Video is an import part of today's courses, such as blended courses, MOOCs, and fully online courses. But there’s a big difference between watching a video and learning something from it. Videos are great for presenting visual information and emotional appeals, but not particularly effective at diving below the surface of non-visual theoretical or abstract topics or for driving critical thinking. (Nielsen, 2013)
Emily Moore gives four active learning strategies:
Video as a guided lesson (flipping the classroom): “The goal here is to help ensure that students watch videos actively—in other words, giving it their full attention. You also want to help draw students’ attention to (and reinforce) the most important concepts being presented.”
- Pose a question at the beginning of each video to give students an idea before they watch of what to expect, what to look for, and what might be worth thinking about.
- Present videos in an outline-like structure using concise, descriptively labeled links that include running times as shown below.
- Embed short graded or self-assessments either in the video itself, or at the end of each video.
Video as springboard for in-depth discussion: “This strategy encourages students to make a personal connection between video content and their own existing knowledge. It also encourages student-student collaboration, which is a critical component of any successful online course.”
- Assign a video. After viewing the video, have each student post to a discussion board based on a specific task, concept, or reflection and encourage students to interact and engage with each other.
Video as springboard for critical thinking: ”Ideally, students come away from a class not just having memorized material, but also having understood it well enough to discuss and apply it to novel scenarios.”
- Get students to identify, compare, and contrast the concepts presented in a video (or series of videos). How are the concepts similar? How are they different? Which are substantiated or refuted by the course text (or other course materials)?
Video as a way to strengthen online research skills while driving conceptual understanding:
- Have students locate online and present to the class a second video that (supports, defends, opposes, elaborates…) the original video.
- Use students’ “found” videos as the basis for class discussion. Ask students to comment, via discussion board, on how well the clips shared by their classmates met the selected criterion.
I think these strategies are really useful for online classes such as MOOCs.
The Nielsen Company, Free to Move Between Screens: The Cross-Platform Report, March 2013. http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/reports/2013/the-nielsen-march-2013-cross-platform-report–free-to-move-betwe.html.
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