Cinzia Forasiepi

Microlectures Final Reflection – May 2015

Discuss how the project impacted your teaching

This project has impacted my teaching. First of all, it simply empowered me. Now I know I could even teach entirely online using Camtasia to record lectures and present information on the course structure and content for my students. Usually, my courses are face-to-face, but I have the occasional online session. I could use Camtasia to introduce topics in that case. Instructor made videos could also be used throughout a face-to-face course as a way for students to preview information and then come to class ready to discuss, work together on projects, and interact more freely. The classroom becomes a workshop that is totally student-centered when the “lecture” is left outside the door.

Even though the result is a homemade video, it looks professional enough and I am quite proud of my work. I made 3 short videos to welcome students to the course and to describe how our Moodle page works. Then I make 2 short videos describing two projects and 1 video as a review of a difficult concept that was also treated in class.

Discuss how the time spent learning the technologies impacted you

I could not have done this project in the Fall semester. I was able to complete it in the Spring when I have fewer students. This was a time consuming project and a very steep learning curve for me. I had some experience with video editing before this experience, but this was much more focused and detailed learning for me.

The many possibilities that Camtasia allows for creating microlectures make it a very powerful tool. It was intimidating at first to be filmed as I was talking. And it was not a pleasure when I had to watch myself again and again during editing. Under the patient, flexible, and creative guidance of Tim Hensel I was able to try things on my own. Now I feel confident using Camtasia and I really plan to create additional short videos to support my students’ learning as needed. I also liked that I could install Camtasia in my own laptop to work on the videos at home.

Discuss any student microlecture survey feedback received

I see my students each week in class so I asked for feedback on the videos. They told me that the videos worked well (I placed a link in Moodle to my GoogleDocs). They appreciated listening to my voice as I was showing Moodle, or watching me as I was describing an assignment or explaining a concept. They appreciated the short length, like … mini-lectures. They also said that the videos were helpful because they could see/listen to the same information in another mode. For example, the assignments are described in the syllabus and in class, but they knew they could refer to the videos if they were not clear on something. The video about a difficult concept was useful because they could review that concept after we had explored it in class and keep the video as a reference.

Either recommend, or not, if the project should be offered again, and why

Yes, I recommend doing this project again. It is another way we can support our students’ learning using technology. Instructor-made short videos make the learning more connected and personal. After an initial tech-shock (depending on personal tech experience), overall, Camtasia is approachable and immediate as a tool for video editing. Basic, but flexible enough for home made video production.