A different approach to the ‘video lecture’

A different approach to the ‘video lecture’

October 10, 2018 2 By JR

As I was scrolling through the feed for 9x9x25 it looks like I’m not the only one who had video on my mind this week; if you haven’t seen Helen’s post yet you should go check it out.

One thing that can make me shudder as an ID is when I hear someone wants to use a lot of video in their course. Couple that with that same person saying they’ve taken online courses before – then finding out they were Coursera, EdX, and the like. I will admit I have seen a couple of courses on big MOOC platforms that did video well (IMO) such as Design 1o1 on iVersity. The videos in that course were never longer than 2-3 minutes and there was only one per lesson, and it’s primary purpose was as a motivational set. Loved it. (all their videos are still available on YouTube, and they were only one piece of each lesson)

I’d also like to give kudos to the team that made the Future of Storytelling course as well, because as far as MOOC trailers go, it’s always the one I go back to as a well done example.

But neither of those are what I wanted to focus on for my post today. Out of all of the courses I’ve worked on as an ID, one in particular that employs video stands out clearly in my mind as a novel approach. I mentioned that normally I shudder when I hear people want to use video. It conjures up images of talking head lectures, voice over PowerPoints, screen in screen, or worst of all…the dreaded video lecture. Sure each of these can be effectively used as learning materials, but there is always a little something missing.

The course that stands out for me used a variety of learning materials. The general design included readings (textbook, websites etc.), video interviews (more on this in a second), and instructor written narrative that wove it all together. The instructors voice really came through in their writing. On the assessment side it was partly discussion based, a couple of individual assignments, and a group project. Students in this graduate level course were from a variety of backgrounds, health care, education, government etc. so being able to look at concepts through multiple lenses was crucial.

“JR, what’s so special about that?”, I hear you asking. The videos weren’t video lectures, but instead a spin on guest lectures/interviews. The instructor and I planned out the framework of the course, the key ideas and concepts, and identified questions based on the material that you may come at from different angles. A series of questions were created, and the instructor then interviewed faculty from within the school, across the province and country in different organizations, PhD candidates who were looking into related areas, etc. It was close to 20 interviews if I recall. Some of the interviews were about specific case studies which appeared at the end of a module, but many of the videos ended up having 2-4 experts responding to the same prompt. All of a sudden, in additional to the textbook and article authors’ perspectives we had a variety of perspectives on the same topic. The course also begins and ends with a montage of almost every interviewee answering the same questions: one on the current state of affairs in the discipline, and one on the future directions.

Each module also included a 2 minute motivational set by the instructor himself, hopefully providing teaching presence and continuity throughout the course. This is a design that this particular instructor and I have used in several of his courses now, and it’s always exciting to get started on one of these projects because you know the framework, but you don’t always know quite where it will go.

(I’m sure that’s over my 25, sorry Terry)

Feature Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash