Open call is out for proposals and all members of staff and students have the opportunity to get involved in the Festival of Learning 2015. In 2013, the Festival held over 100 free to attend activities and received an estimated 4,000 visits. In the Festival evaluation, there was an average satisfaction score of 6 out of 7 (where 7 equalled excellent) and 96% of people said they would return to another event! We need to hear from you by 6th December if you want to get involved in 2014.
There are many aims of the Festival, including enhancing regional engagement, improving ‘town and gown’ relations, demonstrating our commitment to public engagement and to provide a chance to celebrate life at BU having great fun along the way. For you personally there are also many benefits that being involved in public engagement can bring and you can learn about them here.
Until the deadline for proposals, my colleague Rebecca Edwards and I will be writing a series of blog posts to help you think about what you could do as part of the Festival.
An interactive public lecture……
Most readers will have participated in presenting lectures and talks and therefore have the experience of communicating to a bigger crowd. Some of you may have never presented to a large audience. Whether you are an expert in presentations or have had no experience, it is still important to consider how you can make your presentation exciting, especially to a non-specialist audience.
Sharing your expertise and knowledge to help people learn and grow is what makes public engagement so exciting.
Here are a few hot tips on how to keep your public lecture as enthusing and interactive as possible.
- Why not use Turning point? This enables the audience to physically get involved with your presentation, and may also help with your research! Or if you don’t trust the technology, why not get people voting with your favourite props?
- Practical demonstrations – for a short period of your lecture, why not lecture your audience get involved in some demonstrations or experiments?
- Visual aids – Everyone has a different learning style, and there are some who are visual learners – so why not make your public lecture more ‘dashing’ by adding presentation slides catchy pictures, videos and charts to show data?
- Tangible interaction – items that individuals can physically touch may enhance their experience.
- Engaging tales – sharing inspiring stories and examples related to your research will engage your non-specialist audience
- Allow the audience to learn something new and fascinating about them – This is something that was mentioned in the Festival of Learning 2013 feedback. Attendees said how they loved learning new things about themselves.
- Debate and discussion session – this will encourage members of the public to get involved and put forth their thoughts/ideas. This would be more appropriate for those linguistic learners.
If you would like to get involved in the Festival of Learning 2014 and have some exciting ideas for a public lecture or anything other type of public engagement activity, please register your interest with Naomi Kay: or my colleague Harry Gibson