Using inking to increase student engagement in lectures


There is increasing recognition of the cognitive value of presenting concepts in an informal manner through "inking" or handwriting on a touch sensitive screen provided by modern tablet PCs or theatre sympodia. There is evidence that students better remember and engage with material that is developed with them. Handwriting slows down the presentation of content and forces the teacher to think about the essence of the concept of interest, rather than overwhelming students. Building a slide with the students is often much more powerful than presenting a finished product that is beautifully organised and perfectly laid out. The informality encourages questions. Students recognise it is a work in progress not a completed piece of work that just has to be learned. While this all sounds reminiscent of a return to the era of the blackboard from the era of powerpoint, inking offers more than a blackboard for a number of reasons. In this presentation, Prof Coral is going to present a number of practical examples of using inking on powerpoint slides to teach fundamental genetics concepts at first and second year undergraduate level including transmission genetics which is particularly suited to this method of presenting concepts.


Coral Warr is an Associate Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University. She leads a research program in Drosophila cellular and developmental genetics, with a focus on how cells respond to signals from their environment. Coral completed a PhD in Genetics at the University of Melbourne, where she worked on the regulation of TRPC channels in Drosophila phototransduction. She then undertook postdoctoral studies at Yale University in the USA where she was a first author on two ground-breaking studies that uncovered the gene families encoding receptors involved in olfaction and taste in Drosophila. Her research group at Monash focuses on the extracellular control of cell signalling during development. One area of focus is the role of perforin-like proteins in controlling cell signalling in Drosophila during embryo patterning, endocrine control of growth, and immunity. Her group is also identifying and characterising new genes that regulate growth in flies, and genes that link growth and metabolic pathways. As well as running a research group Coral is a passionate educator and teaches genetics to Science and Biomedical Science students at all levels. She is also the Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Science.