Custard, empathy and the challenges of teaching: new case studies

The TEL team recently interviewed staff at the University of Sussex from Education, Economics and Law. They spoke to us about how they have been using technology to innovate their teaching practices.

The topics they spoke to use about ranged from using technology to observe group-work during workshops; engaging students in practical skills during large-group teaching and creating a dialogue with students during lectures.

Observing experiments with Padlet

Joan Williams, Teaching Fellow in Education from the University of Sussex discussed her approach to using Padlet. During a class for trainee science teachers, Joan required her students to work in groups to undertake experiments. In order to monitor their work and provide feedback, a student from each group took photos and wrote short reflections of their results and progress using a mobile app called Padlet.

Padlet is an app for creating virtual bulletin boards which makes it easy for students to share notes and digital content. This software is licensed by the University of Sussex and premium accounts are available to all members of staff and students on request from TEL. The Padlet Backpack for staff and students article from our blog provides a useful introduction to Padlet and examples of different use cases for anyone who’s considering using it in their teaching.

Problem-solving with the Document Camera

Dr C. Rashaad Shabab (Teaching Fellow in Economics) has been using the Document Camera in lecture theatres on a module with over 700 students as a way to engage and involve students in the process of solving algebraic models. Rashaad recognised that empathy with his students was a key factor in motivating them to engage with algebra.

The Document Camera enables teachers to capture and present a live camera feed onto the projector screen and is available in teaching spaces across campus. If you’re considering using this in your teaching, we suggest checking the Room Facilities page to see the range of audio-visual equipment available in our teaching spaces. The Document Camera (or equivalent) is labelled under the ‘visualiser’ column.

Interactive lectures with Poll Everywhere

Dr Amir Paz-Fuchs (Senior Lecturer in Law) has been using Poll Everywhere on the Employment Law module as a way to facilitate interactive teaching, and to create a dialogue with students during class time in large group lectures.

Poll Everywhere is a student response system which provides an efficient way for teaching staff to pose questions (multiple choice, open ended questions and clickable images, among others), collect responses and share back to class. The software is licensed by the University of Sussex and available to all members of staff (on request from TEL) and in all teaching spaces across campus.

Where can I find out more about teaching innovation at Sussex?

The Technology Enhanced Learning team regularly collect short interviews and case studies from members of staff who have been using technology to innovate in their teaching. You can view our growing collection from the Case Studies section of our website. We also organise ‘Show and TEL’ once each term. A networking event where staff are invited to share practice and learn about the use of technology in teaching across different schools.

If you have examples of your own that you would like to contribute, or would like to discuss ideas or seek support to help you successfully integrate technology effectively into your teaching practice then get in touch with your school learning technologist or contact

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Posted in Active learning, Case Study, Learning Technologies

About our blog

We are the Educational Enhancement team at the University of Sussex. We publish posts each week on using technology to support teaching and learning. Read more about us.

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