How can I engage my students with pre-recorded video content?

Online teaching can be conducted either synchronously (live via an online conference tool) or asynchronously (by pre-recording a video to upload to Blackboard).

There are numerous advantages to making a shift towards asynchronous delivery, including:

  • Asynchronous learning frees the teacher up from delivery online sessions at a certain time. It provides the same flexibility to students, who can engage with content at different times, in different ways, as is conducive to their schedule.
  • Producing a series of well thought-out videos reduces the number of times the same content needs to be prepared and delivered to different groups and cohorts – a significant advantage when it comes to larger classes.  
  • Having video content online frees up the time allocated for students to attend a live session. This creates new possibilities for the way we design learning to engage students.

The challenge is how to design pre-recorded content in a way that it is engaging.

Five Top Tips

  1. Divide longer teaching sessions into manageable learning chunks of 6-8 minutes. Rather than trying to transmit as much information as possible, focus on what you can bring each week to support students to navigate the subject matter.

  2. Prioritise what students do around the video content. Intersperse learning activities to promote cognitive engagement. You could also give students a task upfront to help them focus while watching.  

  3. Consider activities that students could engage in collaboratively too. If they elect into Blackboard groups, they can arrange their own catchup times in Bb Collaborate, to work on formative activities.

  4. Let students know when new videos (with associated activities) are posted. This can be as simple as posting a brief announcement or including a bullet point in a ‘weekly update’ to students.

  5. Only post your pre-recorded videos to AUT Blackboard courses or AUT Panopto sites for privacy and copyright reasons. By default, these tools are set so that students cannot download files to their devices.

Technical tips