Video in Online Courses

Today, as I wandered through the faculty offices, there was a common theme, video and how to use it in the online courses. Let me go through some key points about online video.

Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel

Video has been around for several years now. If you are presenting a topic that is common to your field. Do a search of the available resources in your textbook, open resources or even YouTube. Mix a few of these videos in and you won’t have to spend as much time and energy recording new videos.

Synchronous Video Challenges

Using a tool like WebEx to hold a video meeting has its allure when moving classes online. After all, in the physical classroom we meet for 70 minutes for lecture, so why not do it online? The answer is… complicated.

Not all students will attend. The issues may be related to access to technology or outside pressures, such as childcare that make a dedicated time hard to login. This may be different as the in-person class did have a time committed, so students are more likely to have that time blocked than purely online students.

Of those that do login, I’m not confident more than a couple will actually actively watched the presentation. If a student is likely to be distracted by a phone in the classroom, imagine them sitting in their home at a computer with no one watching them. Or to put it another way, how easily are you distracted while sitting in a WebEx meeting? I know I’m constantly mentally hopping in and out of meetings. Tough way to learn.

Can I Record My Lectures?

Yes, WebEx has the ability to record lectures and you can load them to D2L for later viewing. If possible, please load captions with these videos.

Another way to handle recorded videos is to do them without an audience. This gives you the ability to make them shorter than you would for a regular lecture. It also gives you the ability to re-record if you mis-speak. Lastly, when you upload the video, it can be watched and rewatched by students on their timeline giving more flexibility to the student to meet their learning needs.

Personally, I think recorded video is better for student learning than live video in most cases. However, an instructor today gave me an interesting compromise. She plans to meet with the students for about 15 minutes at the regular time to answer any questions and get them situated in the new environment. She then will let the students go and watch pre-recorded videos along with reading materials. I think this is a wonderful way to handle synchronous and asynchronous video in these classes.

Do I Have to Use WebEx?

WebEx is the tool that CCCS pays for and supports. Can you use another piece of software to record video and/or hold meetings? Yes, but neither ITSS nor eLearning will be able to help troubleshoot it.

MS Teams video is also a wonderful tool, but since the students aren’t on the same tenant, and thus can’t participate, it’s not a reasonable solution. However, if you just want to use it to record videos for asynchronous use, it works nicely.

I’ve also heard of folks using a cell phone to record a white board. Hey, at this point, if it helps your students, let’s do what we need to.

Need Help Getting Started?

eLearning is on campus, both at Centennial (A209) and Rampart Range (Library). Stop by or give us a call at 502.3555 to schedule a time for us to assist.

2 thoughts on “Video in Online Courses

  1. In the midst of this challenging transition to online, I agree with your advice about using WebEx or other synchronous delivery, especially if you are expecting your entire class to attend.

    Please advise for instructors who think this may be an easy fix to the traditional classroom.

    What other considerations must instructors account for when transitioning online?

  2. What other considerations must instructors account for when transitioning online?

    That’s a tough question right now. We are doing things we never have done and most of us have never thought to do. I can give all sorts of experiences what it’s like to teach an online class, but even after almost 20 years teaching online, I’ve never moved a class from in-person to online mid-semester, let alone done it with the anxiety and social upheaval we are experiencing. I’m composing a new blog post that kinda addresses this, but if I were to give one bit of advice, be flexible. Be flexible with students, colleagues, support staff, administration, your loved ones at home and those around you in society. None of us wanted this, but here we are. Let’s make the best of it.

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