Key Research Interests and Expertise

  • Enhancing the student experience and improving student feedback: pilot study for the use of screencasting in undergraduate laboratory preparation.

In collaboration with Dr Anja Mueller, Paul has recently been awarded the Edward Acton Teaching Fellowship to investigate the use of interactive instructional videos to train students in essential biological lab techniques.

  • A novel way of presenting course materials and resources: Interactive mind maps.

This project aims to create a set of new learning resources alongside a novel way to access them. The resources will be a collection of screencasts covering the key mechanistic concepts for a range of modules across the Pharmacy course. These screencasts will be available online and arranged in a prezi file that can be navigated freely by the students, rather than the conventional sequence of links. Although students currently have access to resources that support their learning, the format in which they are presented does not encourage links to be made between the content of individual lectures. With the increasing diversity, technical proficiency and cost awareness within the student body at UEA it is important that the institution moves toward developing more sophisticated online resources. Furthermore this approach would address the needs of the variety of learning cultures and styles of this new student demographic, alongside widening accessibility for students whose majority of time is spent off campus (so-called distance learners). Being able to view materials multiple times and out of office hours should also have the beneficial effect of fostering an environment of independent learning.

So far, two learning resources have been created using this technique:

  1. An interactive mind map covering the key organic chemical concepts that are needed for the pharmacy degree (http://prezi.com/r67lujd1fm2s/life-sciences-chemistry-mind-map/)
     
  2. A virtual classroom covering the metabolic process that have been taught in the drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics module PHA-2HF2 (https://prezi.com/secure/1b2ed05e199bc66cf0147e8b5674c6433e332a30/

Research Grants

Edward Acton Teaching Fellowship, UEA
Enhancing the student experience and improving student feedback: pilot study for the use of screencasting in undergraduate laboratory preparation.
Investigators - Dr Anja Mueller, Dr Paul McDermott, Mr George Gordon
Start date - July 2011
£5000

ID: 90015