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Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Quick review: Video in HE Symposium

Dominik Lukes, who organised the symposium, started us off with the attempt to assign a name and date to the following quote:



I think most of us were rather surprised to hear that Thomas Eddison said this in 1913. It was a good start for our question: where are we now, in 2019, with the use of video? Here are a few personal highlights from listening to a series of 'lightning talks' that followed Dominik's introductory talk:

In cases where institution-wide lecture capture was praised and presented as successful (from the student feedback point of view),  pedagogical recommendations were also taken into account, as for example by James Youdale (University of York):

recommendations list, referring pedagogical considerations of lecture capture

'Inspiring academics to use video in their teaching' (Sandra Huskinson, Fiery Red consultancy & Loughborough University) does not come easy, when academics are asked to create their own videos. There's a lot of scepticism:


Strategies on how to overcome this scepticism were convincingly  presented at 'lightning' speed:


The slide presented above talks about 'using green screen'. This isn't necessarily key to any 'good teaching video' production, as pointed out through a comparison between 'lecturer' videos and 'youtuber' videos in another presentation:

comparison between 'academic' videos and ordinary youtube ones

While I do agree that a focus on 'natural' performance is very important, I still think that a well set-up mini-studio can help enormously to quickly create short and sharp videos, and that's why I'm all for Rapidmooc. For example, there's no post-production work required, the production focus is more on pre-production, i.e. the better your PowerPoint for a lecture, the easier it is to integrate it into the production process. It also auto-generates closed captions for accessibility AND has a customisable teleprompter.

Rapidmooc in action

This neat little mini studio doesn't come cheap and would be rather nice to have here at Brookes. BUT I should not forget to mention that - in principle - we have a very decent facility at Brookes now, too, set up by Ed Thomas:




Unfortunately, this studio is on a different campus. The time to travel back and forth creates a substantial additional hurdle in the effort to involve academics in the creation of videos for teaching and learning ... AND it is not quite as easy to use as the 'rapidmooc'.

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