This week Trevor and I had a chance to sit down and discuss our project in more detail and what we wanted to improve for future modules. While we did outline a few areas in need of improvement in the last blog post, quite a few of them revolved around the design of our video lessons. Since the video lessons are an integral component of our project, we felt this warranted further investigation to ensure they are as effective and engaging as possible for our students. More research into this topic would also benefit me as a classroom teacher because I utilize video lessons quite frequently for my instruction in a flipped environment.
What I Discovered:
The Length of the Video is Important:
While the perfect length of a video lesson is debatable, most educators recommend videos keeping video around the six-minute mark. This ensures that content is clear and concise while maintaining the attention of the learner. As was explained on Edutopia, six minutes is typically the "drop-off point for attention", which consequently has been supported by academic studies on educational videos. Through further research, I also found that shorter videos are better for "chunking" information, which is advantageous for learning because it's an easier way for the brain to process new information. If educators have a longer concept they need to teach, it is recommended to "chunk" the lesson into multiple mini-lessons, rather than creating one overly long video.
Plan with Student Engagement in Mind:
According to Top Hat, it is important to make sure that you have taken the time to plan out your video content like you would any other in-class session. Through planning, you will be able to address the following within video lessons:
Going into this project I felt like I had a vast knowledge in the realm of video creation through my experiences in a flipped classroom. Upon seeing the great modules of my classmates, and conducting my own research - I've definitely been humbled. I realize there were so many aspects of content creation I hadn't considered (or even knew about) when designing my instructional video lessons. I'm looking forward to meeting with Trevor and discussing all that we've learned this week and applying this new knowledge to our remaining modules. Please feel free to share any other tips or advice you may have for us before we film our next lessons - it would be much appreciated!