the videos mean that those who cannot attend a lecture can still gain the knowledge.

Why are High School students doing this course? Lecturer Richard Buckland wanted to address the 'bored' students at High School. It is about raising the bar and allowing secondary students to do university quality material. It is about simulating and stretching minds.

The YouTube lectures are one year old. The 1st year course was recorded last year. This is to guarantee that on-line students are in sync with the course time line. And it means that the videos can be accessed on YouTube within real course synchronicity. The secondary students are seeing the 1st year course one year on.

The videos are filmed by students. The camera views both the lecturer and the students. The videos give the impression that the viewer feels they are part of the room.

The secondary students assessment outcomes, in general outscore the university students.

Secondary Students comments:
“Amazing Experience”
“Really opened up my experience with computers”
“parts of it were stressful but so worth it”
“Really, really fun”

The Lecture 1: Higher Computing 1 – Richard Buckland UNSW 2008 is well worth viewing. Richard Buckland delivery style. He introduces the course with passion, humour and real information. On the 12th of July 2009 Lecture 1 was viewed 52,994 times