How important is it for instructors to include their own faces when creating instructional videos? The answer might surprise you. Dann Hurlbert, Carleton College’s Media & Design Guru (and an actor, director, and inventor of the Little Prompter) leans on research and his own expertise to offer guidance.
Hey Folks, spring is on us. Here is a little of what I’ve been up to, and what I’m looking forward to.
Leaning on my MFA in Digital Cinema and 15 years of teaching experience, I’ve designed a stand-alone two credit course focused on Civic Engagement and Documentary Filmmaking that I’ll be co-teaching with the impressive Palmar Alvarez-Blanco here at Carleton. The curriculum can actually be coupled with nearly any course, pairing students with community organizations that need greater support and visibility. Students will spend the term researching, meeting with, and interviewing members of these community organizations, and then . . . giving a tangible video resource back to that community organization. We’ll cover topics such as bias recognition, visual storytelling strategies, interview techniques, non-linear editing, and social media marketing. This is going to be a fun and engaging class that results in rich civic engagement, valuable documentary filmmaking experience, and a concrete and useful video for several community organizations.
I’m also going to hit the road this spring presenting at conferences including OLC, the Online Learning Consortium, in Nashville Tennessee and at Innovate! Teaching with Technology conference at the University of Minnesota Morris. I’ll be presenting sessions on Planning, Producing, and Evaluating Instructional Video, and Creating Effective Instructional Videos, and I’ll be co-leading a discussion on Online Teaching and Learning for Small Liberal Arts Schools with my colleagues Janet Russell and Andrew Wilson.
Spring is also exciting because one of my personal projects–a compact teleprompter I call the Little Prompter, is ready to hit the market. Over the past year, I worked with a creative and crafty colleague on the design (Thanks, Eric Mistry up at St. Scholastica!); I then ran a successful fundraising campaign to get it manufactured, and am now ready to market and sell it. The Little Prompter is more than just a pet-project, too. It’s got great pedagogical value. Even for experienced instructors, delivering a lesson on camera can be a little intimidating–and even minor discomfort and hesitation on camera can greatly impact how a viewer perceives the speaker and how long a viewer stays engaged with the content. Now, with the Little Prompter and a little pre-planning, faculty can flawlessly deliver their lesson directly into the camera—improving eye-contact and viewer retention. Faculty here at Carleton (and around the world) can learn more about the Little Prompter—and even order one for yourself at www.littleprompter.com.