Like most of my colleagues, I spent dozens upon dozens of hours this summer converting my university courses to an online format. I showed you the result, for my 3rd year Entomology course, in last week’s post – and to be honest, I think the result is pretty good.* Of course, what I think about it doesn’t really matter – what matters is what my students think about it. Or maybe that’s what matters. I’m not sure, and a seemingly minor decision puts the question in sharp relief for me: one long video, or a bunch of short ones?
My university made an early decision to go online for fall (both going online, and calling it early, were very good decisions). That meant that our Centre for Enhanced Teaching and Learning had time to put on a course in online pedagogy and logistics, and I had time to take it. (Well, by “had time”, I mean “made time”; anyone who thinks that the move to online made professors’ jobs easier is, shall we say politely, incompletely informed.) One recommendation got a lot of stress in that course: for the presentation of content, chunking material into short videos. Five minutes! Four minutes! Three minutes!
This was a bit startling. Three minute videos? Continue reading