Video and Audio
Video and audio are excellent mediums for engaging students. Video is especially good for creating social presence and communicating complex visual information.
Re-using existing materials
Before recording or commissioning new videos, always check if there are suitable resources available elsewhere to re-use. There are many websites that offer resources under free or educational licences, and the University Library subscribes to a variety of excellent video services:
- Film and Images (including Box of Broadcasts and IPTV) – Library Site
New videos and recordings
Videos can be an important part of your blended delivery. To keep your content fresh for students, we recommend using a variety of video types in your teaching.
Talking head videos
Talking head videos are videos of you, talking directly to the student. Treat them as a one-to-one conversation, and talk to students individually rather than as a group.
Importantly, talking head videos help create a connection with your students. They put a face to your name, show that you are a real person, and create a social presence that allows students to get to know you.
You can use talking head videos to give a brief description of what your online content will cover, what students will learn, why it is important, and how it fits with later assignments and assessments. Use the opportunity to signpost students to important content elsewhere, define keywords and terminology, and provide a basic outline of their learning journey.
Narrated PowerPoint presentations
Narrated PowerPoint presentations will form a substantial part of your video content. They use the familiar teaching technique of pairing slides with a lecture to explain a topic or concept.
However, long presentations are very difficult for students to watch and stay engaged with. Try to mix up content by using visually interesting slides and graphics. In addition, videos that include you talking with the slides are always more engaging than slides alone. Your presence is important to students, so always try to include an introductory talking head or thumbnail 'picture-in-picture'.
Encourage students to take notes as they follow your videos, and remind them that they can pause and even return to videos later if they need to.
Visualiser and doc-cam recordings
In lecture theatres, it is common to use visualisers to capture handwriting and annotations, particularly in mathematical disciplines. Visualiser videos replicate this experience, and can help draw and keep the learner’s attention for longer than standard presentations.
If you would like to produce this type of video content, you have three options:
- You can purchase a portable visualiser to use at home or in your office
- You can use a mobile phone to create a home-made visualiser
- You can make use of the 10 Resource Development Rooms that NUIT have created in Ridley 2 on campus
A further alternative would be to create a digital document and then use a tablet or screen recording tool to capture your commentary and annotations.
Screen and tablet recordings
Screen recordings capture the contents of your computer screen or mobile device, typically with accompanying audio. They are useful for guiding students through applications and websites.
You can also use a touch or stylus-enabled device (e.g. Samsung Galaxy Tab, Microsoft Surface, or iPad) to create a screen recording. These are perfect devices for capturing handwriting, creating worked maths examples, and annotating documents.
Thinking beyond video
Video is an effective educational tool and offers a rich learning experience for students. However, it is not a silver bullet. Video content is often passive and isn't always the best way for students to learn. Consider using online teaching techniques that encourage learners to actively engage with each other and construct their own meaning around information.
When you do use video, provide students with opportunities to reinforce their learning using quizzes, discussion posts, and meaningful reflective activities.
You can find out more about rethinking lectures and delivering material on the Flexible Learning 2020 Canvas Course.