Creating and curating teaching content through YouTube

Film & Television Lecturer Kevin Walls has been putting YouTube through its paces delivering classes on the platform throughout the Covid- 19 pandemic.

With blended learning and reduced physical contact with classes looking likely for the forseeable future, Kevin discusses the methodology and advantages of teaching using the world’s biggest streaming platform.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an undisputable challenge for a plethora of reasons. In teaching, one such challenge has been: how can we continue to deliver a high level of educational content to students under the current lockdown and social distancing measures? Technology has been key. Programmes like Microsoft Teams and Zoom have supplemented the existing VLE platforms and have allowed us to keep in touch with our students through instant messaging and video conferencing. However, I believe there is another extremely valuable tool at our disposal: YouTube.

A staggering one billion hours of video content is watched on YouTube every day. Although it’s an undeniable force in the world of entertainment, it can also be an incredibly useful learning resource. The platform is bursting with short video lessons designed to help you learn or master a new skill or hobby. You can find woodworking tutorials, programming tutorials, makeup tutorials; there’s even an ultra-meta ‘How to Make Tutorial Videos’ tutorial. At the beginning of the lockdown, I decided to test the possibilities of YouTube within the context of further education by creating a series of short tutorials and streaming live lectures.”

NQ Photographing People – Live Lecture

I was extremely pleased with the results. YouTube’s robust streaming platform offered superior video and audio quality in comparison to other available programmes. Using Open Broadcaster Software in conjunction with the AverMedia LGP Lite gaming capture card, I was able to bypass my lousy webcam entirely and stream with my professional video camera. Students were able to engage with the lecture in real-time, by posting questions in the comment section, and those who couldn’t attend the class as it was streaming live had the option to watch the entire lecture on-demand at a time that suited their needs. This was especially beneficial for students with roles as key workers or those with caring duties as a result of the pandemic.

Similarly, short video tutorials can be accessed anywhere and at any time. Unlike traditional lectures, these videos can be paused and repeated as often as required, until the student is comfortable to move on to the next topic.

Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO – Controlling Light

Why use YouTube over a dedicated, or perhaps bespoke, educational app? Besides the superior video and audio quality, most students will already have immediate access to YouTube. It’s more than likely that the students will already have the app installed on their phone, tablet or even their smart TV. The accessibility, quality, and quantity of its content makes YouTube a great learning resource but – as is true with the internet as a whole – there is a lot of confidently delivered misinformation disguised as unquestionable fact. However, if we can create and curate our own content, we can ensure our students have access to high quality, consistent and reliable learning materials, even amidst a unique global crisis.

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