Educause ELI recently published a “7 Things You Should Know About” article on Microlectures – “short, recorded audio or video presentations on a single, tightly defined topic”. There are lots of reasons why microlectures are a great addition to the classroom! For example,
- they can be used to explain or reinforce a difficult concept
- they can be used as review of material that should have been mastered in previous courses
- they can be used for providing additional examples of working out a problem, or for sharing the answers to a test
- students can replay them multiple times if they don’t understand something the first time
- they can be used as a component of class flipping
- they can be reused for several years and/or several classes.
There are a number of ways that microlectures can be recorded and shared. Here are some recording options that are supported at Cornell:
While the term “lecture capture” implies that the output will be a video of an instructor standing in front of a classroom for 50 minutes, lecture capture tools can be used to record video of any length. Very short snippets – say, 5-10 minutes – are not only better at keeping the attention of the viewer, but they are easier for the instructor to record, as well.
Panopto. Panopto is a do-it-yourself option that can be used for classroom or desktop recording. All it takes is a webcam, a microphone, and a PC (preferred) or Mac. Panopto optionally captures the webcam input (you!) as well as your PowerPoint or other screen input; it also indexes the presentation so that it is easy for students to find the content that they are interested in. This desktop lecture from Carnegie Mellon is one example of how Panopto can be used; other examples can be found at the Panopto demo site. Academic Technologies has Panopto licenses that Cornell instructors can use on request.
Mediasite. Mediasite can be streamed live or can be captured like Panopto; it too allows multiple inputs. It is usually used in lecture rooms but also has desktop recording available. At Cornell, our Video Collaboration Services group offers the Mediasite lecture capture as a service, at a fee, and some departments own their own Mediasite units. More information is available on the VCS services site.
WebEx. In addition to live web conferencing, WebEx can be used for lecture capture. Cornell faculty and staff can use WebEx at no charge by just logging in to http://cornelluniversity.webex.com with their NetID. For more information, visit the VCS web conferencing page.
VideoNote. VideoNote is a vendor-provided service in which lectures are videorecorded and put online. The cost for VideoNote is $5000 / semester to record and host a course, or $2500 to host using previously recorded video; however, the Provost’s Office underwrites $2500 of this amount for up to 20 classes. VideoNote can also be contracted to record one-time events. For more information about VideoNote, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic Technologies – Video Production. Academic technologies has professional videographers who are available to record one-time events. For more information, contact email@example.com.
If all you need to share is a computer screen and your voice, there are some screen capture options that may fit your recording needs.
Jing. Jing, from TechSmith, records up to 5 minutes of onscreen video along with accompanying audio. It can also be used to capture screenshots. Once your video is recorded, you can instantly share it on Screencast.com, Twitter, or Facebook, or you can save the video to disk for email or for sharing on a blog or web site. Jing is available for both Mac and PC at jingproject.com.
Camtasia. If you need greater control over the screen video output, or if you want to record video for more than 5 minutes at a time, Camtasia is a good choice. In addition to recording video, Camtasia allows you to import video, music, and photos, and includes a powerful video editor. It also has a basic quiz tool for embedding quizzes in the presentation. The education price for the PC-based Camtasia Studio is $179; there is also a Mac version of Camtasia for $75.
Captivate. Captivate, from Adobe, has virtually all of the features offered by Camtasia. In addition, it has more sophisticated interactions including games and charts. The education pricing for Captivate is around $299.
Quicktime Player (Mac Only). Records the screen and audio, and comes with the Mac operating system.
Livescribe. Livescribe pens, used with special paper, simultaneously record the actions of the pen on paper and the accompanying audio; the information is subsequently loaded on to a computer, from where it can be saved to disk or to Evernote, or shared with others via PDF (which is able to play back video) or Flash. For the purposes of microlectures, a Livescribe pen could be used to capture the work in a math or engineering problem; it could also be used for providing feedback for student papers. Livescribe pens generally start at around $129; the price depends on the amount of memory and whether it uses a wi-fi or tethered method for transferring notes. A sample Livescribe pencast is available here.
Two iPad screen capture apps used in education are Educreations and Explain Everything. Educreations (free) provides a simple whiteboard interface; captures are uploaded to the Educreations web site for sharing. Explain Everything ($2.99) allows you to either work from a whiteboard interface, or load a document – or web page – to draw on; the capture can be shared via email, blog post, or sent to Evernote. This Chronicle blog post provides more information about the two products.
Let Academic Technologies know if you’re interested in any of these options, and we can help get you started!
Of the many great free tools that are available online, one of my favorites is Jing (http://www.jingproject.com) by TechSmith. Jing lets you create a screen shot or a short (up to 5 minute) video of your screen and then save, upload, or email it. It’s incredibly easy to use.
Here are some of the ways I’ve found to use it:
- I’ve captured screen video to provide quick instructions on how to use software;
- Although I usually use SnagIt – also by TechSmith – for screen captures, if I’m in a hurry I’ll use Jing because it’s always ready to go;
- I’ve used it on someone else’s computer when reproducing a bug for a vendor.
Really, there’s nothing not to love.
The reason we host the Confluence wiki at Cornell is so that people can easily get their work online for sharing and collaborating. Based on its popularity, it seems to be doing its job well.
But part of what makes Confluence work so well is that it doesn’t provide a lot of options for formatting. We get calls and emails from people who are collaborating on a project where the end product is an Office document, and Confluence just doesn’t provide all the Office features that they need.
We understand why this is a problem, and so we’ve installed the Office Connector plugin for Confluence. This plugin allows you to embed your Office document for display in a Confluence page, and – if you have edit permissions for the page – click on the document name, open and edit the document in the corresponding Office program, and save the page back to Confluence.
We’re using the Office Connector here in FSS for collaborating on Excel spreadsheets, because sometimes the tables in Confluence just don’t behave as expected. We’ve also seen classes that are using the Office Connector to build PowerPoint presentations in a collaborative way. And we’re looking at a corresponding Visio plugin so that people can have their Visio diagrams embedded in a Confluence page.
There are still a few issues with the Connector – for example, it’s a bit more clunky if you use a Mac – but it solves a lot of problems. We’ve put together some documentation for it at https://confluence.cornell.edu/display/CONFDOCS/Viewfile+Macro. We’re interested in finding out if anyone is using it in instruction – let us know!
The 4000+ faculty members and instructors who use Blackboard here at Cornell have many reasons for using a course management system – it’s used for sharing materials, conducting asynchronous discussions, giving quizzes, and collecting assignments. But did you know that it’s an easy way to help Cornell be more green?
The average instructor-to-student ratio for Blackboard courses is 10 to 1. So, each reading that’s posted to Blackboard means 10 copies of the reading that don’t need to be printed… and 10 fewer copies that end up buried in a notebook somewhere, or in a landfill after the student graduates.
Likewise, Blackboard allows the student to submit assignments electronically, either via the Assignments feature or by using the Digital Dropbox. For assignments that can’t be submitted online, the CIT Academic Labs printers are stocked with 100% recycled paper. (Information on how to post an assignment in Blackboard – and how to read student submissions – can be found in the Blackboard Help site.)
The other course technologies that we support – wikis, blogs, surveys, discussion boards – are also good green options when compared to their paper counterparts.
If you’re interested in learning more about Blackboard or our other technologies, let us know! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org… and make Cornell a greener place.
Welcome to the blog for the Faculty Support Services for Teaching with Technology to stay informed about services, technologies for teaching, news & updates, and events.
Visit CIT’s Quarterly Faculty Newsletter to learn about “A new Academic Technology Center (ATC) opened in Stimson Hall…”
Faculty Support Services can help you integrate instructional technology tools and practices into your courses.
Our services include: course & research web sites, Blackboard, audio-video-podcasting for instruction, online surveys and quizzes, course communication-collaboration tools, i-Clicker classroom response “polling” systems.
We also provide training and individual consultations about the technology options available for your courses.
Visit the Academic Technologies web site at http://it.cornell.edu/teaching