Teaching bioethics via production of videos


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Slides from my presentation at the 9th UNESCO Bioethics Conference, Naples, November 2013. The talk describes an activity in which we require students to work in teams to produce short videos on aspects of bioethics. The presentation also included evaluation of the task and advice for anyone considering a similar exercise with their students.

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Teaching bioethics via production of videos

  1. 1. UNESCO Chair in Bioethics 9th World Conference Teaching bioethics via the production of student-generated videos Dr Chris Willmott Dept of Biochemistry, University of Leicester cjrw2@le.ac.uk University of Leicester
  2. 2. Overview • Multimedia (esp visual media) can be integrated into teaching about bioethics in variety of ways Use of broadcast clips Video production News analysis
  3. 3. Overview • Multimedia (esp visual media) can be integrated into teaching about bioethics in variety of ways Video production
  4. 4. Context: Leicester • University of Leicester School of Biological Sciences • Second Year Undergraduates - Medical Biochemistry (n=40)
  5. 5. Context: UK Curriculum • Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) • Subject Benchmark Statements • “Subject benchmark statements set out expectations about standards of degrees in a range of subject areas. They describe what gives a discipline its coherence and identity, and define what can be expected of a graduate in terms of the abilities and skills needed to develop understanding or competence in the subject.” www.qaa.ac.uk
  6. 6. QAA Benchmarking for Bioscience “Students should expect to be confronted by some of the scientific, moral and ethical questions raised by their study discipline, to consider viewpoints other than their own, and to engage in critical assessment and intellectual argument” “Recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct”
  7. 7. QAA Benchmarking for Bioscience All students should: “Have some understanding of ethical issues and the impact on society of advances in the biosciences” Good students should: “Be able to construct reasoned arguments to support their position on the ethical and social impact of advances in the biosciences”
  8. 8. Film production • Since 2008 • Require students to produce films • Work in teams of 4 (set by me) • Make 3-5 min video on allocated topic • Best films are made available more broadly via YouTube (linked from Bioethicsbytes)
  9. 9. Film production • Concerns that “you cannot say anything meaningful in 5 minutes” not substantiated • Rare opportunity within biology curriculum for students to express creativity • Genuine team activity rather than just “group work” • Authentic Assessment – real-world relevance • Students as Producers
  10. 10. Topics covered Bioethics and Sport Forensic use of DNA 3-parent IVF Pharmacogenetics Neuroimaging Organ trading Genetic enhancement Transhumanism Use of animals in research Ethical issues in public health Xenotransplantation Egg donation Gene therapy Cognitive enhancement Use of human material
  11. 11. Student films: Genre Interviews 24hr News
  12. 12. Student films: Genre Role-play
  13. 13. Student films: Genre Animation
  14. 14. Student films: Genre Finger puppets VideoScribe
  15. 15. Student self-evaluation
  16. 16. Student self-evaluation
  17. 17. Student evaluation of exercise Positive • “Video project allowed us to research areas and topics of science that were different, new, and exciting, and also challenged us to using new equipment and computer software” • “The video project was interesting way of presenting ideas on ethical issues and made sure preparation was not last minute as with essays” • “A positive, enjoyable experience – was something different than writing essays etc, and allowed us some creativity, something I miss doing the ‘sciency’ (sic) course that we do”
  18. 18. Student evaluation of exercise Mixed • “Whilst doing it I thought it was a bit of a pain to be honest! But by the end I was quite pleased with the result!” • “Fun to do and spend time on, however… the marks allocated for this project were disproportionate to the amount of time and effort we had put in.” Negative • “No more video assessment (we’re scientists not media students)”.
  19. 19. If you wish to run this activity... • Digital video: - Excellent way to boost engagement - Develops transferable skills - Produces resource for wider community • Recommended equipment: - HD quality cameras recording to SD card - Tripods and external microphones • Decide if you will accept submissions made using GoAnimate or Videoscribe • Don’t use their own names in role-play • Award appropriate credit – this is not an easy task
  20. 20. Any Questions? E-mail: cjrw2@le.ac.uk Twitter: cjrw Slideshare: cjrw2 Delicious: chriswillmott Blogs: www.bioethicsbytes.wordpress.com www.biosciencecareers.wordpress.com www.lefthandedbiochemist.wordpress.com University of Leicester