Remote Teaching with Video

Keeping your course fresh and interesting throughout the term can be challenging in an online environment. Especially if you’ve had to rush to prepare a remote teaching version of an otherwise live course. One of the many ways we can keep things interesting is with the use of video. Students will appreciate the opportunity to break-up their readings with some media.

Here’s a few creative ways you might use video in your remote or online class yet this term.

Course Trailers & Intro Videos

What is it?
You have likely seen movie trailers; those short videos that are designed to capture the interest of the audience to get them interested in seeing movies. You may want to consider creating your own course trailer. Create a short video that would give learners a quick glimpse of your course and the connections you hope to make throughout the semester.
Why Consider This?
“It’s not the technology. It’s not the way something looks. It’s the story.” – John Lasseter, PIXAR

In the course trailer video you can introduce yourself, the course description, the course objectives and topics. For this particular video type you might consider completing some, or all, of the following statements:

  • Do you like…
  • Are you interested in…
  • Are you concerned about…
  • Do you want to…
  • By participating in this class…
  • We will look at…
  • Join us as we investigate/explore…

A course trailer would be an opportunity to introduce yourself to learners.  Sharing course outcomes could also be done here.  Think about inviting learners to participate and become part of this learning community.

Think about including campus and classroom footage as a way for distance learners to gain a sense of connection to the institution. You may also want to have a final statement that invites learners to participate, create and explore.

Tools for the Job

We can help!

If you are interested in creating a trailer for your distance course, contact your instructional designer at DEU.

Take the plunge!

If you would like to create your own trailer, a few of the following tools might be helpful:

Camtasia– This nonlinear digital video editing software is somewhere between entry level and professional levels. You can splice together audio and video as you need, insert graphics and titles, as well as a few other interactions. Available for both Windows and Mac OS. Camtasia Tutorials

Screencast-O-Matic– This software is available for both Windows and Mac OS, and has a free as well as a Pro version. At the push of a button you can begin to record right from your webcam, what’s on the screen, or both. When you’re done recording it can export the video to your desktop or even straight to your YouTube account. Screencast-o-matic Tutorial 1 Tutorial 2.

GoAnimate – This online animation tool offers a wide range of assets to create comprehensive animations. They offer paid plans and a 14 day free trial. Tutorial

PowToon – This popular online animation software offers both free and pro versions. It comes with a series of sample music and images you can use for creating engaging animations. Tutorial

Explain Everything – This mobile app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows. Record voice and animations using the assets provided or insert your own! When you’re done simply export the video to upload to the LMS or your Website. Tutorials

Educreations – This mobile app is available for iOS. Record voice and animations using the assets provided or insert your own! When you’re done share the video with classes, embed it in a website, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or export it. Free and paid versions available. Tutorial

Tips and Tricks

A Few Practical Guidelines

Creating a Storyboard
After drafting your storyboard review the topic(s) and learning outcomes. If everything adequately presented? Is there anything present on the storyboard that is not explicitly related to the topic(s) or learning outcomes? If so, why is that content present and would it be missed if omitted?

Audio
Speech – narration does not necessarily need to be written word for word on a storyboard. However, providing more detail will make the recording process much easier, even if you do not repeat it word for word. Attempting to “wing it” often results in multiple takes and wasted time. For more information about recording audio see Tips for Recording Narrations.
Sound bites can add realism, generate emotion, define space, depict identity, set the pace, symbolize meaning, and unify transitions. However, they should not be overused as they can distract the learner and increase cognitive load.

Visuals
Imagery should be self explanatory, simple, at the learner’s level, match it’s purpose, and be relevant to the scene/objective/narrative. In your storyboard you might simply provide a short description,  sketch, table or figure number or title, or a copy of the visuals that are to be on the screen. For more information about selecting types of visuals see A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: Using Visuals.

Video
Is most effective when the combination of audio and visuals is carefully considered and planned. Storyboarding will help you to identify if there is too much information being presented to the learner at one time (through audio or video) and avoid cognitive overload. Consider the pacing (rate of information), and transitions between ideas and what the learner is seeing and hearing. A general guideline for length is to keep the videos in your course around 6 minutes in length. However, this may vary slightly depending on the purpose and content of the video (e.g. a narrative story may take longer than 6 minutes to complete, but can still be engaging for its entire duration). The key is to make sure the video is no longer than is needed.

USask DEU Examples

Guest Lecture Videos

What is it?
Inviting a guest speaker into your class might be an effective strategy to bring an author’s first hand experience into your class, to discuss a recent development in your discipline with another leading expert, or to bring in alternative perspectives on a topic.

  • You might consider inviting:
  • a guest with a specific field experience to share with the students
  • another faculty member or researcher
  • graduate student(s)
  • someone currently working as a professional in the discipline
  • an author
Why Consider it?
Inviting a guest speaker goes beyond demonstrating collegiality to your students, there are a number of reasons you might consider inviting a guest speaker. Guest speakers can:
  • provide alternative perspectives to topics and issues in your course
  • bring insights from the field into the classroom
  • demonstrate a skill or process
  • provide further expertise on specific topics
  • share key findings from a project or initiative they have worked with
  • supplement and enhance resources available in the course
  • co‐teach a case study
  • provide feedback on student work via a Judging Panel
  • just-in-time information and skills

However, you should keep in mind that making the most of a guest speaker in your classroom requires careful planning. One of the first decisions you will need to make is how you would like the guest speaker to participate in your class (e.g. as a presenter, a discussion facilitator, a recording, etc.)

Tools for the Job

  • WebEx – The University of Saskatchewan has a site wide license for this web conferencing application which allows you to: stream live audio and video, use chats and collaborative whiteboards, and share presentations.
  • Skype – This is a free* and commonly used mobile and desktop application
  • Google Hangouts – For instructors and participants who have a Google account, Hangouts allows up to 10 participants to conference with live audio and video, chat, share screens, etc.
  • YouTube Live – For larger groups with less interaction from the audience YouTube Live allows you to stream audio and video, record sessions, and share the live broadcast publicly or to specific people.
  • Screencast-o-matic – This free* desktop application allows you to record audio and video to a file. This tool works well for recorded lectures which could be used repeatedly. It can record the presenter’s screen, the presenter, or both.
Tips and Tricks
Preparing your guest

Consider discussion the following with your guest prior to their session or recording:

  • what are the learning objectives for the module and for the session or recording?
  • what are your expectations for the format and duration of the session or recording?
  • are handouts required/will students need a copy of the presentation?
  • what instructional strategies could the guest employ?
  • what setup or support is required?
  • will the session be recorded? (why or why not?)
  • provide adequate lead time
  • obtain a bio for the guest
  • describe your class size and characteristics
  • determine roles and responsibilities
  • can/should students be able to contact the guest ahead of time or after?

Preparing your students

Consider discussion the following with your students prior to the session or viewing the recording:

  • what are the learning objectives for the module and for the session or recording?
  • what are your expectations for the students?
    • e.g. prepare questions, check for understanding, related task
  • how will you facilitate discussion between students and the guest?

Student Made Videos

This video was created by students for a Distance Education offering of Women and Gender Studies (WGST) 210.3. It went viral and to date has over  4,000,000 views and even had an article written about it at ominocity.com .

What is it?
You are likely already familiar with video technology. You may already enjoy making video recordings of personal events in your life. For a digital analysis, online presentations, or other assignments, you may be producing your response as a short video. Knowledge and skills in the domain of digital literacy are critical here, so we have provided some resources to help you on your way.

It is important to also mention that for these types of assignments, knowledge and skills around copyright, open licensing, information sharing, digital footprints, and managing your online presence should be well understood by anyone creating, adapting, using, or contributing to, creative works via the world wide web.

Using Licensed Materials in Your Work
Often when creating videos and presentations we are inclined to include quotes, images, audio and video clips, and other media that we did not create ourselves. There are a variety of ways that students can include third-party work in their videos and presentations, but it is critical to consider copyright and intellectual property implications of doing so. The following links provide some support in navigating the rules and guidelines for using third-party materials in your work:

Creative Common Licenses Explained
Canadian Copyright Act
U of S Copyright Information

Applying Open License to Your Work

Open Licensing Resources

Where should I publish my Open Content?
Creative Commons publishing communities by content format – http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Publish

How do I mark my work with an Open License?
Creative Commons Licensing and Marking Your Content

Choose a License that works for you
Creative Common Licenses Explained – http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

Tools for the Job

Desktop and Laptop

Panopto – USask supported video production and post production tools on campus. Check out this blog post from GMCTL about student videos using Panopto https://words.usask.ca/gmcte/2020/03/17/panopto-for-student-presentations/

Camtasia – This nonlinear digital video editing software is somewhere between entry level and professional levels. You can splice together audio and video as you need, insert graphics and titles, as well as a few other interactions. Available for both Windows and Mac OS. Camtasia Tutorials

iMovie – This is Apple’s entry level video editing software and is available for both Mac OS and iOS. If you’re new to video editing you may want to get your feet wet by trying this software first.

Screencast-O-Matic – This software is available for both Windows and Mac OS, and has a free as well as a Pro version. At the push of a button you can begin to record right from your webcam, what’s on the screen, or both. When you’re done recording it can export the video to your desktop or even straight to your YouTube account. Screencast-o-matic Tutorial 1 Tutorial 2.

PowerPoint – A little known secret about PowerPoint is that you can record audio and creating a timed video slideshow without any other software. If you want to get started on voiceover slideshows, don’t want to spend any money on software, and don’t have time to learn a nonlinear digital video editing software this might be your best bet. Written Tutorial Video Tutorial

Keynote – A little known secret about Keynote is that you can record audio and creating a timed video slideshow without any other software. If you want to get started on voiceover slideshows, don’t want to spend any money on software, and don’t have time to learn a nonlinear digital video editing software this might be your best bet. Tutorial

Windows Movie Maker – This is Microsoft’s entry level video editing software and is available for Windows. If you’re new to video editing you may want to get your feet wet by trying this software first.

GoAnimate – This online animation tool offers a wide range of assets to create comprehensive animations. They offer paid plans and a 14 day free trial. Tutorial

Voki – A little camera shy? Not to worry, with Voki you can create an avatar and use their text to speech software for narration. Don’t like the robot voice? You can also upload audio files or record straight into Voki. Free and paid plans are available. Tutorial

PowToon – This popular online animation software offers both free and pro versions. It comes with a series of sample music and images you can use for creating engaging animations. Tutorial

Mobile

Explain Everything – This mobile app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows. Record voice and animations using the assets provided or insert your own! When you’re done simply export the video to upload to the LMS or your Website. Tutorials

ShowMe – This mobile app is available for iOS. Record voice and animations using the assets provided or insert your own! When you’re done simply export the video to upload to the LMS,your Website, or the ShowME community. Tutorial

Educreations – This mobile app is available for iOS. Record voice and animations using the assets provided or insert your own! When you’re done share the video with classes, embed it in a website, share it on Facebook or Twitter, or export it. Free and paid versions available. Tutorial

Clarisketch – This application is available for Android and Chrome. Record voice, images, sketches, and annotate as you go. When complete, it does not create a video file, but instead a small media format that can play in any browser. You can share your finished clarisketch via social media, email, and more. Short tutorial. Longer tutorial.

Planning Resources

A Few Practical Guidelines

Creating a Storyboard
After drafting your storyboard review the assignment instructions. Is everything adequately presented? Is there anything present on the storyboard that is not explicitly related to the assignment? If so, why is that content present and would it be missed if omitted? Sample storyboard template

Audio
Speech – narration does not necessarily need to be written word for word on a storyboard. However, providing more detail will make the recording process much easier, even if you do not repeat it word for word. Attempting to “wing it” often results in multiple takes and wasted time.
Sound bites can add realism, generate emotion, define space, depict identity, set the pace, symbolize meaning, and unify transitions. However, they should not be overused as they can distract the learner and increase cognitive load.

Visuals
Imagery should be self explanatory, simple, at the learner’s level, match it’s purpose, and be relevant to the scene/objective/narrative. In your storyboard you might simply provide a short description, sketch, table or figure number or title, or a copy of the visuals that are to be on the screen. For more information about selecting types of visuals see A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: Using Visuals.

Video
Is most effective when the combination of audio and visuals is carefully considered and planned. Storyboarding will help you to identify if there is too much information being presented to the learner at one time (through audio or video) and avoid cognitive overload. Consider the pacing (rate of information), and transitions between ideas and what the learner is seeing and hearing. Video durations may vary slightly depending on the purpose and content of the video (e.g. a narrative story may take longer than 6 minutes to complete, but can still be engaging for its entire duration). The key is to make sure the video is no longer than is needed.

Lecture Videos

Perhaps you just want to make some lecture videos to send out or add to your Remote Teaching course materials. Here’s a link to a previous blog post we did to help you think through the process and get the most out of your lecture videos!

So You’d Like to Make a Lecture Video …