At the eduhub days 2020 the Swiss academic e-learning community looked at perspectives and challenges of videos in higher education.
Like most years, the 180 spots for the eduhub days went quickly, and a wide range of participants arrived eagerly on Wednesday morning, 29 January at the University of Bern. Sipping his coffee, Ricardo Mazza, Senior Lecturer at SUPSI, tells me why he's travelled all the way from Lugano. "I come here for the practical exchange of ideas, that I can adopt in my daily practices. Something you don't have at a research conference. Also, we're such a diverse community in terms of background. We have instruction design experts heading e-learning centres, to lecturers, technical staff and video production people all benefiting from each others experiences."
By connecting these e-learning stakeholders and experts, SWITCH aims to support the higher education community in making effective use of the opportunities presented by digitalisation.
Next, Nathalie Roth, eduhub coordinator at SWITCH explains to me that videos and their use in higher education are well established in most Swiss Higher Education Institutions. At the same time, the field of video supported and enhanced learning is growing exponentially. While new formats and methods emerge, the community is at a stage where established practices are being critically looked at. A lot to think about, and a fruitful topic for experts and stakeholders in e-learning to explore together.
Spoilt for choice, I decide to participate in the SIG Video Workshop to learn more about the eduhub spirit first hand. The eduhub Special Interest Groups (SIG) bring together specialists of a specific e-learning topic to allow in-depth discussions and developments on expert level. SIGs run all year round and have an impressive body of guidelines, all open source.
In this workshop, I learn about the project of turning the existing SIG video guide into a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). It'll be a course on the creation and production of teaching and learning videos in English. In a truly collaborative spirit, UNIL and EPFL want to design and implement this MOOC together with other members of the eduhub community.
"Collaboration has become very important in today's digitalised world. Working in networks offers so many opportunities. We don't think in terms of competition in the eduhub community but embrace networking and learn from one another.”Jean-François Van de Poël, Operational Manager for Digital and Multimedia Teaching Support Centre, UNIL
For the BarCamp Sessions topics are submitted live via the voting tool sli.do, which allows participants to add their burning issue to the list. In a second step, everyone gets to vote. By the end 12 topics are selected and those who gave the input become the facilitators of a 35 minute session.
This immediate, low preparation and community-driven approach is valued greatly by the community. There were clusters around instructional design of videos and their environment, tips and tools for production as well as dissemination and user feedback to the SWITCH collaborative tools family.
My head is smoking after the three short and intense sessions, time to top up the sugar level. During the next coffee break I get hold of presenter Giorgia Mora, Instructional designer at eLab – eLearning Lab USI. "We had a wide range of topics at the BarCamp sessions this year. For me this is a great opportunity networking with people and finding solutions to my problems through lived experiences in the community."
The possibilities for teaching and learning with video are endless. In his key note Zac Woolfitt claimed "video changes everything". As the following key note speakers Martin Merkt and Emily Nordmann revealed, there is still a lot to be discovered on how video practices are best applied in higher education. For this, "the eduhub community is invaluable," claims Hervé Platteaux, Responsible for pedagogy, Centre Nouvelles Technologies et Enseignement, University Fribourg, over the final lunch, "we're trying to find out the best ways of using technologies with an educational purpose by sharing lived experiences in the community."