Web lectures

Pieter Cuijpers (department of Mathematics and Computer Science): "This is the future of education!"

"The idea for web lectures came out of the 3TU course I gave on Quantitative Evaluation of Embedded Systems for the first time. We used a tele-link whereby I was connected to two lecture rooms, one in Delft and one in Twente, via a camera. At the same moment the lecture was being recorded as a video lecture. Not a straightforward matter as you try to make contact with the students and stick to your storyline at the same time."

I find video lectures extremely dull
"I am not much impressed by the quality of a video lecture. It just records a lecture and a student assistant does little more than keep an eye on the sound and move the camera a little. I've looked back at such a lecture and found it to be extremely dull! However, I must say that the students studied it keenly, and fast forwarded quite a lot, too. But I was not too happy with the contents and the way in which the lecture was presented. When you use a tele-link you tend to take a little more time to engage your audience, which makes it awkward to take the camera into account, with the effect that you don't look into the camera when you are speaking. And that has to change, because when I make a recording I want it to be right. Then I heard from Picto that we would be able to have use of a recording studio and that lecturers were being sought to record web lectures."

Flipped classroom
"Web lectures will soon be based on the principle of the 'flipped classroom', which is following lecturers from home (via web lectures) and doing assignments during the lectures (more in the sense of tutorials). That will also apply to the tele-link to Delft and Twente. Since the students prepare for the web lecture, it means that during the lectures I can go into greater depth and give more attention to the students. And because I don't have to be too focused on my storyline, I can even look at the camera every now and then. Which is better for the students in Delft and in Twente."

Constantly high energy level
"Cindy de Koning of Omroep Brabant gave (and still gives) the web lecture training. To start with, she told us, a web lecture should not last any more than 10 minutes, during which you present just one specific topic. She also looked at posture and the different way in which material has to be presented in a web lecture. That smiling is an important aspect and that you speak with your eyes. You have to forget that you are standing in front of a lecture room and think of your audience as an intimate participant. That is still quite a challenge and demands a constantly high level of energy during recording sessions."

Keeping up the tempo
"Normally, when you are doing a lecture, you work out an example on the board nice and gradually to allow the students to follow it. I have experienced myself how this is different for a web lecture. Here you have to keep up the tempo because the viewer always has the opportunity to rewind if something is unclear."

Tips?
"Just try it and don't worry about getting is perfect. This is the future of education, so don't get left behind. An added nicety is that you can make a name for yourself if your lecture goes global."

More information on the project 'From video lectures to web lectures' you find here.