Last Friday, the University of Oxford launched ‘Oxford at Home’, a series of online ‘tutorial’-style livestreams open to the public.
Tutorials, the main teaching style Oxford uses for most subjects, are known for being discussion-based. The series introduces this interaction between the academic and the audience by allowing viewers of the livestream to ask questions through the youtube comment section or by using #oxfordathome.
The Oxford University Twitter account announced the initiative on Thursday, describing the events as “*free* weekly talks about everything and anything we research.”
On the Oxford at Home page on their website, they add: “We’re proud to be at the forefront of global efforts to understand COVID-19 pandemic and protect our communities. But our huge range of inspiring experts, world-class teaching staff and eager researchers still have a great deal to share. So take time out of your day to connect with #OxfordatHome and be inspired!”
The weekly half-hour classes, broadcast on YouTube, are set to cover everything from ‘International health in global governance after the First World War’ to ‘Biomedically-engineered bubbles.’
In addition to their main ‘Oxford at Home’ series on Fridays, similar discipline-based livestreams are taking place throughout the week, all available through the main ‘Oxford at Home’ page.
The first Oxford at Home event, ‘Garden Safari – the five groups of insects that dominate your garden’ taught by Dr Lindsay Turnbull, broadcast last Friday and has been viewed by over 1,500 people so far. It encouraged interactive participation beyond the livestream with a downloadable worksheet and posts tagged with #backgardenbiology.
There have been similar online lecture events across the University. Oxford Sparks, a project aimed at showcasing the University’s scientific research and teaching, is hosting several live Q&As a week through its ‘Science at Home’ campaign.
The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, Torch, is organising ‘In Conversation’ events through the Humanities Cultural Programme in its ‘Big Tent – Live Events!’ series. ‘Oxford Answers’, run by the Saïd Business School, is aiming to “help leaders respond to an unprecedented period of turmoil” through their virtual events.