Day 5: Integrating video into your teaching

Video in Teaching and Learning- Part 2

Written by Rebecca Ng and Janene Harman, ANU Online

Welcome to Day 10, Integrating video into your teaching. We know that video can be a great teaching tool but you can maximise its effectiveness by using it in conjunction with other learning activities such as quizzes and forums. In doing this, students will be more directed and focused when watching the video as they are required to actively engage with its content. If you plan your video not just as a standalone item but as part of a group of activities, it will help you design a more integrated course.

Storyboarding activities and videos needs to be part of your planning process. Think about the learning outcomes you want to achieve: What is it you want students to know from the content you are delivering in a video? You can find some of these guidelines in one of our previous coffee courses: Enhancing your lectures

How to get students to watch your video?

Image source: retrieved 1/9/17

One of the big issues with video is that you can spend time creating and putting together something great that delivers the content but it doesn’t necessarily translate to viewership. Results from various research have been inconclusive as to whether videos and lecture captures enhance teaching and learning or are even watched by students (See Part 1; O’Callaghan et al., 2015; Woolfitt, 2015; McKee, 2014). Some well-received courses only showed students watching an average of five hours of lecture capture per term – indicating that students picked and chose sections to view rather than watching these videos in their entirety (Grumett & Appleby-Donald, 2016). So how can you stimulate students to watch your video?

Some useful tips are:

  • Keep your video short (6 minutes or under) and focus on key points. Break information down into small, bite-sized pieces – better to have a number of short, chunked videos rather than one long video!
  • Conduct a short quiz after the video
  • Ask questions in the video and direct students to discuss them in a forum
  • Set short tasks or activities within the video for students to do – e.g. collect articles on a topic and share them with the class, tell them to pause the video and post their ideas a forum, do a poll or quiz, etc.

Other strategies for overcoming this problem can be found in part 1 of this coffee course.

Embedding video into learning and learning designs

Many of you use your local learning management system (LMS) – e.g. ANU uses Moodle – to house your lecture content. Often this is in the form of PowerPoint presentations, lecture material, lecture recordings, quizzes, forums and so on.

You may, however, choose to embed your videos directly into forums, quizzes or other online presentation tools. In this example, I’ve used Sway, an Office365 tool, to embed a video followed by a quiz (using Polleverywhere). Please note that the content within this video is not relevant to this course.

Here are some examples where videos have been embedded with various activities:

In this case, I’ve embedded a twitter feed with a dedicated hashtag related to the video:

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) often have lessons that are taught using videos followed by online discussions and quizzes. Here’s an example:

This article has a number of different ideas to help move beyond passive viewership such as setting up accompanying chatrooms alongside videos, running virtual classrooms, etc.: How to move beyond lecture capture: pedagogy guide

Other tools and techniques:

There are a few other tools that you can use to integrate your video with activities.

Verse/Kaltura/Articulate – Some video players and software (most require a subscription though) have in-built interactive elements such as quizzes or menus and can usually be embedded into your LMS site (e.g. See the University of Queensland Kaltura guide). Here is an example of to make an interactive video with quiz in Kaltura.

Echo360 Active Learning Platform (ALP) – Many universities in Australia, including ANU, have subscribed to Echo360 ALP. At the ANU, it is scheduled to be released at end of this year and will be used campus wide from the start of 2018. While ALP will continue to carry the traditional Echo360 lecture capture function, it will house a suite of interactive features that can be integrated such as quizzes and interactive slides.

Powtoons/Biteable – Both Biteable and Powtoons allow users to create animation and cartoon videos. This can be used to break up the monotony of lectures.

Final word:

While the task of integrating videos into a course may require more work and planning than you initially thought, the results of good integration may also enhance teaching and learning experiences and create long term efficiencies.

Here’s a great article that sums up today’s coffee course: What Makes an Online Instructional Video Compelling?


Reflect on best practices discussed with using videos as part of teaching. Considering the course and students you teach, do you think these best practices are relevant? Why/Why not? How have/would you integrate videos with activities?

Join us for a face-to-face session today!

Please register if you would like to come.

Friday, 8 September, 12-1pm, Chancelry Building #10, 10 East Road – meet in the Lobby

We invite you to a hands-on session where you can learn more about and practise presenting on camera in the SCAPA Professional Media Studio.  Jamie Kidston from SCAPA will also be on hand to share his tips. Please RSVP to: if you are able to attend. View the campus map for directions.

Additional resources:


Grumett, D. & Appleby-Donald, E. (2016). Does lecture capture enhance learning?, Teaching Matters at the University of Edinburgh, retrieved on 30 August 2017 from

McKee, D. (2014). What happens when students can choose between videos and in-person lectures, Teach Better, retrieved on 30 August 2017 from

O’Callaghanm F.V., Neumann, D.L., Jones, L. & Creed, P.A. (2017). The use of lecture recordings in higher education: A review of institutional, student, and lecturer issues, Education and Information Technologies, 22(1), pp. 399-415.

Woolfitt (2015). The effective use of video in higher education, Lectoraat Teaching, retrieved on 30 August 2017 from




Day 4: Sharing, access, and copyright for your video

Video in Teaching and Learning- Part 2

Written by Janene Harman, ANU Online


Image source: retrieved 30/8/17

Welcome to day 4 of this Coffee course. Today we will be looking at sharing, access and copyright for video. After creating and editing your video there are a number of options for making your video available to your students for them to access. This can depend on the type of video you have made and also if you want it to be available exclusively to your students or more publicly to the wider world. The content you have included in the video may also affect this decision. 




What concerns do you have with sharing video? Post about this in the forum or tell us if you have  had any good or bad experiences of sharing video.

Options for sharing video:


At the ANU any lecture capture videos are recorded in the lecture recording system within the room you are lecturing in using the Echo360 recording system. Recordings are automatically stored in Echo360 and housed there for students to access from their courses.

From the beginning of 2018 Echo360 ALP (Active Learning Platform) will be fully available throughout the University. ALP  allows you to organise videos you create, such as using PCAP (Echo360 Personal Capture) or your lecture recordings. Here they can be housed and organised in the one place. ALP allows you to have PowerPoint presentations alongside your video in which you can  create an active learning experience for your students through the development of interactive slides. These slides will allow you  to embed video  you have created and create quiz slides to go with your video. More detail about ALP will be coming  in a future coffee course specifically about this platform.

YouTube and Vimeo

After you have downloaded your PCAP or the recording that you have created you may want to put it into YouTube or Vimeo for your students to access. These platforms allow you to upload video you have created,for example you could download your lecture recordings, edit them and keep the key bits or add images and then put them into one of these platforms for students to access. You might want to find out if your college has an existing YouTube or Vimeo account that you can use or you can set up your own channel for free by going to these sites and joining up.

The following short video’s demonstrate the processes of uploading video to YouTube and Vimeo:

Uploading to YouTube

Uploading to Vimeo

Once your video is in YouTube or Vimeo you can then link to it from your Wattle course or embed it in a page. Keep in mind that it is better to embed a video within a page in Wattle rather than embedding it directly into your course as this can cause problems for students who are on limited internet access and the video may be difficult to download especially if it is a large video.

Keep in mind copyright!

Remember when sharing video you need to keep copyright in mind. This means making sure that any images or content you are using in your videos is copyright compliant especially if your video are going to be available to the wider world. There are laws in Australia that apply to what and how video can be used within the educational context. Below are a number of links to various university guides on copyright and how it applies to lecture recording capture and to the use of video within Learning Management sites (LMS). You need to consider your  and be aware of your responsibilities  when using video and images in your teaching.  

The following resources provide guidance and information about copyright in relation to video use:

Make use of the commons!

Sourcing creative commons materials and images to use in your teaching is the safest way to go. In the previous coffee course, Designing effective presentations Day 4, there are a number of links to CC image sites. The following slide show provides a good summary of creative commons for educators.

There are a number of sites that provide CC cleared video material that you can search for video resources to use in your teaching.

Even though the material you use is freely available through Creative Commons it is good practice to attribute what you are using. The following sites provides guidance on attribution, Attributing Creative Commons Materials and Creative Commons Australia How to attribute Creative Commons licensed materials.

Other sites you might like to explore

The following sites have video resources already available that you could link to in your Wattle (Moodle) site. Many Universities have their own YouTube or Vimeo channels that you can go to to find video that you can link to and also CC video that you can use.

Big Think – this site houses  videos developed by academics in the relevant field along with other resources on different topics in one easy to find place.

Screenshot UNSW TV

Another great place to find CC videos in YouTube is to search for University channels, here universities post many quality CC videos covering many faculty areas and you can access material from universities all over the world. Just look for the CC. Here are a couple of examples:



Join us for a face-to-face session

Dont’ forget to register if you would like to join us for the face to face session tomorrow. We look forward to seeing you then!

Friday, 8 September, 12-1pm, Chancelry Building #10, 10 East Road – meet in the Lobby

We invite you to a hands-on session where you can learn more about and practise presenting on camera in the SCAPA Professional Media Studio.  Jamie Kidston from SCAPA will also be on hand to share his tips. Please RSVP to: if you are able to attend. View the campus map for directions.


Day 3: Recording yourself

Written by Katie Freund and Karlene Dickens, ANU Online

In Part 1 of this coffee course in August, we discussed the value of lecturer-created videos as a strategy to build a sense of social presence and engagement within courses, and at how mobile devices can be used to create quick and effective video introductions. Much of the discussion involved the challenges of being comfortable on camera. In today’s post, we will build on these previous topics and look specifically at the practicalities of filming yourself, and share techniques you can use when presenting on-camera.

Planning your recording

As with anything, a bit of careful planning before can go a long way. Before you start recording, you’ll need to think about what you’re about to film and what is needed. Here are some of the key issues you’ll need to think about before you start the camera.

What will you say?

Depending on your presentation and speaking style, you may want to write a full script or notes with dot points. We’ll look at speaking style below, but in your preparation make sure you have sufficient information to cover all you want to say and stay on topic. It’s a great idea to practice at least once without the camera, and then once or twice with the camera, before attempting the final version.

Where will you film?

The environment, space, and framing of the video help set the tone for the type of video you are making. In previous coffee courses we’ve experimented with a few different styles for our videos, from more casual videos filmed in our offices (with notes as a helper only) to more formal videos filmed in a studio (using a teleprompter and a complete script).  When choosing a location, consider if it is appropriate to the context of your video. Also, a well-lit space (preferably with some natural light) that is quiet with limited background noise is essential.

How do you look?

Obviously none of us are professional actors, but it’s important to feel comfortable with your video so that you can use it in the future. Wear something comfortable and that is appropriate for the type of video. For example, if you are appearing “in the field” you might be dressed differently than if you were  in the office. Generally speaking, complex patterns or prints can be distorted on camera, and extremely bright colours can affect the camera’s colour balance. Jewellery or accessories can be distracting to the viewer. (There are great examples in this video: What colours to wear on camera.)

Using the right equipment

There are three dimensions to filming effective video: audio, video, and lighting. Here are a few things to consider before you film.


A quiet space is key. Reduce background noise by turning off fans or air conditioners, closing windows, and putting up a “do not disturb” sign on your door. The built-in microphone on your webcam or mobile device is acceptable if the space is very quiet, but consider investing in a separate microphone if you plan to do a lot of filming. Good quality audio can make a world of difference!


Most mobile devices and webcams usually capture high-definition video. Use a tripod if you are filming with a mobile device to prevent shaky videos, and avoid zooming in with the device’s camera as this reduces the quality of the image. Either move closer or zoom in during the editing process.


A brightly lit room is essential, and natural light is recommended wherever possible. Find a spot with clear and bright light near a window if you can. Try taking a picture of yourself in the spot where you want to film to see how well it is lit on camera before you start. Lighting from more than one angle can help reduce shadows.

A few small changes can make a significant difference to your video, as seen in the example below. These are all small changes made quickly right before filming.

Before After
 Katie appears in shadow, in a cluttered room.  Katie appears with a white background and good lighting.
  • Background is cluttered
  • Room lights are off
  • Face is in shadow
  • Too far away from camera
  • Dangling earrings
  • Microphone not close to mouth
  • Clean background
  • Combination of room lights and natural light
  • Face is well lit
  • Closer to camera
  • Removed earrings and changed hairstyle
  • Wearing microphone headset for better sound quality

Presentation and speaking style

In the video below, Karlene will talk about how to engage with the camera and provide tips on speaking style and body language.

View the transcript: Video recording.

Dealing with the awkwardness of being in front of the camera

It’s natural for many of us to feel self-conscious and awkward when we start recording on video and when we see ourselves on camera – as illustrated so well in this video:  The science behind why no one likes to be on camera.

Some strategies to help reduce the awkwardness are:

  • Practice – practice what you are going to say and how you are going to say it, practice with the equipment, practice in the location you plan to use. Record a few takes until you feel prepared, familiar with the equipment and what you are going to say.
  • Record more videos – the more videos that you do over time, the more comfortable you will be.
  • Smile and breathe.
  • Focus on the narrative, the story and your target audience rather than yourself – this video explains this concept well.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Try some warm up vocal exercises – (yes really!) such as shown int this video: Warming up your speaking voice. Or for a more light-hearted view watch this Vocal Warm Up.

Further Resources

  • Read this for more ideas on how to present.
  • Watch this video for tips on what to do with your hands on camera.
  • Read this for tips to create engaging training videos.

Special Event

Get expert advice and hands-on practice being on camera with this special training with ANU’s public affairs team, SCAPA. Join us Friday, 8 September from 12pm – 1pm in SCAPA’s professional media studio to learn presentation skills. You’ll get a chance to experience being filmed and get friendly advice on how to improve. RSVPs are essential. Please email to join us.


Share some examples of presenters that you admire, whether it is colleagues, television presenters, conference keynote, or TED Talk. What makes them a good presenter?

Like everything, practice makes perfect. Try filming yourself! How did you find the process? Share your experiences in the comments. Did these tips help? We would love to see your videos if you are comfortable, and encourage everyone to provide constructive, friendly feedback as part of our learning community. Otherwise, ask a colleague, family member, or friend to give you some feedback.

Presentation and speaking style – (Version 2)

A colleague viewed Karlene’s video above, and provided some constructive feedback which Karlene incorporated into a new video using the same script.

Take a look, and consider what differences there are between this video and the first one that Karlene presented – particularly in terms of presentation and speaking style.

Production Notes on Today’s Videos

As part of making the video process more transparent, we’re going to share some reflections on the videos we make – as we did in Part One. The two clips above were filmed in the ANU’s One Button Studio in Chifley Library and Karlene practiced memorising the script beforehand. The original footage was edited using Premier Pro on a PC, although Camtasia would be better for quicker editing and for new users. For each video, the whole process in the studio took about 40-50 minutes to prepare and film (with multiple takes recorded and checked before deciding on a final version), and then another 20-30 minutes to edit and put on YouTube (and we are relatively familiar with video editing).

Day 2: Production tools and tips

Video in Teaching and Learning- Part 2

Written by Sherry Lo and Jill Lyall, ANU Online

Person using phone cameraIn Part 1 of this Coffee Course on using videos, we provided an overview of a range of tools that you can use to shoot and create your own video course materials.  We gave an outline of some ways to shoot video then edit and produce the footage.  Today we are going to provide more detailed, hands-on instructions on using some of these tools, and provide links to relevant help resources.


Capturing video footage

We will concentrate on how to use Echo360 Personal Capture, desktop webcam, Adobe Connect, mobile devices and One Button Studio at ANU, for taking video footage of yourself or others talking, or a screen on which you may be wanting to show a PowerPoint presentation, documents, images, or websites.  We will also look at converting PowerPoint presentations to movies.

Ways to record your own talk to your students

webcam iconSwitch on your mic and webcam on your desktop  and away you go. 

This is the most straight forward way to record yourself talking to your students.  It is suitable for very short introductions, such as simply greeting your students and welcoming them to the course.  You can edit this and add in slides and other materials if you wish, but a simple video recording of your greeting will be a welcome personal touch to your online course.  Save the recording as an mp4 file and it can be added to your course (we will be discussing ways of sharing video footage on Day’s 4 and 5 of this course).

Most laptops have webcams built in these days but if you are working on a PC or a laptop without a built in camera, you can purchase a webcam fairly cheaply and it is connected via USB port and is placed on the top of your screen.  How you get your webcam started and operate it will depend on what device and operating system you are using.

There are certain apps that will open your webcam for you, some of which are covered below.  But you can also simply record footage of yourself talking, from the desktop. Go here  to see  how I did this from a Windows PC using Windows 8.1 Enterprise System.


Echo360 iconEcho360 Personal Capture

This will provide you with more options than a simple webcam on your desk top, although you will still use the same equipment.  Echo360 Personal Capture allows you to capture your screen, as well as your “talking head.”  You may leave it as a simple “talking head” introduction, or you may use the clip and add in other clips, using a video editor,  that  switch between a slide show or an on-screen demonstration or website, and your talking head.  Go here to see a screen recording of how to use Echo360 Personal capture to record yourself.


Tablet iconUse your phone or tablet to record yourself and/or others. 

The simplest way of course is the hand-held phone or tablet with “facetime” camera on.  However it is also possible to set up your phone or camera with a simple tripod and film yourself sitting relaxed on a lounge chair, or a relaxed interview with others.  (More on this tomorrow!)  Some of this was covered in Day 4, “Screen and tablet recording”.


PPT iconCreating video footage from your PowerPoint presentations  

In Windows 10 and later, it is easy to create a video from your PowerPoint slides.  It is worth it, though, to consider, when you are designing your presentation, how it will look best as a video.  You will add your voice to each slide so lots of text should be unnecessary.  Use lots of visual elements and use your voice to put across key concepts.

Here is an example by Dr Tambri Housen in the Masters of Population Health: Introduction to Analysis of Survey Data

Try it yourself! Create some interesting, visually attractive PowerPoint presentations with a voice-over, and then save them as MP4 files which will run as videos in your course.  Go here for a step by step guide to making your PPT presentation into a video.


Adobe connect iconAdobe Connect

This is another way that you can record yourself giving a talk, and also include a slide show, visits to websites, notes and file attachments.  This is available in some higher education institutions for web conferencing, but it can also be used to self-record lectures with slides and screen-sharing. To learn more about Adobe Connect and its tools, go to the Adobe Connect Community site. Recording a session in an empty Adobe Connect virtual room, with PowerPoint presentations and drawings, screen share or web display, will provide you with a recorded lesson that displays on the Moodle page where your Adobe Connect session is linked.  Students can view the lesson by clicking on the link.  Unfortunately, there is no straight forward way of downloading the recording for further editing and uploading in a different format, and you would need to simply direct your students to access it on the Moodle page where the Adobe Connect room is linked.


video camera iconFully equipped video recording studio.  Yes, not many academics have ready access to such a thing or know how to operate it!  However many universities are now making available simple self-help recording rooms for lecturers to record videos.  At ANU we have recently been provided with a “One Button” studio that has all of the correct lighting, camera positioning and recording equipment set up to go at the press of a button.  So you can simply press the button and record yourself (or others if you wish to interview), then save the recording on to a USB drive to upload later to your course.  Here is a video we used in part one of this coffee course, by Dr. Katie Freund, about using One Button Studio.


As you can see from what we have outlined above and linked to for further detail, there are many tools readily available to you for personal video creation.  There is much to learn, but we are all learning when it comes to this technology!  Try any of these out, and practice using your favourite tools to build up confidence in using these forms of communication in your teaching.


Have you tried any of these tools to create videos that are screen recordings, or videos of yourself talking to your students?  What were the pro’s and cons of those you have tried?  If you have produced a video using any of these tool and can share a link with us to view, please feel free to do so!

It could be argued that  these tools are simply new forms of communication and information sharing, and as such we need to develop some skills to use at least some of them.  Do you agree with this argument, or do you think this type of technology should be left to multimedia experts?

Post your responses in the forum.

Join us for a face-to-face session

Friday, 8 September, 12-1pm, Chancelry Building #10, 10 East Road – meet in the Lobby

We invite you to a hands-on session where you can learn more about and practise presenting on camera in the SCAPA Professional Media Studio.  Jamie Kidston from SCAPA will also be on hand to share his tips. Please RSVP to: if you are able to attend. View the campus map for directions.



Other tips for Educational video 

How to use the camera app with your web cam in Windows 8

How to edit footage and images taken with camera in Windows 8

Echo360 Service page at ANU

Adobe Connect Community site.

One Button Studio

Making videos with your Android Smartphone or Tablet Using These 7 Great Apps

Make Videos with your iPhone or iPad like a Pro using these 8 IOS Apps

UTS: Shooting and uploading video to YouTube using a Smartphone or Tablet

Flinders University:  How to create a video – student guide


Day 1: Planning, scripting, and storyboarding

Video in Teaching and Learning -Part 2

Written by Sherry Lo and Jill Lyall, ANU Online


Welcome back to Part II of the Video coffee course series. In the post today, we will talk about the pre-production planning before video creation to save you time in the process.

Planning your video makes you consider what student learning outcomes you hope to achieve from the video.  You start to structure your video clip through thinking out objectives, concepts you would like to cover, and a structure for presenting this.  Careful planning can result in quicker video production, with less need to stop and start when filming. This reduces the tedious time spent editing the final clip.

Here is an example of Content Creation Cycle for educational videos. It demonstrates a circular process for you to keep improving video production.

The post from Education Video offers several good points for planning:

  • what content/topics will you cover in your video?
  • what copyright rules do you have to follow?
  • what tone will you use for your video (serious, silly, witty, scary, a combination)?
  • how long will the video be?
  • what footage will you use (live action, screencasting, images, animations, etc.)?
  • where do you plan to shoot the video (office, studio, outdoor)?
  • where are you hosting your video (Blakboard, SeneMA, YouTube)? who do you want to access your video (your class, Senecans, the general public) – this will be discussed in more details in Day 9 of this coffee course.

Part of the planning includes scripting and story boarding. In movie making or professional videos, scripts and storyboards are two separate steps with great details in each. However, for the lecturer-created educational videos, i.e. videos conveying information, there is some overlap of scripting and story boarding. In our post, we will keep them separate but targeted at the level for creating educational videos.

Scripts and storyboards

Thornhill et al (2002, p. 27) offers a good way to determine whether you need a storyboard or a script.

  • What do you want to say? You may need a script.
  • What do you want to show? You may need a storyboard.


Image source: retrieved 1/9/17

“A script is a detailed transcript including additional instructions and timings,”  according to Thornhill et al (2002, p. 27),

As pointed out on Education Video, “while a script isn’t as flashy as the visuals, it’s the gas that will power your video’s audio and visuals. Without a great script, you can’t have a great video.”

There are a number of ways to create scripts. You can have detailed scripts or have just brief talking points or prompt sheet.

In general, the key points in a script include:

  • Hook/Opening – use a short sentence to catch your students’ attention and make it sound as interesting as you can.
  • Intro/Premise – explain the idea you are trying to sell
  • Body – go into the details of the idea
  • Question/Call to action – ask the students to think of the answer or perform certain actions
  • Close – Summarise the key point and tie back to the premise

Other tips to keep in mind are:

  • Limit to one or two key ideas per video – easier for students to review and access later.
  • Write conversationally – write it like you are explaining it to your friend. Aim to write for the ear, not for the eye.
  • Use simple words – if you need to use jargon, consider adding text to the video during the editing phase.
  • Rehearse before filming – practice by reading the script out loud. This will help you to identify if it sounds natural or if the point is clear. This will be covered more in Day 8 of this coffee course.

Here is a video about how to write a speech outline. I find many relevant points can be applied to making educational videos.

How to write a speech outline (2min 33sec)

This video talks more on business videos but it has lots of good points, which can apply to educational videos. Please note there is no endorsement for any paid service mentioned in this video.

How I Create My Training Videos & Presentations (5min 15sec)

Sample script/storyboard 

Here are a few templates that you can use to script or adapt as a storyboard:

Making storyboards

A storyboard is a sequence of sketches with text descriptions showing the layout of each shot (Thornhill et al 2002). A storyboard is a tool for helping you craft your objectives, concepts and structure into a coherent video clip that has a beginning, middle and end, and is logical and easy to follow.  In addition, your storyboard can become a template for future productions, with small adjustments to suit the purpose.  A storyboard helps you visualise your material on a screen over time.  There are numerous tools and techniques for creating storyboarding.  You can simply work on whiteboard or butchers paper to set out the conceptual material you wish to cover – starting with a mind map, for example.  You can then progress to envisage how this will translate to a screen over time, possibly using squares to jot some main points, diagrams and even stick figures to represent segments of the video.

Storyboard is useful when you have different scenes or shots in a video. For educational videos, you may not have many different shots or the need to zoom in or out. If you are using a mix of screen capture and talking head or other video clips, storyboard will help you organise when to switch to what screen. If you are working with a group, it will also help you to explain what you intend to produce and to get others on the same page.

One of the most commonly used tools for storyboarding is PowerPoint.  PowerPoint is already set up to provide separate windows for different concepts, where you an add text, images and shapes to work out your concepts.  It also have a number of different views that can be useful for visualising.

Padlet is an example of an online brainstorming tool that could be used for storyboarding.  It would be particularly useful if you are collaborating in a group to create you storyboard.

Activity: Share your script or storyboard for a video you’d like to create on this Padlet.


Join us for a face-to-face session

Friday, 8 September, 12-1pm, Chancelry Building #10, 10 East Road – meet in the Lobby

We invite you to a hands-on session where you can learn more about and practise presenting on camera in the SCAPA Professional Media Studio.  Jamie Kidston from SCAPA will also be on hand to share his tips. Please RSVP to: if you are able to attend. View the campus map for directions.


References and additional resources:  

Thornhill, S., Asensio, M., & Young, C. (2002). “Video Streaming: a guide for educational development.” Available at:  

How to write an awesome video script in 8 steps

The easy guide to writing a great explainer video script


Next course: Creating your own videos

Creating your own videos

Monday, 4 September to Friday, 8 September 2017

Part 2 of the Video in Teaching and Learning Series

A close up of a camera taking a picture.If you are interested in creating videos for your own teaching, this course will help! We will explore the practical and hands-on aspects of making different types of videos in this course, including how to storyboard, tips and tricks for production, and how to record yourself. It will also look at the different ways you can share and license your videos, so you can decide who can access and use them. Finally, this course will share strategies on how to integrate the videos you create into your teaching practice so that they are a valuable learning tool for students.

This course Is Part 2 of a series on Video, with Part 1 investigating why and how video can be used for university teaching and learning. In Part 1, we discussed what makes an effective educational video and explore types of video formats for different disciplines.

Course Dates

This course ran from Monday, 4 September to Friday, 8 September 2017, but is accessible online to anyone interested. There are 5 blog posts that will take about 10-15 minutes to work through.



This course is brought to you by members of the ANU Online team, including:

Sherry Lo – Learning Management Technology Specialist
Jill Lyall – Learning Designer
Karlene Dickens – Learning Technologist
Janene Harman – Learning Designer
Katie Freund – Senior Learning Designer
Rebecca Ng – Learning Technologist

All are welcome

We welcome all staff, including tutors, demonstrators, professional staff, and academics at the Australian National University to join us, as well as colleagues at other institutions.

How does the course work?

All you need to do to join the course is click on the link for each day of the modules. You may like to Subscribe for Updates by entering your email in the box on the right-hand side of the blog, and hear about upcoming coffee courses. For information on how to participate in coffee courses, please see this post for more information.


Please feel free to contact us at with any questions.

Day 3: Building successful ePortfolio activities

Building successful ePortfolio activities

Jenny Edwards and Aliya Steed, ANU Online and Shane Nuessler, Manager, Learning Information and Environments, University of Canberra

Image source: retrieved 22/8/17

Any tool is only as good as its implementation. We’ve probably all heard of (or been guilty of) cases where a discussion forum has been just flung into an online course, and then we wondered why the students didn’t magically fall into a vibrant discussion. This is even more the case for ePortfolios. The tool is designed to enable online portfolio learning, with goals as discussed on Monday, including deep engagement, reflection and metacognition. While a portfolio can revolutionise a course or program, successful implementation is not so much about the availability of the tool, but about the extent to which portfolio learning is adequately integrated, supported and the new approach to learning is valued by both teachers and students (van Tartwijk and Driessen in Trevitt, Macduff and Steed 2014: 75).

So an important task is to think through how any proposed portfolio activity is designed and embedded in its wider context. Experience indicates an ePortfolio activity is more likely to be successful if it is:

  • Well-integrated – fits in clearly as part of the course or program, not just an optional added extra
  • Well-motivated – directly relevant for students, clearly understood benefits for learning, appropriately linked to assessment
  • Straightforward for the students to use and adequately supported.

In this post, we will explore some of the challenges to using portfolios in your course or program, and look at some of the things that teachers can do to help a portfolio work effectively.


Portfolio learning is often a new and challenging way to work for students. Many of the activities that are essential to portfolio assignments can be confusing to students. Drawing on the literature and the discussions over Day 1 and Day 2, here are some of the key challenges in implementing a portfolio.

Students feeling confused or uncertain  

Portfolios represent a significant shift in learning and assessment which can result in student resistance, especially without considerable guidance and support (e.g. guidelines, examples) throughout the process (Butler 2006: 4).  The scope and purpose of portfolios is often drastically different from traditional assessments, which can cause anxiety and concern among students. As pointed out by Paul Francis in his comment replying to Monday’s post, students can lack the very skills they need in order to successfully build reflective and metacognitive skills.


Cognitive load of learning a new platform

As well as understanding the nature of portfolios, both students and staff may face the additional challenge of learning to use what may be a second or third learning technology platform. Support can help, as well as a focus on using systems which are easy to use and as “transparent” as possible. 

Concerns about privacy and exposure

While it can be a valuable learning experience for a student to reflect on things that have perhaps not gone well or that demonstrate their weaknesses, this also makes them vulnerable.  Stiofán Mac Suibhne (2016) tells the story of a student studying to be an osteopath, who realised upon reflection that he was very poor with knees.  As a result, he went on to study knees more carefully.  He became a world leader in the field.  However, a quick Google search of his background still delivers his “I’m hopeless with knees” reflection, which could potentially undermine the confidence of potential clients. Students need to feel that they will be protected with appropriate confidentiality.  The privacy of clients or patients also needs to be protected, such as in placements or work-integrated learning situations.

Ownership and portability

If we expect students to invest in their portfolio as a personally significant piece of work, can they expect to be able to retain access when they graduate? Who retains the intellectual property?  Students need to be clear about these issues upfront.

Assessing portfolios can be difficult.

Traditional assessment notions of “validity” and “reliability” may not be compatible with the personal and formative nature of portfolios (Trevitt, Macduff and Steed 201: 71).  As Butler points out, “the danger is that learning and reflection will get lost in the drive to measure competency” (2006: 4).  In designing portfolio assessment, teachers find themselves navigating the vast range of possibilities as to what constitutes evidence of learning (e.g. images, video, interactive 3D maps, music and so forth) and balancing the level of prescription and guidance. Too much can lead to resentment, too little to defensiveness and superficiality (Butler 2006: 4).

Further issues both the teacher and the institution may need to deal with include:

  • accountability, academic integrity or identity misrepresentation
  • social and professional identities, where the nature of portfolios has blurred with social media tools
  • the perception of increased workload (Trevitt, Macduff and Steed 2014, 71) 
  • students leaving it too late
  • integration of portfolios over multiple courses or entire degree programs

 … and many more!


What concerns you about using an ePortfolio in your teaching practice? What do you think will be the key challenges for your course when implementing a portfolio? Post your answers in the forum.

Success factors 

As well as identifying the challenges teachers may face in using ePortfolios, there are also factors which can increase the chances of success.  Butler (2006, 4) provides us with a summary of criteria for success:

  • Familiarity with the portfolio concept, including an understanding of both the process and the product of portfolio construction;
  • Clear framework and guidelines;
  • Structure tempered with freedom for creativity;
  • Feedback during the evidence collection process;
  • Understanding the value of reflection;
  • Understanding of the value of the portfolio for future use such as employment;
  • Motivation to learn and achieve good marks;
  • Student ownership of the portfolio;
  • Making connections between the portfolio content and the outside life of the student;
  • Consideration of the target audience; and a
  • Sense of achievement at overcoming initial struggles to understand the portfolio concept.

How much each of these criteria might be emphasised will vary with the purpose of the portfolio, the learning goals in mind, as well as stage and nature of the student group.

Where to from here?  

Given the wide variety of possibilities which ePortfolios afford and the potential sensitivities and complexities that universities face in deciding how and why to implement them, an institutional-level conversation is probably a necessity, rather than a nice-to-have.  If you are considering experimenting with ePortfolios in your teaching it may worthwhile connecting with others already using them, not only to benefit from their experience, but in order to help shape the way ePortfolios are used within the institution as a whole. 

Upcoming Mahara ePortfolio training at ANU

Staff located at ANU are welcome to contact ANU Online to discuss their ideas for using portfolios.  They may also like attend one of the upcoming sessions which will demonstrate how the ANU portfolio system, Mahara, can be used. Please sign up for the next session, Monday 11 September from 1pm – 2:30pm in the Hancock Library Flex Studio.


List the current assessment methods you use; list as many strengths and then limitations as possible. Looking at the limitations, is there a valuable range where portfolio practice can fit in?

The lists of challenges and success factors above are not exhaustive.  What design considerations would be important for an ePortfolio activity in your course or program? 

Further reading:


  • Butler, P. (2006) A Review Of The Literature On Portfolios And Electronic Portfolios (eCDF ePortfolio Project). October. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Massey University College of Education (Retrieved 5 August 2017, from:
  • JISC (2008) – Effective Practice with ePortfolios – Supporting 21st century learning (Retrieved 22 August 2017, from
  • Mac Suibhne, S. (2016). Panel plenary session ‘Give an example of how collecting evidence and connecting it to criteria can demonstrate your professionalism/leadership’ presented at 2016 Eportfolio Forum, ‘Connecting learning to the future’, meeting of ePortfolios Australia, Sydney Conservatorium of Music. September. Sydney. Australia. See program available at, Retrieved 21 August 2017.
  • Pachler and Daly (2011) Key issues in e-Learning: Research and Practice.  London: Continuum.
  • Trevitt, C., Macduff, A and Steed, A. (2014) “[e]portfolios for learning and as evidence of achievement: scoping the academic practice development agenda ahead” Internet and Higher Education 20, 69-78.

Day 2: How can ePortfolios be used in higher education?

Evidence and examples – How can ePortfolios help achieve varied learning objectives?

Written by  Jill Lyall and Rebecca Ng ANU Online

Yesterday we briefly discussed portfolio learning and its potential for a fundamental shift from traditional teaching and learning practices at universities. Now the question is: what do they look like? Today we’ll look at some examples of how ePortfolios have been used. 


Which of the options below would be the most useful for your teaching practice? Select 1 or 2 of the examples for ePortfolios listed below and investigate the links and resources included. How might you apply it? Tell us about the approach to ePortfolios that would suit your discipline.

Beyond assessment: Melding learning and professional development 

An ePortfolio provides a means for assessing students for their learning over an extended period of time, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, within a course (subject) or across a program (degree). It helps students bridge into the real world of work in their particular profession or industry, allowing them to showcase their achievements and self-promote in their field of endeavour. Here, ePortfolios become more than just assessments: they are part of a student’s personal and professional development.  

Example 1: Capstone  

Morreale et al. (2017) demonstrated how ePortfolios can be integrated into a capstone subject. The Association of American Universities (AAU) institution launched a new course to help junior (or third) year undergraduate students develop transferable higher-order thinking skills and guide them in their future educational and career endeavours. The pilot group was asked to upload examples to demonstrate achievements relating to individual learning; to complete an essay; and to summarise the impact of the course on their intellectual development. Results showed that the use of ePortfolios promoted reflective practice and improved technical skills amongst students. Instructors were also impressed by the variety of submissions and depth of narratives and insights provided by students. Overall, feedback on the use of ePortfolio in the course was overwhelmingly positive.  

Screenshot of ePortfolio R.Ng 2017

Example 2: Reflective essay

Originally an essay, this has been re-worked as an ePortfolio page (see screenshot to the right). It demonstrates the ease of breaking up texts with images and using HTML formatting to emphasise certain arguments. Unlike paper essays, ePortfolios provide versatility for learners to express their ideas clearly and creatively through incorporating visual cues.

Example 3: Assessment of Problem-Based Learning (PBL)  

ePortfolio is an ideal tool for a program level capstone assessment but decisions such as when particular points of assessment will occur, what form they will take, how they will be graded, etc., need to be carefully considered. These issues are comprehensively covered in this excellent journal article by Maastricht University lecturers, who use a programmatic assessment approach in their PBL model, using ePortfolio.

Example 4: Addressing a standards framework  

It is generally agreed that the framework for and outcomes of ePortfolio need to be clearly articulated – learning objectives, graduate outcomes, or competencies, etc. Here’s an example of how a university implemented ePortfolio around standards: Mindful Collections: Purposeful ePortfolios Planned Across an Undergraduate Degree.

Metacognition: Developing awareness of our own learning  

Metacognition is the recognition and awareness of our thought process. ePortfolios can be used to develop metacognitive skills and increase students’ awareness of how they learn, their learning habits, strengths, areas for practice, and ability to analyse and assess research materials. Activities such as journaling, curation, and continuous assessment enable students to reflect on their past and present work, their learning experiences and development in their own thinking processes.  

Example 5: Teaching close reading of texts   

This article describes an exercise in a history course at Bronx Community College where critical understanding of texts was developed using a tool called “conversations” within the “Digication” ePortfolio platform. This tool allowed users to highlight and comment on text in a document, and to respond to comments. It was used to develop active learning, reflection, metacognition, and integrative learning.

Example 6: Reflective practice, professional development   

Jill (co-author for this post) has kindly shared her portfolio assembled for the Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) application. Here she showcases both reflection and writing to prescribed competencies through journaling and curation.

Example 7: Reflection Journals  

As we discussed yesterday, ePortfolios are a great tool for students to do journalling and reflective work. For an example of how this might work, here is a series of reflection journals by students at the University of the Arts London.

Providing evidence of competency 

Many professional areas in higher education now require graduates to include some form of applied, work place learning or internship as part of their tertiary education. ePortfolio is frequently used in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programs for students to document the skills, knowledge and achievements they gain through these experiences. These are often organised to comply with a framework of outcomes specified by the accrediting body.   

Example 8: Addressing key competency criteria and a CV 

This is an ePortfolio from Plymouth State University which showcases how a user can address key competency criteria while creating an employer-ready CV.

ePortfolios often achieve an amalgamation of rather than individual learning objectives, that is both a success factor and challenge of ePortfolios. If integrating ePortfolio as a part of your formal assessment, especially at program level, careful thought and planning for implementing needs to be considered. These issues will  be addressed in tomorrow’s post.    




Further Resources:

The following video Dr Helen Chen from Stanford University points out that one uniqueness of online portfolios is their ability to shape student’s intellectual identity – what it means to be a learner and how this knowledge guides students through their tertiary education and careers. Part of formation is led by reflective practice where students learn about their personal, academic and professional selves in the process of curation required when putting an ePortfolio together.  This video is about 5 and a half minutes long.

References and Readings: 

  • AAEEBL (2017). AAEEBL ePortfolio Review, The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning, from
  • Getman-Eraso, J. & Culkin, K. (2017). Close reading: Engaging and empowering history students through document analysis on ePortfolio, International Journal of ePortfolio, 7(1), pp. 29-42. 
  • Morreale, C., Van Zile-Tamsen, C., Emerson, C.A. & Herzog, M. (2017). Thinking Skills by Design: Using a Capstone ePortfolio to Promote Reflection, Critical Thinking, and Curriculum Integration, International Journal of ePortfolio, 7(1), pp. 13-28. Available:
  • Munday, J. (2016). Mindful Collections: Purposeful ePortfolios Planned across an Undergraduate Degree, in pp. 117-134 ePortfolios in Australian Universities, Rowley, J. (ed). Singapore: Springer.   
  • Van der Vleuten, C.P.M., Schuwirthm L.W.T., Driessen, D.T., Baartman, L.K.J. & Van Tartwijk, J. (2012). A model for programmatic assessment fit for purpose, Journal of Medical Teacher, 34 (3), pp. 205-214.   
  • Van Staden, C. (2016). A Learning-oriented framework for integrating ePortfolios in a post-graduate module in distance education, The AAEEBL EPortfolio Review, 1(1), pp. 36-53.  

Day 1: What is portfolio learning?

To coincide with the launch of ePortfolios at the ANU, we’re excited to offer this introduction to how and why they can be used in tertiary teaching. If you are at ANU, we encourage you to take a look at our ePortfolio and the user guides. Now over to Aliya! – Janene & Katie.

Portfolio learning – What is it?  

Written by Aliya Steed, ANU Online

Image source: Figure 1: Portfolio, Photo by Dan Strange (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Welcome to Day One of this espresso course on ePortfolios. Portfolio learning is not a new idea, but the opportunities and tools for using portfolios in higher education have been expanding in recent years.  Digital or e-portfolios are making it easier and more accessible for teachers and institutions to use portfolios, even with large groups of students. In this short espresso course, we will find out what portfolios are, how and why you may want to use them, and look at some of the issues you may encounter. 

What is a portfolio or e-portfolio? 

A portfolio is an organised and annotated collection of artefacts which documents learning and development over time.  Artefacts can be in any format or media: they might include selections of writing, images, videos, audio, excerpts, reports, data, illustrations, websites, links and so on.   

Portfolios almost always include some reflection in the form of annotations, reflective journals, narrative or some type of meta-cognition (“thinking about thinking” – read more here). Through reflection, the learner demonstrates their thinking and understanding of their work, experiences or the artefacts themselves.  According to Butler (2006: 2), “In fact, it is the reflections on the pieces of evidence, the reasons they were chosen and what the portfolio creator learned from them, that are the key aspect to a portfolio”.  

A digital or e-portfolio refers to one that is housed online or electronically, facilitating the storage, sharing and presentation of a potentially large collection of artefacts, over an extended period of time.  Common e-portfolio systems used by Australian universities include Mahara and PebblePad among others, as well as homegrown systems. 

Image source:

Image source:

These systems typically provide a means to: 

  • Create, publish and share web pages, 
  • Discuss and give feedback 
  • Store digital artefacts 
  • Link to other systems (such as Learning Management Systems) where other data or artefacts may be stored (JISC 2008: 6) 

Using a digital portfolio has the advantage of flexibility and scalability compared to a traditional, paper-based portfolio, but there are issues around privacy, access, ownership, and trustworthiness of digital artefacts which we will explore later in this course (Trevitt, Macduff and Steed 2014: 74).  

Why use portfolios? 

You may have heard of portfolios as something an art or design student might use to collect examples of their work.  This is one purpose of a portfolio – used to “showcase” or demonstrate the students’ best practice.  However, portfolios can be used to support a wide variety of personal, professional and academic development purposes. The chart below gives some examples of common uses of this tool.   

Learning portfolio  Documenting learning over time  Development of thinking, transformation 

Eg. PhD student 

Credential portfolio  Provide evidence for certification   For professional registration 

E.g. teaching degree 

Showcase portfolio  Provide examples of best practice   Applying for employment e.g Photography students 

Different types of portfolio (Adapted from Butler 2006: 2).

Barrett (2004) highlights the following purposes for e-portfolios (as summarised by Pachler & Daly (2011): 

  • As assessment tools to document the attainment of standards (a positivist model – the assessment portfolio) 
  • As digital stories of deep learning (a constructivist model – the learning or process portfolio); and 
  • As digital resumes to highlight competence (a showcase model – the best works/marketing/employment portfolio). 

More than just a collection of stuff – benefits of portfolios 

 The importance of portfolio is in representation, rather than just collection.  The artefacts are deliberately collated and curated by the student to represent something about their work. Putting together a presentation or product requires students to engage in “rich and complex processes of planning, synthesising, sharing, discussing, reflecting, giving, receiving and responding to feedback”, increasingly considered valuable “since the process of learning can be as important as the end product.” (JISC 2008). 

Butler (2006:3) outlines the following benefits of e-portfolios including that they: 

  • Yield evidence of learning 
  • Help to focus student thinking and facilitate reflection 
  • Document a learner’s progress over time 
  • Develop and enhance students’ communication and (organizational) skills  
  • Provide a way of identifying and recognizing prior learning.   

Depending on their intended purpose, portfolios might focus more or less on the “process” of learning versus the “product” which is produced, as illustrated in the following image: 

Image source: Barratt (2004)

In theory then, portfolios should be a good fit with higher education, where students are increasingly expected to learn to exercise judgement, engage in self-directed learning, demonstrate their capacity for independent and critical thinking, and learn to deal with an unknown future (Trevitt, Macduff and Steed 2014).     

Now that we have looked at what portfolios are and what their purpose and possible benefits might be for learning, in the rest of this course we will examine some examples of how portfolios are being used in universities and explore what might contribute to their success, as well as the sorts of issues and challenge which may arise in practice. 

Activity.  You are invited to consider the following questions and post your thoughts in the comments below. 

  • Have you used a portfolio as a learner or a teacher?  What did you find worked well ?  What were the challenges? 
  • Can you see a place for portfolios in your discipline ?   
  • How could / does your institution use portfolios ? 


  • Butler, P. (2006) A Review Of The Literature On Portfolios And Electronic Portfolios (eCDF ePortfolio Project). October. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Massey University College of Education (Retrieved 5 August 2017, from:
  • Lorenzo, G. and Ittelson, J. (2005) “An Overview of E-Portfolios” Educause Learning Initiative Paper 1, July. 
  • Maharg, P.  “E-portfolios:  professional learning and experience”, presentation available at: 
  • Murphy, S. “Portfolios and curriculum reform:  patterns in practice”  (1994) Assessing Writing 1 (2), 175-206. 
  • Pachler and Daly (2011) Key issues in e-Learning:  Research and Practice.  London: Continuum. 
  • JiSC report – Effective Practice with ePortfolios – Supporting 21st century learning 
  • Trevitt, C., Macduff, A and Steed, A.  “[e]portfolios for learning and as evidence of achievement:  scoping the academic practice development agenda ahead” (2014) Internet and Higher Education 20, 69-78. 

Getting started with ePortfolios

Getting Started with ePortfolios

Are you seeking ways to engage your students more deeply in their studies, support them throughout an internship, or promote their professional formation?

A young woman looks at an iPad.A digital portfolio is an annotated and organised collection of individual works, or artefacts, which documents learning and development over time. It is aimed at enhancing learning and teaching at a higher education level, supporting a variety of activities designed to promote personal, professional and academic development. 

The ePortfolio tool has a wide range of applications, allowing users to collect, curate and selectively present materials that can be used to design CVs or personal websites and foster early career skills throughout their tertiary education. Join us in this espresso course to learn how you can develop (and help your students develop) an ePortfolio that can be used for teaching, research and other extra-curricular activities!

Course Dates

This course ran from Monday, 21 August to Wednesday, 23 August 2017, but is accessible online to anyone interested. There are 3 blog posts that will take about 10-15 minutes to work through.



Jenny Edwards is a Senior Learning Designer with the ANU Online team. Having championed the implementation of various online and teaching technologies such as WebCT and Moodle at the ANU for the last few decades, she is currently (still) working to improve the elearning environment at the university, supporting the adoption of new education technologies and pedagogical approaches.

Aliya Steed is the manager of ANU Online educational design team. She has a wealth of experience in academic development, educational design and online learning pedagogies, at both university-wide and college levels. Her scholarly interests include flexible and online learning, educational technologies, design and change management, specifically in higher education contexts.

Rebecca Ng is a Learning Technologist with the ANU Online team. She describes herself as a “partial cyborg” as she believes that technology has changed the way she thinks and approaches her daily life. More importantly, it has changed the way we perceive and learn. Hence, she is interested in researching new pedagogical approaches that can effectively integrate different technologies to support higher education.   

All are welcome

We welcome all staff, including tutors, demonstrators, professional staff, and academics at the Australian National University. Professional development recognition is available for all ANU staff through HORUS. Log in to HORUS, and find the course called AOC012 – “Getting Started with ePortfolios” under the Training Catalogue. To receive recognition, you will be required to post a comment every day of the course.

How does the course work?

All you need to do is Subscribe for Updates by entering your email in the block on the right-hand side of the page. We welcome you to comment and discuss on each post as they are added. Feel free to participate as much or as little as you prefer.


Please feel free to contact us at with any questions.