11 May 2007

Discussion of Other Vlogs found Online

Hi Folks,
Should we try to make instructional video entertaining/creative or plain/simple ? – with some suggestion here that entertaining/creative will likely take more time to create than plain / simple.
First I don’t think it necessarily follows that entertaining/ creative will or needs to take more time. With genius or practice one can usually speed things up. Alternatively, a team-approach to building re-usable learning objects or designing instructional video should be considered if at all possible – since sooner or later someone else is going to view or judge the product – as I have argued earlier - education is essentially making public what might otherwise remain private. Therefore bouncing ideas or drafts off colleagues, piloting and building in pre-set shelf-life and revision dates should be done (the shelf-life of the podcasting news-flash reading given to us in this course earlier was about several months at most, and much more carefully chosen readings could have been selected for a shelf-life of two years or so with a built in review at one year and revsion at two years).
And so now to the main point of the qualities of instructional video,
I think anything is fine providing it improves learning (instruction is only one-side of the equation – inherent in the term ‘Instructional Designer’, whereas 'Educational Technologist' includes aspects of learning being the target or achieved aim).
Video can help viewers develop social, technological or other skills, as well as knowledge. Entertaining or plain/simple doesn’t matter – but like sports – education should be healthy. I have earlier fairly-comprehensively covered the design aspects of using multimedia in various permutations and combinations, with literature references.
Enriching video beyond two or three media does not lead to improved learning. No data have yet been reported to suggest otherwise (as far as I am aware – please email to me any lit refs to the contrary, or any on the topic you think are worthwhile reading).

Concerning instruction video found online- I very much like ‘The Angry Professor’ at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hut3VRL5XRE It is entertaining as well as educational – it teaches mobile-phone manners about a student using a phone in a large class, as well as brings about learning – viewers are likely to think twice afterwards about disrupting a professor busy helping others. It gives both sides of education- from the teacher’s viewpoint and from the students’ viewpoints (of the user who may have been getting an urgent call about a family emergency, and of other students who may have supported that student or supported the professor). You might laugh or be shocked at first viewing but on repeat viewing you may see justification in all the various perspectives being raised by the 36 second clip, very balanced and educational, I think, and plain/simple (taken on a mobile-phone video-camera or handycam ?).
Another is the following about student careers that seems to be trying to be educational called ‘TV at Worknet”.. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6994259869433097486 very flashy and professionally made at very high bandwidth – so streaming does not come through well now. It is 26m 11s long – too long for my attention span. Apart from the very very flashy introduction, at 1m25s and again suddenly at 2min they give added textual media subtitles superimposed on flashy video and voice-over. This is highly distractive and such three media have not yet shown improved learning. The text is redundant except for deaf viewers or those listening to Pink Floyd on their iPods ;)
Well folks, there are two worthwhile discussing – any comments or different perspectives on these ?

All Best Wishes

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