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Why You Shouldn’t Record Lecture Videos for Your Online Course

College instructors seem to love the word lecture.  But why?  It’s a horrible word.  How often has someone enjoyed a lecture? 

When you were in high school and you came home two minutes and fifteen seconds late, did you enjoy that lecture? 

When you asked your dad for money for gas, did you enjoy that lecture? 

But you’re going to give your students a lecture on the causes of the Civil War and expect them to love it, right?

Allow Myself to Introduce . . . Myself

So let me ask you this question: how much of your lecture is in the textbook?  50%? 75%?  If it’s over 50%, why exactly are you repeating the textbook?  Aren’t your students supposed to read it?  And if you’re repeating it, why would you be upset if they didn’t read the textbook?

Unfortunately, many of our lectures are rehashed from the textbook.  And we wonder why our students are bored.  We always have to remember that WE are teaching the course; the textbook is NOT teaching the course.  Approach your course with the mindset of the textbook being a supplement to your own expertise.  Then, YOU build the course based on what you know and how you think the students will best learn the outcomes for the course.

I love watching PowerPoints!  Said no one ever.

If you are lecturing over a PowerPoint, especially one from the textbook, or one you made in 2010, for the love of Taco Tuesday, please just stop.  And delete that PowerPoint.  Seriously, do it now.

How exactly is this a good learning tool? Do we honestly think students are making it more than a minute through these?  PowerPoints can be an average tool if you’re not reading it to the students, and it doesn’t contain information that is already in the textbook. Otherwise, get rid of it.  I do not have PowerPoints in my courses, and students still learn. 

We have to ask ourselves how we can present information in such a way that students actual pay attention and can make sense of the information, not say to themselves, “I’d rather be scrubbing a toilet.”

Why Should I Care?

This is pointless.

How many times did you say that when you were a student?  How many times do you think your students say it?  It’s unfortunately probably much more than we would like to admit.  So what can we do about it?

Make your content have a purpose.

WHY do students need to know our content?  What purpose does it serve?  How will this help them in their life and career?  You have to answer this question over and over.  Think about it:  as an intelligent human being, if there is a good reason to do something, you’ll do it.  If there’s not, you’ll find every excuse to get out of it.  We cannot expect our students to be any different.

Have a clear purpose behind everything you do in your course, and clearly communicate it to your students.

Who’s the man (or woman)? YOU ARE!

You have every ability to be the most amazing teacher at your institution.  But you have to realize that textbooks and PowerPoints won’t get you there.  What will?

Your personality.

You love your subject matter.  Otherwise, you wouldn’t have spent an ungodly amount of time in school studying it.  So show that to your students!  Don’t be embarrassed of looking like a dork; no offense, but our students think we’re all dorks anyway.  Embrace your personality and your love of your subject and make it fun.  And interesting.  And teach them something they didn’t know before that will make them better.

You know, do what teachers do.

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