Instructional Media: A Tool for Your Gigs

Instructional Media: A Tool for Your Gigs

Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7776-2.ch010
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Online courses often use pre-recorded video lectures and other instructional media to share information and as a means of instructor-to-student interaction. For faculty, and especially adjunct faculty who might not have immediate access to support resources, learning how to create content and determining what that content could look like can be challenging. Faculty should consider three questions with their media: why, what, and how. Considering the purpose of the media will help make it more meaningful for faculty and students. Starting with simple tools (and some best practices on how to learn to use those tools), faculty can quickly learn to create media to share their personality and help students understand and apply course concepts. By learning how to create instructional media, online adjunct faculty can create more effective learning environments while learning skills that can help them in their current and future gigs.
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Patrick had recently been hired to teach an online course. Teaching this course wasn’t part of his full-time job, but he was excited to bring in some extra income and take a deeper dive into his field of study.

Patrick had lots of experience talking in front of groups of people and had previously taught in-person courses, but he had never taught online before. While he had previously taken courses online as a student, he never felt a connection with those courses or the teachers. He always associated his teachers as simply a bunch of blocks of text and paragraphs that reminded him of the upcoming deadlines or summarized the textbook.

During his lunch break, Patrick went to his computer and started watching YouTube videos about his interests - history, video games, famous athletes. He liked that he could digest information along with his food. He loved picking up random facts here and there to learn more about his interests.

Patrick finished his lunch break and checked his email. The program manager for his course just sent a message; any instructional media that Patrick was creating needed to be finalized and sent to the program manager within four weeks.

Patrick hadn’t yet thought about creating media, and was overwhelmed at the idea of what that might look like. He didn’t have any fancy recording technology. He didn’t have a state-of-the-art studio to film himself. He wasn’t sure how he would do this, and he wasn’t sure what he would cover. Would he just pretend to give a lecture to an empty room and record it? Or something else?

Patrick then thought about the videos he watched during his lunch break. Some of them looked pretty polished. But he really liked a number of videos that seemed to have basic production value. Some simply involved a person talking to the camera, or narrating over some stock footage or slides. Patrick also thought of the podcasts he listened to, which didn’t have any video component.

Patrick still wasn’t sure exactly where to start, but he realized if the people he watched could figure this stuff out, he could, too. He got excited as he planned what his instructional media might look like, and how he might do more with it after this course. He’d seen lots of conferences that were accepting video presentations; with enough practice, maybe he’d feel ready to use media to present at those conferences. Maybe he could start one of those YouTube channels, just like what he’d been watching. He just needed to figure out where to start. He thought for a few minutes, and then wrote three words:

  • How?

  • What?

  • Why?

Patrick realized if he could figure out 1) how he would make these, 2) what he’d put in the video, and 3) why these videos would help learners, he’d have worthwhile content for his course. He also knew he’d develop new skills for whatever his next side project might be.


Literature Review

To support remote and online instruction, various academic institutions have created resources outlining best practices for instructor-created media (Duke, n.d.; Stanford Center for Professional Development, n.d.; UC San Diego Blink, 2020). Various authors and researchers have examined how to create effective lectures (Bajak, 2014; Lagerstrom et al, 2015; Darby & Lang, 2019; Dart, 2020); a variety of modalities are considered across these works, and this chapter examines their ideas in the context of pre-recorded media.

Considering societal factors, like commutes, can help shape the creation of instructional media (Fleming, Ford & King, 2020; Hobson, 2020; United States Census Bureau, 2021). The prolific presence of creators on social media, like YouTube and Vimeo, has resulted in media creation best practices documentation that faculty can draw from (Karuza, 2022; Memon, 2022). Additionally, trends in digital media have impacted how terms, like “video essay,” have evolved (Biemann, 2003; University of Hertfordshire Creative Arts Toolkit, n.d.).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Teleprompter: A device allowing someone to read a script.

Online Course: A course where the instruction, assessment, and administration occurs over the internet and accessed by computers. This is often contrasted from in-person, or face-to-face, courses, often labeled as “traditional” courses.

Lecture: A presentation used to teach a topic and share information.

Evergreen Videos: Media that can be reused and repurposed.

Narrated Slides: A slideshow with a recorded narration or oral presentation.

Learning Management System: Software where elements of a course can take place, including instruction, assessment, and administration.

Intellectual Property: Property that can include information and created artifacts. Often considered in terms of copyright.

Caption: Text accompanying video that depicts the dialogue and elements like sound effects or music.

Digital Media: Communication media created and shared on digital electronic devices.

Video Editing Software: Application on an electronic device allowing one to edit and create videos.

Ted Talk: A series of talks, generally informative and compelling and directed to general audiences.

Video Essay: A structured presentation, similar to the written essay, with a driving narrative or argument.

Creative Commons License: Licenses that allow for works to be shared and edited to varying degrees.

Podcast: Generally, an audio presentation. Originally downloaded and often transferred to a mobile device, many are now streamed and can be heard on a wide variety of devices.

Script: A written document used during a presentation, narration, or performance.

Transcript: A document containing the text from an accompanying piece of media.

Adjunct Faculty: Instructors teaching on a part-time basis, with an employment status often changing from term to term.

Production Value: Referring to the quality or technical complexity of a created product.

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