COVID – accelerating the learning curve

I chose lucky. My Innovation Proposal has actually put me in a good position to respond to the Coronavirus lockdown. All the work I had been doing at my leisurely pace suddenly became vital – the issue now became one of streamlining the process and fine-tuning it. The video below is a great example of implementing/enhancing my learning.

I streamed this video lecture on Twitch and recorded it. So then it was a matter of posting it on Blackboard, which I was not skilled at. However, during the lecture I had noticed how a certain image would have been useful, so I talked as if I were looking at the image. Later, I found the image and then learned how to insert it into the video where it took precedence over the normal video image (10:23 in). Furthermore, I learned how to extend the view of this image for the duration of my talking about it. The net result was a better video posted than what I recorded as I lectured.

Furthermore, in learning this, I also learned to add titles to my videos – using them as labels to highlight critical points of the lecture. I was so excited by this that I inserted a title asking the students “Did you see what I just did there?” (11:28) I did this, one, because I was pleased and excited by this new capability, and two: to reinforce the culture of learning. They saw, in “real time” that I, with my gray head of hair, was a lifetime learner still excited by learning.

I also have added a standard introduction – to tie each video together. Included in this is a soundtrack that I use each time for the same purpose. As this was a video lecture that I converted to a recorded video, it is not as short as I would aim for if it were a standalone, pre-prepared video lesson.

With respect to the Blackboard learning management system, I learned to use random numbers in creating mathematics-based quiz questions. This has decreased the ability of students to cheat the system. Lessons as a whole are coming together. They are mixtures of video, text, graphics, and exams. I am very much enjoying two things about this as a teacher: one, that the quizzes are automatically graded, and two, that I don’ have to manage so much paper. My personality is not best-suited for keeping every paper in place, and it had been a chronic, low-level source of stress.

As I keep creating to meet the needs of students in this quarantine period, more gaps in knowledge and opportunities for improvement are popping up. This nice thing is that I have the summer to address them.

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