Friday, December 07, 2012

I have a plan (for developing the lecture videos)

Yesterday most of the people involved with UBC's Coursera afforts met to discuss how things were going.  One result of this is that I've changed my plan for preparing the ~60 lecture videos. 

The general plan has been that I'll record the videos in my office, using the built-in camera on my laptop, and a good external microphone and lighting provided by CTLT.  We had set this up using my main office computer (a new MacBook Pro), but switching back and forth between recording and everything else I need to do with that computer was going to be a big hassle.  So yesterday I re-set it up a 5-year-old MacBook Pro that I don't use any more (battery dead, a bit unreliable).

I had been assuming that I'd just start recording some, and then rerecording them as needed to improve the content and the presentation.  But now I think I'll instead try to quickly develop the content (mostly PowerPoint slides) and record them all as voice-over-annotated-PowerPoint, with no video of me (camera off).  Once I've done them all I'll go back through them, deciding what needs changing, what self-test questions to add, and when and where video of me should be added, and then I'll rerecord them with the camera on.

This is good in several ways.  First, it removes the issue of my appearance from the initial development and recording of the lectures - that's the part I was finding most stressful.  Second, the revisions won't start until I have the full set of lectures done - that will help ensure that the whole set is coherent.  Third, it maximizes the amount of recording experience I'll bring to the final recordings.  Fourth, it means that we'll quickly have a full set of lecture videos to help us develop all of the associated material (resource links and the various assessments).  Finally, because the camera will be off, I can move the whole recording setup to a little desk on the other side of the room rather than cramming it onto one side of my main desk.

If I set a goal of doing at least one voice-only video per day, starting today, I should have a full set by early February, maybe sooner.  Revisions will take time, but the re-recording should go fast, because I can probably do a full week's worth in a single day.


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AC said...

This sounds amazing. And you have nothing to worry about your appearance. Just be enthusiastic, smiling and inviting.

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