Faculty Focus


Five Quick Tips for Using Streaming Media in Your Blended or Online Courses

If you are thinking of adding streamed audio and/or video presentations to your blended or online course, here are some things to consider.

  1. Post complete text versions of the audio portion of the streamed presentations. My limited study suggests that student learning is most enhanced when students can study both streamed presentations and transcripts of the audio. You should encourage students to study both the presentations and the transcripts and advise them to avoid studying only the presentations.
  2. Keep your presentations relatively short. I suggest keeping them under 15 minutes. If this is not sufficient to cover all the content for a given topic, then the content should be chunked at appropriate spots into several presentations. Each presentation should come with a table of contents that students can click on to navigate within the presentation.
  3. Plan out the slide or video portion of the presentation first. This will allow you to focus on the main ideas that you want to emphasize, and it will provide you with an outline for developing the narration. You should make use of images to illustrate and represent ideas and arguments. This will allow you to present content in several modes.
  4. Write out a script of the narration. Doing this will help you to organize your thoughts. It will also result in fewer audio mistakes, since you can add the narration by simply reading the script. Writing out the narration beforehand will also provide you with a text version of the narration that you can post to the course website.
  5. Choose presentation software that allows you to easily edit the separate video and audio portions of the presentation and that in a few simple steps converts the presentation into a format for streaming over the Web.

Jerry Kapus is an associate professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at University of Wisconsin–Stout.

From Tips from the Pros – 5 Tips for Using Streaming Audio and/or Video, Online Classroom, May 2009.