Digi Know: Making videos from Box of Broadcasts more inclusive

Adding subtitles to Box of Broadcasts videos

One of the key features which makes the use of videos from Box of Broadcasts (BoB) more inclusive is to use subtitles. Most programmes on BoB have subtitles available and switching these on whenever you use videos or clips within class can mean understanding what is being said and heard easy for everyone. Simply click on the S icon once the recording has started to play.

screen grap of subtitles button in Box of Broadcasts

This can be particularly important for international students and those who are hearing impaired. It is also a good idea to highlight this feature for students so they are aware how to turn these on when they might be viewing videos outside of face-to-face sessions. Adding a small image of how this can be done next to the video clip in Course Resources might assist with this.

Accessing a transcript for a programme on Box of Broadcasts

Transcripts of most programmes are also available which can be useful for students to access in order to be able to read what has been said in their own time rather than trying to keep up with the video on screen. Where a transcript is available this can be viewed by clicking the Show Transcript button.

Show Transcript button in Box of Boradcasts

It also allows you to search the programme for key words which will be highlighted within the transcript and at the same time the video will move to this point in the video. Further uses of the word can then be cycled to using the forward and back arrows. This enables quick navigation to key points which students may want to view again.

Search transcript screen grab

Students are usually unaware of these features and it is worth highlighting these when you first use BoB whether in class or online.

Sharing media within your teaching

Everyone has access to their own My Media section within Course Resources where you can upload your own content and share it within the modules that you teach on, the system used is easy and secure.

Sharing media within your teaching and learning is a great way of providing the students with an increased experience of their studies. Adding media can inspire and engage the learners by getting them to question key issues within their studies, enabling interactive discussion throughout the module. As well as providing them with an innovative and dynamic way of learning.

Within Media Gallery, as well as uploading your own media, you can search through the university’s ever growing Shared Repository of media content. Here you can search topics from study skills to specific areas within your course to see what others have already created around your chosen topic.

All media within the Shared Repository is available for anyone one to use and is an expanding resource tool for academics. If you find there isn’t a media source that fits with your chosen area please do get in touch with the Learning Enhancements TEL media team, who can assist you with getting any ideas you have for media creation off the ground.

If you create your own media content that you have uploaded to Media Gallery and believe that it would benefit other colleagues in several programmes around the university, please contact your Media Adviser who can add the content to the Shared Repository.

If you would like any further help or guidance with using Media Gallery and the Shared Repository, see the guides below or contact Learning Enhancement’s Media team at tel@derby.ac.uk

The Media and Learning Conference (Brussels, December 2013)

I attended the Media and Learning Conference 2013 in Brussels at the end of December and found it really thought provoking and enjoyable. It was great to discuss current issues and share practice with participants from all across Europe and the US (I think there were participants from 27 different countries.) I really struggled to pick between the parallel sessions throughout both days, such was the relevance of each topic.

 

The underlying theme of the conference was Media Literacy and the ‘urgency of embedding digital and media literacy skills amongst the European workforce.’

 

During the opening plenary, the ‘modern world’ was addressed, with the discussion around whether dramatic and radical change or gradual systematic adaption within the education sector was the right way forward to meet the needs of today.

 

The representative from the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training in Belgium (a last minute replacement so didn’t catch his name) urged us to take a step back and really put ourselves in the shoes of a teacher/lecturer who wants to incorporate more media based initiatives in their classroom. Diving in to a world where it’s likely their students are more well-versed, the uncertainty of what others are doing in their teaching, the sense of responsibility that comes with the encouragement of recommending and using tools such as Youtube with their students- all factors among many more that could lead a teacher to see using media as making a ‘brave’ choice. For me, this emphasised the importance of ensuring that we share the great work our academics are already doing across the schools, as a means of reassurance to the less experienced/confident people in faculty.

 

Professor Renee Hobbs (Harrington School of Communication, Rhode Island, USA) had identified a set of ‘motivators’ through assessing teacher’s attitudes to media. When it comes to the reasoning behind and preferred usage of media tools within their teaching, they could be anything from a ‘trendsetter’ (the want to meet students ‘where they live’ by connecting the classroom to popular culture) to an ‘activist’ (encouraging students to use media to ‘address real-world issues.’) We discuss the importance of learner autonomy quite frequently so it was nice to think about teacher preference.

 

(To find out what kind of ‘motivator’ you are take the test at http://quiz.powerfulvoicesforkids.com)

 

There were some interesting discussions throughout the day around the use of lecture capture and presentations from institutions who have rolled it out on quite a large scale and those who are at the earlier stages of implementation. We had a discussion around the use of video within it and whether or not this component was actually needed (software typically contains the options of slides with audio, video- which is usually of the lecture itself if it was recorded live or the lecturer presenting to a webcam or similar, plus a means of navigation through the lecture.) Research done at the University of Eastern Finland tracked student’s eye movement when shown a captured lecture and hotspots were equal in measure around the slide content and the lecturer presenting. It was argued that as so much of a proportion of communication is visual, a view of the lecturer was an important element, but it was also argued that there’s no evidence it actually aids learning, even if student’s ‘like’ it. Some institutions have totally gone down the slides and audio route for the ease of rolling out lectures in large quantities.

 

Thinking about video use in HE in general, we debated the use of both simple and quick un-edited video and of higher-end production (a debate which has cropped up more than any other for me during my time in HE!) as well as looking at quality and what this means in terms of video.

 

Strong views were held in both the ‘quick and simple’ and ‘planned and scripted’ camps and most agreed there is value in both methods. An academic’s preference was also highlighted as an important factor in this choice- some being comfortable to switch on a webcam and address their students directly and distribute it self-sufficiently, whereas others embrace the scripting and direction from a production team.

 

Although the quick vs scripted debate was not new to me, in contrast to past debates, ‘quality’ seemed to be universally defined as quality of content instead of quality in a technical sense, which was music to my ears. The quality of video in a technical sense was thought of as a given, owing to the standard of today’s recording devices and available bandwidth. Something that was visibly and (especially) audibly high quality was seen by a lot of us as a minimum standard, the structure and relevance of the video content being the most important factor

 

As the case usually is, there was a lot of discussion around justifying video use in terms of assessing it against learning theory. It’s relevance as a component of recent trends such as the ‘flipped classroom’ model, the importance of it within social learning theories/participatory teaching methods and assessing it in terms of learning styles were all popular debates. These are no doubt very valid and important topics that underlie nearly everything we do as part of a Technology Enhanced Learning department. However, what I’ll take away with me is that there is a shift now towards the thinking that media with learning ‘is happening’ and that this is equally as important as theory behind it’s justification. No matter why or how we use it, culturally it is part of our every day lives and therefore is a part of education.

 

Overall, a very worthwhile conference and good to see some of the work going on at the Medea Awards Ceremony in the evening. I left with a lot of confidence in what we are doing here at Derby and excitement about all the new projects and initiatives that we will start in 2014.

Learning on Screen Awards 2012

Having returned fresh from the Learning on Screen Awards 2012, I was interested to see one particular video making technique was getting considerable attention … the use of the visual metaphor. In an age where everyone is making video, it strikes me that many only record the things they can see and experience. The use of a visual metaphor however does not fixate on what is seen but instead, tries to give appreciation to the things we can’t see or comprehend easily in their natural form.

A fantastic example of a visual metaphor was presented by Prof. Lord Robert Winston at the Awards evening, where he constructed a bridge from individual ropes to cross a gorge.

The Media Production team with Prof. Lord Winston at the Learning on Screen Awards 2012

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