In flex-hybrid courses, you can employ multiple lecture modalities. If you are physically present in a classroom, you can lecture as you normally would, while recording the session for students who cannot attend. (Classroom technology at Champlain is undergoing significant upgrades this summer to enable this.) If you have a remote synchronous meeting, you can lecture live while showing slides or collaborative tools and record the session. You can also lecture asynchronously by recording screencasts and videos that students can watch on their own schedules. Asynchronous lecturing has an additional advantage, which is that quality lecture videos can be reused in the future. For example, if you teach a fully online course, they can serve as your main lecture content. If you teach a fully in-person course, you can make them available as review materials or use them in the event of a snow day. This page focuses on asynchronous lecture strategies, and also includes information about synchronous remote teaching.
Screencasting allows you to produce videos that primarily feature content you show on your screen with a recorded voiceover. This could be a slideshow with voiceover, a narrated demonstration, or a lecture that uses a digital “whiteboard” to visually explain your points. Screencasting is a relatively easy way to make recorded presentations if you are new to asynchronous lecturing. Software options include PowerPoint (for slides with voiceover), Screencastify, Screencast-O-Matic, and Camtasia, among others.
Nick Faulk, Faculty Librarian, explores some screencasting options in this recorded webinar from April 2020:
Recording Lecture Videos
Another option is to record lecture videos in advance. In such videos, you appear on camera. With video editing, you can switch back and forth between slides or images and yourself. Effective lecture videos do not have to be fancy (you can even record yourself using Meet), but with increasing skills, you can produce very robust work!
A few pointers on lecture videos:
- A good microphone makes an enormous difference. Video recorded with high-quality sound can always be edited after the fact to add slides, images, or additional segments, but it is difficult to clean up low-quality sound. Champlain College will be introducing options to get a good-quality mic.
- While there is a video capture tool in Canvas, you will have more success recording with other software and uploading videos to YouTube (use your Champlain account). YouTube has an auto-captioning feature that makes your work more accessible, and videos can be easily embedded in Canvas components. You can upload your videos “unlisted” so they are not searchable and are only available to people with a link.
- Limit the length of your videos. Ten minutes is ideal; the length of a TED Talk (18 minutes) is a good maximum limit. There are several reasons for this:
- Shorter videos are smaller files, and thus easier to edit and upload. They also process more quickly on YouTube.
- Shorter videos hold viewers’ attention better.
- Recording a long lecture in shorter segments also provides built-in opportunities for reflection and student processing. You can end each video with a reflection prompt or question students can think about while they set up the next video.
- If you or your students need to find a particular moment in a lecture to review, it is much easier to find a particular point in a ten-minute video than in sixty-minute one.
- Consider your clothing, background, and lighting for good quality non-studio video. Try recording short sample videos to check the visual quality. Avoid loud patterns or solid dark colors in your clothing, backgrounds that match your clothes, jewelry that makes a lot of noise (e.g., bangles), extremely bright or dim light, or light behind you.
More guidance (including software and hardware) to come!
Synchronous Remote Lecturing Strategies
By “synchronous remote lecturing”, we mean live lecture sessions or webinars held in tools like Google Hangouts Meet (“Meet”) or Zoom. Champlain College recommends using Meet, and for lecture sessions, it is very effective. Check out our article on running webinars and remote sessions for a primer or review.