Magazine article University Business

Four Steps to Student Success with Academic Video: Strategies to Improve Student Engagement

Magazine article University Business

Four Steps to Student Success with Academic Video: Strategies to Improve Student Engagement

Article excerpt

A University Business Web Seminar Digest

Imagine using academic video to strengthen prerequisite skills, enhance curriculum content, ease anticipated student struggles and push students further in their knowledge of course material. Brooke McCurdy has been teaching math for more than 14 years. When her classes morphed from a traditional in-person method to a flipped-classroom environment, she saw the success of her students soar as they became more engaged.

In this web seminar, McCurdy discussed some of the best practices for using video to teach math to grades 9 through 20, including how to use academic video to reinforce learning, breakdown complex concepts and successfully implement classroom projects, how to break up lectures into shorter modules to better complement overall course design, and advice for faculty just getting started teaching online.

McCurdy: My classroom used to be more structured around lecture and basic recall questioning, but I have now transitioned to more of a technology-enhanced, multiple-methodology setting. My students are now more engaged, using technology, working together, collaborating, using inquiry-based learning and project-based learning in the classroom.

There are multiple ways I use academic video to help my students in mathematics. One is that I use it to ease student struggles. As educators, we have to anticipate concepts that students may struggle with. So I'll create videos to explain in detail some of these concepts. That way, the students can revisit these at any time.

I'll even tell them, "These videos are going to be in our LMS permanently. I'm never going to take them down." They can look at them while they're completing homework, while they're preparing for a test, or working through projects. And when students don't understand certain concepts that we've worked on, they'll often email me asking if I have any videos, or if I can make a new video about the concept. So they do see the importance of using the videos to ease some of their struggles.

I'll also use videos through the implementation of projects--where I can give them instructions and guidelines through Mediasite Desktop Recorder to help them with their projects so that they understand what is expected and what outcomes I want to see. I also use academic video in a true flipped-lesson type of setting, where I might send them a video to watch before they come to class so that we can have more rich discussion and I can use higher levels of questioning in class. And then sometimes I'll just have a video to activate recall of prior knowledge, maybe something they've learned in a previous course that I will need them to remember for the day's lesson.

Personalizing learning

Mediasite has a lot of benefits for not only myself, but also for my colleagues and my students. One of the hot topics these days is personalization of learning and being able to address all levels of ability. Through Mediasite, I can actually do this.

I can do something as simple as creating an online survey, where I may ask the students some general questions--maybe about where they feel they are with the topic. Then I can tailor the academic video through Mediasite to meet the needs of the learners. Some learners are fine with a recorded lecture, but others need short videos that go into a little more detail or focus on something specific. By doing this, I can personalize the learning, and it can help me enrich class discussion, since all learners will have a good foundation. …

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