I spent part of this evening skimming through various videos and audio podcasts to supplement my History of Religion classes. What I found was mostly dreadful. What is it about universities that have huge amounts of money, that they they cannot produce a good video university lecture course? Why is it they merely set up a camera and video tape some lecturer speaking to a class? In a lecture class, there is a physical connection with the lecturer and with other students – a degree of connectivity based on actual presence. This does not translate well at all to video. Actually I found the podcasts better, as you focussed your imagination on the voice. What you see in all the courses I perused today, was a lecturer, usually standing behind a podium or perhaps more animated and striding back and forth across a stage – pointing at slides on a large screen.
This simply does not work online. I will have to think about what would work – but I suggest, a necessary integration of split screens, inserted video clips in the video, a better focus on the pictures shown and less on the lecturer [very few lecturers in my experience are as good as they think they are – some are – most aren’t, as I dredge my memory from my days as as student]. All are better when you are a student sitting in a lecture hall, than when viewing their imperfect presentation style on a computer screen. It is no accident that TV announcers and TV and film actors must spend years honing their craft. The screen changes things.
Anyway, something to think about when I start to use my own videos in my online courses.