What is really in that recording?
22 March 2023
Watching your own live class recording is a useful way to self-evaluate aspects of your delivery and to see and think about how you come across from a student perspective.
Some of the key aspects you can look for through the eyes and ears of a student include:
- Quality of audio – can you and your students be easily heard in each of the teaching spaces that you are in?
- Accuracy of captions – do the captions reflect what was said, especially key terms and phrases?
- Pitch and tone of voice – how does your voice come across?
- Pace – how fast are you speaking and moving through your material?
- Vocal intensity – does your voice trail off or fade during the class?
- Quality of slides – how clear are your slides on screen? Is there a lot of text on each slide? Is the font size sufficient? Are diagrams easily readable?
- Mannerisms – we all have some! What are yours and do they appear distracting?
- Eye contact – are you on camera? While you might be giving good eye contact to your in-person audience, do your online audience see you on camera? If not, what do they see?
- Laser or finger pointer – how does your laser or finger pointing to aspects on your slides look?
- Whiteboard – is what you wrote on the whiteboard visible?
- Pauses – there is power in a pause. How often do you pause during your class?
- Student participation – how often are students active in your class session?
- Value-add – do you feel like you missed out on any information from not being physically present in the class?
Did you watch the video in its entirety? Or did you, or were you tempted, to increase the playback speed of the video (say to x1.5 or x2.0) or skip ahead or stop early? If you answered yes to the latter, it is likely your students do too.
Once you have reviewed one or more of your class recordings, some changes to your teaching practice to try include:
- Repeating student questions and summarising student comments so they are heard by all students including those physically in the room and those listening to the recording
- Focusing on pronouncing keywords and phrases more clearly to help improve the accuracy of captions
- Modifying your tone and/or pitch to better convey enthusiasm and interest
- Slowing down your pace
- Maintaining your vocal intensity for the full sentence to avoid trailing off
- Focusing on reducing any distracting mannerisms (such as clicking a pen)
- Use online annotation or highlighting tools (e.g. through MS PowerPoint) rather than a laser pointer
- Using a whiteboard software app such as MS Whiteboard (if using MS Teams, remember to open MS Whiteboard separately and share screen or window to capture the MS Whiteboard in the recording) or the document camera rather than a physical whiteboard, or narrating what you write on the physical whiteboard
- Include pauses – see our previous tip on The Power of a Pause
- Include more active learning
- Include more examples and explanations of key concepts included in your slides
A reminder that the current University position on class recordings is as follows:
“There must be audio recordings of all taught classes so that a student who is unable to attend may catch up on learning. These recordings are made with the existing technology and its limitations. The easiest way to create an audio recording is for lecturers and tutors to record lectures and other class sessions. It is also acceptable to provide an audio alternative to a live recording such as an existing or pre-prepared recording. This should be of the same or better quality as live audio capture from a class session, and the recording must provide the same content and information as the live class session.”
Come along to one of our Teaching Quality drop-in sessions or contact us via email ([email protected]) for further support on how to improve your delivery.