Monthly Archives: February 2014

Video communication with students

Our portfolio of post-grad Radiotherapy and Oncology modules are delivered via distance learning. I’ve been aware for some while of the ‘dis-connect’ that might exist between students and academic staff as a consequence of the DL format. Can video communication be an effective means of bridging this gap and add something tangible that other synchronous and a synchronous methods miss? Other than the occasional Skype video call it isn’t something I’ve used.

Video-conferencing with students will be the subject of another blog post but this one focuses on using (brief) talking head videos to introduce ideas/concepts/information and to reflect on a first effort at this. I’ll try and follow this up at the end of the semester with an evaluation of how effective it has been.

So here is a brief introduction to a research methods module done via a web cam on my home PC. I’d welcome any feedback.

It wasn’t done in one take! The first 6 or so efforts ended with me forgetting what I was going to say or stalling. Basically messing up and getting angry with myself. I then decided to pause if I made a mistake and edit afterwards to try and make it look as seamless as possible. This wasn’t very successful either. In the end I relaxed a bit and worried less about talking in to the camera or being perfect in my delivery. What you see is the result of that.

On reflection I could have prepared a little better; both in terms of the delivery of the information and the recording of it. A few key words on a post-it note under the web cam would have allowed me to maintain eye contact with the viewer and still be aware of what I was trying to convey. Thinking about making the recording as professional as it can be/needs to be is not something you do when you are videoing the kids in the park on your phone. There are, though, tips that are worth following that can improve the quality of video blog style recordings. I found the basic principles recommended here to be useful and will be aware of these in the future.

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