Instructional Video: Positive personal outcomes for me

Written by Steven Kolber

Before jumping into the theory too heavily, I decided to take a moment to reflect on the positive outcomes that I have personally experienced by using instructional video for aspects of my teaching. If you take a moment to reflect on these positive outcomes, you may be more able to consider whether you are willing to create instructional videos and reap similar benefits in your own life. I will outline these positive outcomes in dot-point form, then you may read more into each element based on your level of interest.

Here have been the positive outcomes I have experienced:

Teaching Practice

  • Improved direct instruction, more brevity and clarity

  • More precise, improvised and unscripted presentation

  • Greater awareness of speech patterns and faults

  • Increased awareness of tacit knowledge

  • A visible reflection of my improvement as a teacher

 Feedback

  • Direct support and suggestions from teachers

  • An abundance of data on both popularity of ideas and clarity of instruction

  • Positive support and gratitude from students who I have never met

 Global Collaboration

  • Having more visibility to other teachers and lead-learners

  • Developing a vibrant Professional Learning Network (PLN)

  • Allows for genuine Global Collaboration (Lindsay, 2016)

Teaching Practice

In regards to teaching practice, ultimately Instructional Video has allowed me a process for reflection, improvement and feedback. This is not something that has ever been seriously considered as important within my school setting, but I have managed to achieve these things independently. Indeed, I have noticed a lot of backlash from teachers I work with around filming or even recording audio of their lessons. So, it cannot be overlooked the difficulty that these processes cause, indeed the nervousness that I felt producing my first ever instructional video was a visceral and fraught thing. But as with most things, part of the process is overcoming fears and building confidence. The process of editing and uploading footage of myself doing the core business of teaching has made me increasingly aware of my own expression. This awareness has also given me an avenue to notice vocal tics and patterns that I was not aware of, the types of filler phrases and weasel words that I typically use to fill space. By editing these out, and the laborious process that that can be at times, has forced me to carry out the best type of editing, changing my own expression. This has made me more effective and precise around my own expression, not only during producing instructional video, but also whilst teaching students and communicating with other teachers.  

By using video, I have become more aware of the tacit knowledge that I don’t often pause to reflect on, applying the cognitive principles of multimedia learning (Moreno & Mayer, 2007) and aspects of Cognitive Load Theory (Kirschner, 2002; Pass & Renkl & Sweller, 2003; Sweller, 1994; Sweller & van Merriënboe & Paas, 2019) to my digital presentations that become videos has also raised the standards for the content that I use in my classes. Further, I have simply kept a digital record of my own teaching that I can go back over and reflect upon, looking at my first instructional video is very revelatory in regards to my expression and confidence and shows a clear progression in my personal growth and teaching.

Feedback

  • Direct support and suggestions from teachers

  • An abundance of data on both popularity and clarity of instruction

  • Positive support and gratitude from students who I have never met

Simply by placing my teaching videos on a public and searchable space (Mr Kolber’s Teaching on Youtube) has meant that other teachers can directly contact me and provide suggestions or support. By having my content so visible means that I am contacted around things that I am actually teaching and engaging with. Being contacted by teachers in far-flung corners of the globe is both interesting and flattering. Having a presence on the populist platform of YouTube has meant that I have been able to engage with the algorithm of the site and learnt a great deal about education patterns across countries. As an example, I have learnt that many of my videos are accessed through LMS systems in the USA, by knowing this information I have been able to explore the range of LMS products that could be considered as alternatives in Australia. Similarly, I have been able to match many of the novels and content that I teach have common threads with curriculum in the United States and the United Kingdom, by learning this information I am also learning about the Global state and approaches of other ‘Western’ nations, which has been enlightening. Lastly, I am much more frequently contacted directly by students from around the world requesting further videos around specific topics. As a result of this I have learnt what texts and approaches are common in those countries. In short, by making my content visible it has in turn made the content of others more relatable and interesting to myself as a result. It has put me in touch with a wider network of teachers and students who provide me information, requests and support in a number of ways.

Global Collaboration

  • Having more visibility to other teachers and lead-learners

  • Developing a vibrant Professional Learning Network (PLN)

  • Allows for genuine Global Collaboration (Lindsay, 2016)

The above section clearly shows interactions that I have had with students and teachers from across the world. The result of these interactions has also resulted in a range of Global Collaboration options. Through YouTube and Twitter, I have been able to connect with a range of amazing and inspiring educators and collaborate on projects through both of these processes. An aspect of these collaborations has been participating in teacher vlogging, an aspect of YouTube that I was previously completely unaware of and something I would love to have more time to participate in. This is a community of teachers who use the YouTube platform to share experiences, approaches and methods in a very open and collaborative manner. Beyond this, being a part of a Professional Learning Network has meant that there is always a way to contact an expert in any and all aspects of instructional video. As an example, I was assisted closely in every aspect of Lightboard production and how to use the tool to create instructional video. In much the same way, my experiments into Green Screen technology were fully supported by a range of teachers. This has allowed me the possibility of adopting what Lindsay (2016) refers to as a ‘Global Collaborator mindset’. This is something that is complex to orchestrate and enact, primarily driven by difficulties across time zones and language barriers.

Global collaboration is something I have the skillset to carry out, but something that I have only been able to complete in fits and starts. I have made contacts and connections that I endeavour to follow through with to engage not only my own learning, but also those of my students. I see this as the final development that my practice and approach need to take. Engaging with teachers across the world has been a very positive experience for me and something that I would also like to be able to provide to my students. Speaking to Norwegian students about my work with teachers in Cambodia, from Melbourne, Australia via Skype was a brief exchange that showed the possibility for my own students to engage with other teachers and students across the world. I feel especially that FlipGrid is the best platform to allow this to occur, due to the asynchronous aspect of this tool. If you are interested in collaborating with a class of English as an Additional Learning students in Melbourne, Australia, do let me know as I would love to get this type of student-to-student communication occurring within my classrooms.   

If you are interested in producing instructional video and are interested in exploring a range of means of doing so, come to one of my two sessions at the National Education Summit’s Digital Classroom Conference on 30 and 31 August 2019.

References

Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). A grammar of multimodality. International Journal of Learning, 16(2).

Lindsay, J. (2016). The global educator: Leveraging technology for collaborative learning & teaching. International Society for Technology in Education.

Kirschner, P. A. (2002). Cognitive load theory: Implications of cognitive load theory on the design of learning.

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. (2007). Interactive multimodal learning environments. Educational psychology review, 19(3), 309-326.

Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design. Learning and instruction, 4(4), 295-312.

Sweller, J., van Merriënboer, J. J. G., & Paas, F. (2019). Cognitive Architecture and Instructional Design: 20 Years Later. Educational Psychology Review. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-019-09465-5

Paas, F., Renkl, A., & Sweller, J. (2003). Cognitive load theory and instructional design: Recent developments. Educational psychologist, 38(1), 1-4.

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