Utilisation and adoption of learning enhancing technology is overshadowed by numerous misconceptions and realities. The literature is clear that students like the idea of recorded lectures (Drouin, 2013). Many researchers in tertiary education acknowledge that present day students have increased commitments in relation to both work and family (Albion et al., 2010), and this is one of the reasons cited for the increase in popularity of and expectation of access to lecture recordings (Preston et al., 2010). Students believe that access to lecture recordings has a positive impact on their learning and that they are able to learn just as well using recordings as attending face-to-face lectures (Sloan & Lewis, 2014). Importantly, from a student perspective, the provision of recorded lectures doesn’t necessarily equate to non-attendance (Drouin, 2013). The literature confirms that, simply making recordings available, without additional strategies that support and encourage effective usage of those resources does not lead to positive student outcomes (Sloan & Lewis, 2014). We contend that it may be possible that students are simply not utilising the recordings because they are hard to navigate, but also because students may not find them that engaging. The challenges of using lecture recordings is of particular concern for first year (FY) students transitioning into tertiary education and of particular concern at USC where a high proportion of students are first-in-family (ie LFS103: Sem 1, 2016 50 percent) and from a low socio-economic background, which have both been associated with lower rates of completion (Edwards and McMillan, 2015). Compounding our institutional context is the wider problems surrounding STEM. There is a difficulty engaging students with STEM courses particularly where traditional didactic teaching methods are employed, something synonymous with large FY courses (Gasiewski et al., 2012). The situation is compounded by the fact that foundational STEM courses are by nature complex and content heavy, and often the concepts are difficult to conceptualise and comprehend. The overarching aim of this project is to develop a best practice lecture delivery toolbox that caters to both synchronous and asynchronous learners to improve FY STEM student engagement and ultimately success. Through action research the project will uncover the ‘when, why and how’ students interact with live lectures and lecture recordings, and uncover their views on course content delivery in large content heavy FY service courses. Initially the project focused on two large FY first semester science service courses: Cell Biology (LFS100) and Introductory Biosciences (LFS103), but now includes Human Physiology (LFS112), Systemic Physiology I and II (LFS201, LFS202) and Genes and Diseases(BIM202). This session will outline findings to-date from our 2015 Commissioned Learning and Teaching Grant: FYE, and step the audience through two purposeful and sustainable lecture delivery strategies that support the synchronous and asynchronous learner. The first is a lecture template that helps students package and align the lecture content with their notes and the additional course resources; such as textbook and revision exercises. The second is a demonstration on how-to ‘chapterise’ the lecture recording to improve student use of this resource.
2016 Learning & Teaching Week: 2020 Teaching Visions. 2020 - What's Next?, Sunshine Coast, Australia 31 October - 4 November 2016