Mindy McAdams Profile picture
Oct 14 9 tweets 2 min read
I think students need to make more noise about how bad many video lectures (recorded lectures) are. Also, slides. If slides are good, is it worth skipping the video? If the video is bad, do the slides compensate? #education #onlineLearning #instructionalDesign
Anyone who's taken an online course is likely to know why I'm bringing this up — unless you were very, very lucky. We see so many online degrees nowadays. When the courses are asynchronous, that means there will be video lectures.
When the course is 100% online, these video lectures are meant to be a core part of your learning. But are they? Disclaimer: I've made a lot of videos of my own lectures. I hope they are good. I really don't know.
There have always been university professors and lecturers who suck at lecturing. And/or at classroom interaction. But this new world of online courses opens a new area for scrutiny. The students’ hard-earned money should be getting them good-quality content.
I get the impression that students just expect the lectures to be — terrible. And they just don't watch them. In courses where there is no proper textbook (and that is most courses nowadays), the students are skimming and scanning a motley assortment of web resources —
A motley assortment of web resources cobbled together from all kinds of sources, some of which are obviously outdated, and others that are of dubious credibility or authority.
I'm not saying all textbooks are good. I've seen some awful textbooks (and the prices, eek) — but a good textbook is like an anchor for the course, and the lectures and slides and activities, etc., can be tied to it in a way that gives shape and direction to the course.
Courses with no textbook often lack shape and direction. It's like every lecture is "everything and the kitchen sink." Courses lack logic, they lack steps. They don't build. I wonder how many courses are like that, out of the whole number a student takes for a degree.
I think ideally the lecture video and the slides for it should complement each other. Neither one would be fully sufficient alone. Also, activities related to the same topics should reinforce, stem from, the video and slides.

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More from @macloo

Mar 13, 2020
Here's a sympathetic note to all teachers who are trying to teach via video for the first time:
1. You'll improve each time you do it.
2. It might help more students if you record the video and upload it to YouTube.
3. After you've put videos on YouTube, you can make a playlist
... and share a link to the playlist.
4. If you have earbuds that came with your phone, there is a microphone there. If you are *able* to connect that mic to your laptop, it will improve the sound quality of your video 10x.
5. Most video programs (and editing programs) have some way to let you zoom in and make text larger onscreen. Some of your student might be watching on a phone, which is small. Zoom when appropriate so they can see.
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