Using mobile electronic whiteboards in laboratory practicals can help tutors overcome some of the drawbacks inherent in teaching to a large class. For example, whiteboards can be linked to microscopes, enabling tutors to explain and demonstrate key techniques in great depth on a large screen. Teaching staff can also annotate, record and display data on the fly during active teaching.
Seeing how whiteboards were also enhancing staff-student interaction, Dr Kevin Coward, course director of the MSc in Clinical Embryology, was keen to promote even deeper learning by encouraging his students to think creatively about their subject. He has been making pioneering use of the equipment to give students a 360-degree view of designing, supervising and conducting laboratory practicals.
The system has revolutionised the manner in which lab practicals can be prepared and demonstrated. All of the students now have a good view of at least one screen; data collected during practical sessions can be recorded and shared; and on-the-fly changes to experiment protocols can be communicated instantly.
Dr Kevin Coward