Faculty Focus


Using Digital Media in Online Courses

Editor’s Note: The following post is the second in a two-part series on how to personalize your online course. See part one here.

Sometimes content delivered in a traditional classroom setting can fall flat in an online course where your students don’t get to benefit of your voice inflections, gestures, etc. If you have material that you like to deliver face-to-face, but are concerned about presenting it in the online arena you can be creative when you include the material in your course and be assured that the content is delivered in a manner that you are comfortable with.

  1. You can have your professional video team at your institution create videos for each segment of your lecture that is needed. This can be very time consuming and must be well planned. Each segment should be scripted in advance and must be kept to a minimum of five minutes. Each video must be interesting and must captivate the students’ attention. After a student views your first few videos he will decide if the content is worth his time or not. If not, he will stop viewing the video segments and all the time you put into this endeavor was for nothing.
  2. Create a series of podcasts for each of your lectures. Podcasts are downloadable and students can listen to them on their mobile devices. Podcasts also need some planning, but are a little more flexible because you can record them in your office from your computer.
  3. Desktop video can also be used to capture your lectures. Keep in mind that the quality will not be as good as if your video team recorded your segments. But if you create them from your desktop you again have the freedom from scheduling the time to record. You have to decide which is more important – time constraints, or quality of the video.

You can see that there is a pattern here and it is pretty easy to follow. So if you have guest lectures, demonstrations, places or things you want students to see or experience, you can include them in a number of different ways. Keep in mind that your students will only be interested in your course if they are interested in the delivery mode for the content. Keep it simple, but interesting!

Eileen Narozny is an instructional designer at the University of Central Florida.