The what and why of video support for Teaching and Learning
Short videos/screencasts (aim for 5 minutes max) are really helpful for students and staff alike in terms of raising teaching quality, reducing staff workload (as all students have access to your one best explanation), and students really like them.
They don’t need to be professionally produced or edited or take a long time to make – especially if you use pre-prepared powerpoints/pdfs/images rather than writing or drawing live. And ask for help from your Faculty TELA to get you started
The types of topics that are particularly suitable for video are
Exam paper explanations
Resit paper explanations
Coursework guidance and tips
All class coursework feedback
Solutions to tutorial problems
Core concept videos (short explanations of the key concepts that students must grasp to succeed on your unit)
At The University of Manchester there are main ways of doing this: TechSmith Relay, Camtasia and Explain Everything. Each of these is a pretty straight forward and, more importantly, a low budget way of producing short video explainers, tutorial solutions and explanations of core concepts. If more funds are available, the University’s media services team can produce some very professional looking short videos – see here and here for examples of what they can do. Continue reading Resources and tools for producing video for T&L→
My colleague Dr Susie Riley at The University of Manchester has deepened students’ understanding of some of the core concepts within aerospace engineering by getting 1st year students to produce short videos of the four main forces that act on an aircraft – lift, thrust, drag and gravity- and how they interact to get and keep an aricraft airborne. The results are impressive, especially when some of the students hadn’t heard of elevators before the course.
Another colleague Dr Martin Gillie (@martin_gillie) teaching Structures to 1st year civil engineering students at The University of Manchester was pleased to receive this particularly creative coursework submission .
It came in response to a coursework brief that asked students to ” identify study and research the behaviour and design of an existing structure. Present your findings on a maximum of two sides of A4 or equivalent (e.g. 1 side of A3, or a short video or any other means of communication)…”
Such student generated content can be a powerful tool for learning, and the content created can be reused or repurposed for future cohorts.
Additional Material posted 3rd April 2017
Dr Keith Brown at The University of Bath posted these instructions on a quick and simple method of generating short videos armed with nothing more than powerpoint, a storyboard, a USB microphone and a mobile phone camera. Its well worth a read and I will definitely be doing a bit of experimenting with this over the summer. My thanks go to Keith (@KeithBrownBath) for allowing me to share his work.
Further to my earlier study of students’ use of rich media materials , I have recently been collaborating with my colleagues Martin Gillie and Andy Gibson on a project which looks at how students use a variety of “rich-media”, such as key-concept videos and tutorial solution videos. Our aim was to investigate how students on first year technical courses used media-rich material and the findings were fascinating. You can read a summarised version here on Martin Gillie’s blog.
A new paper by myself and my e-learning colleague Ian Hutt has just been published by the Higher Education Research and Development Journal. The article, Enhancing large class teaching: a systematic comparison of rich media materials , reports on a pilot project at the University of Manchester to supplement face-to-face lectures with a set of rich media materials. The context of the study is a very large, highly internationalised taught MSc programme in the UK with over 85% non-native English speakers. The rich media materials focused on the teaching of core concepts as well as capturing the full-lecture delivery, and comprised audio podcasts, audio narrated slides, and short video segments with supporting slides. We investigated how students used the various materials and which they preferred. We found that students overwhelmingly found these rich media materials helpful, using them as revision guides and supplements to lecture notes rather than as a replacement for lecture attendance. Students rated most highly the full-lecture videos followed by audio narrated slides.