Use of video: thinking outside the lecture

Claire Cornock & Mike Robinson

Parallel session 4, CoLab 4.4

Short Abstract
Various staff in the Engineering and Mathematics department have been using videos to enhance their practice. This session will include discussion, demonstration and hands-on experience of different technologies that can be used to create videos along with several case studies of how they are being used in teaching.

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Detailed Outline
In this session, we aim to give staff enough knowledge, experience and confidence to start producing their own videos to enhance their teaching practice. To this end, the session will include:

• outline of the advantages and disadvantages of using videos in teaching brief case studies based on current use within the department, including how technology has been used to address particular problems

• presentation of the available technologies for producing videos, to include desktop PCs, tablet PCs, Android tablets, iPads, and more traditional whiteboard and cameras
• hands-on practice with a selection of the available technology.

The opportunity for colleagues to use the technology to start producing their own videos is the key part of this workshop, along with the opportunity to establish links between staff with shared interests. It is hoped that one outcome from this session will be an ongoing common-interest group for staff interested in using videos.

Several case studies will be presented within the session. These include:

• Addressing the problem of trying to teach how to use technology within a lecture room by creating short video examples. This was within a first year module that centred around the use of excel. Physical constraints of having a large group within a lecture room meant that students were struggling to carry out tasks shown in lectures. Now students make use of the short video examples in their own independent study time and more of the students are attempting the more technical tasks in assignments. The students often make unprompted comments on the usefulness of the videos.

• Videos of mathematical processes. Doing mathematics is a process which often requires correction, modification, and thought, and yet the finished product is typically concise and static, and much of the thinking is hidden (this is particularly true of any attempts which do not lead to a solution). In lectures the process of doing maths can be demonstrated, typically with speech describing the thought process, and writing recording the finished product. Students understandably struggle to keep notes on this without losing some important details. Videos offer an opportunity to provide students with a reference source in which both the thought process and the final product are recorded.

• Providing video feedback to students. Typical feedback on mathematical problems might include a set of model answers, but as with the mathematical processes above, these often lack detail about the thought processes behind the approach. Producing model solutions using screencasting can provide students with an audio commentary alongside the concise formal solution and has proved effective at engaging students.

Within these examples, several different types of technology have been used. These include PCs, tablet PCs, Android tablets and the traditional whiteboard and camera. We will discuss and demonstrate how some of these can be used.