Module 6 – Creating our own Content

What advantages do you see in creating your own content over using content created by others? What disadvantages?

This week’s module is focused on creating our own content, so obviously Norm thinks there is merit to creating our own content. Let me begin with some disadvantages.

1. It’s me. The students in a F2F class are listening to me too much already, and students in an online class are already hearing from me in my notes and course structure, so adding a video or podcast of me as part of the class is nothing special. In Vest’s “Six Steps to Creating High Quality Video Training,” he refers to bringing in an expert for a video. This would eliminate this problem.

2. It’s my material. The students are already getting my perspective on the course, so adding my own material does not bring a new perspective. I might be adding some information in a new format, but not a new perspective.

3. It’s my quality. Let’s face it, most of us are not going to be able to produce high quality videos and maybe not even high quality audio. Additionally, most of us probably don’t have the time to structure our material as well as it should be. The counter to this, however, is that a lot of the podcasts and YouTube videos are not that great either, so our students are probably not going to be disappointed with a low quality video, audio, etc.

I think creating our own content is important. I already create video clips for some of my online classes. I use Adobe Connect, since we use that technology in the classes that we broadcast live. Adobe Connect allows video of the professor, plus recording a whiteboard, Powerpoint, or a PDF file (A Word file cannot be uploaded to Adobe Connect – political problems between Adobe and Microsoft apparently). The screen can be set up to have the professor visible the entire time, or he can switch back and forth between the professor and the course material. I’m not sure if Connect will accept a Prezi; I’ve just started playing with that.

The advantages are:

1. I can control the content. Using content created by others means I have to fit it into my course somehow, or modify my material to fit around the content.

2. While we may not be able to produce high quality video or maybe audio, we should be able to produce good quality Jings or Prezi’s.

3. Since we know our class and its needs and abilities better than anyone, then we know best what material would be useful to and appreciated by them.

4. If there are questions on the material, we can answer them easily. When we use material prepared by someone else, we may not know how to answer questions.

Since I teach at the graduate level, I’m not too concerned about the length of the video or even the quality, but Vest’s “Six Steps to Creating High Quality Video Training” has some helpful information. You can check me out at http://mbbc.adobeconnect.com/p6xxozh3gbi/ . Keep in mind that I did not know these videos were supposed to be 3-7 minutes, but fortunately, my students did not know that either, so no one complained. You may need to download some software from Adobe; it’s safe.

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