Before I talk about some of the ways in which you can encourage student engagement with videos in your Canvas course, let’s talk just a bit about some video recording options as well.
One thing you could do is record your videos with a video/screen-casting tool such Screencast-o-matic (links to CTLA guide). It has both free and paid accounts. Obviously, you get a bit more functionality with a paid account, but the paid accounts are also quite reasonably priced. It has a lot of options for recording and editing and will provide you with an embed link to embed links to your various videos into Canvas content pages, assignments or quizzes. Thus, you don’t need to download or upload your videos anywhere after their creation as they will remain hosted on the Screencast-o-matic site.
If the videos you envision don’t include screencasting, and you have a phone with a camera you can use it to record videos. Of course, you may want to edit those videos in which case you can use a great software application called Adobe Premiere. CGCC employees have access to Adobe Premiere video editing software through our Adobe Creative Cloud membership. Use YOURMEID@cgc.edu to login to creative cloud and follow the prompts to download Adobe Premiere.” If you are using a school laptop contact the helpdesk for installation assistance.
Once you have created your videos you will need to either upload them or embed them into your Canvas pages, assignments, or quizzes. Embedding is the preferred method because the rich content editor limits uploaded files to 500 MB. One of the great perks of using Screencast-o-matic is that when you record in Screencast-omatic it automatically creates an embed code for you so you can embed those videos and avoid the upload files size limit. Plus, embedding is just much quicker! If you record your videos on your phone or other type of recording device, you won’t have an automatically generated embed code, but you can still pretty easily get one. You can upload the videos to your Youtube channel available through your school G-Suite account. However, depending on the size of the file and your internet speed, it may take a while for your video to upload. If you feel hesitant about uploading your videos to Youtube because you don’t want all the world viewing them or you in them, good news! you can limit who has access to your video during the uploading process. Once you have uploaded your video to Youtube, you will be able to click on “sharing” and get the embed code that will allow you to embed the video into your Canvas content. As a final note about creating your videos, another great perk to using either Screencast-o-matic or Youtube as hosts for your videos is that they will create transcripts for you, albeit imperfect ones which will need to be edited, which will increase the accessibility of the contents of your course.
Okay, now let’s talk about how you can ensure students are engaging with your videos once you have created them.
Ensuring Student Engagement with Your videos
Once you have created your videos, you can put them into Canvas Modules. Canvas Modules are the organizational heart of your Canvas course. As an instructor, you can add modules, add items to a module, and manage module settings including the order in which students engage with and complete activities and assignments. You can use Module Prerequisites and Requirements to ensure that students complete one course element prior to moving on to the next. You can use these Module settings, even with course elements that are not assignments per se (things that do not require some form of submission). Using Prerequisites and Requirements allows you to monitor and/or ensure student engagement with various elements of your course and in the order in which you want them to engage. However, there are some drawbacks associated with using these tools. As an example, if a student misses a requirement, they will not be able to move forward with the remainder of the course content without some intervention on your part. For more information about setting up Prerequisites and Requirements for your Modules, activities, assignments, and quizzes see the information accessed via the links above.
You might want to consider using an external tool in conjunction with your videos to ensure student engagement. Kahoot is a useful external tool that can also be used for just that purpose! Kahoot is a quizzing/polling game style application. Kahoot quizzes present the viewer with a series of individual questions and multiple-choice responses. Kahoot creators can embed videos into their Kahoot questions requiring Kahoot participants to watch the video in order to accurately answer the question. You can even provide the video on a separate page prior to your participants being presented with the Kahoot question. Additionally, students do not need to meet synchronously in order to participate or engage with a Kahoot as you can set up Kahoot "challenges" that allow students to engage asynchronously. And because they are "challenges" students might develop a bit of a competitive spirit in completing them. Because students can see how their classmates are faring in the challenge, I also encourage them to come up with a silly nickname as their user name which they only reveal to me. Thus the anonymity of their performance is preserved among their classmates. Kahoot will even keep a record of student participation and scores which you can then download as an excel spreadsheet for grade entering purposes (hence the need to know which silly user name corresponds with which actual student). Like Screencast-o-matic, Kahoot has free and paid options and like Screencast-o-matic the paid option provides a bit more functionality than the free. Again, like Screencast-o-matic, yearly subscriptions are also pretty reasonably priced.
I am sure that are many other ways to incorporate videos into your courses and ensure that students are actually engaging with them. I would love to hear what you have done in your courses and I will let you know more about my discoveries as they arise.
Here’s to a life of continual learning!
Capturing Powerpoint with Screencast-o-matic (video tutorial)
How do I Share My Videos with Students
How do I Use Automatic Captioning for Youtube Videos
Adobe Creative Cloud sign-in (Sign-in with your school login credentials)
Awesome people who want to help you do awesome stuff in the classroom! Join the conversation here or in our Facebook Group: CGCC Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment