Two of the five sessions at the Online Learning Showcase I attended in February dealt with the incorporation of videos into white boards or other presentation software. The first was from a part of the university that is flush with cash and involved using expensive software as well as hiring a trained voice actor. If you have that kind of money, that route was impressive. But, this book I am blogging here is aimed more at easily usable and immediately practical means for a busy, working instructor to implement a more effective online teaching process.
In this light, the presentation called Concept Exploration Using Video developed for a course in climate change biology, fit the bill. This idea used Powerpoint, with each slide indicating a step in learning about a particular concept, but up in the upper right hand corner there is a video of the instructor explaining the slide.
For both Powerpoint and Keynote this is a simple process once you have a video. Either import or ‘drag and drop’ your video into a slide. With Powerpoint that means going to the Insert menu and the drop down list has a video (and audio alone) choice. Or you can drag and drop files into a slide. The same goes for a Mac, using either Powerpoint for Mac or Keynote. There you go to the Insert Menu and choose the ‘Other’ item. Drag and drop works fine, as this is the usual procedure on a Mac. Then in either program you can resize and move the video to fit in a corner of your visuals on the slide. Either program can be set to play the video or audio with a click, or to play automatically when the slide opens.
I haven’t used this feature yet and need to see if it can be easily imported into the system my university uses, CourseLink – or will I be required to go through the instructional design department? That is a make or break for me. Why? Well, the point of much of this is to allow an instructor to add quick modifications to online teaching styles that do not require days, or weeks, or months of preparation plus getting funding approved. This is one reason I got the university ID department to put a Prezi link on my CourseLink menu.I could add content on the Prezi that is linked on the menu on the fly. I may indeed have to put visuals with audio or video into my linked Prezi. But I shall see.
The presentation had some good points about doing videos (or audios) in this way. I also viewed a nearly ten minute tutorial from Sal Khan (of the Khan Academy) which said much the same in a bit more detail: be conversational – students will learn better than from a carefully modulated professional speaker; do not talk above or below students (that is, do not be too simple or too complex); do not have video clips that are more than 10 minutes – 6 is a good optimum. If you do want a longer video, break it up into 10 minute segments.
In the visuals use colours, use hand-drawings …. but that is a topic for another blog post as this requires separate software – or perhaps something on Prezi, Powerpoint, Keynote that I haven’t learned yet!
Here is the Khan link: