Teaching and Learning Symposium 2013

On May 22nd and 23rd, the 2013 Teaching and Learning Symposium, "Sparking Innovation: Ideas to Impact" took place at Union South. The goal of this year's Symposium was to share ideas and best practices that enhance teaching and learning excellence on campus. 

Three Communication Arts instructors, (from left to right) Eric Hoyt, Erik Gunneson, and Jeremy Morris, participated in the Symposium with a forum on Pre-Production Strategies for Effective Online Video. In the workshop, they made strong cases for using online video as part of the curriculum. They demonstrated that with the advent of digital media, creating quality videos is easier than ever and is a valuable instructional tool in and outside of the classroom.

Using self-made instructional videos, Erik Gunneson has moved to a "flipped classroom" model for his media production course, in which his students watch the instructional videos and read material before attending class. He described how the online content enables him to spend more one-on-one time with his students in the classroom. Because the students learn how to use the film equipment from the videos, class time is spent practicing advanced film techniques, rather than dwelling too long on the basics. Additionally, beyond the time-saving benefits, videos can also be incredibly active and dense with information. Jeremy Morris stressed how the nature of video makes it easier to engage with students than some other forms of media. He is even working on a project to allow students to create simple videos to explain ideas and concepts, enabling them to be engaged with the curriculum through video creation instead of solely video consumption.

However, the instructors cautioned that crafting an effective video is no simple task. Eric Hoyt explained the importance of screenwriting and storyboarding before shooting a video. The more thorough the preparations, the smoother the media-making process will go, and ultimately the more powerful the video will be. He elaborated that while preproduction takes thought and time, the end result is worth it, because without a script and clear vision for the video, it will likely not be as effective. 

The workshop was well-received by a room overflowing with instructors and staff from all parts of the campus. This was typical of other sessions during the 2013 Teaching and Learning Symposium, and is a good sign for campus collaboration and the event's continued success in the future.