The growth in Internet technology and the availability of cheaper, versatile hardware such as mobile devices has rapidly increased online video consumption.  YouTube was launched in 2005, after just over a decade with a billion users, almost a third of the world population host, stream or download videos. Its use as an educational medium is evident and has become a powerful tool for students’ learning and content delivery.  One leading example is Khan Academy. Its founder, Salman Khan advocates the notion of how and why video can reinvent the way we teach and learn (TED Talks, 2011, 20 mins).

Here are five reasons on why you may want to consider using video in your learning and teaching and the importance of embracing this technology and the shift in learning culture to create a stimulating learning environment at Teesside.

Video as a standard, like text and email

Whether we approve or not, the way students learn has changed. As an institute, we should understand and prepare for postmillennial students’ learning needs. They’re reliant on digital technology and connectivity is part of their life style: it is a culture. In a recent Panopto conference in Derby, Naveed Shah from Panopto EMEA stated that by 2019 80% of the Internet traffic will be video, and video will dominate search engine results. He further suggested that students’ reliance on video would be similar to our dependency on email and will eventually become the norm in higher education and as an integral element of students’ learning experience.

Flexible learning

Recorded learning material allow students to review and revisit the content anytime as well as making it available for future reference.  With the increasing use of mobile and portable technology, students can take their learning anywhere, giving them the flexibility and freedom to learn at their own pace and foster independent learning. Furthermore, students can take their time to process, analyse and reflect on the content before engaging in-depth discussions.

Flipped class, flipped labs and much more

The flipped classroom approach is a trending pedagogical technique. Tutors provide bite-size chunks of information to students before a face-to-face session so they can spend their time during class engaging in active discussions and collaborative exercises. This technique works equally well for flipped labs, which are similar to the flipped classroom approach: students watch pre-recorded learning material before attending sessions, and during the lab they have greater time and opportunity for actively engagement and exploration, which cultivates deep learning and shifts the focus onto learners. Recording learning materials using a system, such as ReView (Panopto), may require a little time and practice but, in the long run, you will have a repository of reusable content that can be used repeatedly for future cohorts, saving crucial time and resources.

Go beyond the standard content

Besides recording the standard lecture material, potential uses of video for other academic activities are endless. To start with, it is an excellent communication tool. Several programmes at Teesside use software like Skype and Blackboard Collaborate to provide one-to-one online consultation for distance learners, which is a vital part of our student support mechanism.  The ReView lecture capture service has the capacity to stream live lectures for students who are unable attend the physical lecture. Teesside’s Department of External Relations (DER) has successfully piloted this feature for several promotional activities with partner colleges.

You can record practical assessments and presentations as evidence, and grant access to external examiners to review students’ work in greater detail and depth. More importantly, the recordings may help examiners provide better feedback. Furthermore, recorded assessments facilitate students to review, self-evaluate, reflect and develop their own practices.

Additionally, students can become creators too. In a recent Panopto conference in London, an undergraduate music student from the Leeds College of Music shared her experience as a creator, recording assignments using Panopto.  She noted that the exercise gave her the opportunity to self-evaluate her work, and subsequently refine her piece: it empowered her to take control of her own learning.

Humanising online learning

From delivering numerous ReView Lecture and Personal Capture training sessions, I discovered 9 out of 10 staff members dislike how they sound and or look in a video recording: I certainly share their discomfort.  However, the feedback we have received from early adopters within Teesside suggests that the student experience is enhanced: being able to see and hear the tutor humanises online learning. The tutor’s personality and delivery style adds character, not only engaging the viewer but improving the student-tutor relationship. This is particularly true of distance learners, who often feel isolated and disconnected from the institute. Moreover, it gives the student something to look forward to, apart from the obvious learning, as they can experience your enthusiasm, passion or even the odd joke.

Interested in learning more about Lecture Capture and ReView? Click here to see upcoming ReView training events.

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