September… what can I change? – Mike Atkinson

September.  And classes have once again begun.  Every year at this time I always think about what I will do differently in my first-year Psychology course… what can I change?  What can I improve on?  This year, in addition to my normal fine-tuning, I am going to try video streaming.  The video will be available only as VOD this year, but I would like to try real time streaming next year.  This is cool, but brings a whole new set of issues to the classroom, e.g., what’s the best way to record the video?  What’s the best way to package and render the video?  Will this be distracting for the students?  Will this be distracting for me?  Should I think even more about production values than I do now?

I have some tentative answers/solutions to the first four questions, but a more definitive answer to the fifth–yes.  As with anything else you do in the classroom, you need to keep pegagogy in mind.  You need to consider why you’re doing a particular activity in the first place, and then consider how this will enhance student learning.  Along the way, you need to think about what the finished product will look like, and how it best helps you achieve those goals.  For me, this means thinking more like producer of educational theatre and all that it entails.

I’ll keep you posted over the year.

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