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Using YouTube, Smartphone and QR codes to demonstrate survey equipment for revision: Audrey Martin

Dr Audrey Martin

Who are you and where do you teach?

My name is Audrey Martin and I teach a number of modules in the Geographic Science and Geospatial Engineering in the Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street Campus. My discipline has a significant field-based component where students use high spec survey instruments on site.

What technology do you use for teaching and learning?

YouTube videos, Smart Phones and QR codes.

What appealed to you about using this technology for your teaching practice?

The possibility of allowing students to self-learn and progress their field based project work without the need for a demonstrator and/or lecturer. Also to create a bank of online learning resources for all students and staff using survey equipment.

How do you use this technology with students?

Instructional videos illustrating the use of survey equipment were produced in-house in DIT in a familiar learning environment. The videos were then hosted on YouTube and accessed via a QR code when students are on-site. Thus students can access online learning videos in the field using their smart phones and a QR code reader. In addition, as the videos, hosted on YouTube are freely available online for use at any time irrespective of when the class takes place.




Videos can be accessed at:
Level instruction videos on YouTube.

  • How to set up a survey tripod
  • How to set up an automatic level
  • How to level the pond bubble in an automatic level
  • How to remove parallax in a survey telescope
  • How to read a levelling ‘E’ type staff

Theodolite instruction videos on YouTube.

  • How to centre over a point:
  • How to roughly level a theodolite over a point:
  • How to finely level a theodolite over a point
  • How to carry out the Plate Level Adjustment on a theodolite
  • How to measure a horizontal angle using a theodolite

What do you think are the main benefits and main drawbacks to using this technology?

The technology facilitated learners accessing materials when and however often they needed them, thus facilitating individual structured learning outside of the classroom. It also standardised the learning materials across different cohorts as the videos demonstrated basic operations used in surveying by over 300 students per annum.

The drawbacks of the technology were simply in terms of the production time required. As the videos where produced using high end cameras and editing software, the time taken to deliver the end user product was quite prohibitive. Therefore the decision was taken to design videos for basic survey operations which have a significant ‘shelf-life’.

What advice would you have for someone looking to use this technology with students?

It’s a great way to transfer practical knowledge where and when students need it. Chunk the information into short videos for better retention and use low end recording and videos devices to speed up production.


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Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This project is funded by the National Forum (


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