This is my 37th blog post, and my 8th on videos. I have talked about evidence based video lengths, correcting captions on YouTube videos you don’t control, audio descriptions, captioning, and getting a clean transcript from a caption file. Today I’d like to write about how to improve the overall quality of a video, and the answer is scripting.
I have worked on, and sat through many videos which are, to a certain extent, improv. This means that the creator sat down cold, and began recording all in one sitting. The video portion could have a talking head, or a PowerPoint, a screen recording, a drawing, or even show some sort of event or chemical reaction. In a video like this there could be a lot of filler words like um, ah, ok, a… Or perhaps there are interjections based on occurrences during the recording such as running out of ink, trying to find the proper tab for a function in the software, or yelling at someone in the house that the laundry is upstairs. For the student this can be distracting. And for those of us who don’t like hearing our own voices in a recording, it can make us cringe even more to hear, in our own voice, “someone let the dog out, um ah, where was I?”
An effective way to decrease these instances is to write a script for the video. Take the time to write down what you plan to say. Edit it a few times. And then read the script during the recording. Depending on your setup, you may want to print it out or have it displayed on an extra monitor. I recommend increasing the font size so it is easier to read as well. Doing this will decrease the ums, ahs, and oks. It cannot prevent a barking dog, but it can allow you to scrap the recording with the barking dog, and not worry about where you were to say what you meant to say. It will also give you an initial transcript of the video. Depending on how you are captioning your videos, you might also be able to upload the transcript and allow your video hosting platform to sync it.
The official system of record for your class list is the Enterprise Self-Service system. This is also the system where students register and drop courses and instructors enter midterm and final grades.
To Enter Grades in the Enterprise system:
- Go to the Enterprise Self-Service system.
- Click on UIS.
- Login with your UIS NetID and Password. This is the same information that you use to log into UIS Webmail.
- Click on the Faculty & Advisor Services tab across the top of the page.
- Then click on the Faculty Services link.
- Click on Class List – Summary to view your class roster in a condensed format.
- Select the desired Term from the drop down menu and click Submit.
- Select the desired CRN (course reference number) from the drop down menu and click Submit.
- To view a class list for another section that you are teaching, click on Select a Term & CRN or Select a CRN from the bottom of the page.
To upload an .srt file in Blackboard, goto My Media. Next to the video you would like to add captions to, click the greyed out pencil highlighted below with the red arrow.
You will then be on a screen with 9 options below your video, one of them is captions. Click captions
You will now see a blue button on the far left, “upload caption file”, click it.
Then a new box will pop up. Browse for the file. Select the language. And give it a label. If the language is English, “English” would be a good label. Then click save.
Recently I saw a post on Facebook with a blue circle, with a barely lighter blue rhino in it. It equated intelligence with the ability to see the rhino. It made me think of the need to keep color in mind in our instructional materials. Around 8% of men and 1% of women of Northern European descent are color blind. And the older we get the more difficulty we all have with certain color combinations. So it is important to think about this for our students, if you like to use color in your documents or presentations. Below are some known color combinations which are highly problematic.
- Green & Red
- Green & Brown
- Blue & Purple
- Green & Blue
- Light Green & Yellow
- Blue & Grey
- Green & Grey
- Green & Black
This website by Giacomo Mazzocato or by WebAIM can give you an online color checking tool. The Paciello Group Website has a downloadable piece of software for Mac and PC which you might also find useful. If you use lots of color, please check the contrast.
If you’ve been trying to identify employability skills’ rubrics, check out the resources below.
- Association of American Colleges and Universities VALUE Rubrics – Consists of the following sixteen rubrics:
- Intellectual and Practical Skills: inquiry and analysis, critical thinking, creative thinking, written communication, oral communication, reading, quantitative literacy, information literacy, teamwork, and problem-solving
- Personal and Social Responsibility: civic engagement, intercultural knowledge and competence, ethical reasoning, foundations and skills for lifelong learning, global learning
- Integrative and Applied Learning: integrative learning
- Emerging EdTech 21st Century Assessments Rubric -By creating assignments that earn high scores on this rubric, you can provide opportunities for students to develop and master the skills that are increasingly necessary to excel in today’s increasingly digital world while demonstrating acquisition of the required outcomes in many different types of courses. Criteria categories include:
- choice, flexibility, writing required, inquiry-based learning, real-world connection, collaboration, digital literacy, entrepreneurial skills, and mastery learning.
- ConnectEd Studios Rubrics Bank – You’ll need to establish a free account to access the rubrics bank. Sample rubrics you might be interested in include teamwork, group skills, and digital communication to name a few.
The Leadership Development Center at York College conducted a national professionalism study, which identified key professionalism components spanning across industries and occupations. In the 2015 report, respondents ranked seven responsible parties according to how responsible they felt each should be in developing professionalism in college graduates. Students themselves were ranked number one and were followed by faculty ranking number two. The report also describes the qualities of professionalism and unprofessionalism. This list of qualities could be used for developing learner expectations for your course and allow various opportunities for practice in adopting professional attitudes and behaviors prior to graduation. Adapt ideas from this learning activity to help your learners improve in professionalism behavior and attitudes.
Leadership Development Center, 2015 National Professionalism Study
The National Career Clusters Framework consists of 16 Career Clusters, represents more than 79 Career Pathways, and includes knowledge and skills statements. Use the framework as an organizing tool for comprehensive understanding and to guide curriculum design with the purpose of bridging secondary and postsecondary curriculum. A new proposed sustainability/green category is also available with Green/Sustainability Knowledge and Skill Statements and tools and references to aid in the instruction of the Green and Sustainability Standards. As a reminder, Career Ready Practices should be applied throughout the continuum of learning.
The Illinois Career Clusters, Pathways and Programs of Study complements The National Career Clusters Framework and serves as a resource in understanding Illinois’ adoption of the National Career Cluster Framework.
Illinois Career Clusters Framework
Explore the ACT WorkKeys Assessment information developed to measure foundational hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and across industries. Each assessment has characteristics and skills divided into seven levels of difficulty. Use the information to explore ideas for developing or enhancing learning activities.
- Graphic Literacy – Use charts, graphs and diagrams for identifying what information is being presented and understanding how to use it.
- Workplace Documents – Be creative and incorporate readings that reflect real workplace documents. Learners can gather information from the documents to make job-related decisions and solve problems. Sample documents can include messages, emails, letters, directions, signs, bulletins, policies, websites, contracts, and regulations.
- Business Writing – Assess learning activities in the context of workplace writing needs. Content needs to be clear and free of distractions such as poor grammar, misspellings, and extraneous information. Explain to learners how careless errors may lead the reader (e.g. customer, supervisor etc.) to believe other errors may exist in terms of facts, resulting in the writer (or employee) losing credibility and trustworthiness.
- Workplace Observation – Provide opportunities for learners to observe, follow, understand, and evaluate processes, demonstrations, and other workplace procedures.
- Fit – Help learners identify interests and values compatible with a work environment conducive for job success.
- Talent – Develop activities to increase awareness of a student’s attitude or behavior, that if demonstrated in the workplace, could lead to disciplinary action or termination. Provide opportunities for growth and feedback.
The Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) outlines a set of reference points for what students should know and be able to do upon completion of an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees – in any field of study. The are five broad, interrelated categories of proficiencies which provide a profile of what degrees mean in terms of specific learning outcomes.
The DQP’s five categories of learning:
- Specialized Knowledge
- Broad and Integrative Knowledge
- Intellectual Skills (analytic inquiry, use of information resources, engaging diverse perspectives, ethical reasoning, quantitative fluency and communicative fluency)
- Applied and Collaborative Learning
- Civic and Global Learning
The North Carolina Network for Excellence in Teaching developed an Employability Skills Resource Toolkit comprised of eight modules for faculty to use for integrating employability skills across the curriculum. Use the modules to introduce a topic or adapt for course-specific content. Each module contains instructional materials with course lessons and learning objectives, questions for reflection and discussion, student handouts, assessment rubrics, facilitator notes and annotated presentation slides.
- Interpersonal Skills and Teamwork
- Integrity and Professionalism
- Problem Solving and Decision Making
- Initiative and Dependability
- Information Processing
- Adaptability and Lifelong Learning
The Rigor Relevance Framework was developed by the International Center for Leadership in Education to examine curriculum, instruction, and assessment along the two dimensions of higher standards and student achievement. The tool can be used for both instruction and assessment.
- The Knowledge Taxonomy (y-axis) based on Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Six level – thinking continuum
- Application Model (x-axis), developed by Bill Daggett
- Five level – knowledge continuum
- Includes using knowledge to solve complex, real-world problems and create projects, designs, and other works for use in real-world situations.
- Supplemental Resource: Handbook with Instructional Activities Checklist
The Rigor Relevance Framework, International Center for Leadership in Education
As of January 2017, the “Last Access” Column in Blackboard’s Grade Center and Performance Dashboard is not accurately reflecting student activity.
In the example below, all the students have posted to the discussion board and two have submitted quizzes, yet only two of the students have a date in the “Last Access column in the Grade Center or Performance Dashboard.
ITS cannot install the update to fix this issue until after the Spring 2017 semester ends. Thus, for reporting the date of last attendance for students earning a grade of F, faculty will need to run a report to get accurate dates for last student access.
Retrieving Accurate Student Course Access Data
You can retrieve accurate data on your students’ course access by running the Course Activity Overview report.
In your course, go to Control Panel and click on Evaluation > Course Reports. Select the report you wish to run:
- Course Activity Overview – gives you 2 graphs. One shows the hours of aggregated user activity by day. The second shows the number of hours each student has spent in the course; if you click on the bar for any student, it will show you the hours the student spends in the course each day and the time spent in the activities in the course.
- Overall Summary of User Activity – gives you charts with summary data for all students on areas of access and time of day access, plus a table with the individual number of times students accessed the course each day.
View specific instructions on running course reports.
UIS maintains an instance of Moodle for faculty and staff use at https://uistraining1.uis.edu/login/index.php
If you have a UIS NetID, you may access the Moodle site by click on the “Continue” button on the right side of the Moodle home page.
If you are a guest user of the Moodle system, your UIS contact will send you instructions for accessing the site.