SUREbyts -> Using SUREbyts in Class
Why Use SUREbyts?
One aspect of integrating research into the early years of the curriculum involves demonstrating to students the research that is currently taking place in their own institution and elsewhere that is relevant to their discipline. While academic staff may discuss their own research at times during class, this is not always standard practice. Many staff involved in teaching the early years of programmes may not themselves be research active.
Since its establishment, the SURE Network has been dedicated to enhancing the awareness of research and research careers among undergraduate students. While the focus of the network has been primarily on the latter years of undergraduate programmes, the Network is aware of the need to scaffold those years on a solid foundation in the early years, during which research is made more accessible to students, and in many cases, demystified.
SUREbyts provides a collection of brief videos from active researchers and research students that can be played in class for early stage undergraduate students. Each SUREbyt video is divided into the following blocks:
- Part 1: In this part of the SUREbyt video, which last 3 minutes, the researcher introduces themselves, describes a problem or question related to their research, and presents three possible solutions or approaches to addressing the problem.
- Middle: The video continues to play with the possible solutions or approaches on screen and a timer counting down three minutes. During this time, students who are viewing the video are asked to discuss the solutions with each other.
- Part 2: In this part of the SUREbyt video, which last 2 minutes, the researcher explains their preferred solution or approach.
SUREbyts videos are designed to be an engaging activity that can be used by a lecturer at the start of a class, or during a break in a class, and thus are linked to the following objectives:
- Interest in, and exposure to, research;
- Student engagement;
- Confidence building;
- Problem solving;
- Development of lateral thinking;
- Understanding of postgraduate studies.
To browse or search for SUREbyt videos, visit the listing page.
SUREbyts can be used creatively by lecturers and students in a whole variety of ways. The remainder of this page outlines some possible usage scenarios, that may stimulate thinking by lecturers or students.
SUREbyts Usage Scenario 1: Class Opener
In this usage scenario, you, the lecturer, will identify a SUREbyt that is relevant for a topic that is being studied by your student group. You commence one of your classes by playing the SUREbyt from start to finish. When the middle part of the video plays, you encourage your students to discuss the listed solutions with each other, and as the middle part is nearing the end, you ask for a show of hands for each of options 1, 2 and 3. The video continues to play into part 2 in which the solution is played. You then ask your students to again discuss the researcher’s solution with each other, and then you relate the subject of the SUREbyt to the topic under discussion.
SUREbyts Usage Scenario 2: Class Bridge
In this usage scenario, you, the lecturer, will identify a SUREbyt that is relevant for a topic that is being studied by your student group. At the end of one of your classesyou play the first part of the video (up to the trigger question) and ask the students to think about the answers that they can come up with. At the start of the next class, you ask the students to discuss their ideas/solutions before the start of class proper. You crowd-source the most appropriate answer (either by show of hands or technology enabled solution) and discuss with the class this option (and perhaps others if time allows). You then play the researcher solution to the class and compare and contrast the class crowd sourced answer and the researcher answer, identifying the pros and cons of the class crowd sourced answer in light of the researcher answer and the practicalities of research and link back the subject of the SUREbyt to the class at hand.
SUREbyts Usage Scenario 3: Year Bridge
In this usage scenario, you work with your colleagues who are coordinating the final year projects or the Masters project for your programme or in your department. You ask your colleagues request (or require) the final year or Masters students to develop SUREbyts to describe their project work (using this guide), and then you use these with your first and second year students, so that they become aware of the projects that are being undertaken in your school. You and your colleagues recommend to the students, where appropriate, that they submit their SUREbyts to the SURE Network (as described at the end of this guide).
SUREbyts Usage Scenario 4: Subject Taster
In this case, the SUREbyt is used as a taster to help students learn more about a particular discipline, for example when they are choosing a stream following general entry or even when they are in secondary school and choosing a third level programme. This should also be used at induction for first year students or returning second year students, as an ice breaker or to start a group discussion. The SUREbyt would help get students talking about the programme they have chosen and the possibilities for them as they progress – learning that science is not static but constantly evolving. This scenario could also apply at open days, school visits or public talks, where the objective is to inspire students and help them think of science as dynamic, how science is applied in their lives, and how science can address societal, environmental, and healthcare issues.
SUREbyts Usage Scenario 5: Assessment
In this case, the SUREbyts database is used to support the assessment of students. Students could be invited to explore the database of videos and write a description that summarises the information presented in a SUREbyt of their choosing, or chosen by the lecturer. The students could then be invited to include an additional piece of personal research (e.g. extra research you carried out by the student to understand an aspect of the presentation in more detail, referencing at least one additional course). Students could be asked to explain how the SUREbyt coupled with their research advances their knowledge of opportunities for research or further study in this area.
Once you have completed the use of SUREbyts videos with your classes, can you please complete the lecturer survey and ask your students to complete the student survey. Links to the surveys will be provided upon request.
Find out More
The formal launch of the project, for a student (first and second years) audience, will take place on Friday, 8th October 2021. The resources can be used before this date.
The project team will be hosting a workshop (on MS Teams) for lecturers who are interested in using SUREbyts video, or who are interested in finding out more about the project, on Friday, 15th October 2021.