The days of wheeling a TV and video cart into a classroom may be over. Wireless connectivity in classrooms and social media have opened the door to easy-to-access streaming video, podcasting, and a host of easy video-creation and editing tools that can enhance teaching and learning.
Below, we’ll explore three ways to use videos for engagement in your courses:
- Displaying video: to illuminate or increase understanding of course concepts as well as to increase media literacy through critical analysis
- Instructor created video: using video tools to simplify tutorials, demos or provide weekly supplemental reviews for students
- Student created video: course projects to create videos hone a wide range of skills and require an immersion in subject matter
Video is a great tool to bring in outside expert interviews or commentary, offer different perspectives, and visualize challenging concepts in the classroom. Since approximately 65 per cent of students are visual learners, the use of video presents a powerful medium to enhance course learning.
Here are some useful sites to get you started finding great videos to show:
- Youtube.com: one of the most popular video databases on the internet, Youtube presents a powerful source of a variety of video clips that could be incorporated into your lecture.
- Blinkx.com: an advanced video search tool that uniquely indexes the content of videos themselves for a more accurate search.
- BigPicture.tv: contains a database of five-minute videos on environmental and social issues by subject area experts. Anyone may view the videos online, but only faculty members are permitted to download audio and video for offline use, including classroom viewing. Faculty may contact the Research Help Desk to obtain the required username and password.
- Ted.com: a vast video archive of a conference featuring innovative thinkers in a variety of disciplines, this site presents a valuable resource for enriching content.
- Academicearth.org and youtube.com/edu: free resources that allow you to find other instructors explaining course concepts through video so that you can learn from their approach or display clips for your students to get a different perspective.
There are a number of ways that you as the Instructor can create and incorporate video easily and effectively into your course. Videos can be reusable from course to course and can help with process teaching, simplifying tutorials, providing demos to students, or can even be used weekly as a review for course material.
- Capturing video: Video capture is easy with new affordable personal camcorders or can be done at the computer using a built-in or external webcam. If you are using a webcam you can use the free software Windows Movie Maker on your PC or iMovie on MAC to capture video.
- Editing video: A great free online video editor is Youtube Video Editor. On your desktop we recommend the Windows Movie Maker (PC) or iMovie (Mac), while some great paid tools are Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro.
- Screen capture: You can easily capture your screen in a video to do voiceover tutorials demonstrating to students how to use a certain online or software tool. Free screen capture programs to try include Capture, Camstudio.org and Screentoaster.com. Recommended paid tools are Adobe Captivate or the Mac-only program Screenflow.
- Making videos available to students: To broadcast videos to students, consider using free online tools such as Youtube or Vimeo to upload your videos. You can embed these videos into your cuLearn course easily. If you wish to directly embed video files into your cuLearn site, please note that it is recommended that the files are no larger than 100 MB.
- Online video conferencing: Free tools such as Skype and BigBlueButton can allow you to set up video chat sessions where you can demonstrate with video live to students and even hold online guest lecturer sessions where students can ask questions and interact with guests virtually.
Video creation projects can take a variety of different forms, such as having students create instructional how-to videos, interview segments, story-based videos to illustrate a concept, or even short music videos.
Implementing a video assignment requires extensive forethought, since some students tend to put excessive amounts of energy into creative projects that can interfere with their other classes. Thus a video creation assignment is recommended to be a balance between course subject engagement value and workload.
Here are some tips that might help with this:
- Consider an assignment parameter with very basic video elements. For example, require that the video be of a short length, and suggest that it be filmed as only one scene involving minimal subjects such as a basic interview.
- To help students with the workload, offer an alternative project for students who have a busy schedule or set up video creation as a team project to balance tasks between members.
- Consider working with a local film-focused organization to make renting of equipment easier and to provide training for editing and video creation for students.
- Consider setting up video creation as a public project with a real-world organization to make the assignment more meaningful. A great, easily accessible option is the new video on Wikipedia initiative.
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