SUREbyts -> Using SUREbyts in Class

Why Use SUREbyts?

SUREbyts is a collection of brief videos from active researchers and research students that can be played in class for first and second year undergraduate science students. Each SUREbyt video is divided into the following blocks:

  • Part 1: In this part of the SUREbyt video, which last 3-4 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 two 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 2-4 minutes, the researcher explains their preferred solution or approach.

Each SUREbyt videos is designed to be an engaging activity that can be used at the start of a class, or during a break in a class, to help you – as a lecturer – to:

  • Increase your students’ interest in, knowledge of, and and exposure to, research in their discipline area;
  • Enhance your students’ engagement with the subject area, by demonstrating some of the cutting edge research taking place in the area;
  • Develop your students’ critical thinking skills, by engaging them to a problem and a set of possible solutions;
  • Engage your students with different discipline areas and the opportunities for multi-disciplinary problem solving;
  • Make your students aware that academic staff and postgraduate students are researchers as well as teachers, and that their research informs their teaching;
  • Start your students’ journey towards future postgraduate research opportunities.

To browse or search for SUREbyt videos, visit the listing page.

You are invited to use SUREbyt in your classes. To use just once, you will only need to set aside 10 minutes of one class. Hopefully, this will encourage you to use our videos again. If you do intend to use SUREbyts, please let us know by contacting a member of the project team. Anyone who uses SUREbyts can apply to the SURE Network for a Digital Badge.

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 your thinking about how you will use SUREbyts.

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 classes you play the first part of the video (up to the 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. You ask for a show of hands about the solutions and discuss the most popular option with the class. You then play part 2 – the researcher’s solution – and compare and contrast with the class’s choice, identifying the pros and cons of each, linking 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 to 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 could 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. 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.

SUREbyts Survey

Once you have completed the use of SUREbyts videos with your classes, can you please complete this lecturer survey and ask your students to complete this student survey.

Find out More

To find out more about the project, contact a member of the project team or complete the expression of interest form.