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Group work: Videos produced by students

Brief description

Inspired by the TED Talk phenomenon, the students must produce subject-related videos in groups, which will train them in communicating an academic topic in an inspiring, clear, and precise manner. The activity enables the students to work actively with the theory and methods of analysis of the academic subject, which strengthens their learning and comprehension of the material.

Motivation for the activity and required outcome

In contrast to an oral presentation, a short video requires more consideration regarding choice of words and visual communication. This means that the activity enables the students to explore the subject matter in detail and to use their creativity more.

The advantage of this for the students is that the videos can subsequently be used to revise the syllabus in preparation of their exam in the subject later in the semester. Because of their practical experience with the activity, previous students have explained that they remembered better the material that had been communicated in the videos, compared to other material in the course.

Performing the activity

  • As a teacher, you must include an activity during the semester in which the students must work in groups to produce a subject-related video based on a key text from the course. You may choose to make the group activity compulsory.
  • Divide the students into groups, or let them work in their study groups. The groups should consist of only four to five students to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate actively in the activity.
  • Select and distribute a number of texts from the syllabus for everyone in the class to read. Then allocate one of these texts to each group.
  • Each group should produce a video of max. five minutes; this should show essential concepts from their allocated texts and possibly examples that illustrate these.
  • The academic quality of the content is what matters in the video, not the students technical skills. You should therefore let the students submit the product they are technically capable of producing. You may distribute this guide on video production to the students.
  • The videos should be produced during the students’ preparation time and uploaded to a shared page or drive before the next lecture so that they are easily accessible to the entire class.
  • The uploaded videos must be viewed by both the teacher and the students before the next lecture.
  • In the class session, both the teacher and the other students will provide feedback on the videos produced. Subsequently, an opportunity must be given to discuss and speak about the content, concepts and theories from the texts.
  • The videos may be used at the end of the semester as exam preparation.

Options:

  • Ask the students to upload the videos to a teaching blog and use this as a platform for them to exchange feedback on the content. In this way, they first prepare a prototype, and based on the peer feedback they then create the final version. You as a teacher may also comment on the videos during the process. This means that the blog can be used as a resource in connection with exams.
  • Instead of viewing the videos during preparation time, each group may show their video in class and present their reflections and process as well as subject-related selection and deselection. Following this, feedback is offered directly by the teacher and fellow students.
  • You may also use student videos for exams, but pay attention to the academic regulations’ descriptions in this regard.

Activities

    Examples of Practice


      Worth considering:

      • How much time should be set aside for the activity?
      • Which texts are best suited for visual presentation and interpretation?
      • Should an introduction be given to the students regarding visual communication and video production in preparation for the task?
      • Should you as a teacher make equipment available to the students, or can the videos simply be produced and edited on smartphones?