We write about videos with some degree of frequency. And, well, why not? Videos are great ways to introduce yourself or the course, transition to new content or concepts, and address class themes and discussion points. In addition, the right video content can provide an experience beyond the classroom walls or course shell.
Consider this infographic about the impact of video in education, courtesy of the networking / communications / collaboration company Cisco Systems:
If you’re considering using or creating a video for your course (perhaps as part of a flipped classroom experience or experiment), this list of different styles for integrating video content into your course may help you think about your goals and starting point. In particular, instructor-created video can be much more than a recorded lecture. Note that the last video integration style mentioned might also be read as “Video Engages Interested Others” – meaning community members, colleagues, university administrators, etc.
This is a list of 15 eLearning video tips. Some of them, such as using actors, probably aren’t practical on the individual course level. However, the points about having a transcript available (an important accessibility concern), the optimal length of videos, and establishing the context for your video are all well worth reading. Aimed more at faculty producing their own videos, this list of video tips for faculty is a great pre-recording checklist. I just love condensed tip lists like this: it’s as if someone has already made the mistakes and is now sharing their pearls of wisdom, saving you from mediocre results!
Note that the Koehler Center has some information about recording your own content and uploading it to your Pearson LearningStudio course shell.
Of course, not all videos need to star you or your students. There are several animation options that allow you to upload an image of your own or work with selected sets of avatars. Need a comical take on two molecules joining together? Want to create a funny little animation of two historical or literary characters to start a class discussion? This is a summary of five easy animation tools; these tools are aimed at young students, but that means the learning curve for the new tools should be quite feasible. In the context of creating your own animations, I’d also be remiss not to mention Xtranormal – perhaps the most popular easy web animation tool.
If integrating existing videos is your preference, this list of curated educational internet video sources is a good starting point. In addition, the Koehler Center has collected an extensive list of internet streaming video resources that may be helpful. Last, I just found out about the website Documentary Heaven the other day. The site gathers and embeds documentaries available elsewhere on the internet, serving as a sort of clearinghouse for streaming documentaries.
If you are thinking about working with existing video, this is an intriguing article from the Academic Technology blog at the College of William and Mary about recording your own audio commentary to accompany video resources. Providing your own audio track means that students can stop the video, take notes, rewind, re-watch, and re-listen to your insights as many times as needed. This is a great alternative to the pace of in-class film screenings, with the added bonus of allowing you to use class time for other learning activities. Likewise, you can also ask students to create a commentary of their own for short segments of videos – a great way for them to demonstrate their skills and apply course content.
If you are TCU faculty and have a Pearson LearningStudio course shell, here are the how-to guides for embedding audio and video content in your course shell.
As always, we’d love to hear what video resources you’re using and how you’re using them!