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5 Ways to Add Variety to Your MOOC Video Classes

Posted by Timothy Lorang on Mon, Jul 08, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

VarietyA few years ago I was asked to give a talk at a CASE Conference (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) called 10 Things You Can Do With Video on the Internet. The challenge was for universities and educational organizations to think of different ways to use video on the internet other than just recording lectures. It is not that videotaped lectures do not have a role. Compared to other types of videos they are cost effective and easy to produce. In fact I have written about the Best Practices for Videotaping a Lecture and How to Videotape a Lecture with a Single camera. Because they are cheap to produce they have become the standard format for Distance Learning classes and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) but lectures do not have to be the only choice available. It seems that many educators cannot think of a better way to communicate than to stand in front of students and lecture to them. This is a shame, especially when television offers so many alternatives.

Add Variety to Your Online Classes

  1. Documentary: When I say documentary I do not mean it needs to be a multiple episode, Ken Burns like Civil War reenactment extravaganza. It could be just a few minutes long. Think of a television news story. A short video that gets out of the classroom and into the field to demonstrate or illustrate a point.
  2. Interview: Interview programs have been a staple for television and radio for over 80 years. Bring an expert in, set them in a chair and have a discussion. Edit the interview and include the best segments in your online course.
  3. Demonstration: How to videos are almost as common as silly cat videos on YouTube because learning by seeing can be effective. A properly shot and edited demo video can be clearer and more effective than a classroom demo or a detailed description.
  4. Illustrations and Animation: A picture is worth a thousand words and one that moves is worth at least a few hundred more. This can be as simple as showing some photographs or building a simple animation in PowerPoint to illustrate your point.
  5. On Location: Your local news reporters learned a long time ago that standing and reading all the news in the studio was boring. Once in a while the reporters needed to go on location. Does every lecture need to be delivered from the lectern? Cameras are portable and so are you. Get out of the classroom.

I am not saying that lectures should not be used for online video classes and MOOCs. I am saying that there are a lot of different video formats that can be used for education and for the sake of clarity, variety and effectiveness. These can be used to supplement and enhance your MOOC classes and online videos.

Are you using video in your online classes and MOOCs? What are your challenges and problems? Share them below in the comments section. If you are searching for ideas to help improve your online video classes contact us for a free video production quality evaluation. 

Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley  
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Topics: Higher Education, Video