A number of video types that work well in an online environment, each with its own strengths that make it appropriate for teaching certain types of content. One of the most powerful types is whiteboard videos.
Guest speakers were always one of my favorite parts of teaching Principles of Public Relations in a traditional classroom. They invigorated my class with their real-world stories and advice that complemented the textbook and lesson plans. Every semester students would tell me how guests had influenced or inspired them. When I was converting the course to an online format, I wanted to include the guest speakers.
A faculty member once told me that experience does not teach; only reflection on experience teaches. We become better teachers by reflecting on what went right or wrong after each class to learn what we should change in the future. This is why I try to schedule a block of time after each class to reflect on what I learned and should do differently in the next class, and I jot down those notes to use when preparing future classes.
Online learning environments offer exciting opportunities for expanding the types of instructional materials that teachers can use. Because interaction is mediated digitally, teachers can tap into simulations, videos, case studies, and so much more to support student learning.
There are many ways to make engaging and highly effective videos for education, including live action, voice-over imagery, animation, stop action, and others. The newest entry to the list is the Lightboard, invented by Michael Peshkin at Northwestern University. This format uses a studio shot of the instructor speaking while writing on a board, similar to a live class with a blackboard. But the twist is that the instructor does not turn his or her back on the audience to write. The instructor writes on a glass pane between himself or herself and camera, allowing the instructor to speak directly to the audience while writing. The effect is quite engaging.
Class discussions are valuable for pushing participants to think more deeply about ideas and defend their thoughts. However, poorly designed online discussions can turn into mundane and tedious renderings of testimonials, folk wisdom, and repetitious speculations. To avoid this, instructors need to provide the right prompts that compel students to analyze and translate their ideas into everyday language. Two strategies that can meet this requirement are online scripts and video analysis.
Call for Proposals - The Magna Teaching With Technology Conference - October 6–8, 2017 Baltimore, Md.
Call for Proposals: The Leadership in Higher Education Conference - October 19-21, 2017 Baltimore, Md.