Teaching Tip: Using Video Follow Ups and Course Reflections to Increase Student Success and Retention

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The PLC (Professional Learning Community) will be providing the teaching tip of the week throughout the academic year in support of their goal of interdisciplinary collegiality.

Faculty often talk about not having enough time in class to cover important course material. Fifty minutes in the classroom is not always enough and they often mention how they would like to “buy more time in the classroom.” In my role as Director of Digital Teaching and Learning in English, I often speak to my colleagues about incorporating technology in digital learning platforms such as Blackboard in order to buy back those important last few minutes of class. You know the moments I am talking about, right? Those last (and often unfocused) minutes when students are fumbling to return their items to their backpacks. Or when class discussion is so engaging that you forget to monitor the clock, and before you know it, class is over. Without reviewing the important points of the day’s lecture or forecasting what the next class session will cover, your students are bounding out of the lecture hall and heading to their next destinations—home, work, or class. These are the lost instructional moments that faculty often wish they could recover.

Many of us have heard about the importance of briefly recapping important course concepts at the end of class, particularly in regard to student retention and success. So how do we reclaim these last (and often crucial) minutes of classroom instruction? One important method for recovering this lost time is to upload a brief video follow up or class reflection to Blackboard a day or two after class. In these video follow ups, typically posted in a Blackboard announcement, instructors can reclaim these lost moments by recapping important concepts discussed in class, sharing interesting observations related to course material, and including important reminders. Faculty could also ask students in these follow ups to participate in online discussion activities that extend class discussion and even request that students take polls so the results could be discussed in class the next day.

Overall, these instructor videos create greater class participation, enhance student success, and even increase retention. Also, with the aid of the Kaltura media tool in Blackboard, the activity of recording and uploading instructor videos in and to Blackboard has become even easier. For information on storyboarding videos, consult the Storyboarding Resources document on Google drive created by Katherine Krcmarik and Brian Claesson-Patten which has many useful media resources.

~Shelley Christie, rchristie@uta.edu, Director of Digital Teaching and Learning, English, College of Liberal Arts

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