Tips for Virtual Course Delivery

October 15, 2020

In our current virtual course environment, one of the most important considerations is determining what content should be delivered synchronously (live) and what should be delivered asynchronously (pre-recorded). By incorporating the strengths of both methods, it is possible to manage course workloads while incorporating learner engagement. In this blog post, we focus on the benefits, use cases, and considerations of incorporating pre-recorded lectures into your course — including alleviating schedule constraints. Click here for guidance on defining the Academic Credit Hour. 

Advantages of Pre-Recording Lectures

Asynchronous content delivery offers flexibility for faculty and students. Pre-recorded lectures, in particular, provide additional flexibility for course management, mitigating potential issues due to connectivity, and opening up new possibilities for learning and engagement. Some of the advantages of pre-recording lectures include:

  • Offers more flexibility and time to develop content in advance of the term and an overall plan for course management, including lecture schedule, office hours, and other engagement opportunities with students
  • Provides flexible scheduling of lectures. Lectures can be viewed during or in advance of regularly scheduled class time.
  • Improves production quality, especially if pre-recorded in a studio with technology and production assistance
  • Addresses concerns and improves access to lectures for geographically dispersed students
  • Requires less bandwidth/lower technology requirements for reliable accessibility on and off-campus

Use Cases and Considerations

For faculty who choose to pre-record lectures, there are several options for integrating this content into your course. Among the strategies faculty may choose to employ include the options listed below:

  • Posting 50-minute pre-recorded lectures on the regularly scheduled class times, and establishing other times for office hours and 1:1 appointments
  • Alternating delivery of content during the scheduled class meeting times, using live/synchronous lectures for some sessions, and pre-recorded lectures for others
  • Using flipped learning (aka “flipped classroom”) strategies, where faculty share lecture recordings in advance of the regularly scheduled class time and dedicate the scheduled class time for office hours, discussions, exam reviews, or other synchronous activities with students
  • Releasing several weeks of course lectures at a time as the semester progresses so students have early access to review lecture content

It is important to recognize that each of these use cases are distinct and independent of each other. To maintain consistency and establish a regular pattern for students, determine which strategy best suits your class and organize your course and lecture schedule accordingly. In addition to establishing a consistent schedule, consider informing students about expectations for the regularly scheduled class time, office hours, and synchronous lectures in advance via Canvas Announcements.

Click here for more information, recommendations, and scenarios for asynchronous and synchronous course content.

How to Pre-Record Lectures in a Nexus Recording Studio

As we continue through the Fall 2020 semester and prepare for Winter 2021, faculty are encouraged to take advantage of Nexus’ recording studios for pre-recording lectures and other course content. Our team offers wraparound services and support, including production and technology assistance, annotation tools, access to a podium, and instructional design support. We can also help faculty establish a regular lecture posting schedule so that course lectures are available to students based on the faculty’s objectives and course organization plans.

If you are interested in using a Nexus studio to pre-record course content for F20 or W21, please submit this short form. A member of Team Nexus will then reach out to set up a brief pre-recording meeting to discuss your needs and schedule your recording sessions appropriately.

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