Tag Archives: Tony Bates

Why Create a Training Video?

20 Mar

A training video may seem like a luxury or an add-on that offers little value to a course. However, a training video can be an extremely valuable tool to enhance learning.

In a recent blog post, Tony Bates lists 18 reasons why video can be a powerful learning tool. Below is the complete list:

1. To demonstrate experiments or experimental situations, particularly:

(a) where equipment or phenomena to be observed are large, microscopic, expensive, inaccessible, dangerous or difficult to observe without special equipment

(b) where the experimental design is complex

(c) where the measurement of experimental behaviour is not easily reduced to a single scale or dimension (e.g. human behaviour)

(d) where the experimental behaviour may be influenced by uncontrollable but observable variables

2. To illustrate principles involving dynamic change or movement

3. To illustrate abstract principles through the use of specially constructed physical models

4. To illustrate principles involving three-dimensional space

5. To use animated, slow-motion, or speeded-up video to demonstrate changes over time

6. To teach certain advanced scientific or technological concepts (such as theories of relativity or quantum physics) without students having to master highly advanced mathematical techniques, through the use of models and/or animation

7. To substitute for a field visit, to:

(a) provide students with an accurate, comprehensive visual picture of the site, in order to place their study in context

(b) to demonstrate the relationship between different elements of the system being viewed (e.g. production processes, ecological balance)

(c) to assist students to differentiate between different classes or categories of phenomena in situ

(d) to observe differences in scale and process between laboratory and mass-production techniques

8. To bring students primary resource or case-study material, i.e. recording of naturally occurring events which, through editing and selection, demonstrate or illustrate principles covered elsewhere in the course. This may be used in several ways:

(a) to enable students to recognize naturally occurring phenomena or classifications (e.g. teaching strategies, mental disorders, classroom behaviour) in context

(b) to enable students to analyse a situation, using principles covered elsewhere in the course; or to test students ability to analyse phenomena in context

(c) to demonstrate ways in which abstract principles or concepts developed elsewhere in the course have been applied to real-world problems

9. To demonstrate decision-making processes:

(a) by recording the decision-making process as it occurs

(b) by dramatization

(c) by simulation or role-playing

10. To change student attitudes:

(a) by presenting material in a novel or unfamiliar perspective

(b) by presenting material in a dramatized form, enabling students to identify with someone with a different perspective

11. To demonstrate methods or techniques of performance (e.g. mechanical skills such as stripping and re-assembling a carburetor)

12. To interpret artistic performance (e.g. drama, spoken poetry, movies, paintings, sculpture, or other works of art)

13. To analyse through a combination of sounds and graphics the structure of music

14. To teach sketching, drawing or painting techniques

15. To demonstrate the way in which instruments or tools can be used; to demonstrate the skills of craftsmen

16. To record and archive events that are crucial to the course, but which may disappear or be destroyed in the near future (e.g. Internet reportage of the Arab Spring)

17. To demonstrate practical activities to be carried out later by students

18. To synthesize, summarize or condense contextually and media rich information relevant to the course.So the next time someone asks why you are creating a training video, you should have a good pedagogical reason why!

The Possibilities of Learning Analytics

17 Feb

Tony Bates recently posted a history of e-learning/online learning – http://www.tonybates.ca/2012/02/11/stephen-downes-overview-of-e-learning-and-a-little-history-lesson/
It is worth a read, especially if you are interested in understanding the development of e-learning/online learning. The comment from Linda Harasim on Tony’s blog post is also worth a read. Linda argues that “nothing significant has come to our field [e-learning/online learning] over the past decade,” adding that social media have “become quite a distraction in education.”

This is quite an argument, and definitely worth debating. Social media can be distracting, but it does create powerful networks. Instead of social media, Linda suggests educators should focus on the developing field of learning analytics. Learning analytics, Linda writes, could help educators “identify (easy and effective) ways to assess collaborative learning and knowledge building.”

I have not used any specific learning analytics software, but I have used Google Analytics to count the numbers of clicks a training video gets and the duration that learners view the video. This data has informed my instructional approach with additional training videos (shorter in duration and placed on a specific training video webpage).

While learning analytics is still a new field, any approach that has the potential to identify better learning experiences needs to be fully explored. In the meantime, I will be following Linda’s work (although probably not on Twitter!).