I can only assume this post is in the teaching forum because it relates to pedagogy, if it is not related to pedagogy then I suppose it would be in the lounge for those who find it stimulates different debate/discussion.
Thinking in a deductive manner then:
1. Pedagogy in MOOCs
2. The role of the facilitators is to facilitate/support/scaffold-and so on
3. The purpose of MOOCs, in general, is to provide a learning space that affords different modes for self-directed activity that promotes learning. So for example, inherent in the design of the Moodle MOOC run by HQ, is the following premise:
...A course that you could dip into at any time to teach yourself about Moodle..learn from each other and can co-construct artifacts that represent the current state of our learning about how education can work... (Martin Dougiamas).
4. If we think about that for a moment then, and we consider the value of video in its ability to afford different modes for self-directed activity, it appears the use of video is one mode used to support SDA in the Moodle MOOC. Linked to that, we know, having the technicalities spelled out on video can be ever so useful as a sort of instructional design for those new to Moodle, and we know the use of the arrow-cursor is quite a well-used tool within 'how-to' videos, across the net, which aim to demonstrate software features-we know that, right?
5. In that article, it finishes on the point: 'In this sense, a video-however nicely produced-is not better than a lecture.' A controversial point perhaps, but in essence it is about purpose, aims and intended/learning outcomes.
6. Sticking with what we know, if we think about the purpose of the Moodle MOOC, purpose as in....what is that massive course trying to achieve overall? And if it is to support adult, self-directed activity for learning, so it goes, a couple of questions remain in terms of:
a) How many videos of an instructional nature, are too many to support self-directed activity?
b) Across all videos, is there a risk of a voice-over presenting an unintentional didactic approach, instead of providing for an exploratory one?
Drawing on my expertise, I am inclined to suggest less is more-when working with adult-learners/teachers/practitioners/devs/students-and so on...because they wish to make their own connections, and so providing a space for that- in facilitating online courses, especially MOOCs, is essential for retention. They need to feel motivated to make the learning their own, with a sense of freedom to do so in making choices, and in turn be able to recognise that they can take control of their learning-trajectory (however big or small). A final-linkage here, in getting back to the lecture-theatre, by comparison, those items in this last para...is what the lecturer can do face-to-face, because such items are afforded by the environment.
Good to see that some academics are finally getting the idea that lectures, and by extension video presentations, alone aren't effective teaching. This is what Eric Mazur has been saying for over 10 years and providing us with ample research evidence to back it up (Crouch & Mazur, 2001).
Apparently, lectures and videos have a soporific effect on learners' minds (as measured by portable monitoring devices hooked up to students for weeks at a time). Additionally, even a dazzling, brilliant presentation, with all the accompanying motivational benefits, doesn't have much of an impact on learning, e.g. learners exposed to the same presentation content, one brilliantly delivered, the other mediocrely, achieved the same learning gains.
Video didn't revolutionise education back in the 80s so what makes the designers of MOOCs think it'll do it now?
However, i don't think the culture and expectations of teaching practice in universities will change significantly for the foreseeable future. In the vast majority of cases, there's simply little or no recognition or reward for faculty to develop their teaching skills and curricula. The ones who do, do it out of a personal sense of duty and professionalism and a genuine desire to serve their students better. Most faculty prioritise research and academic practice over teaching because that's what's expected of them and that's what brings recognition, status, and professional advancement, not being a better teacher.
By giving a lecture you can a most teach how to give a lecture. This is painfully trivial. No references are needed.
I'm not entirely convinced.
"Ditch the podium, don't ditch the lecture" is one view
Mazur still gives what could be considered a lecture with his ConcepTests.
They are active. That is the key. Activity in a lot of so called collaborative work is not well focused. (In my experieince, which is not a scientific and random sample)
Google ILD 'Interactive Lecture Demonstrations' for the other major physics thread. Thornton, Laws and Sokoloff.
Some of the stuff I read is about semantics. Matters of definition. If you are not going to use video, what wlll you use? Print? Audio? Images?
I'll dig up Richard Felders 5 minute clip on Active Learning later in the day.
ILDs continue to miss the point. Imitation precedes creation. We imitate first and then repeat with variation. This is why labs, where the masters "instruct" by doing their job and the apprentices are trained by job, are far more effective learning environments than lecture halls and even seminar rooms.
If as the instructor you engage your students in ILD and remain an external observer the impact of the activity remains insignificant. Learners can learn from each other, to be sure. But if the learners are equally or similarly inexperienced, the learning is marginal or very slow.
The fact is that most instructors remain external, even in the so called 'blended' courses, because they cannot bring themselves to play the role of a learner, that is straggle and stumble in the effort to solve a problem, in front of their students in a standard course. The authoritative structure is too institutionalized.
Collaborative work is an entirely different issue and I'm inclined to agree with your general observation about it being unfocused.
Print (digital), Image, Audio, in that order. And the order is from the most cost effective to the least. I take the delivery of information to be much less important than offering opportunities for practice and self-assessment and prefer to invest the limited resources in the latter.
Why My MOOC is not built on video...
Re: I don't think the culture and expectations of teaching practice in universities will change significantly for the foreseeable future. In the vast majority of cases, there's simply little or no recognition or reward for faculty to develop their teaching skills and curricula.
This [Open edx free] course (at level one-year one undergraduate) is a collaboration between faculty at three institutions across the world: the George Washington University (Washington, DC, USA); University of Southampton (UK) and Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Santiago, Chile).* A credit-bearing course will run at each institution at the same time as this MOOC, and students at all locations will participate in the same learning community with MOOC participants.
I suppose it depends on how you measure for significance. This course is clearly linked with new recruitment strategies, retention, engaging as a global learner, global collaboration for staff & inbuilt CPD as well as other added value for uni ed. With three Profs, a Dr and two PhD teaching Assistants.....Are we surprised only one video was used? Having such experts teaching about their specialism, research -active or not, means they already know which features to adopt when disseminating their subject knowledge-dependent on audience, to create a successful learning and teaching environment, and those skills are transferable for online/blended L&T - it appears.
Re: However, Apparently, lectures and videos have a soporific effect on learners' minds (as measured by portable monitoring devices hooked up to students for weeks at a time). Additionally, even a dazzling, brilliant presentation, with all the accompanying motivational benefits, doesn't have much of an impact on learning, e.g. learners exposed to the same presentation content, one brilliantly delivered, the other mediocrely, achieved the same learning gains.
Is there a reference for that paper please?
This paper: Crouch, C. H., & Mazur, E. (2001). Peer Instruction: Ten years of experience and results.American Journal of Physics,69(9), 970-977.
Focuses on Peer Instruction (PI) = replaced in-class reading quizzes with pre-class written responses to the reading, introduced a research-based mechanics textbook for portions of the course, and incorporated cooperative learning into the discussion sections as well as the lectures. These improvements are intended to help students learn more from pre-class reading and to increase student engagement in the discussion sections, and are accompanied by further increases in student understanding.
Results: increased student mastery of both conceptual reasoning and quantitative problem solving upon implementing PI.
Instead of video? Is that the point?...was there a control group? ....am struggling to make a connection with the point here in view of the title of the thread...and as far as I am aware university teaching has moved on since 2001....thus these modes for learning and teaching actually do exist, among many other creative and innovative approaches.
A post worth some consideration Itamar. I'll need to think about your comment about 'observer'.
The question is this: is this a lecture or not?
I think it IS active learning.
And to quote an old saying: if you can do what you plan without students present, don't do it. This is what moves a 'lecture' into being something else.
Yes, this is the same Richard Felder who co-wrote an award winning paper on a project to develop learners' self- and peer-assessment, collaborative, and metacognitive skills (unfortunately, it's pay walled). I wrote a review of the paper for my Masters in Distance Education.
They went much further/deeper into the details, processes, support, leadership, and mediation that are necessary to cultivate productive communities of inquiry in higher-education settings. They use a shortened, improved peer-assessment oriented survey tool which is a Behaviourally Anchored Rating Scales system (BARS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behaviorally_anchored_rating_scales ) to raise and develop awareness of what effective collaborative study skills are and look like in practice, and to facilitate learners' abilities to rate collaborators on projects in their groups. The researchers run a dedicated website for the project and give faculty free access to the online tools and rubrics that they've developed: http://info.catme.org/
One of the core points that the project addresses is that simply putting learners together in groups with tasks/projects to complete doesn't necessarily guarantee that they'll collaborate effectively or that they'll learn any better than working individually. They require a substantial degree of leadership, support, and mediation in order to do so and, for the majority of learners, there's a steep learning curve to becoming more aware of and developing metacognitive, self-regulating, "learning how to learn" skills.
Other models of reflection and developing metacognitive skills for learning have been described and investigated extensively by John Dewey, Malcolm Knowles, Donald Schon, Stephen Brookfield, Graham Gibbs, and so on.
MOOCs, and would argue the internet and libraries in general, are great for acquiring new information and processing it into knowledge in ways that are already familiar to us. The purpose of education is to push learners into processing prior and new knowledge in new ways to achieve higher-order levels of knowledge and understanding. For this they need help and guidance and that's the most valuable job of educators, as far as I can see.
BTW, here's a memo that Richard Felder has distributed to his students after exams called, "MEMO TO STUDENTS WHO ARE DISAPPOINTED WITH THEIR LAST TEST GRADE"
You might have listened to this talk. I am posting it here because I think it contains "food for thought" about a recent development:
"Prof. Barba gave keynote at SciPy 2014"
Warning: Listen at your own risk. Don't ask me compensate your lost time!
Apology: It was not my intention to start a discussion on "What is good teaching - in any field, at any level, through any medium, ...". I am just an engineer-turned-teacher out of need. I appreciate the big picture but lack the capacity to contribute in any way. Sorry!
I use video instruction in my classroom very effectively -- there is no replacement for it. Students can work at their own pace and backtrack when necessary. Trying to do tasks as a group with even a small amount of students (say 10) is too much work for one instructor. There ends up being a great deal of lost time for the students -- which ends up being them losing focus on the instructional goals.
Lecture is simply a tool to bring information into the course. It's the instructors job to determine what information is introduced and how it's introduced. If I lecture I do it in video form and it is accompanied by understanding checks of some sort. I would liken this to the difference between a chat room and a forum. In a chat room everyone is talking, often there are side conversations, and the log history is not something to be waded through to gather information. In a forum, on the other hand, there is proper time to digest and respond in an organized and focused way. Most importantly, the dialogue in a forum remains and can be interacted with in an asynchronous fashion compared to the synchronous requirement of a chat room.
But video has an even greater value in the active learning environment. For example, I teach students to program using video instruction. Video lecture and readings prepare students to learn by framing their learning with literacy and background knowledge required to learn. Where the real learning takes place is when students complete programming assignments with access to complete models of problem solutions in video format. If you properly have students in the zone of proximal development carrying them through to the learning outcomes happens very organically and without frustration when the focus is on meta skills to mastering the learning process. Video modeling in a laboratory setting I find to be the apotheosis of student centered active learning. When the students collaborate it further solidifies the learning.
I am very confident the things I say here are the most effective strategies to teach content provided the pedagogy remains sound. What I don't want to glaze over is the biggest challenge not being talked about in this discussion about lecture and video instruction -- the very essence of good teaching. Good teaching is about understanding your students and making adjustments so they are in the best position to learn. Good teaching is about building relationships. There is no perfect set of instructional strategies you are going to employ to reach instructional goals that is void of positive teacher student relationships. The most important value I get from video instruction is it frees me up to work with individual students and groups of students to solve their very specific challenges within their own time frames.
While there are many potential benefits to video, as well as drawbacks (as with all presentation media), I disagree with your characterisation of what you've described as some kind of Vygotskian model of teaching, i.e. the ZPD. Here's why:
Video and other media are simply ways to present information. Presenting information alone isn't effective teaching and we've seen this demonstrated time and time again for every new medium and mode of communication that comes along; printed text, lithography, photography, telegraph, telephone, radio, TV, internet, etc. New media alone do not magically improve learning outcomes.
What's almost always missing from conversations about new media in education is effective mediation. Many claim that learners can mediate themselves and each other, i.e. teach themselves and each other. While this is true to a degree, it has so far failed to produce comparable results to mediation by skilled teaching practitioners. Some learners do well under such circumstances but only because they get the mediation and support they need from elsewhere, e.g. their homes, family, and/or friends. Put two people in a library, one will get bored while the other delves into the learning opportunities that s/he perceives. Learners need effective mediation.
What does effective mediation look like? It varies enormously. It's adaptive and responsive. It's difficult to define in the same way that higher-order thinking skills are difficult to define, but as Lauren Resnick puts it;
"Thinking skills resist the precise forms of definition we have come to associate with the setting of specified objectives for schooling. Nevertheless, it is relatively easy to list some of the key features of higher order thinking. When we do this, we become aware that, although we cannot define it exactly, we can recognize higher order thinking when it occurs. Consider the following:
- Higher order thinking is nonalgorithmic. That is, the path of action is not fully specified in advance.
- Higher order thinking tends to be complex. The total path is not "visible” (mentally speaking) from any single vantage point.
- Higher order thinking often yields multiple solutions, each with costs and benefits, rather than unique solutions.
- Higher order thinking involves nuanced judgement and interpretation.
- Higher order thinking involves the application of multiple criteria, which sometimes conflict with one another.
- Higher order thinking involves uncertainty. Not everything that bears on the task at hand is known.
- Higher order thinking involves self-regulation of the thinking process. We do not recognize higher order thinking in an individual when someone else "calls the plays” at every step.
- Higher order thinking involves imposing meaning, finding structure in apparent disorder.
- Higher order thinking is effortful. There is considerable mental work involved in the kinds of elaborations and judgements required.” (Resnick, 1987)
Vygotsky maintained that the core purpose of education systems was to help learners to acquire and develop these higher-order thinking skills which they aren't guaranteed to get in their lives outside of educational institutions. In other words, it is the responsibility of teaching practitioners to help learners develop their self-regulation and mediating skills, often referred to as metacognitive skills or "learning how to learn," through mediating learners. With mediation everything happens twice; what happens first interpersonally, between the mediator and the learner in the learner's ZPD, can then develop intrapersonally, within the learner's own mind (Vygotsky, 1978). (Also see Feuerstein's and Tzuriel's work on mediated learning experiences and dynamic assessment for clear-cut examples of effective mediation).
Simply presenting information using various media, e.g. video, audio, text, f2f presentations, and the latest buzzword "flipped classrooms," then leaving learners to fend for themselves (i.e. not providing adequate mediation), and then testing their individual abilities to mediate their own and possibly each others' learning, and claiming responsibility for any learning that does occur, isn't very effective teaching in my opinion.
This post is inspiring, and I wish to think about it. I have some thoughts, because of what is there. Will return.
For example, I teach students to program using video instruction.I assume that in the video you show how you do it yourself. This is what would be most useful for the learners and the primary point of effectiveness. The media is secondary. Video is more effective than face to face lecture b/c learners can pause, repeat, skip etc. But it is not necessarily more cost effective than print + images, where learners can also pause, repeat, skip etc. And don't get me wrong, I've used video instruction quite successfully in courses. I'm not opposed. I'm just saying that it won't be my first choice.
Videos are fine, and I have learnt a lot from them myself. However, as a course they are not enough. You need a personal teacher around, as questions need to be answered, students need to practice with tasks, and teachers need to be available to assess and guide those participating in those tasks, to encourage them when they get it right, and to guide them when they are getting it wrong.
The good news is that Moodle can do all this, but as for videos and learning, they can only be part of a package for a course. Moodle is interactive using the right plugins with a personal teacher guiding the group.
Extending Matt's input there...aiming to build on it....constructively J That is, I have triangulated with three elements in mind:
1. Theory, 2. Practical Example and 3. Related research.
1. Theory: Homi Bhaba (The Location of Culture, Routledge (1994;ISBN 0-415-33639-2)
States: The production of meaning requires that the I and the you are mobilized in the passage through a third space....knowledge is created between people in a space for translation, and this forms his theory of hybridity-a symbolic interactionist approach, where the production of meaning takes place through a third space-representing general conditions of language and specific implications of utterance-structured meaning (p.36)...so knowledge is created in a space of hybridity and translation.
2. A good example
of a video that encompasses that:
This demo's a good way of using third space; enabled by the following features:
-teacher unpicks material with rhetorical questions that draw in the viewer
-modelling and talking through action
-enabling a shared language by using the key language to understand concepts and their application for practice
-the audience are in one space, the teacher is in another space, and there is a third space manifest, because of the way the video has been made; it mediates for a conducive learning environment-where the audience can make connections in a self-directed manner....encouraging metacognition...so thinking about what is given in the env (video-teacher-with own thoughts/connection)....to inform what might be...during own application, that is, when thought is applied-based on own previous thoughts (so, at the time of engagement during a viewing of the video content)...in order to solve such problems independently in the here and now.
3. Related research about third space is here:
Stevenson, L., & Deasy, R. J. (2005). Third space: When learning matters. Washington, DC: Arts Education Partnership.
The researchers use the metaphor of third space to describe the transformed learning environments they observed in the schools. Third space references the space between a work of art (in a first space) and a viewer (in a second space) in which meaning, not residing solely with the one or the other, is created in between (in a third space) through their interaction. It also references the shifts in relationships between students and teachers that the researchers found quality arts-integrated instruction to facilitate--relationships in which students played a more active role in their own learning and teachers participated in constructing learning with students rather than only delivering content to them. Students' roles in these relationships and learning environments, the researchers found, supported students in developing greater ownership of their own learning and higher-order thinking skills.
Just to follow up I agree with the input from the four people since my last post.
However, it does go back to and prove my original point. I guess this important fact was a bit glazed over in my writing -- the power of video instruction is it frees me up to help students and build relationships.
My agreement will all of these things can be summed up in one statement: it's up to the educator to find the right mixture of content and learning strategies for the students they are targeting.
I do not intend to suggest video instruction is a complete replacement for educators. Instead, it is a tool that can be employed effectively to help facilitate individual and cooperative learning. The real core of the original article is not about video instruction at all it is about complete asynchronous and synchronous modalities of instruction.
Good morning Keith C,
and what a lovely morning we have here, I should say. The sun is pouring through the window and it is set to be another -scorcher of a day....sea is freezing though! Warmest is Oct! Never mind we have wet-suits so onwards.
Now, oh sorry about that-distracted.
I think, one key issue with using video, whether synchronous or asynchronous is that the audience know exactly what is going on and which mode is being used at the time of audience engagement. I mean I once heard of an online course, whereby the teachers were lacking confidence to go live-so to speak- and the video was played to the cohort of learners as if it were live-but it had been pre-recorded....the audience twigged because of an obvious edit...the facilitator's hair design was not what it should have been, and the cut was very obvious in the flicking of the hair behind the ear....but the sad thing was that the learners were trying to ask question over Twitter.....in response to this charade!!!
Anyway, point is on two levels.....
1. the audience are engaging to learn....that is an essential thing that needs to be recognised by the facilitator
2. if this is not considered then we have sloppiness-and quality issues, and facilitators making out they know far more than they really do