Instructional Video Demonstration :: Feb 22, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Megan Bomer and Pia Gavino (MSE) demonstration creation and use of instructional video.  Please read through notes from both presenters.  The applications they demonstrated are linked in the narrative.  If you are interested in learning more about these tools, contact the TLC staff for help –, 694-8908, or 240A on the East Peoria Campus.


Pia teaches online Biology – lecture and lab class.  She created a welcome video from the instructor.  Pia’s objective was to give a “warm welcome” to students; they are new to ICC, not biology majors, and may not understand the importance of and the excitement within the course.

She uses Adobe Spark to create videos, Vimeo to convert and host videos, and Blackboard to show videos to students.  Pia credits Mark DuBois in BHIS for showing her Adobe Spark.

The video shows as embedded content on her Blackboard page.  The welcome is 2:28 in length.  The video has Pia providing narrative with soft music in the background.  Still images appear on screen while the music plans and Pia narrates.  Participants in this session remarked about how “peaceful” the video is!

Pia showed her projects on  She started a new project, chose a Video project, and commented that the site is “user friendly”, providing demonstrations, examples, and templates.  She selected, “Start from Scratch”.  The site provided an example video; Pia went right to a creating a new video.  She selected among the Themes (Argyle), uses the circle/plus button to add (video, photo, icon, text).  She moved to Layout (choosing a two picture layout).  Adobe has stock photos to choose from (Find Photos).  She searched “animals” and was given an assortment of photographic images to use.  Pia added another slide with one image and found a “people” picture.  She also demonstrated uploading a picture from her flash drive, which was a figure from her textbook.

Pia change the theme, then selected Music.  She selected a Ukulele Stroll from the stock music.  The sample played when it was selected.

Pia used the microphone button, with a microphone attached to the computer, to record narration.  She demonstrated narrative.  The application provided a timer while the recording was being made.  She played the sample, then previewed the slides she created during the demonstration.  The video was automatically created from assembling the layouts, pictures, and audio.  She also demonstrated how layouts could be moved around to be reordered.

Pia demonstrated creating a public link; publish and share.  The system worked for a short time and provided a public URL to the video.  Pia then went to Blackboard, added a new link, pasted the URL to the video, and made the link to the video available to students.

Pia demonstrated another video she had in her course.  The video introduced the unit by highlighting key points and questions to be covered in the unit.  She noted to students, in the video title, to “watch this video first” as they started the unit.  She described this video as the “teaser” for the unit.

A participant asked about recording in Spark, if the audio is recorded one slide at a time.  Pia answered, “yes”, the system is forgiving, and narration can be recorded and re-recorded by slide.  The narration is not recorded for the full video.

Pia demonstrated the process of creating a Spark video and publishing the public URL as well as downloading the video to an MP4 format.  When the MP4 file is downloaded, Pia uploads the file to Vimeo (YouTube is also an option).  Pia demonstrated how the embedded video hosted on Vimeo looks different from a web link, which does not show the embedded video preview.  By linking directly to the public link in Spark. the content appears as just a link in Blackboard.  By hosting the file on Vimeo or YouTube, the video can be embedded and show a preview of the video right on the Blackboard content page.

All faculty should consider creating the “what to expect” video.   Pia created a “commercial” for her course in 2 minutes and 28 seconds!


Megan shared a list of tools she’s used in the past.  Get this list.

Megan uses video in online and hybrid classes.  She created an “intro” video, and then realized she could answer questions for math in a video format, talking students through problems.  She’s created “a couple hundred” algebra videos.

Megan uses an iPad to “quickly” create videos on demand.  She replies to discussion posts with video responses with how-to videos of using calculators and solving problems.

Megan uses Explain Everything Classic.  There is a newer version of this application available.  Megan demonstrated a new “interactive whiteboard” video.  She can import content and annotate content in this environment.

In this application, you create slides and record.  Megan will add-in photos from the e-text for the class (problem or graph), hit record, and use the pen to annotate content on the slides.  She noted the handwriting option vs. typing for math is beneficial.  She saved the project, and chose an option for export.  She originally started with linking to public files, but then realized she was reaching capacity and streaming limits, which would require fee payments.  Instead, she is downloading files and hosting files on Vimeo and YouTube.  She prefers having the video files to manager herself vs. the limits of a public hosting site.

Megan noted the advertising on Vimeo is less challenging than hosting on YouTube so she uses Video.

Megan uses an Apple Pencil for handwriting, which she notes has greatly improved from past stylus devices.

She’s not able to show the graphing calculator in this application.  She, instead, uses her laptop to create videos.  She uses Wacom tablet as the mouse input, with a pen-like stylus.  This is cheaper than an iPad.  Megan uses Notability on her laptop and teaches using Notability on her iPad in the classroom.  This allows her to pull up the graphing calculator emulator as well.

Megan uses ScreencastOMatic (screen recorder) on her laptop.  Record anything on the screen or through a webcam.  She created a “tour” of the online class for students; how to find content, how to use players, etc.  Faculty could record step by step videos in this application.  Videos can be 15 minutes in length.  A pro account is $15/year.  Whatever is displayed on the screen can be recorded and narrated.  Megan uses this in conjunction with Notability to record problems.  She uses her iPad more for video now.  Megan noted Notability functions the same on a computer and tablet.  The prices vary between devices and must be licensed separately.

Megan demonstrated one of the videos using the calculator emulator.  The calculator image shows on the left, with Megan’s annotations on the right.


Online Faculty Fellows Showcase Spring 2016

Notes from the Online Faculty Fellows Showcase – Spring Semester 2016

  1. Show your personality, that you are a “human” teaching an online class
  2. Provide a simple navigation structure, one with modules, weeks, or other overall organizational structure
  3. If you want students to create a portfolio throughout the semester, setup “groups of 1” where individual students share their work and you have access to review, grade, and provide feedback on it
  4. Clean up/hide unnecessary tools in your course site menu
  5. Create an introductory video of yourself; make it personal and ask students to review it during the first week of class.  If you’re camera-shy, at least create a “overview” document that helps students get oriented to the class and how it works.
  6. Provide students with tools for guided reading and studying
  7. Collect student feedback about the course at least at midterm and final times, if not more frequently
  8. If you provide both graded and ungraded content, be specific in titles to indicate what content is graded (and don’t expect students to do/use the content if it’s not graded!)
  9. Use a hidden content area to store notes about the class, such as a log of reset requests for online quizzes and tests, and notes about changes you want to make to the content next semester
  10. Provide a purpose statement for every module/unit of the class
  11. Use Google Calendar to create a class calendar, link it in your class menu
  12. Check out this resource for a great list of assignment types:
  13. “My students said they felt like they knew me.”  Develop strategies in your online classes that make THIS happen at the end of the semester.
  14. Ask someone else to navigate through your class and provide feedback on how it works.
  15. Be present in your class.  Let your students know you’re there through announcements, replies to posts, and feedback on assignments.
  16. Do a pre- and post-class survey assessment of students.  Ask them why they are in the class, what they want to accomplish, what they like best about learning online; then, ask the same questions at the end of the class.  Compare the results and adjust accordingly.

Online Faculty Fellows Showcase – January 2016

Congratulations to the Fall 2015 Online Faculty Fellows participants!  See our program web page and a list of participants here:

During January Celebration of Learning, participants shared before and after glimpses of their Online Fellows projects from fall 2015.  Here are a few tips taken from those presentations.

  1. Provide general technical resources for students in your Blackboard sites.  Link students to for guides for email, Blackboard, and academic support.
  2. Plan for a week of getting started and oriented activities.  Focus the first week’s activities on getting to know how the course works, and assessing students’ readiness for successfully completing your class.
  3. Carefully assess your content.  Do you have enough rigor to support the credit hours earned in the class?  Use the latest version of ICC’s Quality Online Course Initiative rubric (QOCI) to measure your weekly activity content.  See pages 3 and 4 of this document.
  4. Provide students with descriptions of units and explicit instructions on how to complete a unit, not just the content within the unit.
  5. Consider how you would teach this class in-person, then attempt to match the rigor and level of engagement through online delivery.  For example, if you teach a T/Th class, you’d interact in-person two times a week with students.  In an online class, you might simulate this by updating content and communication two times a week as well.
  6. Set dates so announcements that are no longer needed disappear from the main Announcements page, to avoid distractions and clutter (but keep the message on your Announcements page if needed).
  7. Use Announcements to preview upcoming events and weeks in the class.
  8. Have someone else take a tour through your site and provide feedback on the ease of navigation.  Make changes as needed.
  9. When possible replace text heavy content with more appealing and effective images.
  10. Aim to make your online class site “browsable”, like a good website.

Taking online classes can help you earn a degree

Two articles below pasted from the regular digest sent by the Instructional Technology Council – an awesome resource for community college and instructional technology news.

Students Taking Online Courses have Lower Course Completion Rates, but Higher Degree Completion Rates “A couple of weeks ago our blog noted a study showing that in California community colleges, students had lower completion rates in online courses than in face-to-face courses. The post was based on an article in US News & World Report from The Hechinger Report. Now comes an important addition to the story via these same sources, pointing out that in community colleges, students who take distance education classes (that are mostly online) are more likely to finish their degrees than students who don’t take any online classes.” via Keeping Pace with K-12 Distance Learning RT @PhilOnEdTech

The Online Paradox at Community Colleges “Community college students who take online courses are more likely—25 percent more likely to be exact—to complete their two-year associate degree or some sort of certificate than students who didn’t take any online classes. Not only are online course takers more likely to graduate, they’re more likely to graduate sooner than students who don’t take any online classes, Shea also found.” via USNews

IMHO: This is a bad idea

University of Florida says we didn’t let you in on our first pass but you’ll be admitted IF you take our online classes.  Using online learning as a contingency instead of a preference or need is, IMHO, a really bad idea.  This will be particularly true for the generation of traditional-aged students who think they are getting into UF via “faster, cheaper, easier” classes.  It will be interesting to watch this play out.  Oh, and they made some moms mad in the process; not a good way to start university family relations.

OOTAG March 25, 2015

I am a visual learner.  This infographic stuck with me when browsing a post about online learning.  If you’re the “word” type, there is a list of the same info following the visual.  Not only is this a relevant infographic but I think the style is quite effective, too.  The heading indicates this is for blended and online assessment but I think the strategies could be applied to teaching and learning in any mode.  Lots to learn from this one click!    Check it out – you might like it too! (Retrieved March 25, 2015)

Blended and Online Assessment Taxonomy Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

OOTAG Feb 18, 2015

I spent last Saturday in a public Illinois high school where every bulletin board in the school had a common logo and format for “Learning Targets”.  So after a a short amount of “Googling” I now know that Learning Targets are student-focused, accessible goals for what the students need to know, why they need to know it, and to what extent they need to know it within a given day.  This seems like an obvious convention but the visual nature of the Learning Targets boards paired with the consistency of seeing this display in every classroom really struck me.  And I wondered what it might be like if we gave our online learners Learning Targets as a standard convention in their days, weeks, and semesters in our online classes.  Maybe you already do this – awesome.  But if you don’t, maybe you could consider adding this information to the start of each week or unit in your online class.  If you do something like this and it works, let us know.  If you don’t and you try it as a new strategy, let us know.  Enter your comments below!

Think about making the answers to these questions extremely obvious, maybe even answer those questions for the students when documenting your online units and lessons.

From Knowing Your Learning Target (

  1. What will I be able to do when I’ve finished this lesson?
  2. What idea, topic, or subject is important for me to learn and understand so that I can do this?
  3. How will I show that I can do this, and how well will I have to do it?

From The Do’s and Dont’s of Learning Targets (

  • Do frame the target as learning. (Don’t frame the target as activity.)
  • Do write the standard in student-friendly language. (Don’t just write down the standard in “standardese”.)
  • Do talk explicitly about the target. (Don’t post it and hope the [students] notice it.)

And while I’m suggesting this might work in online classes (after all, this is the Online Teaching at a Glance blog), I think it is a great strategy to consider for  learning experiences in any mode!