J.M. Santos Espino, C. Guerra Artal, M.D. Afonso Suárez, S. García-Sánchez

Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (SPAIN)
Nowadays, it is not possible to think about teaching and learning processes without the use of some kind of digital technology. Computers, digital networks, software applications, multimedia objects and learning management systems conform a new technological environment that has to be understood by the community of teachers, students and educational institutions. The use of multimedia objects is now widely spread and a huge amount of research has shown that they can positively influence the teaching-learning process. For this purpose, teachers must learn how to produce this type of material efficiently, bringing good quality contents while keeping a reasonable level of productivity, in the sense of the cost and effort needed to generate material.

The observation and analysis of the work made by university teachers in the creation of instructional videos during past years has led on this proposal. This paper describes a process for building short instructional videos based on a “virtual whiteboard talk” metaphor. This kind of video virtualizes the dynamics of a typical lecture supported by whiteboard annotations. We consider that this metaphor performs better at keeping learner’s attention, compared to the more conventional “slides plus speech” format. Based on this assumption, we have developed a process to produce “virtual whiteboard” videos.

Two key criteria have steered the process design:
a) The first one is to leverage the cost and availability of tools and resources, so that the process can be implemented using mainstream software packages, affordable additional hardware, and with the only participation of the teacher herself, with no need of additional human resources.
b) The second criterion is to develop guidelines that be simple enough to be mastered by teachers who are still novice in the art of digital production.

The process is described as a set of production guidelines, which cover the phases from the conception of the talk to the delivery of the final video item. The process includes directions on several aspects of the production cycle, such as talk planning, talk recording, software and hardware tools, screen layout, visual items style, and embedded interactions. The process is currently being applied in the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, to produce videos for blended learning environments in university degrees, with preliminary good results in teacher’s ability to apply the techniques and to yield satisfactory products.