OK I can do some video, so whats next?

Video can liven up your course and its a good way to get your content out there. There are are several good reasons why this works for the flipped classroom. First, why should students have to watch you in class talk and take notes on that information when a good video will work just as well online? They can watch it, take notes and even go back and review it as often as they want. Second, your class time gets freed up to do more important and engaging things.

There are a couple of things you should think about when using these videos as virtual content delivery. We know from research that a person’s online attention span is probably no more than 10 to 15 minutes. Having a “lecture” video that is more than 15 minutes may not be the best use of the time. If you lectures are longer then maybe breaking them down into segments would be the better choice. Another thing to consider is just how you follow up with the video. Videos can be passive learning experiences unless we include some type of follow up activity. Even just including a few review questions or follow up activities might add enough to the experience to make it more of an active learning experience.

If you want to do a more traditional video then by all means do so. But, consider trying some other things which might be interesting. Have some fun with it,  I taught Biology courses for some time and always tried to get outdoors to do some field experience video. I know of a course on paleontology where the instructor would go into the field and record videos in fossil beds. This is in essence almost like a field experience. Ask yourself the question, “is there a way for me to do something similar?” A few years ago I worked with an instructor who was teaching a US History course online. He spent much of his summer visiting civil war historical sites like Gettysburg, Bull Run, and  Fredricksburg, shooting video as he went and recording narrations for the sites he visits. He carries a small camcorder with him almost all the time for this purpose.

I have gotten in the habit of carrying my pocket sized Nikon CoolPix L28 with me most of of the time now for the same purpose. The video length is limited to 10 minutes but that is usually more than enough time to record a short onsite lecture. There are also you smart phone videos which are more than up to the task. Think about being a little more creative with what you do and expand environment you record in. Do you always have to use a classroom to do a short instructional video?

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