Sunday, January 21, 2018

Videos for Flipped Hand-building Classes

The biggest project I have undertaken for this quarter is flipping my hand-building class. In December, I wrote about flipping my throwing class. This fall was the first time I had brought the students in on the idea of a flipped class for a studio class.

student work from Fall 2017 when the class had fewer online resources

I had encouraged students in hand building and intro to clay classes to use outside resources, especially videos of ceramic techniques, for some time, but the resources I had been utilizing were ad-hoc collections of videos or links to websites. To really make the flipped format uniform and easy for students, I felt that I needed to make the content that they would be using in preparation for the class.
Student work for the slab project built and fired in Fall 2017

So, in December, I spent 3 days recording videos with the help of Kevin Hager, instructional designer at Yakima Valley College. I did some set-up for the videos after the quarter ended, then he and I spent three mornings and an afternoon filming a series of short videos on hand-building and decorating techniques.

The first video I recorded in this set, an introduction to the extruder. I recorded 9 total extruder videos.

I had recorded a whole batch of demos by myself in the late summer of 2016 and I found the process to be exceedingly tedious and fairly unpleasant. This time around, I was prepared for tedium and annoyance. I had a list of what I ideally wanted to get done, an estimate that it would take two or maybe three full days with almost no breaks, and that I wouldn't actually get it all done.

A throwing demo video I recorded solo in Summer 2016

For a variety of reasons, but mostly because I had help, we were able to make almost every single video I wanted to make and get them done in much shorter chunks of time. It was certainly more fun and more pleasant to make the videos, but I think it was literally faster, too. It helped that I didn't have to wipe my hands off each time I wanted to start or stop a video.

This video intro to where the tools are kept in the studio was one that wasn't entirely planned we started filming. 

It also helped that I had someone to talk to about camera angles, what was working well, and what needed to be added, cut, or kept in.

I had some trouble with the small extruder, but Kevin suggested I keep the mistakes in so that students can see how to solve problems. Also, I suppose, they get to laugh at me.

I also had some help processing the videos, so that when I went to upload them, all I had to do was upload the files. They had already been downloaded from the camera and at least one was edited to remove the loud fire alarm test that forced and abrupt end to one of the videos.

Student work from Fall 2017

Because of timing of vacations and work time over late December and early January, I didn't actually get the videos until late on Tuesday January 2. I planned to have students in my MWF class that started January 3 watch videos in preparation for Friday's class. With a bit of scrambling, to upload videos and put together playlists and links, I was able to get the videos up and accessible just in time.

Student work from Fall 2017

To my honest surprise, every single student in the class watched their assigned videos and took the brief quiz on the videos before class on Friday. Since Friday's class hinged on students having watched the videos, it was a relief and a success that the videos were ready, the students watched them, and we were able to move quickly through Friday's activities and project.

One of the video playlists for the first week was a shorter version the slab playlist. The longer version has 12 videos

Throughout January, I have been uploading, titling, and labeling the videos and putting them into playlists linked to requirements for the hand-building class. I did this in Fall for the throwing class. There are a few glazing videos that will work for both classes that I haven't quite finished with, but I think I will be totally done by February.

I recorded the glazing videos at the end of the second day. I was surprised that we had finished everything else so early.

I'm really happy with how the videos and the flipped format is working. I think it is perhaps even better in the hand-building class that the throwing class, though perhaps that's because I like the videos better and I was more thorough in planning for and making the videos in this more recent effort.

We had to come back for a third day of building because the solid built sculpture needed more time to dry. This last video from that day includes an explanation based on a question from Kevin.

One problem with making videos for this kind of project is that there's always more to do. Part of me would like to redo all the videos from 2016 (part of me would not like to do that). And I have both a mental and physical list of those videos I would like to add, when I get the chance. In working with Kevin, I've also learned about some ways that I can edit lecture videos to include short quiz questions in the video itself. This sounds like a great tool, but it also sounds like a chore to learn. I think I will tackle both these chores, but I haven't set myself a deadline yet, I should probably finish up these glazing videos first.

Student work from Fall 2017

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