Lights, camera, action!
Every now and then I have my students watch an explanation (teaching) video online. I sometimes do this as a review when I’m beginning a topic that they have studied before. They always hate it. They always complain. So, I rarely assign them teaching videos to watch. They really hated the last one I assigned. Their complaining gave me the idea to have THEM make their own teaching videos – and to do it better!
The Video Tutorial Project took a week of class time (and that included watching everyone’s videos one day in class). However, I did not give them a review day or a test for this unit, so it was only about 3 extra days. In their written reflections, it was clear that my students LOVED this project. And, their videos were impressive. They were creative in their presentations and even added transitions, music, and even special effects. My favorite video was a take off of Vi Hart’s videos. There is no way I could have made a video this good, ever!
I partnered the students into groups of 2, and let them pick their topic from our current unit. They had to state and define their topic, then show three clearly worked out examples, increasing in level of difficulty with each example. They could make the video anyway they wanted. They all had to upload their video to YouTube.
I created a project planning Google document for them to follow, and distributed it using Doctopus. I had them create the three examples problems for homework one evening and submit them on a GDoc form. That way, I could check to make sure their examples were sufficient. In class the next day, they made any necessary corrections and planned their video. They had the next three days to record and edit their video (if they chose to edit it). I gave no other homework this week so that students would have time to work at home on it if needed.
This project was worth the time invested and I will definitely do it again. The students loved it (see their responses below). We had a few challenges that I would like to address before assigning this again. One was finding quiet places to record on campus (it was freezing that week so it was not very comfortable outside). Another challenge was the partner issue. Students could only work together at school because this was a partner project. Also, the video editing (if they use iMovie) always falls on the shoulders of one of the partners, which I don’t like. I have thought about having each student make their own video tutorial, but they have so much more fun working together. Also, in their reflections all of my students but TWO would rather work with a partner. They also would have liked more time, but they always tell me that. They would work on a project for a month if I let them. They are awesome.
Student Thoughts: What did you like the BEST about the project?
- I felt like it really helped me even because watching the video helped understand the concept better.
- How we could add our own interesting twist.
- The part about how you could add in a challenge problem.
- I loved how you can create a tutorial in so many ways, like white board or like V Hart.
- working with a partner how creative we got to be
- THE FREEDOM
- it was fun
- All of it!!!
- having fun with my friend
- Recording 😀
- The fact that we could put what we wanted into the video
- Getting to use my tablet to draw math.
- We had alot of freedom to make it however we wanted and everyone had a different video.
- I thought it was very creative.
- working with partner
- that we got to make a video
- Working on whiteboards and working
- partner work
- Probably putting it all together
- That is wasn’t just an ordinary project.
- The filming part.
- the creative freedom was fun
- the filming
- The recording
- It was awesome to just be able to go out on our own and make our own tutorial.