Zaption 3: evaluations

It is remarkable how much students enjoyed the Zaption clips. They were unequivocally positive about how Zaption clips contributed to their learning. I think that it may indeed be refreshing to learn in a different way sometimes – even if it is only a very small component of the course. What they most appreciated was that they could see academics in action – especially Mary Beard and Andrew Wallace-Hadrill – and that they could see that Beard and Wallace-Hadrill, at times, thought differently about an issue. The most notable example that – on the basis of the same evidence – Beard argues Roman baths were very dirty; and Wallace-Hadrill that the Roman world was actually pretty clean. I asked the students to take sides and explain why they thought their ‘winner’ was right and this provided for some really interesting answers. I would get those answers up on the projector during class and discuss them. This added a very interactive element to my class, and stimulated the students’ critical thinking.

There were some complaints about technical matters: students were disappointed they could not watch the clips on their devices when they were on the move; and that they could not download the clips.

My thoughts about Zaption are that it is a very useful and user-friendly tool, but that it costs a large amount of time to collect and edit the clips and that this investment is only worth it when the course is taught more than once.