Top Takeaways:

  • Visual and digital elements can offer additional ways for your students to connect with course concepts.
  • With a bit of planning, you can create polished multimedia using tools you already have access to on your own device.

Timeline:

Create just-in-time media quickly throughout the term, or plan a term ahead to create media for an entire course.

OAI offers support around integrated and dynamic media for the classroom. Well-conceived and carefully integrated multimedia can be used to help students understand complex topics, enhance student engagement, and support visual learning. Creating and implementing media, however, doesn’t need to be overly complex. We’ve compiled some of our favorite quick tips to help you maximize your efforts and ensure your multimedia shines.

Create Maps and Charts to Visualize Data

Promote critical thinking by asking students to create visuals for their research such as maps, charts, or timelines. The process of creating data visualizations requires different skills than writing reports or research papers.

  • Faculty at PSU are using Google Sheets charts to actively engage students around research and critical thinking.
  • You can use the graphing, mapping, or chart function in Google sheets to have students create simple data visualizations. Get started adding charts to Google Sheets.
  • The PSU library offers data and datasets to students through several databases, which you can use for student data visualization projects. A popular one with students is Statista.com.

Add Digital Q & A to a Lecture

Want to encourage more engagement and interaction from students during your course lectures? If you are using google slides as a presentation format for lectures in class, students can ask questions live and vote for questions from other students. As the instructor you can monitor student’s questions and pull in the top voted into your live lecture as a slide. Students will have the option to post questions anonymously through their pdx google account. Get started using Interactive Q&A in google slides. This is a live questioning tool to be used during a synchronous lecture format to critically engage your students and promote interaction during the lecture.

Make Videos with Your Own Device

Use your own device to make a video. Everyone at PSU has access to a built in recording tool in Media Space, called CaptureSpace Lite. This tool allows you to record yourself with a webcam, screencast, a combination of both, or audio only. After you finish your recording, you have a chance to do simple edits to your video such as trimming the beginning and end, or chopping out an unwanted section before you upload the video to Media Space. If you forget to trim in the application before uploading to Media Space, fear not, as you can also do simple edits in Media Space after uploading.

Faculty at PSU are making their own videos to record lectures, course and instructor introductions, give just in time updates, provide feedback on assignments, or additional information on an assignment within course content. Once uploaded to Media Space, remember to request captioning through OAI for videos you’ll reuse for multiple courses.

As you plan your video, consider the following tips to ensure your DIY video is high quality:

  • Set your camera. Make sure your webcam is eye-level. You may need to raise your laptop on top of a few books to get it eye level, but this angle will be more flattering! Also, your camera should be an arms length away from your face. It shouldn’t be too close or too far away!
  • Scout your location. Assess your location to ensure it isn’t distracting. The visual background shouldn’t be busy and background noise should be minimal. Your background sets the stage for your video’s brand or theme; think about what you want it to say about you. It should be clean and professional. Faculty often choose to film in an office setting, but showing a more personal setting such as a tidy living room, or a working environment such as a laboratory, can also work.
  • Create flattering lighting. Set yourself up so you are lit from the front or side. The worst thing you can do is have your back to a window, with your camera facing the window. The best thing you can do is have a lamp set up beside your computer, eye level. A lamp is better than overhead lights because overhead lighting can create unflattering and distracting shadows. Don’t be afraid to move lamps around your space to achieve optimal lighting.
  • Mic up. Use an external microphone as it is almost always going to be better than your device’s built-in microphone and will pick up less ambient noise. A headset works well, but you can also use the mic on your earbuds.
  • Dress the part. Small patterns such as thin stripes or polka dots can strobe or appear to move on camera. Avoid large jewelry that may sparkle in the light, or jewelry that rattles or clanks such as multiple bracelets or long necklaces. You can test your wardrobe through a short test video to see how it works on camera.

Before we move on, note that you shouldn’t make a video just to make a video! It should add value to your course. Don’t be repetitive — if your students can find the exact same information in other course content, there’s no point making them hear the same exact information in a video.

Make Interactive Videos

You can easily make a video interactive on your own by building an interactive question and answer function into any video uploaded to Media Space. There is a video quiz tool built into Media Space that allows you to add embedded multiple choice and T/F questions. This is a great feature to help students identify misconceptions or practice applying concepts. Video quizzes don’t integrate with D2L grades, so they are best used for guided self-study. Adding a quiz to a lecture video is one way to segment video in a way that can help students retain the information, by giving them a chance to participate.

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