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Making Videos for Flipped Classroom

May 20, 2012

This year I used video in my writing class differently than before. In using a flipped classroom approach, at first, I thought I would be able to rely on available videos on YouTube. However, the videos available proved uneven in quality or inappropriate for what I was doing in class. I used several videos, but I also had to make my own videos for some grammar elements and paragraph writing.

To make the videos, I used two Mac software packages: PowerPoint and Camtasia for Mac. Admittedly, I wasn’t aiming for artistic or flair. I used a stripped down model. I decided the videos should not be much longer than five minutes. This is a personal prejudice since I have a short attention span when I watch videos online. Also, I thought that if students were going to use and review, they shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time searching. I tried to mix images into the videos when possible. I don’t like the talking head type of video, so I didn’t put my image in the videos.

I found that making an introductory video involved more planning than I anticipated. I thought I could make use of PowerPoint slide shows created for class, but when I looked at them, they proved unwieldy, flawed in different ways, having too much information or too little information. As a consequence, I either took the slide show and revised it or created a new one. The biggest problem with my existing PowerPoint shows was that they were designed for a fifty-minute class though not for the full fifty minutes. Furthermore, the interactive activities in them would not work in a video. As much as I try, the classroom shows were designed visually, but the design didn’t seem to fit the smaller YouTube screen.

My solution was to narrow the focus. What key point did I want to make in the five minute video? How could I best illustrate my point visually and support it orally? How could I organize it to have a circular pattern of introduction, body, and conclusion? These were my guidelines that developed in my first foray into video making.

They are noticeably lacking in interactivity. As I consider making more and revising the existing videos, I need to consider ways to make the videos more interactive. YouTube has some tools that allow linking videos. I want to use those tools. I have seen a couple of videos that allowed student control, so I would like to learn how to do that as well.

Here is my YouTube channel. Suggestions for improvement are welcome.

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