Digital Retreat – April 2017

 Our team for the digital retreat and brief

Mark Quinn

Science Physics and Astronomy

Simon Warwick (TEL)
Ian Loasby (AMRC)
Kieran Bentley (On line Learning Team)
Jesse Armstrong (Creative Media )


We would like to develop a physics problem-solving toolkit comprised of digital media to enhance the problem solving ability of our undergraduate students as they progress through their degree programme. One of the most sought after skills of physics graduates is their ability to solve (often complex) problems by developing and applying mathematical models. The proposed toolkit will contain different categories of problems and approaches to tackle them, with step-by-step guides delivered using mainly short videos. Whilst the short-term focus is on the key issue of problem-solving, over time we would aim to expand the digital resource to become a wider ‘skills’ toolkit, incorporating problem-solving, data analysis techniques, report writing etc.

How will this development impact on your teaching practices?

The toolkit would be used in problem solving modules across all levels 1, 2 and 3. When new problems and problem-solving concepts are introduced, students will have access to the toolkit to supplement and enhance more traditional problem-solving classes. The use of video in the toolkit will enable us to implement a flipped approach to problem solving, where students familiarise themselves with a particular approach using the toolkit videos prior to attending facilitated problem-solving class sessions.


How will this development make a difference to your department?

As a department, one of our main goals is to produce physics graduates who excel in problem solving, setting them apart from non-Sheffield graduates. The development of a problem-solving toolkit, accessible to all of our students as they progress through their degree would be a major step forward in helping to achieve this goal. The 2-day retreat provides an ideal opportunity to kick-start this important activity.


Retreat Objectives


The goals of the 2 day retreat are:

  1. Develop a standard workflow in creating animated videos comprised of technical content (physics, maths etc)

  • Identify tools for this workflow



  1. Create a useful example video with duration 5-10 minutes


Once we have finalised the team, Mark hopes to start identifying the key tools we could use and in the interim start drafting a script for an example video.

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