Key Information and Lesson Plans – Printable Version [PDF]
Everything you need to know about taking part, including suggested lesson plans and tips from other teachers.
I’m a Researcher is a 2 week online activity, where students connect with real researchers from Oxford University.
Students challenge the researchers over fast-paced online text-based live CHATs. They ASK the researchers anything they want, and VOTE for their favourite to win a prize of £500 to communicate their work with the public.
We’ve prepared the information below to help you and your students get the most benefit out of the activity.
Quickstart – what to do first
- Book your live chats
- Read through the information and lesson plans
All the information you’ll need is on this page, or in the PDF booklet above
- Generate a student registration link
Your students will need a link from you to set up their accounts – it takes about 10 minutes to set this up, so pencil in this time before your CHAT. Students can log in from 28th October. Once logged in, students can:
– Create a nickname to be shown when they post on the site
– Answer questions on their own profiles to tell the researchers a bit about themselves
– Read the researchers profiles and start to ASK questions
From 11-22 November, students post questions in ASK, live CHAT with the researchers and VOTE for who they think deserves to win!
How it works
How much time should you spend on the activity?
Minimum: 2 lessons
We suggest one introductory lesson or piece of homework reading the researchers profiles and posting questions in ASK, and one lesson of live CHAT with the researchers.
What is I’m a Researcher?
Read this page to your students to tell them about the activity. It may help to have a look around the website with your students.
You get one CHAT per class. We suggest you book early as slots get snapped up fast! Live CHATs are 30 minutes long and text based, so no sound or video is required. The class will need to log in at least 10 minutes before the chat is due to start.
Students can VOTE for their favourite researcher to win £500 to spend on further public engagement.
Lesson Plans and Resources
The preparation work (lessons 1 & 2) can be compiled into one lesson if needed.
It may be useful to have a preparation lesson in a computer room so students can explore the researchers’ profiles independently and ASK questions ahead of their live chat.
Extra Resources from the University of Oxford
- Oxford Sparks: What is Machine Learning?
In these resources students develop their own algorithms (KS3), explore the ethics of leaving decision making to machines (KS4), learn how images can get stored as data, and delve into what the consequences of false positives and negatives could be for various applications (KS5).
- “What is Machine Learning?” video
In this animation University of Oxford researchers take a look at how statistics and computer science can be used to make machines that learn.
Involve parents and carers in what you are doing in school through the extra, evening chats. These have been really popular in previous events, with students keen to introduce their families and friends to the researchers they have been connecting with in class.
More information about evening chats including dates, wording for the school newsletter and flyers to send home with students.
- Staffroom – the staffroom is open during the two weeks of the event from 9am to 5pm. You can chat with the moderators and it’s a great place to get help quickly.
- Guide to live chat transcripts (PDF) – live chat transcripts can be useful tools for the students to reflect on the lesson, and to look in more detail at the questions and answers from the chat. This guide will show you how to download the transcript, and how to use the data in the file.
- Student Data: What we ask for and why (PDF) – about how we use students information in compliance with GDPR.
Call us if your question is urgent – 01225 326892.
Other teachers’ experiences:
- Read all information up front and familiarise yourself with the website.
- Test the IT before the live chat – look out for emails about the drop in test session.
- Do the prep lessons. “I found a big difference between the two groups with differing prep.”
- Print the researchers’ profiles for the lesson before the chat and get students to plan their questions.
- Be clear about expectations in live chats: avoid spam, encourage students to be patient when waiting for answers.
After the activity
- Please fill in the feedback survey we email you. You are the expert on what happened in your classroom. Your feedback helps us to continuously improve the event.
- The researchers and moderators pick a student winner – someone who has really engaged with the event. They get a certificate and a £20 gift voucher prize. We’ll let you know if this is one of your students.