Monthly Archives: November 2013

Youtube Channel

Screenshot from 2013-11-11 23:25:30

Over the past few months I’ve put a few videos up on YouTube to complement the courses I am teaching at the small and well formed University where I work.  The following are my observations about this process:

  • The number of views of these videos exceeds the registration on the course by a considerable margin.  However speaking to the folk on these courses it is clear that they have not all watched the videos three or four times each, or if they did they don’t seem to have absorbed much of the material.
  • My production process is a bit cumbersome.  I basically use a microphone and record the screen as I talk.  I have an Ubuntu 12.04 setup at home and I use recordMyDesktop via gtk-recordMyDesktop 0.3.8 to well record my desktop and PiTiVi 0.15.2 to edit the videos.  recordMyDesktop is quite a mature tool (despite the version number) but PiTiVi appears to be progressing faster.  By cumbersome I mean dropped audio and being very awkward to chop off the bit at the beginning and end when you are reaching for the off button on screen.
  • The process is a real time suck – it takes a whole evening to produce a single five minute video.  This is because you end up doing it again and again to try and avoid making mistakes in your exposition.  I find you don’t make fewer mistakes as you go along at some point your standards just drop as you want to go to bed.
  • I’ve no idea if this helps or hinders student learning.  It seems to be popular but I think we need more this sort of thing in Higher Education.  Students like being given things – they like copies of slides, numerical answers, worked solutions, audio of the lectures etc. etc.  My personal view is that this is largely a waste of everyone’s time but without evidence either way this is just an opinion.
  • It does however provide a different sort of educational material.  I think it would be great to show worked solutions as you can add a live commentary to it and students can see how the solutions develops in a way you cannot with a static handout.  Of course I haven’t actually made a video like this yet – but it is on my list…..

The Channel is at if you want to keep up with the white heat of the revolution….