Creating Custom (Talking-Head) Videos with MediaSite

A recent email from Caroline El-Khoury, PPS director, noted, Classes are held unless the University closes. During inclement weather some faculty members may choose to cancel their own class and send a lecture capture link to the students rather than rescheduling.In this update, we want to give you an option that will allow your class to “meet” even if all of you can’t be on campus. In particular, these following tips will help you create your own custom talking-head videos, which you can then provide to students on Carmen.

(For completeness’s sake, you can also perform a custom capture using one of the college’s capture-equipped rooms, and requesting a link from VIS.)

At the very least, you should have the following tools available (recommendations not meant as product placement):

  • A webcam – We have used the Logitech C920 and we like it; you may also have one already built into your monitor or your smartphone/tablet
  • A microphone – We have used the Blu SnowBall for various custom caption solutions; if you have a headset with microphone, such as the Apple EarPod (free if you are an iPhone user), it may also be a good option. 

Many laptops come with a microphone built-in, but we have found that these usually do not yield clear recordings.

Using MediaSite

MediaSite is the university’s solution for video capture and consumption. What’s nice about MediaSite is that it can give us in-depth analytics on areas such as who’s watched a video, how much of the video an average viewer watches, and popular segment(s) of the video. With MediaSite, you have the option to create content with a combination of video, audio, slides, and desktop recording. MediaSite is the system that is being actively investigated for use in the Clinical Skills Lab.

(Before you start, here are 10 tips to record yourself with a webcam, written by Laura Schmitz for the UniCast blog.)

Custom talking-head videos can be created on your own PC/Mac device using the MediaSite Desktop Recorder application. Here are some tips to get your started:

If you are using a smartphone or a tablet, such as the iPad:

Finally, you can share your media by Adding a Presentation to Carmen, or by Linking a MediaSite Presentation elsewhere. 

In the next installment of this series, we will show you how Top Hat can be used as more than an in-class audience response tool!  As always, please feel free to reach out to for ideas and/or assistance.

Of Interest: Let’s use video to reinvent education

“In a traditional classroom, you have homework, lecture, homework, lecture, and then you have a snapshot exam. And that exam, whether you get a 70 percent, an 80 percent, a 90 percent or a 95 percent, the class moves on to the next topic. And even that 95 percent student — what was the five percent they didn’t know? Maybe they didn’t know what happens when you raise something to the zeroth power. Then you build on that in the next concept. That’s analogous to — imagine learning to ride a bicycle. Maybe I give you a lecture ahead of time, and I give you a bicycle for two weeks, then I come back after two weeks, and say, ‘Well, let’s see. You’re having trouble taking left turns. You can’t quite stop. You’re an 80 percent bicyclist.’ So I put a big ‘C’ stamp on your forehead — and then I say, ‘Here’s a unicycle.’ As ridiculous as that sounds, that’s exactly what’s happening in our classrooms right now.”

– Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of Khan Academy

Satch Sal Khan’s full TED talk “Let’s use video to reinvent education”(Click the banner image to watch the video)

While you may have never heard of him, Sal Khan is revolutionizing education. The former hedge fund analyst began his unlikely path in education when he started tutoring his cousin in mathematics using the internet. By 2006, Khan had shifted his tutoring strategy to the creation of videos which he publicly posted to YouTube. The videos became a hit with an audience that spanned well beyond Sal’s friends and family, leading Khan to quit his job in 2009 in order to found the “Khan Academy”.

Today, the on-line Khan Academy is a global leader in free education. Over 15 million users visit the site each month in order to access over 100,000 videos, articles, and exercises. Learners can use the site in order to practice everything from the most basic mathematics skills all the way to preparing for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

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Learning Tech @ CVM: Recording procedure demonstrations and virtual tours for clinical orientation

This week, the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) had an opportunity to work with several more instructors on recording videos for the clinical orientation for current VME III students.

Dr. Cooper recorded several videos, including filling in the ICU treatment sheet, a virtual walking tour of the ICU and isolation room, entering and exiting the isolation room, and the use of fluid and syringe pumps.

“If [the students] have something to watch before they come into the [rotation to reduce their fear and anxiety] … I think it [is] worth it [to spend the time and effort on these videos] … I’m also hoping that this will cut down [time spent on the orientation, which is done] every two weeks” – Dr. Edward Cooper

Other projects this week included Dr. Daniels recording a memorable video on Infection Control…

… As well as  Joelle Nielsen’s tour to track down the materials needed for making Paw Prints!

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Learning Tech @ CVM: Recording authentic scenarios for clinical orientation

Earlier this week, we had an opportunity to work with Dr. Susan Barrett, Dr. Adam Rudinsky, and Joelle Nielsen, MSW, to record authentic teaching scenarios that current VME III students will use as part of their clinical orientation. We were not only able to capture the footage that we needed, but the experience also prompted many creative ideas for multimedia that the faculty members can incorporate into their courses.

“For procedural skills such as working with clients on end-of-life care, I feel it’s important for us for provide students with an actual conversation, because the majority of them will have to have such conversations when they graduate into practice.” – Joelle Nielsen, MSW

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Lecture Capture: Current Use, Contemporary Research and Best Practices

During the academic year 2014-15, the lecture-capture system at CVM recorded 1,510 videos in 43 courses, and Veterinary Information Systems (VIS) reports the following use of those videos:

• 46,636 total plays
• 181 average plays per day
• 64 average viewers per day
• A viewing high of 602 plays per day.
• Videos viewed from 11 different countries.
• Videos viewed on 13 different types of devices.

It’s not hard to guess when the peaks for viewing lecture capture took place: right before midterm examinations and right before finals. In this sense, CVM students use lecture capture as a study tool.

This falls in line with research on lecture capture and learning. In “Is the effectiveness of lecture capture related to teaching approach or content type?” Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine researcher Jared Danielson and his colleagues (2014) studied the topic. Continue reading