April 10

10 Tips for Creating Effective Instructional Videos

Michael Smedshammer, faculty instructional design coordinator at Modesto Junior College, wrote for Faculty Focus on creating effective instructional videos. Here is a recap:

  • Forget the headset. If your computer doesn’t have a built-in camera and microphone, buy a webcam that does both.
  • Keep it short. If you have a lot to say (and sometimes we do!), chunk up the message. Make a video mini-series with 5-10 minute chapters.
  • Prepare well and then wing it. Sometimes a brief outline taped next to your webcam is all you need to stay on track without sounding like you’re reading from your notes.
  • Position the camera above your eyes, so you look slightly up at it. Position your head to appear at the top third of the screen so the recording includes your face and most of your torso.
  • Location, location, location. Your work or home office are usually safe choices as a background for the recording.
  • Move it out. Don’t always shoot your videos from the same spot. Your audience will tire of seeing the same background.Keep the backgrounds neutral but varied. Your audience will appreciate it.
  • Look right at the camera lens. Looking anywhere else looks weird. Your audience will think you have an avoidance problem.
  • Cover your screen. Once you get everything ready, consider taping a piece of paper over your computer screen so you’re not distracted by seeing yourself while you record. Remember, you do not need to be perfect! Try not to be overly critical of yourself.
  • Say “cheese.” Smiling helps everything. Whether you’re recording a webcast of your face or just your voice, smiling makes you look and sound better.
  • Avoid over doing it. The wacky music, goofy fade-ins, and spinning transitions that come with some video editing software can make home-videos look corny. Leave most of those tools for the professionals (who don’t really use them either).

 

August 9

SIG Webinar Handouts & Presentations

SIG Learning Spaces and Instructional TechnologyD2L Brightspace: Free “Getting Started” webinars, presented to you by SIG members, offer a variety of topics. Click here to register for upcoming SIG webinars! Some of the upcoming events are listed below:

 

  • Introduction and Overview of D2L BrightspaceAugust 15, August 17, August 18
  • Organize Your ContentAugust 23, August 25
  • Using Respondus Quiz ToolAugust 11, August 30
  • D2L Brightspace Quiz ToolAugust 10, August 12,
  • Announcements (formerly News), Classlist and EmailAugust 23, August 24
  • D2L Brightspace Discussion Board ToolAugust 22, August 25
  • Points Based/ Weighted GradebookAugust 25, August 30
  • D2L Brightspace Assignments Tool (formerly Dropbox)August 11, August 30
  • Groups in D2L BrightspaceAugust 30, August 31
  • D2L Brightspace Rubric ToolAugust 23
  • Creating a Community: Using Brightspace to Welcome StudentsAugust 31

 

In case you cannot attend one of the webinars offered at those dates, here is a folder with resources and handouts from the presentations.

February 17

8 MOOCs that Support Technology in Teaching

online_livingroom 011An article written by Dian Schaffhauser on Campus Technology website has listed 8 MOOCs that can help faculty learn more on technology use in classroom (“8 MOOCs for Better Technology-Enhanced Teaching”). These professional development opportunities are, of course, open and offered through different universities. They are offered at different times, are self paced, and you can take what interests you the most from them. I will list them as they appear in the article.

1) Instructional Design Service Course: Gain Experience for Good    (starts February 22; runs 12 weeks; requires 2-3 hours of work per week, Canvas platform, Description: Learn how to create open educational resources (OER) for people in adult basic education programs.)

2) Becoming a Blended Learning Designer    (starts February 22; runs for 5 weeks; requires 2-3 hours of work per week, canvas paltform, Description: This MOOC will talk you through the Blended Learning Toolkit, a free, open resource for institutions that want to develop or expand their blended learning programs.)

3) Teaching with Tablets  (February 29, 2016; runs for 5 weeks; requires about 3 hours of work per week, Blackboard platform, Description: Intended for educators from elementary school through higher ed, this MOOC will cover the use of iPads and other tablets for teaching and learning.)

4) Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners  (February 22, 2016; runs 6 weeks, Canvas, Description: Your chance to gain the knowledge and skills to design inclusive learning experiences, especially for students with disabilities.)

5) Disability Awareness and Support  (Timeline: Self-paced, Coursera, Description: Advance your understanding of accessibility issues in education, including legislation, universal design and assistive technologies.)

6) Prior Learning Assessment for Educators and Industry (February 22; runs 3 weeks; requires 2 hours of work per week, Canvas, Description: This course will teach you how to develop policies and articulations for credit for prior learning (CPL), explain the use of portfolios and assessments and introduce you to existing credit “crosswalks” and assessment resources.)

7) Blended Learning Essentials: Getting Started (March 7; runs for 5 weeks; requires about 4 hours of work per week, FutureLearn platform, Description: This UK-produced course covers multiple practices and pedagogies to help participants learn how to use blended or hybrid tools and technologies “with confidence.” The “getting started” session is followed by an additional series on “embedding the practices.”)

8) Leaders of Learning (May 2016; runs 6 weeks; requires 2-4 hours of work per week, edX platform, Description: Richard Elmore, a professor of educational leadership in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, takes participants on a tour of the “shifting landscape of learning.” You’ll explore how learning is changing in a digital culture.)

January 20

SIG Learning Spaces and Instructional Technology Casual Conversations

SIG Learning Spaces and Instructional Technology Casual Conversations

Do all your best ideas always come when you are drinking coffee? Then come join MnSCU instructional designers and other professional development staff for Casual Conversations where we help you problem-solve through collaboration and creativity! 1st and 3rd Friday of every month @ 8am.

No preparation required! Just come and share your best ideas of what you are doing on your campus for your faculty and staff with good instructional design and technology practices.

Starting February 5th at 8am, the Learning Spaces and Instructional Technology SIG will host a new series of virtual meetings the first and third Friday of every month.  During the first meeting, they will discuss and select future meeting topics – they want your input! Join them Friday, February 5th at 8am in their Zoom Room:  MOQI Casual Conversation meetings