How to create videos with mobile devices

Clipboard02Creating video on phones or tablets is really simple, but it’s also easy to make mistakes that make your video less effective than it could be.

However the cameras in Phones and iPads are so good these days that with the right skills they can be used to make documentaries and even TV commercials!

As part of Digital Derby, a institutional wide project led by Learning Enhancement, the TEL Media team have created a site to help staff and students create great video with media devices. Mobile Video Creation gives you professional tips on avoiding common mistakes, and advice on how to plan, edit and finish your videos to give them that extra polish that shows off your ideas in the best possible way.


Using Panopto to record feedback to students’ questions posted on a MOOC forum

Jose-Arturo-Garza-Reyes-150 tony-anosike-150
Dr Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes (left) and Dr Tony Anosike.  Academic Innovation Hub, University of Derby Online, University of Derby Business School.

MOOCs are free open online courses becoming that are popular as a way to engage people interested in a subject. The University of Derby’s Academic Innovation Hub have been running highly acclaimed MOOCs, one of which is using Panopto Lecture Recording in an interesting way. As an online course, students are temporally and spatially distanced. Interactions usually occur asynchronously, often via blogs or forums. Students might respond to some materials by posting discussions and questions which the tutor may or may not engage with.

In the Innovating in Operations Management MOOC the tutors, Dr Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes and Dr Tony Anosike, responded to the questions in a “weekly wind up” video recording that answered several of the threads being discussed on that week’s topic.

Using the Learning Enhancement’s Media Team video booth located in B114, the tutors recorded several 30-40 minute feedback discussions covering topics raised that week.

Jose comments: “The experience that we had with Panopto was very positive as it allowed us to communicate with over 2,200 students all over the world without any issue in regards to the different times, and in a more dynamic way. With Panapto, Tony and I had the opportunity of elaborating in specific topics that we considered important for the specific units that we were reviewing every week. Also, we could elaborate on examples requested by the students. For instance, the MOOC content was very oriented towards the manufacturing sector, with plenty of examples regarding this industry. However, the students asked us to provide examples of the application of the Operations Management theory in other industries. We used the Panapto recording sessions to discuss this other examples that were not included in the written content of the MOOC. The Panapto recording sessions also helped us to wrap-up the unit reviewed during that week. The comments of the students were extremely positive, they were eagerly waiting for the recording session to be released every Friday.”

jose tony screenshot

Screenshot of the Panopto recording giving feedback to learners

Feedback from learners about the wind up sessions has been very positive. Students commented:

  • “I guess excellent is the word. Especially the weekly wind up”
  • “It has been well thought out and the wind up each week is also very informative and engaging.”
  • “The weekly wind-up video helped a lot in summarising the course.”
  • “…also the weekly wind up videos deepen the understability of the learners.”

Exam tips for your students

It’s coming into exam season for our students so why not give them some help and advice on dealing with the stress that comes with exams. Within the Media Gallery in Course Resources, Learning Enhancement have created three really useful videos you can access and share with your students to assist them with their revision and exam prep.

The first shows them how to revise effectively: Exam tips – Revision

The second is how to cope with the nerves that come with the exams: Exam tips – Coping with nerves  

Finally, tips on how they can perform well in the exam situation: Exam tips – Performance 

All academic staff are able to find these videos in the shared repository section on Media Gallery and share them with their students to help and advise them when dealing with revision.

Within Media Gallery you can organise your media content for each of your modules as well as being able to search and use media from the shared repository. The sharing option enables you to share within a whole module, to a group of students or to an individual student.  

This idea of sharing content that the University has created is an easy and great way of interacting with media within your modules.

See the help video on how to add videos to your module, and our Media Gallery webpage with more docs and information.

We also have videos on the shared repository that will help students prepare for  future employment.

Interview tips for current students and graduates

What is employability?


Feel free to share any of these videos with your students, and try searching the wide selection of  course materials within the Shared Repository  for other videos you may wish to use within your modules.

My experience of a MOOC

Infographic on MOOC

Image by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Recently I decided to complete a MOOC, or massive open online course, through the website. The course I chose to take was ‘Introduction to  Digital Sound Design’ from Emory University and there were two reasons why I gave this a go, firstly, I wanted to increase my knowledge of audio production and secondly, I was interested in how the course content would be conveyed through the use of video and web technology.

The lesson setup was simple, all conveyed through video, a single shot of the lecturer talking to camera which occasionally switched to an interactive whiteboard for displaying the odd graph or audio waveform. Whilst this is rather basic (and slightly disappointing to someone who makes a living from creating video for education), it served its purpose well and the content and delivery were engaging enough to keep me interested. It’s worth noting that this is particularly important when the lure of TV, Xbox or simply avoiding a boring lecture are a closed laptop screen away. As with everything, content is king.

I felt like I was getting the same lesson that any student at Emory University would get, and this was important to me.  I didn’t want to feel like I was being taught something that I could find easily on YouTube, there had to be some added value within the course. I learned more than enough to justify my time taking the course and it didn’t feel too removed from traditional education other than the fact I could choose when to consume the content.

But there were a couple of areas which stood out and made the process different for me. The first was that people were very quick to dismiss parts of the course or exams and claim greater knowledge than the lecturer in the course forums, which made me feel slightly uncomfortable and question why some of the students would choose to be on a course they clearly felt they didn’t need. There were equally good comments and discussion which were incredibly useful, but the bad ones stood out to me. I can’t imagine students doing this in a traditional face to face setting.

The second was the way the assessments were approached. I’ve never liked exams, an entire grade based on a couple of hours worth of work has never really added up for me, so my first thoughts were that I’d probably fail. But these exams were slightly different, they were essentially an online quiz, there was no time limit and I could use all of the available course materials to help,  I just had to ‘promise’ not to use anything else, so Google and Wikipedia were out of the question.

Having the course materials available provided some comfort, at least I could trawl through the hours of video and course transcripts, searching for any answers I didn’t have. What I found though, was that having the opportunity to review answers and find answers I didn’t know, actually reinforced all the learning I had done in the course. Rather than being an assessment of the work I had done so far, the exam became an active part of the learning. I was able to fill in the gaps and parts of the course I wasn’t so sure of and answer the questions on the way. Previously these were the points where I would have to just guess the answer. Passing or failing became less important to me than the process of learning and taking in the content, I was enjoying knowing where I was right and determined to figure out where I was wrong.

Strangely, I found that while I’d preferred the video content for consumption of the lectures, I was using mainly the written content for review during the exam. I’d also much preferred taking the exam at a computer and found the integration of video, quizzes and more traditional content made for a more interesting and complete learning experience which led to me not only passing the course but also coming away feeling like I’d learnt something.

So now I know when to use a notch filter and how to analyse a spectrogram,  which is just a small portion of what I learnt, and all of which has become useful in my job here at The University of Derby. I’m still a little underwhelmed by the way video was used overall, but I know we are already doing good things here at Derby, using video in new ways that really enhance teaching and learning. I hope we can carry that forward as our own online course offerings increase.

Making learning easy

I just wanted to share a few free, open, online learning resources that seem to be doing things right.  They aren’t necessarily doing anything too original, but they do have some qualities that make them noteworthy – perhaps the most common of which is making learning easy.


W3 Schools is an excellent long-standing example.  It fits in that position that is part-learning part-reference, and provides a wealth of information on all of the major web technologies.  There had always been people generously creating various tutorials and making them available on their personal websites, but both the volume and quality of content on W3Schools makes it exceptional.  There are a few things is seems to do to make the learning easy:

  1. Structure: On the first page of the website, all of the content categories are listed down the left-hand side; and are grouped by use.  All of the content can be followed as a linear course, but you are still only three-four clicks away from any specific topic that you want to look at.
  2. Sandboxes: The examples section allows you to try out what you’ve learnt directly on the site.  You type something in (HTML, CSS, MYSQL etc.) and see the result instantly.

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