Practice vignette #2


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The Tools in Classroom: Technology Success Stories series is written by the Academic Technology Department of the library at City University of Seattle. Our goal is to share how our faculty are using technology in the classroom so that others can gain insight into ways they can help their own practice.

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Practice vignette #2

  1. 1. Tools in the Classroom: Technology Success Stories Practice Vignette #2 Summary Judith uses YouTube videos to: Create a social presence with her online students Provide important, timely class information Model professional attire and demeanor What’s needed: YouTube account (free) Digital camera with video recorder Tripod Computer Judith writes a script for each two-minute weekly video, which she practices 3-4 times in a quiet place She does not do any post-production editing Judith Gray Judith Gray & Weekly Check-In Videos In the Classroom Judith Gray creates weekly two minute YouTube videos to check in with her online LDRD 617 doctoral students. These videos help students become familiar with the class, connect with their instructor, and understand the expectations for the week. Judith thanks her students for the previous week’s work, details the week ahead, and shares guidance for coming assignments. The videos are filmed in Judith’s home. We find her each week some place new: beside her dining room table, in her office, and even, on her porch. This social presence gives her students a better sense of who she is, and it also allows her to model professional behavior. “They are getting a tour of my house and my wardrobe,” she explains. “It’s professional, but in a casual environment, so it is accessible.” One student commented that she enjoyed seeing her professor’s smile. In the future, Judith intends to have students make their own introductory videos to connect with their classmates. In the Making Judith begins by writing a script. Because she follows a standard format (announcements, reminders, expectations) and two minute time limit for every video, the writing goes quickly. The consistency also keeps her students focused during the course’s intensive 10 weeks. She is careful to leave out any quarter- specific references, like calendar dates, so that the videos are reusable. Judith practices her script three to four times in her favorite quiet space: her all electric car. The more she practices, the better the end result. When she is ready to film, Judith sets up her point-and-shoot Canon camera on a tripod. Her neighbor assists by starting and stopping the recording, which means Judith does not have to edit herself walking to and from the camera. She normally shoots one to two takes (and never more than three). She then connects her camera to her Mac using a USB cable and downloads the video to her computer. Finally, she logs in to her YouTube account and uploads the video. Judith sets the privacy on most of her videos to public but she is considering using the unlisted setting in the future when she wants to protect curricular information. When the privacy is set as unlisted, only those with the link can view the video. Judith posts both the link to the video and the text of her script in a Blackboard announcement. The script is helpful for students who cannot access the video as well as for those who want to quickly pick out pieces of information without having to watch the whole video. Getting Started Before she began making or recording videos, Judith thought a lot about what she wanted to convey and how the videos would accomplish her goals. By filming in her home, she gives her students a sense of who she is. By setting the frame to capture most of her body instead of just her face, she models profes- sional attire. Though Judith plans her recordings carefully, she also embraces the inevitable imperfections. For example, in one video, after waiting for the perfect car-free moment to film on her porch, a plane flies by during recording. In another, Judith trips a little walking to her seat. As long as the important information is still accessible, Judith demonstrates confidence and leaves in these “mistakes.” Judith wants her students to truly meet her, and in this way, they do. Judith already had a digital camera (a Canon Powershot A2200) and a tripod, so she didn’t need to buy any additional equipment. She also used her existing Mac computer and YouTube account. Every step of the way, she strived for a process and a product that met all of her needs but was also “simple and quick for me, and simple and quick for my students.”