1. Describe an “Absorb” type activity for one of the objectives in the course plan your team developed.
The most obvious “Absorb” type activities are the lectures that Professor Hunziker would like to record. If we take each lecture as its own objective, then I propose we look at the lecture for the Crisis of the Middle Ages.
This lecture would probably consist of a 45 to 50 minute verbal lecture by Dr. Hunziker, wherein he describes the impact of the Great Famine, the Black Plaque, the decline of church authority and the Hundred Years War.
2. Describe a “Do” type activity for one of the objectives in the course plan your team developed.
A short “Do” type activity would be the Post-Test that we created after each set of lectures, as a way to stimulate recall of the lecture, but that’s not a very powerful way to transform learning into knowledge. Instead, I would suggest a good “Do” type activity would be the writing of one of the papers. The second paper is a 4-5 page paper that incorporates the thinking of two different authors and discusses the differences in their individual pursuit of truth.
3. Describe a “Connect” type activity for one of the objectives in the course plan your team developed.
A “Connect” type activity that would allow the students to draw connections between what they have learned and then apply it to their lives would have to take place in the discussion activity, I believe. I found an article on “Deep Conceptual Learning” that talks about the importance of creating connections, and I think this is a heavy responsibility on the graduate students. As this is where learning is cemented, I think that Dr. Hunziker should be heavily involved in the discussion topics that are chosen for each of the discussions.
4. Choose one of the above activities and discuss the process you would use to create this presentation. For this task assume that you have no additional assistance other than the instructor who would be able to write content as you describe it and perform for a recording as needed.
I am going to choose the production of the video lecture.
- Initial phone conversation with Dr, Hunziker. Discuss appropriate wardrobe (single color shirt, no green, no stripes), and firm up date to film. Go over the three pre-test questions I will be asking for on the day of the lecture, as well as the electronic lecture notes we’ll need. Also go over a request for him to gather links for any artwork that he’d like to link to in the lecture. (Some links are provided on the introductory web page, but there may be more).
- Meet with Dr. Hunziker three days before initial filming. Show him the equipment I’ll be using. Load up all of the graphics and lecture notes on the “silent laptop”, in the defined order, for his lecture, just as if he would be projecting the artwork onto a screen behind him using a PowerPoint presentation. Explain that as he does his presentation, we will be recording only him, while he can see his running PowerPoint at eye level, with “record timings” set to “on” for his artwork that he would want to display to the students. He’ll be in front of a green screen. Explain that, when the student is watching the lecture, the video will be on him the entire time. When he switches to a graphic that he wants the user to see, the visual cue of his background changing will occur, showing part of the graphic as if it were being projected on a massive screen behind him. The student won’t be able to see all of the artwork, but explain that when watching the video, the student will be able to click on an icon on their screen to show the artwork that is being partially displayed, and they will be able to zoom in, pan, etc., while listening to the lecture.
- The night before filming, charge camera batteries, check lenses, gather tripod, camera, sound, and lighting equipment. Get extension cords, video cables, sound cables, and external HDMI monitor. Check camera settings to record in the appropriate resolution (HD 1080P). Gather “silent laptop”, Bluetooth clicker, and fresh batteries. Gather dry erase markers, clapboard, cinefoil, lighting filters, clothespins, reflectors, diffusion gel, powder (make-up), lavalier microphone and fresh batteries for the mic. Check green screen and stand. Bring an “emergency shirt” just in case – a neutral gray sweater roughly Dr. Hunziker’s size. Pack all equipment in the vehicle, including snacks and bottled water.
- On the day of production, arrive 3 hours before Dr. Hunziker. Set up green screen and check to make sure it is uniformly lit. Set up lighting equipment. Set up camera on tripod. Check sound. Make sure there are no air conditioners or soda machines making ambient noise. Set up “silent laptop” and make sure it is out of frame but is elevated at a good eye line. Pair Bluetooth clicker with laptop and load up his PowerPoint with artwork.
- Have Dr. Hunziker arrive at the pre-arranged recording location. Check his wardrobe. Ask about any additional artwork we need to load up, or any lecture notes he’d like to see as he is presenting. Get him into position for lighting. Light Dr. Hunziker so that that no shadows fall on the green screen. Make sure he goes to the bathroom. Attach the lavalier mic to him. Powder his forehead if he needs it. Check framing. Check and adjust height of “silent laptop”. Allow Dr. Hunziker to practice with the clicker. Turn laptop into “record timings” mode. Start back-up video recording software which will also record timings.
- Get the three pre-test questions from him. Ask if he’s ready to begin.
- Put on headphones, do a mic check. Speed. Roll camera. Use clapboard to mark scene. Action. Record the lecture. And cut. (Do a quick take to check all equipment and the quality of the recording, then begin in earnest and repeat as necessary).
- Mark which takes are the best, changing the clapboard each time. Tail slate any takes that are an immediate go.
- Thank Dr. Hunziker, check the laptop, turn off the recording software, spot check that all media was recorded correctly, break down the equipment and go home.
- Load raw footage into video editing software. Add university splash logo and introductory text. Set chroma key. Remove green background. Download all artwork and save to local files. Load in artwork on a new visible video layer behind Dr. Hunziker, applying blur filter. Make timings match by reviewing timings as recorded on the “silent laptop”. Perform any necessary color correction or editing. Use cross-fades when splicing two different takes.
- Host video within an Articulate Storyline frame, using the timings to display artwork icons that link to the different pieces of artwork shown in the lecture, giving the video an “interactive” feel.
- Call Dr. Hunziker and arrange for review of editing lecture before publishing. Send email of lecture on private Vimeo site.
- Apply any changes, or set a reshoot date (redoing any appropriate steps above) then send secondary email for approval of edited lecture.
- Once approved, publish to location where lectures will be hosted for the course. Note the video link and add it to the appropriate Trello card. The lecture is now available.
5. Discuss how would your approach for the above task would be different if you were directing the development efforts of a team that included a graphic designer, a video editor and a web programmer along with all of the tools that such a team would typically use.
Oops. I guess I cheated. I would still make sure we did all of the above tasks and would just disseminate many of them to other people. I suppose I would ask a graphic designer to look for even more artwork that we could use for each lecture, and I would ask him or her to design the opening sequence for each lecture, and be the one to design all of the graphic overlays. The video editor would do pretty much the same as I described above. A web programmer might not be able to add much more to the above process, but if we didn’t have Articulate Storyline, he could help us make sure we could create an interactive video that could link to the artwork.
6. The text presents test types and presents a list of common types of test questions. In light of these, describe a test that would be appropriate for the class your team planned in the previous session.
On page 242 of the Horton text, there’s a table that suggests that for this type of content (Know X about Y), the pick multiple question type is best suited. I think a test, then, that contained such questions would be appropriate. These tests could be electronically scored, making feedback to the learner immediate, however, care must be taken in forming the questions so that simple Google searches will not reveal the answers in the blink of an eye. If the emphasis of the test is to check the breadth and depth of the learner’s knowledge, and the tests will be taken completely online with no supervision, then a test consisting of composition questions might be better. It would require human grading, but is more likely to reveal the degree to which each student has comprehended and synthesized the material.
Horton, William. E-Learning by Design (Second Edition). (2011) San Francisco: Pfeiffer.