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Never again shout, “That WOULD have been useful for my teaching!” at the TV

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-02-25, 11:15 authored by Christopher J.R. Willmott
We are aware from our own experience, as audience if not as lecturer, that being talked at for 50 minutes is not the most captivating form of communication. A change of dynamic, preferably involving an element of topicality, can make a significant contribution to engagement. I have found that short excerpts of television programmes and news can therefore be excellent ways to add sparkle to a lecture. I’m sure, however, that you have suffered the experience of switching on the television and finding yourself 15 minutes into a programme that would have nicely illustrated something about which you are going to be teaching. Perhaps you decide to watch the evening news as a break in your marking, and are unexpectedly confronted with a highly relevant story. In the past, we might have termed this “oh-bother-it” syndrome. Fortunately, however, increasing media sophistication means that there are both ways to prevent and to cure this nasty condition.



Bioscience Education, 2006, 7-c1

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Bioscience Education


Centre for Bioscience, the Higher Education Academy



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This is the final publisher edited version of the paper published as Bioscience Education, 2006, 7-c1. This version was first published at



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