As one of the librarians taking care of the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, I am responsible for supporting two of the five departments, namely Marketing and Management. Over a decade ago, I embarked on an initiative to transform my library service, leveraging blended pedagogy to provide Open Educational Resources for my community. Learning to use a library and trusted resources is the original (dare I say canonical) experiential learning activity. This simple fact is sometimes forgotten…
In short, my pedagogical delivery strategy involves curating a set of short videos (5 to 10 minutes), hosted on YouTube and embedded in an instructional website. These videos cover using specific databases to empower learners to succeed in their classroom activities. These videos also provide insight on search strategies and skills applied to the Canadian business environment. Students can discover these videos and corresponding web pages through direct links in the Moodle instance for their course, through subject guides on the library website or, more improbably, by searching on the Internet. I currently have about three dozen videos in active use.
JMSB provides for some distinct challenges in devising a library learning program. An entering cohort of new students has around 1500 undergraduates. Class sizes are capped at 60, which means that a required course would have up to 55 sections a year, spread over 5 semesters (fall and winter, as well as 3 spring/summer terms). In the past, I would strive to visit as many course-sections as humanly possible, sometimes providing up to 5 library lectures per day. These 60 to 90 minute lectures were provided to a handful of select courses, so each time a teaching faculty would request a library lecture, I would attempt to secure a visit in all sections. Other librarians would pitch in. My records would indicate that we would only visit about a third of course-sections as many teaching faculty would not allocate classroom time for our visits, for a handful of courses.
As I gained experience with my community, I became increasingly aware that the 60-90 minute lecture was neither systematic, nor sustainable. Blended learning, in the form of embedded video lectures on course-related websites, was the strategy I determined to be the most appropriate.
Given the current context, this asynchronous pedagogical strategy is more than necessary.
Closed captions or transcribed video is a great idea for your YouTube videos. It allows watchers to follow along is a loud environment (like public transport) as well as offering the hearing impaired an opportunity to partake. Of course, learners of a new language can also use the transcription service to read the words as people speak.
Here are some simple steps to follow to add captions to any YouTube video. Take this example:
To add closed captions, follow these steps:
Click on the settings tool on the YouTube video interface (looks like a gearwheel) ** within ** the video pane
Select subtitles: automatic
Let Google’s AI do all of the heavy linguistic lifting.
The image below shows you hot to do this. Notice that my computer is configured in French, but that doesn’t matter, you get the idea:
Then, you can copy-paste the transcript by using the interface. Here’s how:
Click on the “more options” icon – the three grey dots next to the “save” option ** below ** the video
Here is an the abstract of an interesting article looking at student prefeferences between lecture capture versus screencasting published in the International Journal of E-Learning and Distance Education:
Students’ Preferences for Types of Video Lectures: Lecture Capture vs. Screencasting RecordingsAlaa Sadik
The use of online videos as a supplement to traditional lectures or as a way to reach students at remote sites has become increasingly popular in higher education. Faculty and university technology centers have focused on approaches to recording and distributing online video lectures over the last ten years. Regardless of learning outcomes, the purpose of this study was to investigate students’ preferences for lecture capture and screencasting recordings as a supplement to classroom lectures. A questionnaire about video lecture format preferences was used to collect data about students’ preferences in two courses over a three-year period. The overall findings indicated that the majority of students rated screencasting recordings as better than lecture capture recordings in many aspects of video quality and usefulness. Factors affecting students’ preferences for screencasting and the implications of this preference have been reported.
I have been trying out and testing different models to create instructional tutorials for the past few years. I provided an account of my last iteration in a post on this blog, called “Anatomy of a YouTube Tutorial” and “My gear to record a session“. I think I may have figured out a better way to do this, essentially optimizing the production cycle of the videos.
The gist of my most recent idea is still to use QuickTime on my Mac, an ancient MacBook Pro, but with a twist. Remember that QuickTime allows you to record the screen as well as make a video directly from your Mac using the on board camera and mic (I bought a self standing USB mic because the on broad mic sucks).
In that sense, I launch QuickTime and select File > New video. A window opens where I see myself in front of my Mac. I place this window in the corner of my screen and position my browser on the left and I fill the gap on the top right corner with a text file where I can place information (such as the outline of the talk).
The idea is to then launch File > New Screen Recording and the screen recording catches the “mirror image” of the video on the corner of my screen (I never actually record the video of my face, I just use the image of it in the corner).
Here is what the screen looks like:
The point here is that I can generate one simple video file with 3 screens on it: a browser (or any other document), a text file (or any other filler information (actually, this could be a PPT, a script or anything really) and my face.
The only issue is that the table I use is not super stable and my laptop screen tends to wobble if I am not delicate in typing or putting my hands on the table. But this seems like a way to generate tutorials with minimal editing required..
A new report from the UK highlights 10 trends or new techniques in education that may have a profound impact on how we teach and learn. Academics from the Institute of Educational Technology and the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology at The Open University offer us the Innovating Pedagogy report, the third such report released to date.
Here is the outline:
Massive open social learning : Free online courses based on social learning
Learning design informed by analytics: A productive cycle linking design and analysis of effective learning
Flipped classroom: Blending learning inside and outside the classroom
Bring your own devices: Learners use their personal tools to enhance learning in the classroom
Learning to learn: Learning how to become an effective learner
Dynamic assessment: Giving the learner personalized assessment to support learning
Event-based learning: Time-bounded learning events
Learning through storytelling: Creating narratives of memories and events
Threshold concepts: Troublesome concepts and tricky topics for learning
Bricolage: Creative tinkering with resources
7 Policy topics (from the podcast, toward the end)
– Daily routine: exchanging with students, email notifications, submitting assignments
– Students privacy: consent and sharing information with 3rd parties
– Email policies: answering emails, manage students expections wih regards to answers, discussion policies (will the instructor read everything)
– Assignment policy: when due, format, etc. (do it beforehand)
– Tech help policy: where and when to get it (e.g. what happens if the LMS is down when I want to subit my assignment)
– Code of conduct: student discussion, etiquette, netiquette, innapropriate, etc.
– Intellectual proprety issue: copyright, ownership, sharing
Her book and articles cover these topics in greater detail. These items seem more like the kinds of things a course outline or general procedure would cover. But they are interesting nonetheless.
I also really enjoyed this paper about three possible futures for higher ed: one where universities are either virtual or blended; one where digital technology offers a kind of renaissance of creation where storytelling, game design and social media seamlessly integrate into a learning experience; and the one where health care takes over (I didn’t like that one so much).
This just came out : the latest “Tips and Trends” report from the Instructional Technologies Committee members of the American College and Research Libraries and the American Library Association.
Tips and Trends, written by Instructional Technologies Committee members, introduces and discusses new, emerging, or even familiar technology which can be applied in the library instruction setting. Issues are published 4 times a year.