Digital Content

Day 3: Adapting Lectures into Videos

Today we are going to venture into exactly what we mean by lecturer-produced video recordings.

There are numerous ways lecturers can use video recordings of themselves presenting or talking with their student audiences.  Today we will look at two main ways:  recordings of your face to face lecture, and recording yourself talking to a device such as a phone, tablet, or desktop camera. Both of these types of recordings produce raw materials that can be reused and adapted for inclusion in an online course space.  Let’s look at each in turn.

Lecture recordings

At most universities now, most of the lectures delivered face to face are recorded in the lecture theatre and become available on a server subsequently, and usually there is a way to link to the  lecture from within an online course.  At ANU we use Echo360 in many lecture theatres and most lecturers know that by adding an Echo360 block to their course page, the students will be able to access all lecture recordings related to that course. 

However, much more can be done than simply linking to the original lecture.  It is possible to go to a particular lecture in Echo360 and do some basic editing. (Check out the user guide on how to edit your Echo360 recording.)  So if you had parts of your lecture that will make no sense to anyone who was not present at the face to face event, you can cut these parts out, using the editing tools available.  In addition, you can download the lecture as an MP4 file to do some serious editing and enhancement if you have video editing software on your computer. If you have access to learning designers and developers in your campus, you may be able to get this done in partnership with someone with expertise.

With the advent of Echo Active Learning Platform (ALP), available already in many Australian universities and coming soon to ANU,  it will be easy for any lecturer, with no expertise in multimedia, to do basic editing online, and also add activities such as quizzes or discussions, around the lecture.  As with Echo360 recordings, the recorded lecture can also be downloaded from Echo ALP in order to use more advanced editing tools to completely transform it or break it up into bite-sized clips.  This will be covered in detail in the second part of this Coffee Course in September. 

How to turn your lecture recordings into re-usable objects

Image of laptop and learning materials Attribution: Adobe US http://www.adobe.com/products/presenter.html

What is a re-usable learning object?

Windle and Wharrad define re-usable learning objects as follows: 
 “Reusable learning objects (RLOs) are small, granular e-learning resources. They generally utilize multimedia elements to engage the learner in a visual and interactive learning experience. They are mostly web-based and increasingly are being offered as open-education resources, which can easily be accessed and used.” (2010, p. 244) 

Image of treasure chestRe-usable Learning Objects can be put together from a number of different digital items, which can include recorded lectures.  The lectures can be edited to include only the highlights, or main points, of the learning, and then have accompanying quizzes, discussions or other activities on the one web page.  This composite of activities and learning materials around a single or a set of learning objectives can be used and re-used, updated, taken apart and repackaged, many times, so some initial effort can save much time and effort later, when designing courses. Eventually you could have a treasure chest of re-usable learning objects to choose from! As we discussed in the comments yesterday, shorter and more succinct videos are more educationally effective for students as well, especially when recordings are being used in the place of (rather than a support for) face-to-face lectures.

Ensure your lecture recording speaks to ALL likely audiences 

To ensure your recorded lecture is suitable for creating a re-suable learning object, the first thing to remember is that you are talking to the online or distant viewers as well as students in the room!  Aside from the main audience aside from those with you in the room, most of the viewers will be those students unable to attend in person.  They will be accessing your lecture later that day or from any time after it is uploaded and linked to their course site. So it is worthwhile keeping these viewers in mind when you are designing your lecture and slides.

Avoid lengthy Q & A sessions with the face-to-face audience unless you have a roving mike and camera so that anyone watching later can see and hear what is going on.  Instead, offer the students questions and activities to discuss in pairs or groups, and, looking at the camera, invite the online audience to take part also.  The way they can take part might be to simply write some notes on thoughts to share later in an online forum. There are lots of options for offering interactive discussions outside of class: for more detail on these interactive “back channels” for online students, see our Coffee Course on Enhancing Your Lectures.

To sum up:  When you are thinking of interactive activities to engage your audience, always try and think of alternatives for your online audience.  This not only ensures your online participants are included, but it sets your lecture up to be made into a re-usable learning object.

Resources

  1. An article that describes an engineering course in which recorded lectures are combined with many other learning materials for a fully online course:  James, et al (2011) Re-engineering for Australia’s engineering skill shortage
  2. An article that outlines ways to add value to recorded lectures in an online environment:  Stewart et al (2012)  Lecture 2.0: Repurposing the Captured Lecture as an eLearning Resource Within an Interactive, Integrated Learning Environment 

 

“Talking head” and personal lecture recording 

Icon for talking headsYou can also create lecture videos in the comfort of your own home or work office, using a range of different tools.  Rather than addressing a large auditorium or classroom, this allows you to address your students in more relaxed and personalised manner.   Remember though, that students interact most effectively with short video clips, no longer than 5 minutes, accompanied by some activities that help them engage with the material you are presenting, as we discussed in Day 1 and Day 2.

This type of video is often called a “talking head video” because it focuses on the head and upper torso of the lecturer talking into the screen, directly to online participants.  This type of self-produced video can be used for the following purposes:

  • To provide a personalised introduction to the course – a short, personable and warm introduction by the lecturer, telling the student a little about him or herself and the course (like my intro video above – and we will provide more examples tomorrow).
  • To show slides and talk to slides on a specific topic, as if were in a class with the students. This involves switching between your talking head and  a set of PowerPoint slides, for example.
  • To raise some interesting or controversial topic, or to introduce students to some new ideas and research.  This can be a talking head, using slides and websites, and should include rhetorical and real questions for students to consider.
  • To conduct a discussion or interview with one or more experts in your field. (We will explore this more in Day 5.)

Want to know how to record yourself talking to your students from a screen? 

There are numerous methods to record yourself greeting, addressing or providing a mini-lecture to your students.  Briefly, you can record yourself on your PC desktop using your desktop microphone and webcam or use your phone or tablet, and there are numerous built in or extra apps to help you do this.  You may also like to use any professional studio and support that is on offer in your institution, for more formal and polished productions. We cover these methods in depth in September.

Production Note: The short clip I used above to introduce today’s post was done using my iphone – I had about 5 tries before I produced a “good enough” greeting.  It is far from perfect, and I am far from a movie star, but this was my way of saying “hi” to participants today – no better or worse than had I strolled into a room and introduced myself.

Some tips

The key is authenticity – you do not have to be a professional producer or actor – research so far does not support the idea that polished productions contribute to effective learning (Hansch et al., 2015: 7).

You don’t always need to follow a full script – having a prompt sheet or partial script will enable you to speak in a more dynamic and personal style – simply reading a script out to the camera will not engage your students (Hansch et al., 2015: 8). NB however if you are presenting detailed content you may need to present from a fuller script and rehearse numerous times to achieve a natural effect.

Do a test shoot to help you work out what the issues are for you in recording a video, what works and what doesn’t work, to pre-empt any problems.

Don’t bother trying to standardize video production across a unit or an institution – there is no “one size fits all” solution and video style should be matched to the style of the lecturer/presenter.

Questions for discussion

Have you ever tried to edit a recording of your face to face lecture to make it more suitable for all students who will access in your course?

How do you resolve the dilemma of balancing the amount of content you would like to personally deliver to students, and the well established principle that viewers will tune out after about 3 or 4 minutes of video?

Has this segment given you ideas?  Share your thoughts about how you might or may not use anything learned.

Try out One Button Studio at ANU and join us for coffee!

Would you like to try out the new One Button Studio, Level 4, Chifley Library?  On Friday at 11am we will be there – we will show you the simple process to record yourself, and you can have a play and try it out.  Bring a USB drive as you will need that for your recording.  After everyone has tried it out, those who would like to join us for coffee and an informal chat are welcome to walk with us over to the Coffee Lab in the Pop-Up village.  Please RSVP to karlene.dickens@anu.edu.au

References

Hansch, Anna and Hillers, Lisa and McConachie, Katherine and Newman, Christopher and Schildhauer, Thomas and Schmidt, J. Philipp, Video and Online Learning: Critical Reflections and Findings from the Field (March 13, 2015). HIIG Discussion Paper Series No. 2015-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577882 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2577882

James, P., Quinn, D. & Dansie, B. (2011). “Re-engineering for Australia’s engineering skill shortage”. In G. Williams, P. Statham, N. Brown, B. Cleland (Eds.), Changing Demands, Changing Directions. Proceedings ascilite Hobart 2011. (pp.624-629). http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/hobart11/procs/James-concise.pdf

Stewart, I., McKee, W., Devon, J., Harrison, D., & Allan, M. (2012). “Lecture 2.0: Repurposing the captured lecture as an eLearning resource within an interactive, integrated learning environment.” Paper presented at the 433-XV Kidmore End: Academic Conferences International Limited. (Jun 2012) Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1326324726?accountid=8330

Windle, R., & Wharrad, H. (2010) “Reusable Learning Objects in Healthcare Education” in Bromage, A., Clouder, L., Thistlethwaite, J. & Gordon, F. (Eds.),  Interprofessional E-Learning and Collaborative Work, Information Science Reference, Hershey, PA.  Access for free here:  http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/31260/1/wharrad%20chap20_bromage%20book2010.pdf

36 thoughts on “Day 3: Adapting Lectures into Videos

  1. Lots of great suggestions today… thanks! I had no idea that I could edit my echo360 recordings. I really like the idea of integrating short videos with other learning tools. I can see that, for my classes, I could offer a short reading in Latin or Greek (with captioning), followed by online exercises generated from the quiz facility on Wattle, then possibly finishing with simple sentences (in the classical language) posted by the students to a forum board for peer appraisal. This would make for a pretty solid and engaging (and inclusive) class. I’m also very interested to see what the Echo Active Learning Platform will look like.

    1. Thanks for your response Chris – great ideas on enhancing your lectures within Wattle. I think you will find Echo ALP will make it much easier for you to implement your ideas about integrating lecture captures with a range of activities.

    2. Also Chris, you might be interested in a later segment of this Coffee Course scheduled for September when we have some “how to’s” with screen shots, including some of Echo360’s editing tools.

  2. Have you ever tried to edit a recording of your face to face lecture to make it more suitable for all students who will access in your course?
    I haven’t used videos in my teaching to date. But, I definitely plan to in the future.

    How do you resolve the dilemma of balancing the amount of content you would like to personally deliver to students, and the well established principle that viewers will tune out after about 3 or 4 minutes of video?
    I mostly think I’ll use video as a hook to set up engagement, or to explain a concept, or do an interview (i.e., rather than doing talking head stuff), and in that case, I’d keep it under 5 mins.

    Has this segment given you ideas? Share your thoughts about how you might or may not use anything learned.
    The main point I’m taking away is to be aware that most lectures are filmed these days (even if it’s just voice and slides) and so I need to consider my audience as being more than just the people in the room. I think it will be an art to try to meet the needs of both types of student.

    1. Thanks for your great comments Angela, I think how you plan to use video in your teaching is very appropriate, using a short video as a “hook” or to interview experts – this can really lift your course in the eyes of the students. You are right, it is quite an art to provide what your face to face audience is looking for and also keep in mind any online students who are either watching live (if it is live streamed) or will be watching later. I think the trick is to put yourself into the minds of the students watching from a distance, so that you will be sensitive to anything that will be unintelligible to them, then at least speak directly to them. Speaking directly to the off campus students can simply be an a apology that you haven’t been able to include them in a particular activity (although you can always edit that part out later) – at least they feel acknowledged. But even better, look at the camera and give them some suggestions such as writing some notes of their own, or joining in an online chat or discussion forum.

  3. Thank you for this interesting post – it has changed some of my views on videos in teaching.

    While I haven’t used lecture capture (because it’s been a long time since I’ve done a f2f lecture!), I haven’t edited any of them. However, I see a lot of other academics just putting the lecture recordings up without editing and sometimes I feel sorry for the students if they have to wade through an hour of lecture to find 20 mins of real content. I’m not saying that all lectures are like this, but the ones I hear about from students are – they like the concept of having it recorded but don’t like having to go through all the “nonsense” or unintelligible parts to get to what they want to hear.

    I had thought that 10~15 min chunks of content were okay – I didn’t realise that it was only 3~4 mins. This is a great learning because it will help me chunk my content further and makes me feel better that sometimes I only have 5 mins worth of talking to explain/explore a topic more. I usually break these chunks of content up by adding activities in between them to get the students to engage with the content that they’ve just viewed in the video. I also use text to break up series of videos; for example, intro text – video – text to describe something (that is more easily described using text) – video – image for thought – video – activity that ties all videos together. Whether this is good or bad, I’m not sure, but it seems to work okay with my cohort.

    What I’ve taken away from this post is the smaller chunking of content and the non-necessity of having professional videos created in certain circumstances. However, I do still think that there are minimum standards that must be maintained in the videos, e.g. clarity of sound, clarity of visuals, etc., but it doesn’t need to be professionally produced.

    Thanks!

    1. Thanks Trisha, it is great to see how your mind is working and synthesizing these ideas! As people have mentioned in Day 2’s comments, you can have very engaging longer videos. Similar to face to face teaching, it depends on what you do with the time. A range of visual items such as slides and demonstrations, thought provoking statements and questions, and chunks of really interesting information can make a longer video engaging. Of course making a longer video engaging requires time, commitment and passion to make it work effectively.

      The rule of thumb, though is that most people do lose concentration after 4-6 mins and some of us have verified this by talking about our own experiences. Your ideas for chunking and adding in activities are great ways to keep up the engagement. I particularly like your idea of sequencing your videos with text and other multimedia and activities.

      And yes, we do have to make sure any self-produced videos are intelligible otherwise they are of no value. I confess that my iphone intro is not the best sound – this is because my iphone actually has some problem with its sound output which I have not had fixed yet – so probably not the best I could have managed.

  4. I have used simple ways for recording: recording via camera or cell phone installed on a tripod or in hand of someone, or just recording the voice using a simple voice recorders. Then simply utilized and embed the voice and videos in Microsoft PowerPoint slides, and made it part of the presentation. I also used some open-access online videos.
    For editing, I used trimming, modifying colours and brightness available in Microsoft PowerPoint.
    The contents described in this post is attractive for me and I am going to update the way taking, editing and using videos.

    1. Hi Saeed, thanks for sharing the methods you use to create and use videos. Using PowerPoint to create videos is certainly one method that is accessible to most of us. And thanks for reminding us that PPT does have editing tools for video!

  5. Hi everyone, yes, I agree. This is another interesting and thought-provoking session. I’m also learning a lot from the postings/experiences of my colleagues in this course, so thank you all for your insights and contributions!

    No, I’ve not had opportunity to edit a f2f lecture recording yet but I’m feeling quite excited about its possibilities. The last lecture I gave was seven years ago and at that time the video-recording facilities, where I was teaching, were quite basic. It captured sound and PowerPoint slides reasonably well, but the darkened-room [so that students who were physically present could see the slides properly] meant that the lecturer was barely recognisable, let alone, able to be seen making any meaningful eye contact with the video-viewers.

    As I’ve been reflecting on the use of online-videos in f2f teaching, I’ve been reminded of how many times I have experienced a teacher/presenter try to incorporate an online-video into their f2f lecture/presentation, only for some technical ‘glitch’ to arise, leaving the students/attendees frustrated and feeling like they are wasting their time. Although a great opportunity then presents for the students/attendees to talk/network with each other, by the time the ‘glitch’ is fixed [either by the lecturer or, indeed, I’ve been present on many occasions when IT staff are required to fix the ‘glitch’] much of the limited time available for what was planned for that session has been otherwise consumed. Of course, a resourceful teacher will have other activities to implement, in the event of technical problems, but I’m hoping that technological advancements in more recent years mean that it is less likely for this to occur in a classroom setting. I have, however, seen it occur so many times over the years that I have made mental-notes not to incorporate online-videos into any of my f2f presentations or lectures. This is partly why the ‘flipped-classroom’ model of teaching – where students can view the videos away from the f2f classroom setting – appeals to me. Maybe my opinion on the use of online-videos in a f2f classroom setting might change as a result of this course and learning of others’ more recent experiences with more up-to-date technology!

    That said, I’m really enjoying learning about making effective videos to support my research and future teaching, and the last couple of days of this course have already inspired me to think creatively about how I might do this. Also, thank you for the offer to have a practice-run in the One Button Studio on Friday – please count me in!

    1. Hi Catherine, thank you for your encouraging comments. It is wonderful that everyone is able to learn from each other in a forum like this. Makes you think about the value of this model for learning – a free exchange of ideas on a topic!

      I think running an online video in a face to face situation can always potentially have technical problems. Hence the attraction of the “flipped classroom” as you so rightly outline! And great that you are thinking of creative ideas for using video in your research and teaching – please feel free to share even the most “out there” ideas with all of us.

      It’s great that you can make it to the One Button Studio demo. I will put in an email tomorrow for everyone who is interested to RSVP.

  6. * Have you ever tried to edit a recording of your … lecture …?

    Yes, but I gave up after about an hour. It was just too much work for a recording which would be used just once. Creating a recording which could be used multiple times and in different places (a so called “Re-usable Learning Object”) would require a different design for the material and vastly more work. This would be only worth it if I was to be resourced and rewarded for carrying out this extra work.

    * … balancing the amount of content you would like to personally deliver …

    I don’t try to deliver the content of the course to students personally. I save the short personal bits for introductions, segues between modules and reminders about what they have to do and when they have to do it. This is designed to alert the student as to which of the formal course content they need to look at now.

    * Has this segment given you ideas?

    Yes, one thought is that if we aim our lectures at an unseen remote audience they may be better for those present. As an example, we need to repeat questions asked by the live audience for the recording. But this also helps those in the room hear the question (and perhaps a briefer paraphrased version of the question).

    * Share your thoughts about how you might or may not use anything learned.

    It occurs to me there is a third situation where recording may be used, apart from a live lecture or recoding in an office: that is recording a webinar. Given that more than half the students don’t attend lectures, this might be a more natural way to record live events.

    * Would you like to try out the new One Button Studio …

    I tried the One Button Studio a few weeks ago. It worked as advertised: I walked in, put in my flash drive pressed the big button, talked, pressed the button again and removed the drive with the recording. One problem was forgetting to turn the light on.

    1. Hi Tom, thanks for your contribution. That is a very good point about the face to face students benefiting from methods you might use to include the off campus students in a lecture situation. I think often in a large lecture hall many students miss parts of interactions between lecturer and audience, so things like repeating questions back can help everyone.

      Editing in Echo360 is easy enough if all you want to do is cut out unwanted footage. But I agree it is very limited, and that the only way you could really chop up and mash your recording into something more interesting would be to download it and use an editing software, plus spend quite a bit of time. Echo ALP may improve this somewhat.

      You are right that webinars are another avenue for using video, by recording the webinar and making it available later. We can already do this in Adobe Connect. We will discuss this in our second series of this coffee course in September.

  7. I haven’t tried editing my ECHO360 recording, but it is something I want to try. Actually, I suspect that by analysing my lectures I will be more self-conscious to make sure I cover concepts concisely so that I can divide my lecture into 3-5 minutes meaningfully.
    Admittedly, I like to use my lectures trying to involve students into discussions, which would not be suitable to be presented for ‘remote’ audience. So my dilemmas are: 1) what is the best way or type of video to provide to students in preparation for the interactive lecture; 2) how do I make my lecture interactive for remote audience. The response to 1) could be the use of ‘chopped-up’ ECHO360 lectures from previous years, however I”m still not sure about #2). While integrating the videos with questions/exercises, as Trisha described is a good way ( I have done that using my tutorial video recordings embedded in KuraCloud activities), but I’d love to hear ideas and personal experiences about how to do it with the ‘live’ recording.

    1. Hi Krisztina,

      Very thought provoking questions and I hope we get some ideas from other participants. My own thought on (2) is that you can make sure that remote audiences have some means of taking part in activities via a discussion forum or chat room that you have organised prior to the lecture. Even facing the camera and speaking to them, asking them to consider a question and take notes while those in the room take part in an activity is going to make sure they feel included. What do others think?

    2. Hi Krisztina,

      In answer to 2, I have recently been adding in a comment for my remote audience that I mention after I ask the class to do something. For example, if I ask the class to discuss with their neighbour why they think learning a language is important, I then say something like “If you are listening online, write down your top 5 most important reasons for kids to learn a language in school” – it’s not particularly creative, but I hope that it gives online students something to do.

  8. That’s really interesting about editing the Echo 360 recording. I didn’t realise that you could do that (I’m glad I’m not the only one…).

    There are lots of ideas being generated for me here. I’m not sure that I have the confidence to pull them off yet though. Making and editing videos (of me) is a nerve wracking process for me that is difficult to work up to doing. Although I know that the more I do it, the less I will worry about it.

    I really want to be able to create amazing online courses, and online materials to support the on-campus courses that are being run. Particularly with the talking head-cross-slides style to recap key topics in the lectures. I think I really need to do the September course before I will be able to consolidate these ideas into actual plans of how I might use something.

    1. Hi Lauren, we are all on a learning curve with all of this technology and it just takes practice to feel a little more at ease with it, even so we never stop learning. Looking forward to having you on board in September 🙂

  9. I very much appreciate this remark: ” research so far does not support the idea that polished productions contribute to effective learning (Hansch et al., 2015: 7). “, although it may not be the case that students know this (I did get one *very* negative comment in this respect from a student). I am going to read the full paper!

    I, too, was surprised to learn abut Echo360 editing capability — but I have to say I don’t want to do it — as Echo360 recordings as a live lecture recording are a pretty awful starting position for me and if I want to do something well enough to justify editiing — then I need a much better recording!

    For me the question of the appropriate quality and volume of recorded material is a very real one — I am very pleased to be getting tips along these lines here. High quality video recording is very time-consuming and I need to know that it is time well spent…

    >How do you resolve the dilemma of balancing the amount of content you would like to personally deliver to students, and the well established principle that viewers will tune out after about 3 or 4 minutes of video?

    Can’t say I have, yet, at least not optimally. Needs more work! Really, this is very helpful.

  10. In the Research Ready videos http://researchreadyanu.wikispaces.com/Welcome
    we only editing at the end of the fully recorded video ie added text and removed endings. We asked all our contributors to practice and keep re-recording to get the final product. The tip I picked up from the day 2 “common practice on YouTube” was the jump cuts so next time we could ask our contributors when they do cough or mess up words, to take a pause in order to leave a suitable gap to cut the video with any software. Next time we can quickly make the videos and not put pressure on the contributors to record perfectly.

    Great to see ANU is brining ALP in so other features can be used with the recorded lecture – quizzes and discussions.

  11. I haven’t had the opportunity to record a lecture or edit a lecture in order to make it more suitable for, say, distance students. Thinking about recordings made (audio, video, lecture, short video etc.) as reusable learning objects is VERY helpful – and the Windle and Wharrad definition helps to unpack that idea a bit and link to OER which is great!
    Re: balancing the amount of content to be delivered to students vs the reality of learner switch-off after 3-4 minutes….that’s exactly the challenge we encountered when we undertook our weekly videos for Research Ready (http://researchreadyanu.wikispaces.com/Welcome)! I guess this where a sequential series of short bite-sized videos helps to sustain engagement while allowing for deeper investigation of a topic.
    A process of analysing and categorising your content under
    • Need to know
    • Good to know
    • Nice to know
    might be helpful. (And ask myself, as has been discussed in Day 1 and 2– can this information/aspect be communicated more effectively in another format other than video?)
    My ideas so far: create a series of short videos with step by step/bite size tips I cover in my library research skills sessions, similar to a series I’ve seen from Deakin Uni.

  12. I haven’t had the opportunity to record a lecture or edit a lecture in order to make it more suitable for, say, distance students. Thinking about recordings made (audio, video, lecture, short video etc.) as reusable learning objects is VERY helpful – and the Windle and Wharrad definition helps to unpack that idea a bit and link to OER which is great!
    Re: balancing the amount of content to be delivered to students vs the reality of learner switch-off after 3-4 minutes….that’s exactly the challenge we encountered when we undertook our weekly videos for Research Ready (http://researchreadyanu.wikispaces.com/Welcome)! I guess this where a sequential series of short bite-sized videos helps to sustain engagement while allowing for deeper investigation of a topic. This process of analysing and categorising your content under
    • Need to know
    • Good to know
    • Nice to know
    might be helpful. (And ask myself, as has been discussed in Day 1 and 2–can this information/aspect be communicated more effectively in another format other than video?)
    My ideas so far: create a series of short videos with step by step/bite size tips I cover in my library research skills sessions, similar to a series I’ve seen from Deakin Uni.

  13. Recording of lectures is a subject that really gets me fired up. It is the area where we really need to think about why we use videos and whether they are fit for purposes to maximize learning (especially if these echo recordings are really not effective)

    While I understand that a small percentage of students are unable to attend for genuine reasons , the majority of students should be able to attend but don’t because we have built a culture where we don’t expect students to turn up. I talk to colleagues at universities in big cities and they indicate their attendance levels (%) are much higher than ours even though their students have to travel for much longer to get to uni. (Remember we have a high percentage who live on campus or within 20 min bus/drive) and we are not unique in terms of the other issues that students cite. Where I believe we are unique is that a) we don’t expect students to turn up and b) we allow students to enrol in classes that are on at the same time further encouraging students to not turn up

    So we have very low attendance in our lectures and then we give students these long recordings which they don’t really listen to (because they are nowhere near the 3-5 min mark). The solution seems to be, after all the time that a lecturer has spent on their lecture, that they then have to spend hours and hours chopping it up and editing it. If they are going to do this, then we might as well throw out the lecture and move to either a distance model where students such do all their material offsite or some kind of flipped model both of which would require us to produce quality videos that students are more likely to watch rather than kid ourselves with the current setup. Obviously, this will also take a lot of time, but at least we wouldn’t be kidding ourselves with the large lectures that nobody turns up to. I think what Trisha says is interesting, if students are scrolling through echo listening for 20 minutes of actual content, perhaps our lectures should be much shorter rather than wasting our time and students time

    1. Hi David, thanks for your comments here! I really appreciated your contributions on this. I have similar concerns around expectations of attendance and clashing of timetables with students doing double degrees. I also agree that it would be helpful to address the situation more directly and discuss alternatives that might be a more effective use of staff– and student — time.

  14. I have never edited an Echo recording; like many here, I didn’t even know that we could edit it. But now that I know it, I am not sure I will do it anyway because of all the reasons David mentions. If I am teaching a course which is listed as a f2f course, I want it to be best suited for the students in the class. With editing the Echo recordings I may be doubling my work without knowing how many students will watch it and benefit from it. The idea of creating re-usable learning objects appeals to me much more, but like Kerry I would probably create custom-made objects of better quality rather than cut up an existing lecture.

  15. When I was developing resources for a fully online program, I encountered a request to edit a recorded lecture and make it suitable for a fully online class. Apparently, the convenor thought it was just a matter of editing out the start and end bits and then putting the entire thing online. We now know from the lessons these past 2 days that it does not work that way! The content may be the same but the context will be different and the circumstances surrounding the manner that the student will engage with the video will also be very different. With good editing skills and a clear instructional design, a recorded video lecture may be repurposed. But as I said, I would need to see the instructional design or the plan so I’d know how to edit.

    Just by experience and observing students engage with videos, I think 6 minutes is a good length. But I am also ok with having a longer video as long as I can jump to specific content without having to scrub thru the video. Video chapter markers are a good way to get this functionality. I’m currently working with Webvtt to do this – https://www.3playmedia.com/2017/06/30/how-to-create-a-webvtt-file/

  16. Our problem-solving tutorials were not recorded. Otherwise, I would like to chunk the recording into short sessions for each question or each step of the question. Then I will add some summaries and comments (“take-away”, as I normally do at the end of each question) as well as links to some related research topics. I have never tried the system but I think the steps above won’t take too much time.

    One thing I learned from another coffee course, and review here is the idea that the lecture recordings should speak to all likely audiences. I observed two award-recipients’ lectures this semester. Both of them showed their awareness of potential audiences. They always repeated the students’ questions and summarized the discussions in the microphone. Sometimes their fancy classes contained some “experiments” and “activities”. Both lecturers described and explained what happened in the classroom clearly. Even a student who did not attend the lecture could follow the activities.

  17. My little contribution to this thread is to refer to some wonderful examples of how *not* to do videos. looking for resources for one of my undergraduate courses, I came across what i thought was a treasure trove of information – world-renowned legal experts discussing their topics, available via the UN’s Audiovisual Library of International Law. Literally the people who not only write the textbooks but also prosecute the cases that constitute international public law. Then I watched a few, getting to maybe the 5 minute mark on three ‘talking head’ videos – each of which was an hour long. Just unwatchable and in some cases unintelligible, with strong accents making it hard to follow. No subtitles/CC. What a wasted opportunity. One way to do this better might have been to have a q&a format, where a second person could direct the conversation and keep to the principle of ‘5 minute chunks’ of information. Such a shame. This tells me that for someone like me, who scripts out every intervention and plans minutely as I am not so good at sticking on track, video will add in a lot of more time and effort. Probably worth it though. With the caveat that video is so easy to turn off.

  18. I haven’t tried editing recordings yet. Hopefully soon. Regarding the balancing dilemma, I already break up my classes into bite-sized chunks by interspersing activities that facilitate deep learning throughout. This breaks up the content (and the monotony). So far, students have responded positively to this approach.

    David, I also agree that we seem to have a culture of using technology for technology’s sake, rather than using technology for pedagogical reasons. What’s the solution? Beyond more education, I’m really not sure. Getting rid of technology isn’t necessarily the key either. From observing many technology-resistant academics, it was interesting to note that they all had different pedagogies – some more suitable and effective for their classes than others.

  19. Todays course made me reflect on some of the video content I have actually used myself as a learner rather than a teacher. Mostly it is to work out how to use software such as referencing applications like mendeley or end note, and the benefit is to watch someone do exactly what I need to do – often it is showing each point I need to click on etc, but also I can access it whenever I need to. So perhaps videos that focus on generic but ideas or issues that students might need to refresh on when completing assessments (inevitably at midnight) might be a better way for me to think about using videos. Or even a sound bite of me talking through expectations for a piece of assessment or talking through a marking rubric.

    Another thought I had was about using videos more for interviews than talking head people – last year I had issues with scheduling in a few guest lecturers so that their availability fit into my ideal course structure. But perhaps in those cases moving away from the lecture but pre recording an interview with them could be a better outcome, and mix up the format over a semester.

  20. I haven’t ever attempted to edit a lecture recording using Echo360, and wasn’t actually aware that you could do this. I am not sure whether this is actually possible on a daily basis given the time constraints, and is probably not something that I would do as standard. I was interested to read the Stewart paper on repurposing lecture recordings, but again am not sure whether this approach would be feasible where e.g. three lectures are presented in three days, along with practical sessions. You could, theoretically, carve the recording of a lecture up into smaller sections, but I suspect that video might be better utilised if lessons are specifically designed for video. This doesn’t mean that the lecture recordings aren’t useful – they just serve a different purpose.
    This does raise the dilemma however, of how to ensure that the face-to-face component of a flipped classroom is still useful for students who are unable to attend. I guess one approach might be to make sure that as much of the content as possible is captured by the Echo recording – perhaps using portable mikes for student questions and answers, and using Echo360ALP for exercises so that the responses are present on the recording of the projector screen. This would certainly be a prime candidate for editing of a lecture recording – blank spaces where small groups were working on a problem could be edited out since a student watching the video would be able to pause at these times while they worked on the problem themselves. Alternatively, each of the tasks could be edited into a separate video incorporating a single task/question, student discussion, the collated Echo360 responses and lecturer summary. This might be feasible for one lecture a week, though not three in three days, so maybe a sensible approach might be just to have one, maybe two-hour, flipped classroom session per week, in combination with a number of online lessons incorporating video and animated versions of what would normally be presented in the three lectures that are currently given. Hmm … food for thought.

    1. Hi Corinne, I wanted to highlight your response here in particular because I have heard so much discussion around ANU (especially this past year) about interactive approaches making lecture recordings unnecessary. Of course we all want students to be able to attend and be engaged in classes and should work hard to improve our in-class offerings, but there will always be a large subset of students who cannot attend classes for very good reasons. I think your examples of how you could adapt lecture recordings to still be useful for these students is fantastic.

      I had a colleague at another university who always gave an alternative version of every activity for those watching the lecture recording. During the lecture, she would explain the activity and then say, “For everyone watching the lecture recording, I would like you to…” and gave them a task to do during that time where they had to post in the forum or answer a quick one or two-question multiple choice, or something to that effect. This was a really nice way to include those students watching later in the activity and promote interactive learning no matter whether you were in class or not! I really liked all your suggestions for how to make the recordings suitable for watching later as well – thanks!

  21. I haven’t tried editing Echo360 recordings and I think that I wouldn’t do it for the same reasons that others have mentioned here. I know that students do not use them how they are intended to be used – as an occasional replacement for attending lectures in person – and that they watch them at double speed to get through as quickly as possible. I really don’t think lecture recordings are an adequate replacement for attendance in my discipline, and I simply do not have time to edit them to make them a better replacement.
    I think that, if I were to use videos in a course, it would be to augment classes rather than to replace them, and that I would make videos on single topics, restricted to a few minutes each. Rather than editing down a lecture, I would prefer to create a video from the ground up, designing the presentation of the information specifically for the video format.
    I do like the idea of creating re-usable learning objects, though I’m not sure how I could make extensive use of these. I might sprinkle them through my courses to augment classroom teaching.

  22. I really like the idea of short introduction videos to kick off the week, a new concept etc. I have needed to edit a lecture video using Echo360. I found the tool easy to use and it was fairly integrated and streamlined from the editing stage to the publishing stage. I have used Echo360 personal capture and this too is easy to use sitting at the desktop. I would like to try using the iPhone next to compare quality, and the process start to finish.

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