Do you "lecture" in your online class?

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histchick:
Hi, all -

I'm teaching an accelerated (24-day) history course online through my CC.  I opted to do "reading guides" rather than full-on lectures.  I've also made myself available via Wimba Pronto for several hours a day to answer individual questions.  I've also made a chapter-specific discussion board available for questions, as well as a "general questions" discussion board, so that the students could access these 24/7. 

1/3 of the grade comes from a total of 17 chapter-specific quizzes, and quite frankly, I don't know that many students would take the time to listen to lectures if I had taken the considerable time required to record them, but I'm curious to know your experiences, especially from anyone who teaches history.  I'm trying to decide how to further develop the course when I teach it during the fall semester (full-term). 

Thanks!
HC

proftowanda:
I teach history.  I trained to go into online teaching, including in skills such as how to do video lectures, in workshops on my campus with colleagues already with experience -- and by then, they had conducted student surveys on video lectures vs. lectures that students could read for themselves.  Students greatly preferred lectures that they could read (most, like mine, lots of illustrations), primarily because that takes a lot less time than watching and/or listening to lectures but also because students found it much easier to return to the former lecture format as a reference throughout assignments, tests, etc., on the material.

There were some advantages of video/audio lectures, according to student surveys, but the benefits can best be summed up in the advice of these colleagues:  Use (very brief) video lectures at the start of the course to, say, introduce yourself and introduce the course.  Perhaps use them again to intro new components, units, etc., of the course.  But the bottom line was that every single one of these many colleagues said that the benefits to students were not sufficient to compensate for the incredible investment in time by instructors, better spent on other aspects of their courses.

larryc:
Agree w/ ProfTowanda. There are so many fabulous Podcasts and lectures already online. I could record my derivative lecture about the Constitutional Convention, or I can link to Carol Berkin's talk on the same subject over at CSPAN. And should I give them my Reconstruction talk or David Blight's?

Don't create online content, link to it. And as for typing up your lectures, isn't it better to assign a good textbook?

madhatter:
Quote from: larryc on June 04, 2011,  7:06:35 PM

Agree w/ ProfTowanda. There are so many fabulous Podcasts and lectures already online. I could record my derivative lecture about the Constitutional Convention, or I can link to Carol Berkin's talk on the same subject over at CSPAN. And should I give them my Reconstruction talk or David Blight's?

Don't create online content, link to it. And as for typing up your lectures, isn't it better to assign a good textbook?


Concur. I do very short video talking head bits. I wouldn't really call them lectures. I sit at my desk and use my webcam and do 5-10 minute pieces. These are for things like introducing myself, giving a tour of the syllabus, generally trying to reinforce class procedures and deadlines, or covering a particularly interesting point of a topic. These are mostly to put a little personality and a face to my name, to get attention to things I want the students to focus on, and to break up the reading with a little variety.

changinggears:
I agree with everyone else on this.  Don't reinvent the wheel.  If there's great content out there, use it.  Don't waste time creating a lecture on material they can read for themselves in a good textbook.  Occasionally, I can't find something on the net that I feel effectively addresses the content or I really want to tweak the info from their textbook because I have a certain way I want to teach it or extra material I want to throw in, so I'll create a 5 min. lecture video using text, images, an occasional snippet of a video or sound file.  If the material takes more than 5 minutes, I break it up into 5 min. segments so it's easier for them to find something they missed or need to review.  Alternatively, I'll create my own "textbook" chapter that includes diagrams, illustrations, hyperlinks, etc. and save it as a PDF for them to download.  Or I'll mosh together the best information from several different resources.  But my delivery method is contingent on the info. I want to deliver and what resources are the best at delivering that info., whether an existing YouTube video, the textbook, websites, something of my own creation, etc.

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