Posts

Video Capturing Lectures

Creating video footage of materials for blended or flipped classroom environments can be time consuming for teachers. Often the teacher is already presenting the materials at some point and if the lecture was captured then this resource could be available for future classes or as supplemental materials for the class they are teaching.

One program that is growing in popularity is Screencast-O-Matic (https://screencast-o-matic.com/). This software allows capturing the screen from the teachers computer along with the audio. The program supports editing the video, and posting the content. There is a reduced pricing for available for education but it is not free.

Web conferencing programs like Webex and Zoom (https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362473-Local-Recording/) allow recording of a web presentation. The shared screen is captured along with an image of the active speaker and the room audio. The video files can be saved in mp4 format and then edited using industry standard programs like Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere. With these programs the audio can be adjusted and the video can be cut into topic based movies. Still images can be added to the movies where details of the lesson are desired.

Digital media capturing and editing are great resources for teachers and reduce the amount of time required to produce educational videos which can then be used in the teaching environment.

Most people today have grown up with television and are expecting media in a movie format. Guidelines are being thought through as to how to use video effectively in education (https://www.nyu.edu/faculty/teaching-and-learning-resources/strategies-for-teaching-with-tech/video-teaching-and-learning/guidelines-for-video.html). Research is being conducted to determine how valuable video information is in education (http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/effective-educational-videos/).

In my experience when using web conferencing programs to capture my own teaching, I have found it takes a bit of time to get comfortable with being recorded and to just get back to paying attention to the students. A great feature of the digital world is it quick and easy to edit the video after.

Using Twitter for On-Line Professional Development

Some years ago I was teaching summer school to seniors for a program where Seniors traveled across Canada learning about other cities. One lady in the course, who had written several books, was concerned that the internet would add so much to her already busy life she would become overwhelmed. I must admit that my adoption of social media gave me a similar feeling. Some days just reading Facebook posts could take an extraordinary amount of time. As a result, I have found that Twitter much more fits my lifestyle. The brevity of posts and that I can pick through the content that is more related to my interests; Neuroscience, technology, Education and learning, is more appealing to me. I am also able to pick people who I follow and find interesting people and forums.

For general use there are many programs to support Twitter users. An easy to use program for organizing Twitter information is Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/).

Of interest for On-line teaching in adult education is the idea of using Twitter to communicate in a chat with participants in a course or people who have interests in similar topics. A unique hashtag reference is created for a group. Participants can then join the chat through http://tweetchat.com/. A set time can be created for synchronize communication with participants and the chat can be moderated.

Dr. Beaudin, et al. has conducted research that shows that Twitter is useful for educators to share content and resources for professional development (Beaudin, L. & Cowie, B. (2014). Educators’ Perceptions of and Practices for Using Social Media for Professional Development. In M. Searson & M. Ochoa (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2014 (pp. 2434-2439). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)). Twitter was second, only YouTube, as a professional development resource. Twitter can be very useful to break the isolation teachers face in their profession. It is a useful resource for finding information and people. Twitter can be used to simply gather information or it can be used as a sharing platform.

Module 8: Online Assessment Tools

Dr. Lorraine Beaudin identified assessment typically involving four important processes:

  • identifying clear, valid, and appropriate student learning outcomes
  • collecting evidence that those outcomes are being addressed
  • setting the stage for a dialogue to attain a collective interpretation of the data
  • using data to improve both teaching and learning

Perhaps simplistically I think of the basic teaching/learning process involving:

Tell them, show them, let them try it, and give them feedback on how they did.

As a function of the evaluation of how learning was acquired, relative to a goal, teachers typically assess performance on an exam. The exam performance by the students provides teachers feedback on how well the students understood the materials. Teachers use this feedback to adjust their teaching materials and style.

As Dr. Beaudin points out, “the concept of learning-centered teaching involves the effective use of both formative (assessment for learning) and summative (assessment of learning) assessment”. The use of on-line tools both “for and of” learning can provide teachers with feedback not just after the instruction but also during the instruction. One tool that can be used during the learning process is the use of what appears to be gaming. Games come in a large variety of forms and the line between a thumb dexterity activity and a thinking activity can be unclear at a cursory glance. Chess looks like a thinking game and PacMan looks like a dexterity game. The game category I see as most valuable in education is simulations. Most often simulations are representations of real world situations or have a basis in something that reflects our ideas of the world. Simulation building can be evaluated based on a learning objective.

I began teaching spreadsheet skills to adults in 1982. In the past, the Easter Egg, Flight Simulator was built into Excel. Many present day games began as spreadsheets, such as Candy Crush. Teachers can use the matrix formatting of spreadsheet like Excel to have students build simple games and coded games as well. Games can be used in creative ways in the learning process and evaluative feedback can be provided by teachers. Excel does support on-line collaboration for group work which is useful in teaching.

Digital Badges for Web-based Teaching

The idea of receiving recognition for accomplishments is core to the educational system and part of human nature. Beginning with stars on task based charts teachers let students know where they are going in their learning, what they have done, and how well they did. Extending into post-secondary education, graduates take pride in their diplomas certificates.

In web-based teaching badges may be utilized as they were in the paper world. OpenBadges (https://openbadges.org/) provide online services to allow the issuing, displaying, and recording of badges in a wide variety of educational environments. An Executive Summary, (2013), considering Expanding Education and Workforce Opportunities Through Digital Badges (https://all4ed.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/DigitalBadgesExecSumm.pdf) provides a concise description of the use of badges in education. Using digital badges for web-based teaching can provide both the teacher and the student a platform for course evaluation.

A good example of digital badges in adult education for web-based courses provided by Coursera is the Authorized IBM Digital Badge Issuer (https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/groups/community/Coursera-Badges/).

Microsoft also supports digital badges (https://education.microsoft.com/badges-points-certificates/badges-and-points) as does Google. That these computer companies see badges as important in education is a clear indicator that teachers should take advantage of the technology.

Digital Badges for the Online Classroom

Digital Badges are useful in adult education to reflect participation in online training programs.

The purpose of the badges is to allow the participant in the course to have an indicator of what they have taken, imply what else they can do, and can document achievement on their resume or CV as to what classes they have taken. For the participants they have pride in their efforts to learn as reflected by the badge. Badges can be printed and framed and hung on their wall.

To see an examples please check this link:

https://wp.me/a9b9PR-jG

Impact of Embedded Questions in Online Presentations

Kenney & Fisher (2017), (www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/178394/) reported preliminary research on their use of embedded questions in online presentations in a hybrid flipped classroom teaching scenario. In response to students seeming lack of attention in class and concerns about examination performance the idea was to pretest during the video presentation. This technique serves to make students to be more aware and present, being more active learners, and also to show students what the instructor thinks the important message is. In fact, Kenny & Fisher received feedback that 92% of students found that questions embedded in the presentation was helpful to them learning the materials. Active learning has been shown to be a more effective form of learning (Eggen & Kauchak, 2016).

The technology Kenney & Fisher utilized was PowerPoint videos with Camtasia Studio questions (https://elearningbrothers.com/blog/create-elearning-quiz-camtasia-studio/). A flexible and quick way for teachers to add questions to PowerPoint presentations is PollEveryWhere (https://www.polleverywhere.com/). This PowerPoint add-in allows several different question types and may be used by the instructor to see if the students are involved and understanding the materials.

Zang, et.al. (2016) found that video alone in online presentations did not improve student performance. As such, adding questions to the online videos is certainly worth testing for various classes and students to try to help their learning.

References

Eggen, P. & Kauchak, D (2016). Educational psychology: Windows on classrooms (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education, Inc.

Zhang, D., Zhou, L., Briggs, R.O., & Nunamker, J.F. (2006). Instructional video in e-learning: Assessing the impact of interactive video on learning effectiveness. Information and Management, 43 (1), 15-27.

Online Activity 3.4

The internet allows video and audio presentations through a variety of technologies. There are three common methods of presenting information and the types of presentations have quite different requirements and features.

Video conferencing requires specialized hardware on both ends of a communication and is typically designed for connecting two to three sites. Traditional video conferencing provides high quality video and audio communications.

Web conferencing most often uses an internet browser like Google Chrome. The presenter creates a meeting and invites participants through email. At the scheduled time participants join the meeting and may see and hear the presenter and the presentation screen. Participants may type messages or talk to the presenter and the presenter may allow a participant to become the presenter. Web conferencing is designed to connect 2 to 250 participants.

Live streaming is sharing a presentation by providing a hyperlink to the live event. Participants can hear and see the presentation and send comments to the presenter. Live streaming works well where it is not known who the participants will be but the presenter is willing to openly share their presentation. Hundreds of people may view a live streamed presentation.

In teaching with these different methods each has advantages and disadvantages.

The type of equipment required can be a limitation as specialized equipment may not be available.

The number of participants would also guide which technology would be best to use.

The quality of the audio and video is a consideration as to which technology to use.

That participants are seeing live video and audio utilizes more senses and makes the materials more life-like and more memorable.

In my teaching I use all three technologies. Web conferencing is most commonly used because it is quick and easy to setup. Participants see a video of the presentation, presenter and the narration. If I want small group point-to-point connections, typically to another university, then I may setup a video conference. For larger non-specific audiences I often consider live streaming the video presentation.