Monday, April 30, 2012

Freeing The Course Part 3: Course Delivery

We’re back again with Part 3 of Freeing the Course.  Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 and be on the eye for our future pieces. 

By course delivery, we’re talking about what can produce and provide for your students that goes beyond the readings.  This may include videos (externally or internally created), podcasts or lecture recordings, or even the presentation programs that communicate your teaching in the classroom. 

Video Resources
There are a plethora of video resources Video resources out there for you to take advantage of including Learner.org, YouTube.com/EDU, TED (and check out their latest feature on flipping the classroom option), and of course, the Library’s FilmOnDemand.  For more information about these resources, check out this previous post on Video Resources for Your Classroom.

However, here’s one quick reminder about using videos in and outside the classroom.  Always be sure to provide a clear frame for watching the video and a clear sense of what they should be doing with the video—that is, how they should integrate it into the other course material.  Students need to be directed to what to focus on in order for videos to work the best.  Instructing them to watch the video but not making clear what they are watching for can make follow up discussions lackluster and problematic. 

Presenting Unique Content
Rather than use external material, if you want to create your own course material to deliver to students, there are some great resources available for that too. 

We’ve talked about Screen-Cast-O-Matic on this blog before and it’s because it’s a great (and easy!) tool that allow faculty to create narrated screencasts (of powerpoints, websites, etc).  It takes minutes to learn and then, faculty can focus their time and energy on thinking about how they want to present the material for their audience. 

Audacity is a free sound recording program that allows users to make recordings for whatever purpose they might find.  In particular, you can make mini-lecture podcasts for your students that recap the day’s lessons or cover other material. 

Prezi is a fun presentation tool that provides a 3-Dimensional infinite canvass for you to connect your ideas.  The fascinating element about Prezi is that it allows you to visually display relationships in ways that are not as well executed in programs like Powerpoint.  Additionally, you can integrate images and videos into this as well as convert them in PDF for your students if you choose to.  Check out our YouTube playlist that explores Prezi

Finally, there’s Google Presentation.  It has many of the features of Powerpoint, but again, is free.  You can choose to download it as a Powerpoint file if you choose or even PDF.  You’re also able to share it easily with students.  Where this also wins out against Powerpoint is that if you share it with students, you can utilize the “Comment” feature to spur a discussion around the Powerpoint or encourage students to annotate the powerpoint about what they found useful or care to elaborate on. 

For our final post, we’ll be exploring communicate and course extras that you might consider as you move forward. 

What other free resources do you use in order to delivery the course content to your students?