Adding Video to Your Online Discussions

Are your text-based online discussions seeming a bit dry? Do you feel like something is missing or that you aren’t getting a good sense of the people you are conversing with. Would you like to do a little community building in the early days of your course? Perhaps you should add a little video to your discussion.

The Advantages

It can be difficult to envision the real person behind the text. Video can make it easy to connect and to literally put a face to the idea. Not to mention the huge amount of information we convey with expression and tone. Being able to hear the other person’s voice and to see their face and expressions can allow you to get a fuller sense of their personality. Do they have an accent? Smile a lot? Have a lot of plants in their office? At times, it can even provide more insight into the content they are delivering. Did the humorous tone they delivered their comment with completely change the meaning?

The Disadvantages

One of the biggest disadvantages of video is that it’s time-based. A three-minute video takes three minutes to watch. Multiply that three minutes across many posts and it can take a bit of time to view everyone’s post. Also, unlike text-based discussion, you can’t quickly skim to review or find a detail. Many instructors set time limits on video posts. This makes the content more manageable and helps to cut down on rambling posts. Students should be encouraged to create a script or outline of the points they wish to address before recording.

earbuds with micVideo can also present accessibility issues. Hearing-impaired students will need captions or transcripts to participate. It’s also important to have good audio quality and for the person to speak clearly so they can be understood. Fortunately, the audio quality issue can usually be solved by using a microphone such as the earbuds with a microphone that come with many cellphones. 

You Don’t Have to Choose?

“Literacy comes in a variety of exciting flavors,” argues Joyce Valenza, of Rutgers University’s School of Communication. “In the course of a semester-long course, this is not a binary decision [between text and video]. In life, as in school, we read and write across platforms for multiple purposes, for a variety of audiences, using different strategies.”

When choosing to do a video or text-based discussion, it doesn’t have to be either/or, even in the same discussion. Providing information in different formats can provide varied, boost attention, and help reinforce the information delivered. Students can learn to present information in different modes or choose the method they feel the most comfortable with. We all learn in different ways. They can also use their cell phone cameras to share an experience or location via video and describe it in text.

How to Create a Video Discussion

There are a couple of options for having a video-based discussion board.

VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a multimedia discussion tool that allows students and instructors to have a conversation around media such as images, documents and videos. They can post comments on the “slide” using text, audio and video allowing them to express themselves in the mode they feel strongest.

 

To learn more about how to use VoiceThread in your course, check out the help resources.

Kaltura Media

Want to stick with the traditional discussion board in myLesley, but have the option for video. Try Kaltura. It’s integrated directly into myLesley. Anywhere you have access to the text editor you can create a video.

mashup tool in the myLesley text editor            record from webcam

Learn how to create a Kaltura post at our support site.

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Introducing VoiceThread’s New Integration with Kaltura Media

VoiceThread has announced a new integration with Kaltura Media. You may now pull your Kaltura video content into VoiceThread quickly and easily!

To begin, create a new VoiceThread or edit an existing VoiceThread. See Creating and Editing VoiceThreads for more information.

Click on the “Add Media” button.
VT Add Media button

This will bring up a menu. Select Media Sources.
VT Media Sources

This will bring up a list of media sources. Select Kaltura.
VT Insert Kaltura Media

All of your Kaltura videos should begin loading on the screen. Select any video to insert it into your VoiceThread.

Once you have imported your video you may begin adding comments. See Commenting on VoiceThreads for more information or watch the tutorial video below:

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Create a Screencast for Your myLesley Course

Kaltura CaptureSpace Lite is a presentation production tool that allows users to record any combination of their screen, voice and webcam. Features include: the ability to pause your recording, activate drawing tools, edit the video after recording as well as add titles and credits. CaptureSpace Lite is a standalone application that you install on your computer, which means it can be used even without an internet connection. All recorded presentations can be easily uploaded to your My Media library in myLesley with just one click.

Use CaptureSpace Lite to narrate your Powerpoint presentation and post it in your course. Record an application demo on your computer. Walk them through a process or analysis of something while providing commentary. Give a tour of your myLesley course site. If you can view it on your computer, you can record it, narrate it and share it with your students. They can then review it as often as needed.

 

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Fall Technology Bootcamp Recap

Last Thursday, eLIS welcomed over 20 Lesley instructors to our Fall Bootcamp: Teaching and Learning with Technology. We covered a wide array of topics, helping participants think about approaches to integrating technology into their teaching as well as practice using some of the available technology tools.

Designing a Blended Experience
This session provided a guiding framework for creating a blended course by defining and delineating the two interwoven themes of learning design and technology integration.
Designing Blended Learning Experiences

Using myLesley (Blackboard)
A myLesley (Blackboard) course site is available for all Lesley courses, whether held fully online, face-to-face, or somewhere in between. You may use myLesley to post your syllabus, post resources and readings, communicate with your students, collect and grade assignments and much more. Based on participant interest, we had a couple of breakout sessions, covering a variety of topics from basic myLesley navigation and tools to grading.
Using the myLesley Text/Content Editor
Communicating Within Your myLesley Course
Adding Content to Your myLesley Course
Creating and Managing Assignments in myLesley
Grading myLesley Assignments
myLesley Grade Center and Grading

VoiceThread
VoiceThread is an asynchronous tool which allows you to place collections of media like images, videos, and presentations at the center of a conversation. People may then be invited to view, comment, and interact with the VoiceThread using any mix of text, audio, and video. In this session we walked through creating and commenting on VoiceThreads.
What is a VoiceThread Anyway?
Creating a VoiceThread
Additional VoiceThread Resources

Adding Video to Your Course with Kaltura Media
Kaltura Media is the university’s media sharing platform, allowing users to share video securely within the myLesley course environment. In this session we walked through recording a webcam video using Kaltura Media.
Recording a Video in myLesley
Webcam Recording Tips
Additional Kaltura Resources

For those that were unable to attend last week’s training, we will be hosting another training on Thursday, September 8th, focusing on using the features of myLesley (Blackboard) most essential for supporting teaching and learning in the classroom. Stay tuned for the official announcement, including a link to register for the event.

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Introducing CaptureSpace Lite

We are pleased to announce the addition of CaptureSpace Lite, a new tool from Kaltura Media. This recording and capture tool allows users to easily produce everything from a basic webcam recording to an edited screen recording with integrated audio, webcam video, live annotations, titles, and credits.

CaptureSpace Lite is a replacement for the soon to be discontinued Screen Recorder tool — a Java based tool that users had difficulty accessing due to web browser security settings. Unlike its predecessor, CaptureSpace Lite runs directly on your computer and is Java free, which makes launching and running the application a breeze. What really sets this tool apart, however, is its ease of use and wide range of recording options. The CaptureSpace Lite Desktop Recorder enables you to craft a media file using any combination of recording options, including screen capture, webcam, and/or audio. The tool also includes additional features such as the ability to pause while recording, incorporate annotations, edit out clips and add titles and credits.

CaptureSpace Lite’s wide range of features allows faculty and students the opportunity to easily incorporate different types of content into one video. For example, by combining voice with a screen recording and live annotations a user could produce a dynamic training video, a narrated presentation, a course overview, or provide detailed feedback on an assignment.

capturespace lite

For details on how to install and use the tool, visit our CaptureSpace Lite resource page. You can also email us at elis@lesley.edu to request a training session.

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