Keeping Students Engaged With Video

We at the CTL understand that many faculty prefer to remain as low-tech as possible, utilizing technology only when  necessary. Our guest blogger this month is one such faculty member. Mathematics Professor Lori Chapman had an opportunity to discover how posting her lectures on YouTube and ANGEL helped her engage students: 

I wanted to share how an out-of-classroom use of technology helped me stay connected with my students in the classroom.  First of all, I’m not a very “tech-centric” person; I can do what I need to do, but if I don’t need technology to do Chalkboardsomething, I won’t use it.  I take the same approach to teaching: if a shiny new technique genuinely enhances my courses I will use it, but mostly I stick with what I know works.  I know what works in the classroom is to stay connected with students! Know their names, talk to them after class, stalk them around campus (ok, not that last one, but you get the idea).

Last winter, I had a very motivated and hard-working student in my class (the kind who brings pens, pencils, and different colored highlighters to class and actually uses them  —  you know the type).  One day she informed me that she may need to be in and out of the hospital for prolonged periods during the term and she was hoping that I could help her stay connected with class during her hospital stays.  After some thought and some great CTL support, I began to videotape my lectures for the course and post both the videos and lecture notes onto Angel.  As I learned to upload videos to YouTube, tinkered with compression rates and grumbled about not learning how to do this in grad school, I realized that something amazing was happening: my other students were watching the videos too! Many would download the lecture notes and watch the videos when they missed class.  Some students even watched the videos before coming to class and brought the printed notes with them to class.  I started getting comments like, “I almost understood that part from the video but now it makes perfect sense after you explained it again.”  Whoa!

Many students became more engaged in class because they knew they could view the lecture later.  With the availability of the lecture notes, there was much more listening and thinking going on in class as opposed to just note-taking.  Would I do it again?  Sure.  I  made the videos available to students in the same course this semester.  Is it a lot of work?  Yes, but I was recording a class as I was lecturing, so I didn’t need to use valuable time outside of class.

Here is an example of one of Professor Chapman’s videos:

If you would like to learn more about how you can use video to enhance your courses, don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

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