Efficiently Producing Learner-Centered Videos (Con Altura!)

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Sure, we’ll kvetch about how high quality videos we want to make for our learners take more time and resources than most institutions have. But then we’ll focus on how we can make videos “con altura!” (with style) with a better understanding of what matters most to the learners watching.


Molly B. Ransone is passionate about making educational media that amuses and inspires people to learn voraciously. As the Associate Director of Learning Media at VCU ALT Lab, she uses that passion to produce high quality media content for online and face-to-face classes with the goal of aiding faculty in bringing their subjects to life and increasing student engagement. A long time participatory culture advocate, she wants to see everyone try their hand at creativity and media making, and loves working with faculty on designing multimedia student assignments. Prior to moving to Richmond, Molly was the Creative Services Coordinator in Academic Technology at San Francisco State University, where she earned her master's degree in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts.

Extended Abstract

In the many years that I have been producing videos with faculty, the tools have become increasingly easy to use. We can make so much more in so much less time, and yet we continue to struggle with the time investment needed to produce high quality educational media. I hear more and more people (from instructional designers to OPM presenters) talk about how the videos we make in online learning need to be “more than just a talking head” while I see the struggle faculty have in even finding time to make those talking head videos.

We recently surveyed students taking an online course that we had produced twenty three course content videos for. We purposefully had three different levels of post-production effort on all of the videos. We were surprised at the students’ responses. They cared about the keywords coming up on the screen, but not all of the parts that we, as a media team, had the most fun making, like animations and motion graphics. We plan on repeating this survey for an upcoming course taught by the same faculty member, and I am eager to hear that feedback, but also nervous.

I propose having this session because I don’t have a perfect solution and I want to discuss it with as many of my colleagues in online education as possible. I added the “con altura!” (with style) because I think that there is always room for that, even if other aspects of high production value video are deemed unimportant and fall to the cutting room floor.

Aside from the kvetching about high quality videos taking more time and resources than most institutions have, and facing feedback and hard truths about what matters most to learners, we will be putting a really positive spin on this topic in the activities and discussions. Because we cannot wallow, it’s not good for our creative juices.

As this session type is limited to one slide, each of the tables will have a short URL to look up on their own devices. Together, each table will look at a different type of course content video. They will discuss what matters to them from the learner perspective. They will then work together as a “media team” to make decisions about what they would change about the video in a short split script (template provided). They will also discuss what tools they would use to produce this new version. And then, each of the teams/tables will share out to the group at large con altura, their own unique style.