Dr Steven Tucker, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, tells us about how he tackled the problem of tutorial sessions being a little “one dimensional” and “lacked opportunity to discuss with peers”.

Problem

According to staff and student feedback, the tutorial sessions that form part of the course Biochemical Pharmacology and Toxicology were a little “one dimensional” and “lacked opportunity to discuss with peers”.

Solution

To address this, the tutorials were adapted for use within one of the new digitally enhanced learning spaces (DELS). The new approach gathered students in groups of 5 around separate “pods”. Each group was then given a different problem to solve based on the course material and worked on this problem using the screen at their pod station connected to either the keyboard or their own personal devices. The lecturer was then able to circulate around the class and listen to- /contribute to- discussions taking place within each component group. Once the problems had been discussed and tackled, each was presented and introduced by the lecturer before groups presented their solutions to the class by projecting their screens to the main classroom display. This was then followed by a discussion session with the other groups.

Evaluation

The use of the technology and flexibility within this learning environment led to much higher levels of engagement and encouraged discussion firstly amongst small groups, but ultimately with the whole class. Students were enthusiastic about the concept and the technology seemed to add significantly to this, with feedback suggesting the sessions were “useful, fun and enjoyable to participate in”.

Impact

Moving forward, such approaches will be further developed and technology further utilised to make these tutorials much more enriching and interactive learning experiences.