In August 2019 the DVCA at UC wanted to invest in some light boards as he had seen the educational benefits at the previous university he worked for. I was tasked with putting in a comprehensive bid to an annual equipment fund and, if successful, follow the process through to implementation working with AV Services, and Library Services. As of March 2020 the Library houses UC's first ever Lighboard, and academic staff are putting it to good use.
The Lightboard is a glass panel filled with light which stands between the teacher and the audience/camera. The teacher faces the camera (viewers) and writes on the glass using liquid chalk (for best results), the results glow on the glass, and a camera is used to record the session. The camera we use flips the image horizontally so the writing appears in the correct orientation without having to flip it in a post production process.
The aim of the lightboard is to:
- Enable staff to retain aspects of face-to-face teaching as they migrate to the online environment, adding flexibility for students while retaining the best aspects of traditional in-class teaching.
- Enables students to benefit from highly engaging, personable and information rich content where communication is multi-modal, due to teachers being able to show working out and explain content more naturally with gesture and facial expression.
This technique will enable teachers across my university to create engaging content that enables communication in far more detail than other methods such as straight video or desktop capture. This tool enables teachers to show working out and thought processes which is critical for revealing and developing in students disciplinary ways of knowing and thinking. This approach is perfectly suited to fully online courses where the benefits of face-to-face human communication that are so essential to learning have been difficult to replicate.