Video projects in the Multimedia theme

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The Multimedia theme within the Educational Technology team of LEaD has been busy working on a number of video resource projects. As well as supporting staff in the business of creating their own video and audio resources, for example podcasts, screencasts and webconferencing, we can guide you through the entire process of shooting video for situations which require more preparation and a higher quality product.

Today, it’s very easy to record HD video just using your phone, and indeed with stands and even phone-compatible lapel microphones available, it may end up looking quite good. Lighting, composition, camera angles and continuity are another matter, however; not to mention storyboarding, scripting, and addressing the crucial question of how your video addresses the specific learning outcomes it should be tied to. Do you need cutaways? Graphics? Voiceovers? Autocue? These are the areas where we can help you create an effective, lasting resource which means you can concentrate on the content of the video while we help you execute it.


Here is a round-up of some of the projects we have been working on in recent months.

Engineering (Civil as well as Mechanical and Electrical) are working on a series of videos designed to help students familiarise themselves with the equipment and procedures used in the experiment laboratories in the basement of Tait building. Large groups mean that not all students get a good view of demonstrations, and once the demonstration is over, it’s gone. The department approached us to help create a series of videos detailing each procedure, resources which can be shared on Moodle and shown in class to ensure that each student gets a consistent, in-depth view of the experiment which they can watch as many times as they want.
Law are embarking on a distance learning LLM programme and we have been helping their academics to develop a range of multimedia resources to support this. Staff in the school have produced videos to introduce the topics of study in their modules and we have offered them training on how to create their own podcasts and video resources from here on in.
Training resources is an area we are constantly looking to improve and we have created a series of training videos which give brief demonstrations of how to use the loanable equipment in the MILL. It’s common for people to borrow equipment only to find they do not have time to arrange training, and while a short video can’t teach you everything, it can offer a convenient way to teach the basics.
15-10-2014 12-57-07 The School of Health Sciences (SHS) also make heavy use of video and audio to demonstrate clinical skills and model good practice in soft skills such as communication and teamwork. Our recent work with them has been to film some short clips demonstrating good – and sometimes bad – practice in clinical care. Why would you demonstrate bad practice? This technique can be used to provide talking points, or as “hazard perception” exercises. The team has also been working with SHS on CityScape, which replaces and follows on from the Shareville project.

Incidentally, the videos above are stored on City’s Mediaspace system, an institutional YouTube-style environment which you can use to create and upload video and audio content for educational purposes. It also integrates with Moodle allowing you to upload or record multimedia content straight into Moodle pages, and enable students to do the same using the Video Assignment tool.

Besides the shooting, directing and technical aspects of this work, we have been looking at workflows to make the production process as smooth as possible for all concerned. Video shoots can be arranged to go as smoothly as possible but good preparation is invaluable. Here are a few of the main points.

Preparation An hour of preparation can save well over an hour of shooting time. Attention needs to be paid to what needs to be covered in the video, and often this means deciding what to leave out as well as what to put in: keep the video short, usually under 10 minutes; and ensure that one or two main points only are covered. It’s important to plan in advance what needs to be demonstrated, what parts of the sequence can be cut out in the final video, and what the shot will look like. This need not be more complicated than a sketch, and bullet points, but without this outline filming will be guesswork and it increases the risk of not getting the required shots.

The shoot itself Many people are surprised by how long the shoot can take. While we encourage do-it-yourself approaches, and at City we have many tools available to support this, often for higher quality resources we will do several takes and recommend re-shooting certain clips. Often we will film clips in a different order to the final sequence: another reason for needing a clear outline of the final video in advance.

Production We will ask you for feedback and approval of the finished video before it is shared or uploaded to Moodle. If it’s part of a series, we are always interested in evaluating the resources with students, or from your point of view as a case study interview.

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