On why video content trumps interactions for online education

This is a rant… Programming interactions for online education and training is a pain in the butt. Recording and editing video can also be a pain in the butt.

Cosina_SSL_766_Macro_-_Super_8mm_film_cameraHowever, this is what I am starting to realise:

  • Recording video is potentially a whole lot easier than painstakingly creating clever interactions using limited courseware authoring tools.

At a very basic level I could just set up my iPhone on a stand and record a bunch of short videos, upload them to YouTube or Vimeo, and then embed the code. If I want to get more sophisticated I could use my Wacom tablet and video capture software to do it. Or use an HD video camera with a good operator. Somewhere in between I could just record audio over the top of powerpoint or keynote and upload as video content. Probably, I could sign up for Vimeo Pro and protect the videos if I didn’t want the content on Youtube.

My problem is twofold though. On the one hand I hate working with video. I’m not a video kind of guy. I don’t like watching myself on video and don’t really relish the new learning curve required for the video editing or screen capture software. On the other hand, I like the idea of nifty interactions where punters can move stuff around around on the screen, click boxes and menus, and fill in blanks.

And… or but… even if I want to use the nifty interactions in someone’s courseware authoring tools, I actually really want to have video content as well. And the interactions are pretty limited in all the courseware I’ve tried.

I mean, we are still years away from any kind of artificial intelligence engines for courseware that are going to allow me (with no coding experience or inclination) to rise above the kind of number/substitution/drill activities that currently populate courseware.

So… why not just do the video content plus downloadable resources. And then write a book or two. Seems to be working for this guy.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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