The academic YouTube video

Subject: Culture of events. Course: Global Cultures and Media Study. Level: Bachelor. Class size: 2 x 25.

Motivation for the activity

The motivation was a desire to include visual instruments and YouTube videos in the academic presentation and work process to support learning, competency development and knowledge sharing.

Central learning outcomes for the course

To construct theoretical and cultural-analytical competencies in relation to contemporary globalisation processes.

Central learning outcomes for the activity

  • To incorporate one of the subject's themes - participatory and do-it-yourself culture - in the type of examination for the subject
  • To develop communicative tools that combine oral and written study competencies
  • To support the students' learning through a creative production process, where the subject's content is given different expressions than normal
  • To support knowledge sharing by communicating the students' work in a more "dispersible” form.

Description of the activity

As part of the type of examination for this course, the students must produce three minutes of video, which is used as an element of the classic presentation during the synopsis exam.

The video must deal with the social problem which their exam case in one way or another provides answers for, or relates to. In this way the video is used as a kind of audio-visual fact box on a social problem, which the students subsequently examine further in a presentation and through their synopsis.

The screencast assignment is given half-way through the semester. Then Arts Media Lab hold a presentation on rhetorical instruments in connection with making manuscripts and producing YouTube films.

Three weeks later Arts Media Lab holds a four-hour workshop together with the lecturer at the Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media. Here work is done with manuscripts, introduction to editing software and editing and sound recording, depending on the individual student's needs and level.

While the students are working on the film they submit a written synopsis. The film will be shown at the examination as an introduction to the oral dialogue.

In this case it was a requirement that the students must themselves appear in at least 15 seconds of the film and in this way make a combination of screencast and film. See the fact box on the right for an explanation of the concept of 'screencast'.

Outcome of the activity

The students have the opportunity of editing the presentation situation. They can practice, film, adjust, and edit at home. This gives them greater control over the presentation situation, and it sharpens their precision in relation to communication of the assignment's content.

It is important to emphasise that the students are not being examined in film production. The students go to an exam in an academic content, where the visual is an extra form of expression. It is not important how many 'special effects' have been used in the production, but rather whether the argumentation is academic, that the film is an extension of the submitted synopsis and that it provides a good presentation for the subsequent oral dialogue.

Other applications

The activity may also easily be used as a supplement to standard group presentations during the semester.

Reflections on the activity

You must be prepared to accept spending time and energy on the film media as "a new pencil in the pencil case."

Implementation can easily be made more handheld by filming using smartphones and editing on the telephone. And it does not have to be public. The films can be uploaded on a private YouTube channel.

Carsten Stage

Associate professor

What does 'screencast' mean?

A screencast is a video with the contents of a computer screen. This could e.g. be a video that shows a slideshow. Often a screencast also contains an audio track, where a person describes what is happening on the screen.