We all know that video learning is what today’s digital native students crave, because it’s the most effective way to learn. However, you can’t expect your faculty to hit the ground running with classroom technology without giving them proper training.
Put your faculty in the best position to succeed with video. Mediasite trainer Michael Stefonik and Michelle Reed, online video strategist from Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), have set up wildly successful training programs and are here to tell you about them.
Check out these tips that they presented at our user conference, Mediasite Experience 2018 (MSX) last fall. They promise it will help build an effective Mediasite onboarding program for faculty at your institution.
Address Accessibility Concerns Right Away
Many people are often afraid to try something new – it’s human nature. When it comes to the faculty at Tri-C, Michelle says they are hesitant to add video technology into their curriculum because they don’t know how to make their content ADA compliant and accessible to ALL students. They think it’s difficult to add things like closed captioning and create transcripts.
To combat any resistance, Michelle likes to remind them right away that it’s actually very easy with their video technology (hint: it’s Mediasite). With Mediasite, adding closed captioning is as simple as a few strokes of the keyboard and clicks of a mouse. Tri-C uses Cielo24 for captioning, and Mediasite integrates directly with that (among many other captioning and speech-to-text providers). Once faculty see the easy integration, it’s like an incentive for them to start creating videos.
Start Small and Get to Know Your Faculty
That’s what Tri-C did. Michelle said she eases faculty into the concept of video learning. She began with a beta version of their training program, inviting some of the heavy video users to summer sessions.
She created a training program centered around what she thought faculty would want to learn, such as ‘We want to learn to record mini lessons,’ ‘We want to learn to upload videos’ and ‘We want to learn to add captions for better accessibility.’
Here’s the really important part: She asked faculty about themselves. Michelle said it is imperative for faculty to know that their trainer is genuinely invested in their learning. Have faculty introduce themselves to the group during trainings. Ask them to talk about their courses and their teaching styles. For example:
- Are they teaching online-only? Blended courses?
- Do they want to capture lectures for students’ review on-demand?
- What about micro learning?
- How are they engaging with their students before, during and after classes?
- What are their concerns about incorporating more video in the classroom?
Understanding their backgrounds is a valuable tool when it comes to customizing your training to best meet their needs.
Experience is the Best Teacher
Experience is the single most powerful thing when it comes to the way adults learn, Michael said. So, why not give faculty the same experience with the video technology that their students would get?
Stream training sessions live for faculty unable to make it in-person and have it available on-demand for review. Make sure you incorporate lots of interactivity by having them participate in polls and quizzes and collaborate in discussions using chat.
Adults are most interested in topics that have an immediate relevance to their lives. Your goal as a trainer is to make the information as relevant to your audience as possible. One way to do that is to have them solve a problem in real-time. For example, have them answer this question — ‘How do I engage with the online audience with video?’ When faculty collaborate with each other and see the interactivity features first-hand, they will more clearly conceptualize how incorporating video into their classes will benefit their students.
A Little Bribery Never Hurt Anyone
Providing faculty with technologies like My Mediasite personal capture software doesn’t ensure they’ll use it. Michelle said during her training sessions, she likes to give faculty incentives to create videos when they go back to their offices.
During trainings, she gives them nice headsets with a microphone to practice creating and editing audio and screencast presentations. Afterwards, everyone chooses between a headset or webcam to start creating on their own. Each full–time faculty member also receives Service Credit and part-time receives Stipend Eligible Units for a monetary incentive for completing the training course.
Your main goal of each training is to make faculty feel confident using the technology and continue that excitement as they walk out of the session. At Tri-C, word about the great trainings is getting out, because Michelle has faculty come into the training session and say, “So I heard we get a webcam… .”
Have Lots of Supporting Resources Handy
Michelle recommends that all her faculty take the training. However, given the amount of faculty it can be difficult to make everyone do it. Luckily, she provides everyone with a descriptive Mediasite guide and several online resources she and her colleagues created (seriously, check these resources out – they are fantastic). She hopes they include everything faculty need to know to incorporate Mediasite in the classroom. It also comes in handy for faculty who took the training, because it is hard to remember all of the information from a three-hour session. Her guide makes everyone feel like they are getting a personal learning experience.
Want more tips? You can watch their full presentation from MSX18 here:
Still want more? Michelle recently presented a webinar with us:
P.S. Remember, the Mediasite Community is also a fantastic resource for faculty, complete with in-depth training videos and webinars and discussions with peers and Sonic Foundry staff.