MASH and Academic Skills leads live streaming project

Wed Mar 15 13:36:00 GMT 2017

MASH Livestreaming Periscope
The Mathematics Resources Centre (MASH: Mathematics & Statistics Help) and the Academic Skills Centre (ASC) are using live streaming and short video tutorials to deliver skills support to students. Funded by the University's Teaching Development Fund (TDF), the project aims to enhance and extend mathematics and academic skills support provision by producing new resources in a more timely and accessible way.
Live streaming is the transmitting or receiving of live video and audio over the internet. Content can be delivered to many students at the same time, who can then comment and ask questions in real time. A live streaming platform called Periscope is being used which does not require specialist software or subscriptions and enables viewers to watch via an app or web browser.  Short video tutorials will additionally be created using whiteboard and annotation apps.
Students are being employed to help with determining both the content and delivery of the lectures and videos. The MASH team successfully piloted live streaming in May 2016, which was later featured as part of a 12 Apps of Christmas programme.
Kevin McCafferty, Year 2 BSc Mathematics student, involved in the pilot and current project, said: 
“My personal experience with the trial run of the MASH video tutorial project was amazing. Watching the live stream from my own room was a real bonus, as was being able to have questions answered in real time. The different perspective on the topic helped me to better understand it, and I could watch the video back again later to sure up my understanding, leading to a strong exam result.”
The first MASH live stream was delivered in January 2017 during Revision Week.  It was delivered by two PhD students, Holly Stock and Nicos Haralabidis (Department for Health) and aimed at Year 2 Sport and Exercise Science students taking a compulsory unit in biomechanics. There were a total of 96 independent live viewers, and 62 replay viewers within 24 hours. 

A range of benefits have already been identified including:
  • increased efficiency by reducing duplication of answering common queries received in drop-ins
  • timely support; live streams are quick to prepare for, deliver and disseminate
  • improved accessibility by having online resources.
Commenting on the project, Dr Jane White, Director of MASH, said:
"It is a real testament to the commitment and vision of staff working in MASH and in the wider Skills Centre that this innovation is being piloted in the context of academic student support. I have no doubt that MASH will embed live-streaming within its core activity as we move forward and that the experience developed during the TDF will provide a template for institutional use of live streaming which others, including academic departments, will adapt and use. Thanks to all involved for taking the lead in exploring this innovation for student learning experience in Bath."

For more information, contact Dr Cheryl Voake-Jones (MASH; Project Leader) or Miranda Armstrong (ASC; Deputy Project Leader).