This term I have begun a practice long intended, but under pressure of, well, life, had not done until now. I decided to make a short YouTube video of me explaining assignments, and parts of the course in the spoken word in a video, rather than relying wholly on information printed or linked on the course site.
So far I have done a general introduction – the so-called ‘housekeeping’ that is a part of the first class meeting of any university level course, and a second explaining how I hope to see them engage in discussion for the first assignment.
I don’t know how this experiment is going, though I have had a few hints. In the course of the discussion, a number of students have referred to my comments. I wish I could see how many hits each video has. Unfortunately, YouTube only counts the aggregate views of the ‘teaching’ category where I placed the videos. I think I will try to move them into a separate YouTube folder and then see.
My purpose here is to highlight important themes in each section and the overall purpose of each assignment. But underlying these, I am hoping that seeing me in a video, speaking to them will make the course more immediate and also encourage students to contact me if they have questions.