Community Classroom

A Bright Idea for Boosting Student Engagement in a Virtual World

VIU Engineering Technician David Moss has used the light board to illustrate some cool Star Wars facts such as where the exhaust port is located on the Death Star.
Author: Rachel Stern, VIU Communications Officer

VIU’s Physics, Engineering and Astronomy department has created its first lightboard.

The glowing text on a lightboard looks cool, but aside from its visual appeal it also allows instructors to produce real-time notes, calculations and sketches for students while the instructor is facing the camera. It provides a more personal and interactive lecture, which leads to more engagement.

The lightboard project was initiated by Dr. Brian Dick, department chair, to provide quality online content for students. Engineering technician David Moss designed and assembled the unit using approximately $850 in materials. 

“In addition to the ‘cool’ factor, the students really enjoy the personal connection that it provides,” says Moss.

How does a lightboard work? LED lights are placed along the bottom, top, and side edges of the glass so that the light reflects within the glass pane. When you draw with dry erase markers the LED lights cause the ink to glow. A video camera is pointed toward a mirror which reverses the image so the image appears to be from the instructor’s perspective and people can read the text.

Are you interested in engineering? Learn more about VIU’s engineering programs at VIU is hosting an Engineering Programs Information Session on March 11, from 6:30-7:30 pm PST. Sign up for the free info session at



Related Posts