We continue to collect feedback from users of the OpenSpires open content, mainly in the form of emails to the academic contributor or direct to the podcasting service. We monitor downloads and often get great feedback from students within Oxford but it’s always nice to hear that people from outside the University are enjoying this free academic material. Here is a selection of the lovely emails that the we receive:
On Dr Emma Smith’s ‘Approaching Shakespeare’ lecture series:
“Dear Dr Smith
I hope you’ll be pleased to hear that your podcasts on approaches to Shakespeare are being very much appreciated. As head of More Able and Talented at a large state school, I am constantly looking for resources to improve our teaching and your podcasts are giving us just that opportunity. Members of the English department are now using Wittgenstein’s Dabbit illustration in the way you did and finding it to be a very effective approach and our more able students are being encouraged to listen to the podcasts both to improve their understanding of the plays and to encourage them to believe that the Oxford is not a rarefied and unattainable target, but operates at a level they will find accessible. Beyond that I and an increasing number to whom I have been recommending the site have really enjoyed the lectures.”[JM, UK]
On Professor James Binney’s ‘Quantum Mechanics’ lecture series:
Everything about this series is first rate. Professor Binney is excellent, and the video and audio quality are both quite good. I have considered auditing a course in Quantum Mechanics for some time, and this course was just what I was looking for.
Though a good background in college mathematics is required, the relevant mathematics is covered in detail during the lectures. The text for the course is available online, and there are appendices covering some of the math and physics topics in detail.
I would highly recommend this course to anyone with a serious interest in learning Quantum Mechanics.
Thanks very much to everyone involved in making this course available on iTunesU.” [DF, Massachusetts, USA]
On preparing students for Oxford:
“.. I am to start to read modern Japanese history (masters level) later in the fall at Oxford this year. I will be studying modern-early modern Japanese history of thoughts and I have been tremendously enjoying your lectures made available through Oxford podcast services.” [JC, UK ]
On helping teachers:
“Thank you for offering online your lectures on introductory quantum mechanics, and thank you for providing a PDF copy of your text. The text is a marvellous resource, and your lectures are exceptionally lucid and compelling. I am learning a great deal and enjoying them very much. I teach high school science and maths, and I hope I can pass along to my students (at least some of) these ideas with the same excitement and clarity.” [US Science teacher]
On lifelong learning:
“You ask if there is a demand outside Oxford for podcasts of your early modern lectures. Yes, big demand I would think. I have just listened to your lecture on The Spanish Tragedy and found it very interesting indeed. I am planning to listen to the rest of the series and have started dusting down any volumes I have of Elizabethan plays. For retired people like me podcasts of lectures (recorded raw, not dressed up as some have them, complete with distracting background music) are a boon. Lifelong learning! Saves us from having to watch “countdown” of an afternoon.”
Much more feedback from learners is available on the Listening for Impact project blog.