We asked Oonagh Jaquest Editor, BBC Bitesize, Post-16, to expand on the project.
Could you describe this project to us?
It’s a series of three videos for A-Level students. At the age of 16, young people have lots of choices about where work and study might take them.
Yes it can be a confusing time
That’s why we made these videos for those students who’ve decided to take A-Levels, or other academic qualifications like Advanced Highers in Scotland. We wanted to give students material to explore for themselves, which would give a flavour of independent study and ideas about how academic subjects might be applied in the real world.
We wanted to give them access to really interesting thinkers - great brains in their own fields – to really inspire students about their own paths.
Good thinking so how did you do it?
Using a simple form of interactive video we put the choice in the students’ own hands and can see whether that would make them feel more independent as learners.
The videos are all very different: the mathematician Dr Hannah Fry breaks down computational thinking via the metaphor of a dating app whereas Professor Iain Stewart, who seems to have been everywhere in the world, tells the story of our planet and distils this into a debate about the carbon cycle in geology.
Very cool. What did you want to achieve?
Some new formats which would help A-Level students build independent study skills and inspire them to further study and career paths.
We know that there is a steep learning curve from the structure of GCSE exams to the world of work and higher education. You’re much more on your own then and have lots of choices. We wanted to see whether our format could help with that: exploration and choices rather than key points to remember.