Logo Utrecht University

Teaching & Learning Lab


Mathematical knowledge clips for various goals

Tristan van Leeuwen, lecturer at the Department of Mathematics at Utrecht University had never recorded a knowledge clips. Now he has recorded several in the Teaching & Learning Lab, and he is very enthusiastic about it.

Trailer for a lecture

The first knowledge clip Tristan recorded in the TLL studio was for the Imaginary exhibition: a trailer for the luncheon lecture Tristan gave there, a kind of replacement of the traditional summary one would normally write, to make people enthusiastic for coming to his lecture.

Immediately visible tips

A few weeks later Tristan could be found again in the TLL studio. Together with a colleague he was making knowledge clips for his students, about how to prepare for giving a presentation and some of the pitfalls there are. To illustrate this, Tristan and his colleague recorded two knowledge clips: one with a ‘good’ presentation and one with a ‘bad’ one, both on the same topic. “I thought this was a good idea, because you can put the tips on paper, but it remains a bit abstract. If you record it on video, it reaches the students. They can see straightaway that something doesn’t look good or is unclear,” Tristan says.

Good tool for explaining mathematics

Tristan used the light board to record the knowledge clips.
“As a mathematician you often write things down on a chalkboard to explain them. The light board is a fun way to do that on video.” It took some getting used to the first time to write on the light board and how it would look on film, but there was good support and the recordings went right the first time. “It all went pretty much perfect.”

Recording more knowledge clips

Tristan still has to wait to learn what his students think of the knowledge clips, but if they are positive, he will certainly record more. “It’s a fun way to explain small things to students.” Tristan certainly advises other lecturers to go and make a knowledge clip (if the subject or topic is suitable). But knowledge clips are certainly useful beyond teaching. The Department of Mathematics is for instance considering using knowledge clips to let researchers give short talks about their research. “We could use those to show everything that goes on at Utrecht University to students.”

Watch the knowledge clips on presentations (in Dutch)
Watch de Imaginary knowledge clip (in Dutch)

Author: Miranda Overbeek (Freudenthal Institute)