These notes were taken live at the first Learning Teaching and Web Services and eLearning@ed joint Monthly Meet Up, which took place at Appleton Tower on 28th January 2016. The definitive version can be found on the elearning@ed wiki, where you’ll also find related resources. As these were live notes the normal caveats apply and comments, corrections, etc. are very much welcomed.
Jo Spiller – Introductions
Welcome to our first Monthly Showcase and Networking session, which will be around five key areas here.
A few things coming up that may be of interest. We have the soft launch of MediaHopper as of 21st Jan. We also have the launched of Open.Ed showcasing OER best practice on 4th February. And we also have OER Workshops on 3rd March in Central area, 4th May in Kings Buildings.
Innovative Learning Week runs 15th-19th February with loads of events including a Wikipedia Editathon, Photogrammatry on 16th Feb, and Plotting the Campus on 17th Feb. We also have Learning Technology Fairs – School of Geosciences (15th Feb); ECA on 22nd March.
Dissertations at a Distance & eLearning@ed
Prof Jonathan Rees – Using video in the clinical medical curriculum. What are we learning?
I’m going to talk to you about what the challenges are in the medical school. In clinical medicine we work on a “Carousel” model. There are 18 carousels, each lasting 2 weeks, over 40 weeks each year. 15 students per carousel. 14 hours of tutorial each week, and 30 hours of clinical observation. Each student engage with around 8-10 staff. You have 3 hours of lectures, spaced up to 3 months away from the carousel. So, that’s not a system you’d necessarily design so there are problems to solve…
And we’ve made a video here to show you how we addressing some of those challenges. This video addresses key concepts and introductions to material they will see in the course. So, essentially we’ve been trying to use videos to overcome some of these challenges. Many of our students don’t know who some of our staff are here – which means that a challenge for our modules is to put a face to the name, to make this course personal, to make those connections to the people in charge of their teaching.
People did use video when I was a student… But they work very well for procedures. We want to put some things online partly as students are based throughout the region, and that means it’s available close to when they need it. In some ways our course structure is not linear. Some of our material in year 4, is the just in time learning for year 5. One of the interesting things about videos is you get to see what other people are doing and thinking!
Q1: How do students respond to them?
A1: they look at them, we get told if they do’t work. They say that they like them and request them.
Q2: Now that staff are more recognisable does that change anything?
A2: We only started doing this in September properly, but too early to say.
Q3: You did something interesting on quality of iPhone recording and mic.
A3: One of the talking head ideas was to get students to know who the module leaders are, to make those connections… If you have to cross town to do things it can be a nightmare… The phone is good enough to create short content, timely content when needed. Even cheap mics in a good room are amazing.
Q4: Do you have a limit on videos to keep them short or is it any length?
A4: Some are 2 and a half minutes, which works great. We try to keep them under 5 mins or around 5 mins.
Q5: Are they scripted?
A5: No. The talking head ones we are still learning how to do that… No scripting but sometimes two or three takes to get the right version.
Q6: Editing can take the time, how have you managed this?
A6: In theory there will be a system in the college. Right now we can edit, it’s not great. But generally we try to do everything in one take… With maybe a stop and restart. But we try to avoid too much editing.
Comment: I do a few online sound clips with a PowerPoint… I find I have to do it twice… Run once with timer, then second go I capture it.
A6: I’m still learning… The more we do it, the better we’ll get at it… We’ll get used to doing it.
Imogen Scott – Creating high-qualiy media for teaching (advice from MOOCland)
I’m talking here about video for a much wider audience. You would’t always invest this much time and work for a video for a small group etc. I work in the Media Production Team, with my colleagues Lucy, Tim, Nichol, Kara, Andy and me. We create media for MOOCs and I’m going to draw on a couple of examples here, particularly from our Andy Warhol MOOC…
Imogen is playing a video from our Warhol MOOC.
So in that clip we had some locations – an art studio (not Warhol’s!), and he also found some Warhol images that we could use online. Now that is a very tricky thing to do… It was only possible because of our lecturer, Glyn’s involvement in a large scale research collaboration, and that brought it’s own challenges.
The Warhol course was 5 weeks long with a lot of video content each week. We had multiple stakeholders: Tate, Artist Rooms, Arts Council, National Galleries of Scotland. And they needed to negotiate rights etc.
By contrast we also made the Nudgeit: Understanding Obesity course, a 5 week course, 3 hours per week learner effort, 35 mins per week video content. This was all content created by the team. We used teaching spaces, we used the anatomy museum, and they created their own resources for the course – interpretations of data, visuals, etc. And they documented that process for the course.
We also did Mental Health: A Global Priority. This was done mainly with audio materials as this was designed to be used in the developing world and audio means much smaller downloads. And it also enabled anonymity for some participants, particularly important given some of the interviewees discussing mental health. (We are now hearing audio from the course.)
This course was quicker to source – no locations needed, minimal visual content. But it took a long time as the challenge was both the location and time zones of participants and partners, as well as the less reliable internet connections in some locations. We had plenty of time but only just got this completed when we needed to.
So, if you are thinking of creating video or audio. When you are putting together ideas we strongly advise creating a video script. That helps you finalise the words, but also to think about the visuals (which may be a talking head, but may be many other things). Think about what you want to say, look at other videos to think about visual aspects. Source images from creative commons, take your own images… And sometimes if you have an abstract concept to describe think about how you might do that…
You also want to think about what you want to call your video and how long it would be – we try to keep videos under 6 minutes. For Philosophy and the Sciences we filmed in a really lovely library… That looked good and let us do separate takes and do cutaways as part of the visuals.
If you do grab creative commons images do keep track of your sources. You can use our spreadsheet if you want to – capture source, source link, etc. And that means you can license your own work openly if you want to. You can’t always do that but when you do you want to provide a license, evidence any research used, evidence any source materials used.
For scheduling a production you need to think about equipment, location, contributors, script, images or other source material, licenses for these, and time to create transcripts.
Q1: Is there a university transcription service?
A1: We outsource at present. We think that there may be some opportunity to do this in house.
Comment: If there is a need here then it would be really useful to gather evidence of that need.
Ross: There is also some discussion from the Web Publishers Clinic around this too which I’ll share.
Comment: And Informatics has masters students working on automated transcriptions.
Imogen: The timescales here tends to be 6-8 months – including emails and preparation etc. More collaborators can mean that it takes longer. For about half an hour of video content you need to allow 1-2 days to record that, and then about a week or more for editing. Editing is where a lot of the creativity happens.
We have a webpage that lists our DIY media kit for hire. We also have our attributions spreadsheet template, and Creative Commons attribution guidance.
Q2: Have you found that you are required to put any of the people you record through media training? Is that something you advise?
A2: We tend not to advise that. It’s geared towards giving an interview on the news. For course materials it’s a different style – and being comfortable with the material and the setting. In some ways the MOOC production timeline is getting used to creating video. Every team we get is new to this… You try it and you learn it…
Q2: One thing from the previous speaker is that people seemed very natural…
Comment: But that’s a second or third take thing… The first take isn’t likely to have been as natural.
Imogen: And you get used to that experience anyway, you become more natural on camera.
We are now watching the Edinburgh MOOCs showreel…
Prof Clive Greated – Use of video and sound in fluid mechanics and acoustics teaching
I have been teaching fluid mechanics at Edinburgh since the 1970s but back a while ago I began getting involved in teaching acoustics and becoming interested in sound. And one of the things that I created for this course were a series of podcasts of different instruments and although I stopped teaching the acoustics course ages ago I happened to mention that I had these. Now maybe 5 years back I was asked to take over a third year fluid mechanics students, and I wanted to use that idea of podcasts, or something similar, to bring out the practical aspects of engineering.
So my idea was to go into the field and look at real engineering sites, so students had a feel for the kind of realities of a real system. A large section of my course is on turbines, used in hydrostations etc. It’s quite difficult to visualise those for the students… But I wanted to encourage students to go take a look at real systems as there are 100s in Scotland. (We are now watching a video on hydroelectric systems). The videos are about 3 minutes long. I’ve made 50-60 of these. Some are a bit longer – one on the physics and astronomy department are 30 minutes long.
So, I’ve taken the various topics and made videos around that… One of the topics is waves and wave power, and Scotland had the first wave turbines attached to the grid, so again just giving students a view of what that looks like in practice. (Watching a wave turbine video now, showing a decommissioned turbine to explain the working).
Again, I have another clip and then I’ll share some reflections on using these. Now, another topic is high speed flows and super sonic flight. We have the museum of flight just up the road so I made just a short clip about that (now watching this, which discusses the power and inefficiency of Concorde).
So for all of these I’ve tried to get real examples for students. And I just want to talk briefly on practicalities. You’ll see that in some of those videos I’m in the video… Sound recording is absolutely crucial – you have to monitor that really carefully. So you need a camera with proper sound facilities, XSLR inputs etc. And in most of these videos you have voice over… A very useful facility in the University is an anechoic chamber. You really need that sort of soundproofed space to do audio for video recordings. There is a small semi-anechoic space in Informatics. The high quality space is also available to use in Kings Buildings – you need to call to book it but that can be done.
In terms of audio, many of our students listen to recordings through iPads/iPhone and that’s an opportunity to record in binaural sound (now watching a video with binaural sound of a wave tank). In fact the first recording I made of the wave tank – recorded in slow motion and with binaural audio from the sea – had over 750k hits on YouTube.
I have found a real interest from students in this which I’m really pleased about. It is really good to incorporate the sound and the video. I’m an actually retired, but still teaching (full time!) so probably have more time than most.
Q1: I hope you’ve been nominated for teaching awards?
A1: I have been nominated every year, and students always cite that material as being helpful.
Q2: How have the rest of the faculty responded?
A2: I haven’t had a huge response. I have Video PremierPro editing on my machine, but I basically do this all myself.
Q3: Did you have a challenge getting people to be natural on camera?
A3: I have to confess my wife is my sound recordist – I drag her around Scotland.
Q4: How do you get to film on location – do you just call people up?
A4: Yes. My next film is in Orkney with Scot Renewables and that’s going to be the largest tidal generator in the world. We’ve already been to Harland and Wolf in Belfast, where it is being constructed so there’ll be that full lifecycle. People are keen to be in videos. You have to ask people, but they are generally happy to take part. It may be that for some commercial stuff there might be concern, but generally this is fine. People are quite up for that.
Q5: Are these openly on YouTube?
A5: I think they will be on the Open.ed website. And will be available there. So I have changed all the licenses ready.
Hands On MediaHopper Session – Stephen Donnelly and Mark Jennings
We are going to quickly show you how how to login to MediaHopper and download the CapturEd software. (Demo taking place).