Robotics Talkshows, live from the Teaching Lab

TU Delft lecturers are continuously experimenting to make remote education as lively and interactive as possible. One of these experiments is a live talk show format, an idea by Joost van de Loo of RoboValley. There is room for seven students to be physically present in the studio, which is currently set up in the Teaching Lab. The rest of the 100 MSc students for professor Robotics Martijn Wisse’s Robot Dynamics & Control course (RO47001) will follow the broadcast via Zoom. The New Media Center has set up a control room to switch live between four cameras, including one "walking camera", and the professor's presentation screen.

The talk show is divided into short blocks of 15 minutes with a commercial break in between. Each block focuses on one aspect of the assignments that the students have to complete. The first episode of Robot Dynamics & Control was about "quaternions", among other things. The teacher always explains the material concisely in about 10 minutes, occasionally interrupted by questions from the host. There is also a PhD student at the table who, in the role of experienced student, asks questions based on his own experience with the assignment. This Experienced Student also keeps an eye on Zoom's chat channel, and picks out questions that the teacher can respond to.

For the time being, this format seems to be achieving its goals. The students report that it is easier to continue paying attention throughout the lecture. It also feels much more natural for the teacher to teach directly to the host - and to the seven students present. ”It is wonderful not having to talk to a computer screen,” says Martijn Wisse. “Moreover, the students present are highly motivated. That gives me a lot of energy and is very motivating for everyone involved in the broadcasts. ”

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