Can All Teachers Kahn? A Faculty Development Strategy to Support Instructors in Creating Effective Video Lessons

Concurrent Session 1
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Brief Abstract

How do you help teachers turn the average lesson into a great video lesson? A design focused and just-in-time faculty development framework


I have had a long interest in science education and how students learn science and as I pursued scientific research, I have always taught in various capacities. Since finishing my PhD in Biomedical Sciences at UCSF in 2013, I have been an instructional designer for UCSF Medical School. In this role, I am a collaborator with faculty who are teaching in the Medical, Pharmacy and Nursing schools and I help them develop engaging lessons that make use of technology to support effective teaching.

Extended Abstract

Video is becoming a common way to teach a wide range of topics but most instructor-produced videos are not particularly strong. This session describes a new faculty development strategy that boosts the educational quality of videos and supports instructors in creating their own video lessons. We will share our framework developed at UCSF School of Medicine to teach health science topics at a program level and also give examples of how we work with individual faculty members on specific lessons. Participants will learn about strategies that they can apply on both of these levels, according to their own teaching roles and interests.

The UCSF School of Medicine is undergoing a curriculum redesign. The new curriculum relies heavily on video content to enable the learner to spend more active learning time in labs and clinics. This asynchronous learning is only possible with the creation of high-quality video materials. Medical education uses teams of experts to teach different subjects across integrated courses. A given expert instructor may teach only once in an academic year and therefore has limited opportunities to improve. We all know teachers who can train themselves to design and produce instructional videos and there are many universities that have full production teams that can collaborate with instructors. These strategies are very effective for an individual with the skill sets and time to create the content. In our case, the challenge we faced was to work simultaneously with a decentralized group of instructors who each teach a small portion of an integrated course.

With the major curriculum redesign, the university needed to support faculty to quickly produce high quality video lessons to enable the new curriculum. We instituted a faculty development strategy focused on three main principles: just-in-time learning, creative redesign of lectures, and coaching to support instructors in this new teaching medium. In addition, instructors receive guidance on best-practices for maintaining student engagement based on the literature and our own experience with our learners? interactions with videos produced by our faculty. We provide support and structure for a creative re-design of the lesson content to allow instructors to use the medium of video to its best strengths while maintaining their own teaching style. Finally, we help minimize some of the technological burdens by providing some centralized resources. Collaborating with these instructors to transform their lessons into video-based instruction provides a way to create asynchronous learning for students and also an opportunity to standardize and boost the educational quality across so many instructors.

With these strategies, we have worked with instructors to produce over 80 hours of video content covering a wide range of topics within the biomedical sciences. These represent the work of nearly 70 different instructors, each of whom was the subject matter expert and primary author of the content and delivered the content for the video. Student feedback has been incredibly positive, both for the overall inclusion of video content and for the individual videos. One of the critical aspects of this enthusiastic response is the high quality of the videos that we helped enable the instructors to create.

This strategy of faculty development has a set series of phases and steps and can be repeated to create high-quality video lessons in many other contexts. Through this session, we will show examples of materials used to help instructors redesign their content, strategies to help them maintain student engagement, describe the role of the faculty developer as collaborator and describe the technological support we provide and ways that instructors can efficiently create videos on their own.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:
* Describe the rationale for using video to create effective lessons
* Identify barriers faced by faculty intending to develop video lessons.
* List strategies that faculty developers can use to support creative redesign of content.
* Compare different video lesson formats used by online courses.
* List key strategies for increasing learner engagement with online videos.

To the degree that this session deals with an overarching faculty development strategy, it is targeted at individuals who work with a wide range of faculty (such as faculty development professionals, course directors, deans, administrators, instructional designers, technological support professionals) but the content of this session will also be helpful to individual faculty who are considering how to create or improve their own video lesson content.