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Creating and using video material for online teaching

Recorded video (so what is called a-synchronous) is a great tool to use for your student’s learning. You can use existing videos, but you might also consider making new videos. Screencasts (recording of your computer screen) can be useful to show something on your screen. Please find here our tips and instructions for these scenarios, but first take note of the general guidelines below.

General guidelines

There are some important things to consider when you want to use recorded videos for your teaching:

  1. Video is a one-way medium. The key of success lies within a careful alignment with the learning goals of your course and the learning activities that your students should carry out. Video should not be an extra, it should be an essential part of your course.
  2. Several short (maximum 6 minutes) videos, alternated with for example readings and assignments, is better than one long video, to hold attention. If you want to discuss a complex topic, it can be worth it to divide the topic into different videos with different subtopics.
  3. Think about what you want to show your students. You should show something, rather than tell. Just a talking head will become boring very quickly. How can you visualize your message?
  4. Always make a clear instruction: tell them what to watch for, or take notice of. Provide a question that your students should be thinking of when watching the video.
  5. If you are creating your own video, be flexible and generous with yourself. It does not have to be perfect! Students will appreciate your efforts. A small hiccup or mispronunciation makes your video more personal, students will see that it is you.
  6. The sound is equally as important as what is shown. So try to use a decent microphone, and do not speak too fast. Try to avoid distracting background noise.

Tips and instructions

Publishing previously recorded lectures

If previous lectures have been recorded for your course, they are already available in your Nestor course via Presentations2Go. You can choose to publish an old recording and let your students watch this first. Then, use the discussion board to post questions, provide answers and share it with the other students so that interactive teaching moments can still take place.

There is a manual available with information about uploading previous recorded lectures.

Publish a video in Nestor

In Nestor you can upload any video to the underlying Presentations2Go video-server. By doing so, you do not use up the memory capacity of your Nestor Course, but can access and reuse all your video material via Nestor. If you upload a video, it will not only be connected to your course, but also to you via your UG-account. This makes reusing the same videos in your Nestor courses very easy.

To learn more on how to upload video material to the Presentations2Go server via Nestor, instructions are available.

Please keep in mind that you are sure you have the copyrights or permissions to (re)use video material before uploading it.

Why make a screencast

There are many different scenarios for using a screencast in your courses. Here a few effective ways to do so:

  1. A screencast is a recording of your own screen. It can be used for:

    a. Demonstrating your Powerpoints
    b. Demonstrating a software application.
    c. Demonstrating formulas, including scaffolding them.

  2. A screencast is suitable for topics where no interaction is necessary. For example, an introduction to a topic/module, a demonstration, or an explanation of a program, formula or model.
  3. Use a screencast to record and share procedures and answer common questions.
  4. Explain an assignment. Provide pointers for a proper submission in your video.Provide a summary of your feedback on assignments. Reviewing student work using a screencast allows students to hear your voice and feel coached through the revision process.
  5. Couple your video with a discussion board. Introduce your discussion question with a short video or answer the most prominent questions you collected from the discussion board via a screencast.
  6. Explain and run through a sample test question or assessment from a previous year: show and explain your students what type of questions they can expect and why, discuss typical mistakes in answering, tell them how you will grade etcetera.
  7. After a formative test: do a screencast, walking through the correct answers with your explanation. This might be more time effective for you and also more insightful for your students.
Tips, tricks and tools to create, record or edit your own video/screencast

Before getting started on creating your own video's we highly suggest watching one of our webinars:

Creating your own Educational Videos.

Improving Presentation Design

Sharing video in online teaching

A type of video that you can create yourself from home and has proven to work quite well is called “screencasts”. A screencast is a digital recording of what is done on a computer screen during a certain period of time. The screencast can contain a slideshow, but it can also be a demonstration of a software application. Screencasts are often accompanied by a teacher’s voice, and sometimes footage of a webcam. Screencasts can be made on your own (home) computer.

Please note that recording a video from the UWP (Universele WerkPlek) is not recommended. It is very likely that you will experience issues with audio recording.

There a few options to create your own screencast:

  1. Blackboard Collaborate: besides live lectures, you can also use Collaborate to pre-record a lecture and then share it with students. For more information on how to disclose these recordings to students in Nestor, information can be found in our Collaborate quickstart guide.
  2. Recording capabilities are readily available in PowerPoint. Once you have created your own narrated PowerPoint you can save it as a so-called PowerPoint show. You can share this with your students through an Item in Nestor. To get going, you can follow these instructions, provided by Microsoft.
  3. Make use of the Do-It-Yourself-Studio in the Harmonie Building (free for members of the Arts faculty). Please contact AVServices.
  4. There are other video recording (and editing) tools available on the internet that you could use to record or edit a video. At this moment we cannot provide support for these tools. Use these tools at your own discretion. Also, some are free, some are free for educators and some have costs to them (where the free version often limits its use). Some popular tools are:

    Screencast-o-matic (free to try, pay for full use)

    Screencastify (free to try, pay for full use)

    Camtasia (free to try, pay for full use)

    Loom (free for educators and students - sign up with your @rug.nl email)

    OBSproject (open source, free software for all platforms)

Video assignments

If you want students to upload videos instead of textual submissions, you can create a P2Go assignment. You will be able to grade the submissions and provide overall feedback in a similar fashion to normal assignments.

Students can arrive at the right answer by accident. Requiring them to explain their thinking with a screencast ensures you know if they actually understood the concept or not. Students might even recognize some of their errors as they go through their own explanation. See our guide How to create a P2Go assignment.

Further reading

There is a wealth of information available for you to create your own great videos! Here are some recommended resources:

* When designing and producing, take note of Mayer’s multimedia principles ( information on Infonet ).

* Fifty ways to use a screencast (info by Screencastify).

* On the RUG Infonet, you can find more extensive guidelines on how to produce a video . The word “Knowledge clip” is used there, which is actually a video that would be recorded in the DIY studio in the Harmonie building. But the general rules and guidelines presented for Knowledge clips basically apply to every video.

Last modified:08 October 2020 12.54 p.m.
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