Educational and cognitive psychology indicates that we process information more efficiently when it is communicated in both visual and verbal modes simultaneously. Video can be an effective instructional, learning and communication tool because of its inherent advantage of utilising both sound and vision. So why not bring this into your subject by making your own short videos?
What you can do in the LX.lab Media Space
The LX.lab’s Media Team can assist you with a wide range of services related to video in learning and teaching at UTS. The media team can provide:
- Production assistance and consultation
- Equipment loans
- One-on-one training for basic video production
- Help to facilitate special projects
You can also come along to the regular UTS Video Meet-ups to see what your colleagues have been up to.
Looking to other videos for ideas for style, technique, delivery format or approach to your own subject is a good place to start. It gives you an anchor around which you can shape your own ideas and sets up the goalposts for a clear stylistic direction.
Next time you see a video that really grabs your attention, think about what you can borrow from it. How does the video engage, interest or inspire you? How might these ideas be applied in your learning and teaching context?
Start with a purpose
It’s important to start with a clear purpose. Do you want to inspire students (motivate, generate interest and grab attention), instruct (show, explain, direct and demonstrate) or inform the students (aid understanding, reveal connections, uncover and reinforce concepts)? You may want to do all of these things.
Remember to maintain constructive alignment with your subject learning objectives to have the most impact on student learning outcomes. Be pragmatic about your use of video. Its real value depends on whether it contributes to the subject at hand and the engagement, assessment performance and success of your students.
Stay connected with your learning objectives
Structuring and chunking your video content helps to clearly frame your learning objectives. Short, concise videos lessen cognitive load and are more convenient for revision. For students, a logical series of separate topic-focused videos are easier to navigate. Each short video can provide a sense of completion within a reasonable timeframe, which is great for disrupted attention spans and viewing habits on mobile. For teachers, producing videos in bite-size chunks is also easier to manage, produce and update.
If creating video is unfamiliar territory, a ‘typology’ or guide to planning a video-based learning design can be helpful. Use this guide to connect and situate a wide range of uses that video can serve in meeting your needs across three types of roles: functional purpose, academic focus and pedagogical strategy.
Give yourself a refresher on Bloom’s Taxonomy with a goal of matching categories of knowledge with learning objectives and active learning processes. Being clear on the cognitive processes you intend on encouraging and the application of these through assessment, can help you ensure your videos for learning are also relevant and effective.
Applying some of the theory and approaches that help manage cognitive load and maintain engagement, can help you to bring active learning to the viewing experience.
Deciding on what kind of video to make
After defining your purpose, you will want to think about a suitable presentation style and technique. Taking a genre-based approach can help you to choose a style that will match your purpose. Experimenting with genre can add variety to your video repertoire.
Try engaging with your topic in a creative way by establishing contexts, utilising styles of popular media, and using storytelling techniques. Tours, simulations, demonstrations, instructions, commentaries, role plays, trailers and even advertisements can be effective and entertaining ways to present your video content.
When telling your students something, think about how it relates to the broader subject and be clear in your explanation while you lay out the facts. If you want students to notice something in particular, be explicit by pointing out the important and relevant things – don’t assume anything. Take the students through the key points, signposting what is new, flagging notable ideas, encouraging a perspective on a topic or a position on an issue.
If your objective focuses on students doing actions and modelling approaches/attitudes, then show the students ‘how to’ achieve something by example, signposting key steps and signalling relevant information. Focus on communicating what matters.
These suggestions may seem obvious, and may even come naturally to you. What is important is that you are being purposeful in your pedagogical approaches and the production choices you make for your video.
You don’t always need make your own video
If you’re not able to make your own video at the moment, there’s a good chance you can find existing relevant content. In this case, talk to the UTS library about Open Educational Resources (OER) and accessing, reusing and adapting existing media. Doing so can save you time and may provide you with a video as good, or better, than any you might make yourself.
Ready to make your video? Contact the LX.lab Media Team to get started.