1. Simple & Low Tech Weekly Announcements Video

Project Details: This is an announcement video that I created for my summer research writing course I recently finished teaching at INTO SLU. The video is embedded inside a week 8 module on the Blackboard LMS.

Tools Used: iphone 8, Camtasia 2020, Blackboard LMS, Youtube

Mentors/Teachers/Influencers: Tim McKean, Karen Costa’s 99 Tips, Michael Wesch

Instructional Design and Development Process

My idea to begin focus on video in my courses born out of my weekly discussions with ASU instructional designer Tim McKean in his weekly office hours on Zoom. Tim’s format for office hours is that he puts up a resource in our Facebook group for us to listen/read/watch and then we come together and discuss it. One week he asked us to listen to the Ed Surge podcast featuring Michael Wesch. In discussions that week, Tim emphasized the key for video creation was going low tech and using what equipment you had. I began watching other videos by Wesch and also reviewing the materials featuring him on ACUE’s Online Teaching Toolkit.

Wesch’s recommendation in the ACUE resource section ‘Welcome Students’ resource along with Karen Costa’s video completely won me over to the benefits of adding a welcome video to my class. So on one of my walks to take a break from all the screen time I’ve been putting in while teaching online this summer, I pulled out my phone and recorded the weekly announcements as a type of welcome to the week video. I had been organizing the weekly module and the assignments, so by this time I knew all the major points I wanted to go over in the video.

I ended up recording about 3 different versions and chose the best one with the least mistakes. Wesch and Tim’s coaching helped me overcome the perfectionist tendencies that would have stopped me before. Karen Costa’s ‘Tip 36: Forget Hollywood’ in her 99 tips book was also a nice reminder that I needn’t aim for a highly polished video. I uploaded in on Youtube and then embedded at the beginning of the weekly announcements and asked students for feedback in our weekly synchronous Zoom/Nearpod class. My students said they really appreciated the video and that it helped them know what the focus was for that week.

These types of videos are not really meant to be reusable learning objects. Wesch recommends that you make these videos personal if possible. After all, even if you teach the same course again, it is unlikely that you would have the same exact structure for a set of weekly tasks. So I was not worried about making these videos timeless and reusable. These types of videos are scalable in that all you really need is a smartphone and the Youtube app.

2. Mini-Lecture Video

Project Details: This video is meant to provide examples and instruction on the writing technique ‘extending definitions,’ which is a common practice in research writing genres. It is also designed to encourage students to find their own examples of extended definition writing techniques. The video was embedded within the a module on Blackboard as part of the exploratory stages of writing an extended definition essay.

Tools Used: Camtasia 2020, iphone 8, Canva, Youtube

Mentors/Teachers/Influencers: Michael Wesch, Tim McKean, & Karen Costa

Instructional Design and Development Process

The idea for this project came from watching Michael Wesch’s videos where he travels around the globe and his neighborhood and brings in outside examples for his online course. Conceptually, I wanted to apply this idea of a guest speaker or outside my course example, which Wesch does repeatedly. I also shared this video with Tim McKean in our weekly discussion group and got his feedback.

In a writing course, I realized one of the easiest ways I could demonstrate examples of the writing techniques for that week’s module was to bring in examples I was familiar with in books I’d read recently. As someone who has always been an avid reader, I simply turned to my bookshelf and began looking for extended definition writing techniques used by my favorite writers. I then asked students to do the same. Pedagogically, this fits into the beginning stages of the writing process in getting writers to analyze example writing techniques across different genres before they are asked to produce the genre themselves.

There are example extended definition techniques that I show in this video from the books that are hard to identify in the video (something that Tim pointed out to me), but I was okay with that because I provided screenshots of the specific pages within the tool that I was asking students to upload their own examples in. The tool I used extensively for this writing course was Sutori and I was able to take advantage of the COVID-19 extended trial to experiment with it in my course. The video is embedded in the Sutori story can be found here. Once I had embedded the video in Sutori, I embedded the Sutori story into the assignment in Blackboard as a normal LMS assignment.

In terms of where this video fits into my modular workflow, I see this video and mini-lecture as being part of the exploratory phase of my weekly or unit modules. This exploratory section containing the video is then usually followed by a learning phase, and finally a problem-solving or application phase.

3. Weekly Agenda & Module Tour Video

Project Details: This video is created to review the weekly agenda and then point to specific learning activities and instructional/learning content for the week. It is located at the beginning of each weekly module or unit of my online course.

Tools Used: Camtasia 2020, Blackboard, Youtube, Macbook Pro 2019 FaceTime HD Camera, Blue Yeti Nano Mic

Mentors/Teachers/Influencers: Cindy Etherton, Karen Costa, Michael Wesch

Instructional Design and Development Process

This is one of the most important videos that I create on a weekly basis. I know that some teachers might be tempted to plan these out ahead of time, but for me, I usually wait the day or two before I release a module in the LMS to create and upload this video. The reason for this is that I’ve found circumstances often change with the content, tasks, student issues, and flow of a course on a weekly basis, so if I pre-recorded an agenda and module tour video ahead of time, it would probably be irrelevant by the time came around for the particular week of instruction that was featured in the prerecorded video. This is especially an important perspective to consider as I look towards fall scenarios in the face of the pandemic.

Prior to taking the deep dive into using videos in this way, I used to write out long sections of text in my agenda and weekly roadmaps in my LMS. When I took Cindy Etherton’s course at OSU, I realized if I took a bit of time, I could cut down on the text and use a screencast to walk students through my agenda and the weekly tasks. Also in Cindy’s class, I was introduced to some of my classmates using Google Slides for the Bitmoji Classroom. I eventually decided although it might seem a bit cheesy at the college level, I have no problem with adopting it if it contributes to student learning and transparent communication on my part.

So once I created a Bitmoji Classroom template, I simply changed a few things about the slide each week by copying the template slide into another. Once I made those changes, I embedded the weekly agenda and module tour video in the Google Bitmoji classroom slide for that week. Students could then use the whiteboard in the Bitmoji classroom for a reference, or watch the Agenda & Course overview video. I see this as a virtual experience of addressing the question of what is our focus for this week along with my response. See below for the Bitmoji Classroom example that includes the embedded video above.

In terms of the creation process, Camtasia makes it quite easy to record a screencast and publish it to Youtube. This process usually only took me about ten minutes. I could have used my university’s video service Panopto, but I don’t use this video editor for any video that I include in my portfolio or that might be used for non-university purposes as a rule of thumb.

Week 10 Bitmoji Classroom Google Slide


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