Jonas Köster recently produced a beautiful and research-rich text entitled Video in the Age of Digital Learning. For those of us in education and developing instructional media, we already know what Köster lays out on the first page—“recent studies overwhelmingly predict the continual rise in the use of instructional video” (xv). Here’s why: “digital video is an extremely powerful method to tell stories, explain complex issues through engaging visuals, offer the learner the ability to work at their own pace, and . . . [it’s] the most efficient and effective method for bringing a teacher and learners together at an incredible scale” (xv).
This shift in teaching and learning requires more than just a camera and an eager instructor, however. For example, student attention span has shortened to only about 8 seconds and making a video engaging “requires a thorough examination of the medium to find the best ways to make it as useful as possible” (xvii). Without regurgitating the entire text, I’ll outline a few aspects of Köster’s book that stood out most.
Effective instructional videos can vary in style. This short video, inspired by an Arizona State University study, reveals preferences and effectiveness in two different styles:
Should you teach to the camera/viewer or
Should you teach a student who is also on camera and film that interaction?
This video featuring Dann Hurlbert, Carleton College’s Media & Design Guru succinctly recaps a 2018 study from ASU’s Katelyn M Cooper, Lu Ding, Michelle Stephens, Michelene T. H. Chi, and Sara E Brownell.
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.
I’m already excited to be a part of the team hosting this Instructional Video Workshop at Carleton in late July! Attendees will not only take-way a concrete and replicable process for creating process, but they’ll create [at least] 3 Instructional Videos they can start using right away. The seats filled-up so fast, there is no doubt we’ll be doing more of these in the future! More information on the workshop itself is available here. And if you’d like to be notified when we host another one, please complete this short form. — dann
Even for schools that don’t see themselves as “online” institutions, there are ways to gradually get started teaching online courses. In this video, Dann Hurlbert of Carleton College’s Academic Technology walks viewers through some research on and tips for getting started.
Special Thanks to Yiwen Lou for her work on this video.
In late July, I attended and presented at the Minnesota eLearning Summit 2016 at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. My presentation, Writing with Light: Building A Low-Cost Lightboard at Carleton College, was selected as a session. I’ve embedded a screencast of it below, as well as on YouTube. Here’s how my conference went, as a story in annotated tweets…
I was selected as one of the speakers for the summit and chose to speak on the Lightboard, which we designed and built at Carleton College. Our Lightboard is notable for its very low cost and ease of use.
It was thrilling to see Randy Bass speak again. He came to Carleton last fall and gave an engaging and thrilling set of talks, inspiring us to think about the future of education and our roles within it.
Finally, Dr. Bass ended with an appeal to have every course teach three things: knowledge of the Domain, knowledge of the World, and Knowledge of Oneself. These three overlap to create an transformative learning experience.
…and then we were done! This was a great conference. I met and interacted with some passionate educators and other academic technologists. There are so many impressive and incredible things happening in this space. It makes me excited for the future of education.
There are lots of things to consider when buying a video camera. Sensors, color chips, resolution, recording formats, inputs/outputs, price-points and lots and lots more. Until the recent explosion of drones, smooth camera movement has usually required peripheral hardware such as sliders, booms, dollies, and glidecams. Enter the gimbal–that little mechanism that allows for smooth motion around a central axis. Continue reading The Goodness of a Gimbal
When I am asked what Instructional Design is about, I usually respond with something like “instructional design is student focused and built backwards.” A little prying will get me to go further: “After identifying the learning objectives, an instructor must determine how student learning will be evaluated; then s/he must put in place the steps/instruction that will get the students to that objective successfully. The best instruction builds on prior or establishes new baseline knowledge, involves some demonstration, and then engages the student through practical, hands-on, real-world application.”
Or something along those lines.
This philosophy is based both on my years of teaching and the research of countless of smart people. Robin Smith suggests states that “Most effective learning environments . . . involve four distinct phases of learning: Activation of prior knowledge, demonstration of skills, Application of skills, Integration of these skills into real world activities” (Smith, 2008). Similarly, David Merrill’s study reveals that learning is promoted most effectively when: “learners are engaged in solving real-world problems…existing knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge…new knowledge is demonstrated to the learner…new knowledge is applied by the learner…new knowledge is integrated into the learner’s world” (Merrill, 2002).
Now, with 15 years of face-to-face instruction under my belt, and a couple years as the Media & Design Specialist for Academic Technology at Carleton College, I’m eager to see how instructional design plays out when I launch my online training course for our thirty work study students next fall. The good news is that “3.9 million students … took online classes in 2007” and “more than 80% [of those] were undergraduate students,” (Johnson, 31). Since then, the numbers of students that already have some online learning experience has continued to grow. So, I’ve got high hopes that with some good instructional design, my undergraduate students will quickly master the requirements of serving the media and event support needs of Carleton faculty and staff.
I’ll report back next year with the results.
Media and Design Specialist for Academic Technology
Johnson, Kevin and Susan Manning. Online Education for Dummies. By Kevin Johnson. 1st ed. Hoboken: Wiley, 2010
Merrill, M. David. “First Principles.” ETR&D 50.37 (2002): n. pag.Mdavidmerrill.com. Mdavidmerrill, 7 Jan. 2010. Web. 5 May 2016.
Smith, Robin M. Conquering the Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Online Course Design. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Web. 03 May 2016.
Instructors have more tools at their fingertips than ever before. Sometimes the hardest (but most important) thing we can do for our students and our sanity is to . . . to limit ourselves. Before starting a new course, consider creating a list of the tools you’ll be using regularly as part of your instruction. Below is a sample list that might be used in a standard course. Items in [brackets] indicate a viable alternative tool instructor. Continue reading Course Tools