Kieran Mulchrone's Design Narrative: When the Lecturer goes missing!
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10 April 2015
Title When the Lecturer goes missing!
I lecture in an Irish University and had to go to a 1 day conference during term time.
While away I could not afford to lose a valuable lecture and neither could the students. This affected a module that students traditionally find difficult and occurred at critical time in the course.
I needed to develop a learning activity for the students to take the place of the lecture. I had been dabbling in creating short focused videos for another programme and decided to make a video to take the place of the lecture.
1) decide on a topic – I choose the difficult topic.
2) Find a way to strongly encourage students to engage with the material. I decided to embed a question into the video and asked students to email me the answer.
3) Create the video using camtasia studio an easy to use desktop capture video editing software package.
4) Create corresponding written materials to accompany the video. This simply involved editing my existing notes.
5) Follow up on the topic in tutorials to make sure the topic had been grasped.
Most students watched the video and answered the question I posed. There was some assurance that material was at least considered once. In tutorials I found some students had difficulty as before with the material. An unexpected outcome was that students were able to refer back to the video time and again as and when they needed it (unlike a standard lecture). Students commented favourably on this aspect and said it helped overall with the course.
Short, focused videos are very helpful for getting across difficult topics because they can be viewed more than once if necessary. Video editing tools such as Camtasia Studio are intuitive and with practice, preparation and patience the process is reasonably simple. This experience lead me to persist with this appoach in other more “online” porgrammes. Time-permitting it may get rolled out to more of my courses. Creating video however always takes much more time than giving a traditional lecture.