There is a sizable video community at City University (learning technologists, the AV department, the SU and careers to name just a few) and we recently met up in the MILL to find out:
- How we see our current skill levels in video-making
- Which areas of video-making we would like to develop
- Which areas could we comfortably impart to others, given enough training
- How we could improve training of the subject to the wider community & what is really needed
We took advantage of our useful write-on wall to find out participants views and also had people moving around the room, lining up to form useful distribution graphs. Far better than using graph paper!
There were 12 attendees on the day comprising two members of AV, 7 learning technologists from the Schools and 3 members of the MILL team.
How do we view our current skills?
As expected, going from little knowledge (on the left) to expert knowledge (on right) we achieved a bell shaped curve with most people to the right of middle, in the ‘good knowledge’ zone. The small drawing with curly hair is used to represent Steven McCombe, the resident video specialist in the MILL who was taking the photo. City appears has a lot of skilled video people already and hopefully we bring more people over to the right with training and practice.
Which parts of video-making do we enjoy or have an interest in?
Using the write on wall, we got everyone to put their names into the following sections. The results were as follows…
|SPECIAL EFFECTS (E.G. TITLES)||12||100%|
|COMPOSITION & FILM THEORY||7||58%|
It’s pleasing to see the overall interest is high with most people enjoying / being interested in some of the more creative aspects, like editing and creating special effects. There is also a huge interest in knowing more about publishing as it’s certainly one of the areas that knocks people off their feet with complications like codecs, frame sizes, etc.
Which skills of video-making would we like to develop?
Again, using the write on wall we gained the following results…
|SPECIAL EFFECTS (E.G. TITLES)||8||67%|
|COMPOSITION & FILM THEORY||8||67%|
People appear to be quite confident in their editing and film making skills with a clear trend towards knowing more about film theory and pedagogy. These are often the most important parts of the video making process – no matter how impressive a video looks, if it doesn’t tell a story impart knowledge effectively, then it is a missed opportunity.
Which areas could we confidently impart to others, given enough training?
Again using the write on wall, we got the following results…
|SPECIAL EFFECTS (E.G. TITLES)||4||33%|
|COMPOSITION & FILM THEORY||3||25%|
Not surprisingly, some of the more technical, complicated and niche areas have low figures, as people still probably feel out of their depth with these subjects. It is encouraging to see a large potential resource for delivering training in the core areas of filming, editing and pedagogy.
How could we improve training of the subject to the wider community & what is really needed?
This question lead to an interesting discussion in the group. Some points which came up…
- Many academics don’t have time to spend creating video resources, so producing something quick and dirty is satisfactory. However, it has to be educationally effective otherwise it serves no real purpose. The pedagogy aspect becomes important here.
- Unless it’s used, knowledge from training courses often disappears and people need a refresher. Online resources could be a good solution. These could vary from simple top-ups, information on specific processes or full training courses say for use on an iPad for personal study at a computer. We did decide it was a good idea to record some of our training courses for staff to revisit at a later date.
- For detailed or high profile resources, we will be needed to offer specific support to staff or produce the resource for them.
- The use of video is increasing and there are lots of tools on offer. However, these need to work with our university systems (like our Kaltura video platform) so this information needs to be communicated, together with advice for formats, quality settings and so on. We also need to publicise our fabulous video community and the equipment, tools, facilities and training on offer.
- A programme of training sessions covering the different aspects of film making. Record them to act as a resource
- Quick video tutorials from the experts, using Moodle video
- Loading FAQ materials and videos on iPads to use as study guides in the MILL
- Training up the video community so they can train others
- Publicise the facilities and resources we have in the MILL and the Schools