Elisabeth Koenigshofer – School of Literature & Languages
As part of the Personal Capture Pilot Project, I had many ideas to create videos for my students to enhance their learning. Eventually, I created one video that students could refer to if they needed support when adding a post to a blog on Blackboard, which was one of their tasks in their first year German language course.
- Help students understand class content more easily
- Provide reference material for students
- Help absent students to catch up with class content
- Provide a different format for content than usual, engaging a wider variety of learner types
- Use an audio-visual format to provide a multi-sensual learning experience (visual, aural, written text)
I thought that screen-casts would be a great idea to add another format to my teaching portfolio when teaching German language courses. I had the idea that students at all levels, but especially on lower levels (language levels A2-B1), would like to engage with videos and that this format would make it easier for students to understand and revise class content. Also, the combination of different aspects should help students; the added aural component helps students to familiarise themselves with spoken German which is part of their learning process. They can pause and replay and see how much they understand.
I recorded my video without student involvement because I wanted it to be a reference for students before they set out to create their blog posts. Before producing this video, I tried to create some trial videos to make sure that I was comfortable with the situation and that I had prepared what I was going to say to help stay clear and focused.
We had a workshop at MERL about the museum and the tourists that are attracted to visit it. I put the blog support video online simultaneously to ensure that students who couldn’t attend the workshop would know what to do and that those who were at the MERL would be able to go back to the information, in case there were questions on how to complete the task.
In the video, I went through the step-by-step process of creating a blog post in Blackboard. This way, it was very clear how the task should be completed and which options were available to the students (e.g. add a picture/audio file or a link).
The video was made available to 27 students who were part of the course. Out of these 27, 7 viewed the video anonymously. The longest view time covered the video’s full view time while the shortest lasted for less than half a minute. The viewers were anonymous because I embedded the video into Blackboard and thus the viewer data was not retrieved. This might mean that 7 students watched parts of the video and it helped them with their tasks. Most students completed the task successfully but I cannot tell for sure whether or not that was due to the video as there was no feedback other than the statistics. I think that there might have been a chance to increase views of the video if I had pointed students more often in the direction of it. I made students aware of the video in class and I think that it would have increased views if I had also made one or several Blackboard announcements.
I really enjoyed creating my video and I think the format has a lot of potential. However, I think I would want to invest more time in creating a screen cast videos which I did not have this year due to circumstances. In general, I think the biggest challenges are to plan a video effectively and to record it in one go without too many glitches. The Mediasite tool is easy to use for recording and is capable of some editing, but in order to create a smooth video, I think that it is helpful to have it mapped it out properly beforehand and to dedicate more time to the video creation.
In the future, I will use the video format for preparatory tasks and prepare questions to accompany the videos so that students can engage better with them. Currently, I am preparing audio-only material for students that comes with specific listening tasks which are then part of the personal capture and should help students to improve their listening skills.