When online faculty or course developers are approached about adding videos to their content, they tend to think of either webcam shots of themselves at their computer or screencasts of themselves reading bullet points to students. But there are a variety of highly effective and easy-to-produce video formats for online education. Here are the different options, along with their best uses and the best technology for creating them.
Online Classroom Current Issue: January 2018
We use technology to facilitate group activities. If we want to engage our students in a brainstorming activity in our face-to-face classroom, for instance, we may choose to use a technology like Padlet that allows multiple students to collaborate and contribute ideas simultaneously. Teachers also use technology to assess student learning. Student response systems like Plickers or iClickers or Socrative allow teachers to monitor student understanding and make instructional adjustments as needed; this can happen both in online and face-to-face learning environments. Teachers can also use technology to support specific types of activities. For example, an instructor could have students use Twitter to find trending topics in their discipline or watch a documentary film online.
When you picture an online discussion, your mind most likely envisions a text-heavy, threaded exchange of ideas among students who are primarily responding to an instructor’s prompt and then persuaded by the promise of points to respond to each other. Depending on a number of factors, the discussion can be dynamic, or it can fall flat. Because discussion forums are one of the most popular and frequently used technological tools in online and blended courses, instructors must take the time to ensure these discussions are effective.
Once you start making videos for education, you are going to want to use video-editing software to polish the results. Even a simple webcam shot will have unneeded lead-in and exit footage to trim out. You might also want to add a title or even create a moving image introduction as I have started doing for my videos. These are easy to create, as video-editing software comes with the features already prepared for you. You will also need to use video-editing software to create digital storytelling videos that combine narration with visuals for a striking effect.
Working well collaboratively is an important skill to teach, but simply putting students together in groups and asking them to work together online doesn’t necessarily result in learning. A good way to ensure learning is to provide a rubric to help students understand what is required from them. Students can use the rubric to provide constructive feedback to one another without the fear of alienating their peers because they are simply following the rubric.